Gerald Alexander arrived in Jacksonville Monday morning to take his physical after he was traded by Detroit to Jacksonville for wide receiver Dennis Northcutt over the weekend. The trade had yet to be finalized pending word from the Lions and the safety was getting antsy.
When the trade became official, Alexander planned to get his first workout in under the direction of Jaguars first-year strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson.
"I'm antsy to start working out because that's how you earn your respect, working with the guys and letting them see you are a hard worker," said Alexander, who is friends with Jaguars cornerback Tyron Brackenridge.
Alexander, 6-2, 204, was surprised to hear about the trade after participating in Detroit's offseason program and all of the club's OTAs. A former second round pick of the Lions in 2007, he played in the first five games of the 2008 season before suffering a season-ending injury in week five. He fractured his vertebrae in a head-on collision with Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.
"I went instantly from a player to a fan," Alexander said. "I was waiting for Sundays to happen and that was tough."
He says he is "fully healthy" now and ready to get acquainted with the Jaguars defensive system.
"I'm just excited about being in this situation," Alexander said. "Obviously there is a shock value, but I'm looking forward to being a part of this team. I have to move on to a new situation and learn a new system; get acquainted with a new group of people,"
Alexander earned valuable experience as a rookie, starting all 16 games at free safety. He finished with 82 tackles and two interceptions.
"Me getting hurt was kind of out of sight and out of mind," Alexander said. "But I do have 17 starts under my belt and a little bit of experience on the field. "
So what can fans expect?
"I am a very intelligent football player," Alexander said. "That is why I want to get the in's and out's of the defense so I can get comfortable with it. From then on, I am going to play as fast as possible and make plays."