Kwon Alexander having ‘legendary’ impact on Jets as chief

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Kwon Alexander is massive on being totally different together with his greetings and goodbyes.

Ask the New York Jets linebacker how he’s doing, and he’ll reply: “legendary.”

Or when he’s wrapping up a session with reporters, he’ll shut with: “Have a legendary day.”

Every time.

“I started with G-R-E-A-T first and I felt like I was starting with that because I didn’t want to use G-O-O-D,” Alexander mentioned Friday. “I wanted it to be something bigger. Everybody used that word and nobody used ‘legendary’ like that, all the time. I didn’t want to be average.

“I wanted to put my mind to something I could reach and speak it into existence, so I just started saying it over and over again and it started becoming a habit. And it’s just one of those words I say now.”

It’s even tattooed behind considered one of his ears.

“That’s my thing, just staying in a positive mindset,” mentioned Alexander, who started utilizing “legendary” three years in the past.

Alexander has shortly develop into an emotional power within the Jets’ locker room, setting the tone for a crew he wasn’t even part of till the beginning of coaching camp in late July.

“Kwon is the one that unhinges us a little bit,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich mentioned. “He has such juice and passion and energy and swag and confidence. He’s got a little bit of all that stuff that great defensive players have and he also has an amazing ability to affect others and influence others and bring people along with him.”

The 28-year-old Alexander is a robust presence on the soccer discipline, too, together with his voice loud and his bone-rattling hits on ballcarriers even louder.

It has been that method his whole taking part in profession, from his school days at LSU to the NFL in stops with Tampa Bay, who made him a fourth-round draft decide, in addition to San Francisco and New Orleans earlier than signing a one-year take care of the Jets.

“I think I am that guy, but I would like to put ‘playmaker’ before that first,” Alexander mentioned. “You’ve got to make plays before anybody respects you or anything, or even tries to go off your energy.

“So I really put myself as a playmaker, then the hype man.”

Alexander had three tackles whereas beginning with C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams at linebacker within the Jets’ 24-9 season-opening loss to Baltimore. Throughout his seven-plus NFL seasons, Alexander has been a disruptor on the sector. He has greater than 500 mixed profession tackles, 12 sacks, eight interceptions, 10 pressured fumbles and 5 fumble recoveries.

He additionally would possibly simply lead the league in persona.

“From everything that I heard in San Francisco,” Ulbrich mentioned, “he did the same thing there and kind of unlocked their defense in that way as far as bringing out their personality and bringing edge and bringing passion and juice and the 17,000 handshakes that he has and all the celebrations that he has.

“He just brings so much in that way. We’re lucky to have him.”

Within his first few hours of becoming a member of the Jets, Alexander took Williams apart on the apply discipline and shared some issues he seen.

“He came to me as a brother, with a few little tips to help me out,” Williams mentioned. “Coming right in and helping me see the game faster. He said: ‘You’re a baller and these details can help.’ I appreciate it, for real.”

Leadership comes pure to Alexander, who mentioned he by no means needed to be a follower.

That was one of many traits that resonated with Jets coach Robert Saleh, who was Alexander’s defensive coordinator for 2 seasons in San Francisco. Last month, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner mentioned throughout a YouTube interview together with his spouse that Alexander was his favourite teammate ever.

“Kwon comes in with his ‘legendary’ mindset and he has just this aura about him and this juice and this love of football that is absolutely contagious,” Saleh mentioned. “And he extracts it out of people.

“So having those guys scattered throughout the locker room is proving to be highly effective, at least from my experience.”

Alexander might see himself on the sideline teaching sometime, however “that’s a long time from now.”

Until then, he’ll simply maintain having “legendary” days on the sector and within the locker room.

“I just go about it by being myself,” Alexander mentioned. “It’s what I simply do. Lots of people are type of scared to speak and encourage guys. They’ll be in their very own shell. But me, I simply let it out.

“I’ve only got one life and one chance to do this, so I might as well have fun with it.”

NOTES: QB Zach Wilson (knee) will miss his second recreation, however was restricted at apply for the third straight day. … TE C.J. Uzomah is uncertain after injuring a hamstring at apply Thursday. He didn’t take part Friday. … WR Braxton Berrios (heel), LT George Fant (knee), DL John Franklin-Myers (toe), P Braden Mann (again) and S Jordan Whitehead (ankle) had been all questionable however absolutely practiced.

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