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Jets LB Kwon Alexander Bringing Energy and Celebration to Defense

Veteran LB Wants Guys to 'Play Like They Are Kids Again'


Pro Bowl free-agent acquisition Kwon Alexander arrived at the Green & White's training camp in great shape and with a familiarity with the defense that has made his transition seamless. So much so, that Alexander has been able to celebrate big plays in practice.

"Everybody is picking it up now," Alexander told to reporters on Wednesday. "Everybody is getting more energy and that's the best thing about it."

When the Green & White signed Alexander the last week of July, his physical condition surprised even HC Robert Saleh: "I didn't expect him to be in the shape he's in. He was ready to roll."

Weighing in at 227 pounds, Alexander has worked his way into a few first-team reps alongside mainstays of the Jets linebacking corps C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams.

"I was just ready to hit the ground running," Alexander said. "That was my whole mindset, just to be ready and be focused once I got to a team."

Alexander played under Saleh from 2019, when Saleh was the defensive coordinator with the Super Bowl-bound San Francisco 49ers. He recognizes similarities in the defensive design that now uses different terminology. And with more sessions under his belt, he has been able to play instinctively.

"It has been cool," Alexander said. "Different terminologies and stuff, different words, but it is pretty much the same thing we were doing in San Francisco."

Two weeks into camp, the defensive scheme of Saleh and DC Jeff Ulbrich is taking shape and resulting in impact plays. Throughout, Alexander has thrived in celebrating the takeaways, pass breakups and sacks.

"I am ready to go out there to play and have fun," Alexander said. "Everybody wants to hit and really try to get the ball as much as we can."

Tuesday, CB Luq Barcoo came up with a leaping interception in one-on-one coverage against QB Mike White. As soon as Barcoo got off the turf, Alexander was there to greet him with a signature handshake.

"We are starting to get handshakes with the DBs and defensive linemen," Alexander said. "It is going to be a fun year."

Wednesday, with the offense starting inside the red zone, QB Joe Flacco threw a pass across the middle near the goal line. CB Justin Hardee lunged in front to break up the pass headed for Garrett Wilson. Alexander immediately ran over and dapped him up.

"I was telling the guys, once you make plays go out there and celebrate," Alexander said. "Make sure those big plays are seen."

Celebrating might seem like overkill to some, considering it is just practice. But in his eight-year career, celebrating has been one of Alexander's trademarks.

And, when the team goes on the road for the first game of the preseason, in Philadelphia, he plans to celebrate big plays accordingly.

"I just like getting guys going," Alexander said. "Our job is hard, and I just want guys to go out there and have fun and play like they are kids again and hopefully, the defense can be up first and set the tone. I'm ready to see what everybody else got."

See the Green & White on the practice field in full pads during week three at training camp.

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