- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008

He holds 24 franchise records, including most career rushing touchdowns and rushing yards. He’s the only player in Seattle history to earn NFL MVP honors. And he was the linchpin of the Seahawks’ only Super Bowl team.

However, Shaun Alexander won’t return to Qwest Field in triumph Sunday. The 31-year-old running back is now a bit player. He has 11 carries for 24 yards in his four games with the Washington Redskins following two injury-shortened seasons with Seattle.

Alexander touched the ball just once in each of Washington’s past two games even though starter Clinton Portis was hampered by a sprained knee and backup Ladell Betts missed the a game with the same injury.

Said Alexander: “Excited to go back to Seattle, yes. Excited to go eat at Pearl, my favorite restaurant, yes. Excited to see some friends, excited to see some people from my church, definitely. But when you only have one carry, how excited can you really [be]?”

Alexander said he doesn’t have hard feelings toward the Seahawks for releasing him. He treasures his Seattle experience but considers those eight years in the past.

“I enjoyed my time in Seattle,” Alexander said. “I enjoyed getting married. I enjoyed my daughter [Heaven] being born and missing the beginning of the game and coming back and beating the Rams [in 2003]. I enjoyed the five touchdowns in one half [in 2002 against Minnesota]. But when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.”

Seattle cut Ryan Plackemeier, its punter the last two season, after Week 1, and he signed with Washington on the same day as Alexander. But the former seventh-round draft pick isn’t out to show the Seahawks they made a mistake in letting him go.

“I don’t think I have to perform or prove anything to anyone,” said Plackemeier, who has averaged 41.5 gross and 31.7 net yards with the Redskins. “[The Seahawks] made their decision, the Redskins made their decision and I’m just excited to play.”

Backup safety Mike Green also played for the Seahawks last year, while running backs coach Stump Mitchell held the same position in Seattle from 1998 to 2007.

Three starters still out

Portis rested his knee again Thursday, as did left tackle Chris Samuels and receiver Antwaan Randle El (ankle). Coach Jim Zorn still expects all three to start Sunday. Guard Pete Kendall (knees) took full practice, and backup running back Ladell Betts (knee) was limited for a second straight day. Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery was limited as he worked for the first time since straining his right Achilles tendon Nov. 3 against Pittsburgh.

Reserve quarterback Todd Collins, who was hospitalized Nov. 8 with a ruptured eardrum and wasn’t allowed to fly back from Massachusetts after the bye week because of the condition, has been cleared to fly with the team to Seattle on Friday.

The 30-point barrier

Only four NFL teams have failed to score 30 points in a game this season. The list includes: 0-10 Detroit, 1-8-1 Cincinnati, 2-8 Oakland and the 6-4 Redskins.

Washington didn’t score 30 points in any of coach Joe Gibbs’ first 11 games in 2004 either, but that team had a 3-8 record in that span. This year’s team has been in playoff contention the entire season.

Washington scored 30 points in 17 of Norv Turner’s final 77 games as its coach (1996-2000) but has done so in just 14 of 128 games under successors Terry Robiskie (0-for-3), Marty Schottenheimer (1-for-16), Steve Spurrier (3-for-32), Gibbs (10-for-67) and Zorn. The team record for most consecutive games scoring fewer than 30 points is 42, set from 1958 to 1962.

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