Mackensie Alexander has big shoes to fill at nickel corner for the Minnesota Vikings, but coaches feel that he is doing ‘really good’ learning the role.
For three seasons, the Minnesota Vikings had the pleasure of having Captain Munnerlyn as their nickel cornerback on defense. When he left in free agency this offseason, it opened up spot for a new player to take on the role for the 2017 season.
The individual in line to take over these duties is Mackensie Alexander. A second round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the promising defensive back was a stud at the college level, but transitioning to the pro level can be a challenge for any player, especially when it involves taking on some of the best slot wide receivers and tight ends in the league.
Thankfully, it sounds as though Alexander is adjusting well to the new role. While he will still take some lumps while learning the details of the job and getting in-game experience, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had very positive things to say about his work so far according to the Pioneer Press.
"“Alexander’s done good,” Zimmer said. “He’s done really good, especially in the slot. … I would say he would be the (young Vikings cornerback) that’s jumped up the most.”"
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For any player to get this kind of praise from Zimmer is a testament to his work. The head coach isn’t one to hand out compliments where they aren’t warranted. But the coach likes one thing in particular about how his new nickel corner plays:
"“He listens,” Zimmer said Wednesday."
While Zimmer isn’t a man of many words, defensive coordinator George Edwards went more in-depth about how Alexander is coming along and what they are looking for when he is on the field as he keeps developing into the role.
"“I thought he did a good job,” Edwards said Wednesday. “He’s being pretty consistent right now with the technique and the fundamentals and doing a good job mentally with the calls and the communications. We just look for him to keep that consistency going and to keep getting better at the things we’re asking him to get better at.”"
Although the pressure is on Mackensie Alexander to deliver as the nickel cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings, fans should feel relieved to hear that he is coming along well, impressing coaches, and working hard to be the best possible player he can be.