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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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November 19, 2008 10:17 AM

Alexander: "When you're the man, you're the man and when you're not, you're not. "

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Former league MVP returns to play against the team that released him over the offseason, bent on showing his former employer just what they missed out on.

There's just one problem with that storyline, Shaun Alexander said Wednesday.

"I'm the third running back," said Alexander, who's now with Washington. "Who was the third running back when I first got there [to Seattle]? It was me, Ricky Watters, Charlie Rogers so what are we talking about? I think it won't even be a topic."

Reality interupts the dramatic storyline of the former player returning with his new team to show the old one what it's missing out on.

Alexander has carried the ball only once each of the past two games, but he was the player requested by the Seattle media to be available for a telephone interview Wednesday.

"I was actually surprised that you guys asked me to do the interview because reality has to set in," Alexander said. "That's not my role on this team. Now, do I want it to be more? Of course. Do I think I can take 20 carries now? Well, I think finally last week and this is week was probably the first time I could probably say, yeah, I could take 20 carries and go do some damage. But that's not the role on this team right now.

"And it could change in two or three weeks. It could change this week, but that's not the role right now. Reality is, are you going to be so fired up, are you going to come out there really crazy? I was like, ‘I've got one carry last week and I think one carry the week before that,' so what are we talking about?

"So I'll be excited to come to Seattle and see the guys and go eat some food at the Pearl, and I'll be ready to go, and if I get my number called, I'll go out there and try to do great things."

Clinton Portis is Washington's starting running back now, and he is second in the NFL in rushing yards behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

Alexander did discuss his departure from Seattle. He said president Tim Ruskell informed him after the season of the possibility the Seahawks would look to make changes in the running game, and after signing T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones, Alexander asked if there would be a competition for the starting spot. No, said Ruskell, and the team released Alexander before the draft.

Alexander said that he spoke to Holmgren after that decision as well as offensive coordinator Gil Haskell.

"Nobody was happy about that [release], but coach Holmgren and Gil did not get to make that decision and it is what it is," Alexander said.

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