How Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander Dropped 71 Pounds and Became the NFL's Sack Leader

The journeyman linebacker changed his diet and transformed himself into a sack machine.

When you think of dominating defensive players who could be leading the NFL in sacks halfway through the season, you might think of the Texans' J.J. Watt or the Broncos' Von Miller, but neither of those players is leading the league. That distinction belongs to Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander.

 If you have no idea who he is, you're not alone.
Alexander is journeyman who's been in the league for over a decade. The 33-year-old was first on the Carolina Panthers practice squad and then the Baltimore Ravens practice squad. His longest stint was with the Washington Redskins, from 2007 to 2012. He then spent two years with the Arizona Cardinals and one year with the Oakland Raiders. He is now signed to the Bills on a one-year contract for the veteran minimum salary.
At the beginning of his career, Alexander was a 315-pound defensive tackle. Knowing that he had to lose weight to keep playing in the league, he made some changes. After years of work, he became one of the NFL's best special teams players, even making the 2012 Pro Bowl as a special teamer. To do so, he lost 70 pounds.

Lorenzo Alexander

According to The Buffalo News, Alexander lost the weight by giving up alcohol and fast food, which was often difficult. "Sometimes my wife would get upset because I wouldn't have a drink with her," Alexander told Buffalo News. "Or I'd say, 'I can't eat that, we have to make a whole different meal for me'—chicken or broiled fish when the kids are eating junk food or McDonald's or whatever it may have been. I had to have a whole separate diet for myself."
Besides changing his diet, Alexander performed diverse exercises, including MMA-style training and cycling. All of his hard work is finally playing off. He now has nine sacks on the season, which ties his total sack total for the other nine years he has been in the league. He has at least half a sack in every game this season.

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Not only has Alexander been a force on defense, he is still fulfilling all of his special teams roles. Check out this mic'd up video of his Week 5 highlights against the Los Angeles Rams, when he had three sacks and six tackles.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | NEWS | LINEBACKER | DEFENSIVE LINE | BUFFALO BILLS | NFL | SACK