While addressing reporters late last week at Redskins Park, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said, based on game film, it was clear that Alexander's role should be expanded. Among other things, Alexander has fared better in coverage than Carter, according to people familiar with the situation. And Alexander's new assignment was not a one-game lineup shakeup.
The Redskins intend for Alexander to continue to work with the first-team defense as long as his play dictates that he should. It will be interesting to see whether Alexander is involved less on special teams because of his higher standing on defense.
Heading into the season, the Redskins planned to play Andre Carter over Lorenzo Alexander at left outside linebacker for a few reasons. Not least of all was that Carter was making almost $4 million dollars this year more than Alexander. But the Redskins also needed Alexander's versatility in other places.
In the first three games of the year, Alexander shined in his normal special teams role and contributed when inserted into the game as a member of the defensive front; meanwhile Carter was struggling with the new position. So they made the change. So far it's proven to be a good move, so they will be sticking with it.