Skip to content

Jaire Alexander: I'm focusing on team goals in 2024

Perry Knotts / Getty Images Sport / Getty

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander says he's learned plenty from a turbulent 2023 season that included serving a one-game suspension.

The difference is apparent from the two-time Pro Bowl selection's presence at the Packers' voluntary organized team activities.

“Just going into year seven, at this point, I’m trying not to make it as much about myself and just do what’s best for the team,” Alexander said.

Alexander, 27, hasn’t lost his sense of bravado. The 2018 first-round pick from Louisville opened his comments on Wednesday by saying that “the best corner in the league has entered the chat.”

But he also says he is adopting more of a team-first mentality while emphasizing his appreciation of the Packers organization and his enthusiasm for the team’s recent staff changes.

“I just want to continue to do things that will help this team moving forward,” Alexander said. “That’s all.”

Alexander is coming off a 2023 season in which he missed three games with a back injury and six more with a shoulder issue. Alexander also was suspended one game for what the Packers described as “conduct detrimental to the team” after he appointed himself captain for a Christmas Eve victory over the Carolina Panthers in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

When the Packers won the coin toss that day, Alexander said the defense wanted to be on the field first rather than saying the Packers would defer the option to the second half. Green Bay got a break when referee Alex Kemp asked Alexander to clarify.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur emphasized after the suspension that he wanted to keep Alexander, who indicated he hoped to stay in Green Bay. Alexander says he grew from everything he encountered last season.

“We all grow at different stages of our lifetime, whether that be sooner or later,” Alexander said. “It’s just trial and error.”

His growth has been apparent to the Packers.

“Ja’s been outstanding,” LaFleur said. “Again, he’s been here every day, shows up, great attitude, eager to learn, is out there competing with the guys, talking trash, which I love because I love just amping up that level of competition in a fun way. He’s never demeaning. I think he’s been a great teammate and been a great leader for us."

Alexander said he also has benefited from the changes LaFleur made after the Packers’ season ended with an NFC divisional playoff loss at San Francisco.

LaFleur fired Joe Barry as defensive coordinator and replaced him with former Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley. The new strength and conditioning coordinator is Aaron Hill, who took over after Chris Gizzi was dismissed. Alexander said he likes the staff’s new look.

“It was all good vibes from the get-go,” Alexander said. “That propelled me here as well. Talking with Matt, talking with Gutey (general manager Brian Gutekunst). I’ve seen them several times this offseason before I even came back to OTAs. Just having that relationship and building that, it’s been helpful.”

Alexander was asked if that kind of feeling was missing with the former defensive staff.

“I wouldn’t say it was missing, but … it wasn’t as easy as it is with this new staff,” Alexander said. “They’ve been great.”

Alexander is trying to help foster that camaraderie now that he’s one of the oldest players on a team that ranked as the NFL’s youngest last year and figures to maintain that status this season.

“It’s fun to see,” Alexander said. “When I first got here, there was a bunch of older veterans. They were doing their work, they were doing their jobs, but not at the intensity and level that these young guys are. That just makes everybody better."

Alexander wants to remain in Green Bay long enough to see how this young group matures.

“It’s actually a historical place,” Alexander said. “It’s fun to play here. That’s why. Where would I go? Never mind. I’m not going to say it. But, yeah, I enjoy it here. Trust me.”

NOTES: LaFleur said DL Lukas Van Ness “broke his thumb a little bit, just the tip,” which prevented the 2023 first-round pick from practicing Wednesday. … Guard Elgton Jenkins and defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Preston Smith weren’t at Wednesday’s voluntary practice. All three of those veterans had been at last week’s workout that was open to reporters. “We knew they weren’t going to be here today, so the one thing I’ll say about everybody in that locker room, the communication’s been on point,” LaFleur said.



Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox