Vikings’ Mackensie Alexander takes break from media blackout, says must ‘focus’

Mackensie Alexander took a brief break from his media blackout.

The Vikings cornerback, who has taken over the role of nickel back, hadn’t spoken to reporters since training camp began last month. He explained why following Friday night’s 20-13 preseason loss at Seattle.

“I’m just focusing on going to work every day and keeping my head down, so that when the season comes, I’m prepared and ready to go,’’ Alexander said. “That’s all it is.

“Just trying to stay focused and you know I got a big task, and I got things that I got to take care of, and things I got to get fixed and work on. …So that’s my focus is to keep getting better, and stay away from the media and just work.’’

Alexander, taken in the second round last year out of Clemson, struggled as a rookie. The Vikings have enough confidence in him, though, to insert him as the nickel back in place of Captain Munnerlyn, who left as a free agent to sign with Carolina.

Before the Seahawks game, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer praised Alexander, saying he’s “done good’’ after not listening as much as he should have last season.

Alexander’s play Friday was uneven as he was picked on several times by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Alexander slipped on the first series of the game, allowing Doug Baldwin to catch a 16-yard pass going across the middle to the Minnesota 2, leading to a Seattle touchdown. On the next series, he was out of position on a 37-yard pass from Wilson to Baldwin.

“I’m a young guy, and I put a lot on myself,’’ Alexander said. “I need to get better and I want to get better so that I’m ready to this year. I don’t want to be distracted (by talking to the media), and I don’t want to talk about what I’m doing. I’m just trying to be one with the coaching staff, and with my teammates.’’

Alexander is hopeful of regularly speaking to the media once the regular season begins Sept. 11.

“Regular season, yeah,’’ Alexander said. “I just want to stay focused, keep working and keep up head up and keep grinding. I got a lot to do. I just want to be the best player I can be for this team.’’

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