EAGAN, Minn. — "Return of the Mack" — the mid-90s hit by Mark Morrison — has been on repeat in my head since hearing that the Vikings have agreed to bring Mackensie Alexander back to Minnesota.
The team announced the agreement, which is pending a physical, on Monday.
Alexander will be returning to the franchise that drafted him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft after one season in Cincinnati. He played 55 games and made 10 starts in four seasons with the Vikings before starting 10 of the 13 games he played for the Bengals.
After reluctantly embracing a shift from the outside where he played in college at Clemson to the nickel role, Alexander and thrived on the inside from 2018-19 for the Vikings.
View photos of Vikings CB Mackensie Alexander who is back in purple after spending time on the Bengals in 2020.
Here are five things to remember about Alexander:
1. Consistent in coverage
The past three seasons for Alexander have been marked by multiple consistencies. He's played no fewer than 534 defensive snaps.
According to pro-football-reference.com, Alexander has been targeted between 53 and 58 times each season and allowed between 35 and 39 completions. His allowed passer ratings have been 82.1, 84.3 and 82.3, respectively, in the past three seasons.
This consistency in coverage should help a secondary that has also been bolstered by the recent signing of eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson.
2. Bring back the blitz?
The Vikings also utilized Alexander on blitzes in 2018 when he recorded 4.0 of his 4.5 career sacks. Alexander led NFL cornerbacks that season and tied Robert Griffith's single-season franchise record for sacks by a defensive back.
With Minnesota aiming to improve its paltry sacks total (23) from 2020, it makes one wonder if Alexander will be called on to blitz a bit for the 2021 Vikings defense.
3. Supportive of Special Olympics
Alexander and Vikings center Garrett Bradbury welcomed the Rochester Flyers, a Special Olympics Unified Flag Football Team, to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center when they "signed" with General Manager Rick Spielman.
The Flyers were flown to California by the Vikings in December 2019 to play a team representing the Los Angeles Chargers.
Alexander also chose to represent Special Olympics in the 2019 My Cause My Cleats game.
4. Proud of Haitian heritage
Alexander is the son of Haitian immigrants and has a twin brother, Mackenro, who tried out for the Vikings in 2018 after his college career wrapped.
The family was based in Immokalee, Florida, where the brothers helped their parents pick oranges and tomatoes.
Alexander is proud of his Haitian heritage, as well as the hard work that is put in by migrant agricultural employees. He spoke at a conference for migrant workers in Pennsylvania in 2017.
One of Alexander's favorite phrases is "all work is easy work."
5. Helping the hometown
Alexander also has been committed to staying connected in his hometown. That began just days after he was drafted when he was part of a $10,000 shoe donation to the Collier County Boys & Girls Clubs.
Later that year, Collier County declared June 28, 2016, as "Mackensie Alexander Day."
Even though the population of Immokalee is only about 25,000, the small town has been quite the producer of NFL players that include Hall of Famer Edgerrin James.
Alexander teamed with former high school teammates and fellow NFL players J.C. Jackson, Deadrin Senat and D'Ernest Johnson to host a camp in July 2019.