- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
Alfred Morris provides backfield stability despite RG3 injury
Question of the Day
Although quarterback Robert Griffin III’s sprained right knee created significant uncertainty this week about his availability for the Washington Redskins' road game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, coaches and players found comfort knowing they could at least count on one player to be in their backfield.
“It’s a security blanket for everybody,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “Every quarterback wants a good runner, and I’m pretty excited about the one we have.”
Morris enters Week 15 with 1,235 rushing yards, more than any rookie in Redskins history. He’s on pace to gain more than the 282 yards he needs to break Clinton Portis’ 7-year-old franchise single-season rushing record.
Griffin’s presence as a running threat has aided Morris‘ success this season. The zone-read option game forces defenders to either guess whether Griffin or Morris has the ball, or they’re forced to wait to see who has it. The hesitation has enabled Redskins offensive linemen to gain advantageous leverage on blocks and create running lanes.
Morris has proved adept at that because of his vision in diagnosing cutback lanes, his nimble feet and his physical, bruising running style.
Because Morris can execute those outside zone runs, he could take some of the pressure off the quarterback against Cleveland.
“You always want a back that can make plays and make some yardage on his own. Alfred has been able to do that,” Mike Shanahan said. “We have a lot of confidence in him. I think he has a lot of confidence in himself. Every offense needs an excellent running back to move the chains, make people miss and get some yards after contact.”
Morris has averaged more than 19 carries per game this season, so he’s used to taking the punishment that comes with all the touches he’s positioned to get Sunday.
“We’re just going to do our job, and just whatever happens, happens,” Morris said. “We all have to go out there and play regardless.”
Morris, who lost a fumble in each of the last two games, doesn’t sense any greater demands on him this week.
“We got a great offense, and we got a great group of guys,” he said. “Anybody can get the ball and make something happen. It won’t be no more pressure on one person more than another. It’s a team effort.”
Morris‘ play this season had a calming affect on his teammates this week. As players contemplated playing a must-win game without their star quarterback, they fell back on an offensive approach that has served them well all season.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
Latest Blog Entries
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world