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Morris as third-down back

Rookie Alfred Morris often states his desire to become a complete NFL running back. His promotion to third-down back Sunday was an important step toward that goal.

Shanahan replaced second-year running back Evan Royster with Morris, and Morris played nine of the Redskins‘ 11 third downs.

“He told me he was going to give me an opportunity to do it, and I really am thankful because he’s trying to help me become a complete back,” Morris said. “I thank coach for believing in me.”

Morris did a variety of things on third downs.

He picked up a pass rush only one time. His cut block against linebacker DeMeco Ryans that helped open a lane for quarterback Robert Griffin III to hit receiver Joshua Morgan on a slant for 6 yards on third-and-7 in the second quarter.

“I didn’t really see no pressure, so that was kind of unfortunate because I wanted to work on it,” Morris said.