Nothing has so turned off Hog Heaven to the NFL 2014 Top 100 list as the fact that Alfred Morris not on it. How can that be? Morris was the fourth-leading rusher in yards, with 10 rushes over 20-yards and seven touchdowns. His yards per attempt held up, 4.6 ypc in 2013, 4.8 in 2012.
The good news? Morris delivered that down year performance when defenses lost their fear of RGIII running and focused on stopping him.
Defenses want Griffin to run. Running means he is not throwing. Running allows them to deliver a hard, legal hit as the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin predicted teams would do. Stopping a play-action offense, which the Redskins clearly are, means stopping the run. Griffin and perhaps Lache Seastrunk add versatility to Washington’s ground game. Morris is the heart of it.
Morris’ Career Total
The good news about last year is that the ‘Skins did not run Morris’ legs off. Of course, they were always playing from behind when running would not help much.
The Redskins ran Clinton Portis 340+ times per season eroding his durability as time went on. We want the vastly underpaid Morris to last long enough to get that second NFL contract he has already earned.
The ‘Skins are a premier rushing team. They strengthened their hand in the last Draft with Lache Seastrunk. Hog Heaven cautions readers that sixth-round Draft picks perform at that level in their rookie year. Morris is the exception that proves how true that rule is. It is rare that a pick that low to become a high impact player off the bat.
Seastrunk joins a roster that includes Chris Thompson, Silas Redd, Roy Helu, Jr., Evan Royster and Griffin who may run 60 to 80 times. Seastrunk has to fight his way past Redd and Thompson just to make the roster, much less make an impact. We want to see him to that before anointing him the complimentary back to Morris.
Somebody will fill that role and relieve Morris for the sake of offensive versatility. The Redskins have a rich set of choices, any one of whom can save Morris legs.
A career average performance by Morris of 305 carries for 1,444 yards and 10 TDs has the right feel. Washington can win with that.
Hint to Gruden and Morris: Clinton Portis had a career 116 passer rating with 3 TD passes on 3 completions. Nobody will see that coming.
Games are not won on paper. They are won on television.
Next up: Can the Redskins win with an average performance by the receivers?
Part 1: Can the Redskins win with an average performance by RGIII? No. Read it HERE.