Alfred Morris becoming Redskins not-so-secret weapon

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) runs onto the field prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff game between the Redskins and Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field. Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

If you would ask anyone who the key to the Washington Redskins offense was last year, most people would say Robert Griffin III and the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 draft did have a good rookie campaign.

We have seen RGIII everywhere from restaurant commercials to athletic apparel.  So what if someone told you before the season a 6th round draft pick from a lesser known Florida college would arguably be that important player?  That person would be laughed right out the room, but running back Alfred Morris was that player.

Morris not only rushed for an impressive 1,613 yards, he broke the Redskins single-season rushing record while doing so.  Morris is looking to become an even more important part of the Redskins offense.  With the possibility of Griffin’s knee not being completely healed, the running game will be paramount to Washington’s early success.

The running game also helps set up the passing game.

With the threat of Morris running wild, teams are forced to commit more players in the box to stop the run.  This can create opportunities for players such as Pierre Garçon, Fred Davis and Josh Morgan to face single coverage.

Add in the the play action pass and Washington’s offense becomes even tougher to stop.

Morris’s  productivity has led to this question:  Is Morris that good of a player or is he a product of the Mike Shanahan zone blocking scheme?

Shanahan has coached running backs such as Terrell Davis and Clinton Portis. Davis is close to getting in the Hall of Fame and Portis was a very productive back during his career.  Shanahan also was able to have success with running backs Mike Anderson and Orlandis Gary.  However, Gary and Anderson were not able to sustain prolonged success.  Both had one great year followed by disappointing seasons.

There is no telling how Morris will do this season.  He is player with a lot of potential who will be vital in Washington’s quest to repeat as NFC East champions.  Griffin jerseys are flying of the shelf these days, but do not forget about the 6th round pick from Florida Atlantic.

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