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Alfred Morris has gotten off to a great start

Atlanta Falcons  v Washington Redskins Getty Images

When the subject of rookies comes up with the Washington Redskins, the conversation is almost always about Robert Griffin III.

That makes sense. It’s a quarterback league, Griffin was the second overall pick and the Redskins have needed a long-term solution at the position for ages. The fact that Griffin has been playing well only makes it harder to interject any other names into the discussion.

If Alfred Morris keeps producing the way he’s produced in his first five weeks, that could change. The sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic was seen as the latest stop on the Mike Shanahan running back carousel when he grabbed a featured role in training camp, but he’s spent the first five weeks of the regular season looking like much more than that.

Morris has topped 100 rushing yards in each of the last two weeks and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry on the year, giving the Redskins a strong running game to go with their upgraded play at quarterback. It’s not just strong relative to what we’ve seen from the Redskins in the recent past either. Mike Jones of the Washington Post points out that MorrisĀ has joined Eric Dickerson as the only two rookies in NFL history to run for 75 yards or more in each of his first five games.

That’s pretty heady company for Morris, as is the guy who comes to mind when thinking of a past Shanahan success story with a running back taken in the sixth round. That would be Terrell Davis, of course, and there are worse role models to shoot for as a running back. It’s way too early to draw such comparisons, but the fact that it is even on the radar says a lot about how much Morris has done in his first five weeks in the NFL.

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18 Responses to “Alfred Morris has gotten off to a great start”
  1. skinsfan91 says: Oct 9, 2012 1:49 PM

    perfect back for the system in Washington.

  2. jmsincla says: Oct 9, 2012 1:53 PM

    Is it fair to say he’s been the most consistent rookie thus far? It’s not very often a rookie is 4th in the league in rushing.

    Here’s hoping he keeps it up!

  3. metalman5150 says: Oct 9, 2012 1:56 PM

    Alfred, “The Butler,” Morris!
    Native Floridan and All-Around Baller!
    Hats-Off to the Rook. May he continue his ascendancy towards the upper-echelon of Pro-Football Running Backs.
    Hey Chris Johnson, take note.

  4. mikealstott says: Oct 9, 2012 2:00 PM

    It’s crazy how many late round running back treasures Mike Shanahan has been able to unearth during hiis coaching career. Weather your a fan of his or not you still have to give the guy some props for his eye for talent….

  5. theclaim says: Oct 9, 2012 2:03 PM

    This kid has the skills to become an elite back. Not to mention the fact that although he will earn $2+million this year and STILL drives a 1991 Mazda 626. That’s good to see in today’s look at me world?you are a BEAST Alfred, keep ballin. TheClaim

  6. vablockaderunner says: Oct 9, 2012 2:29 PM

    This kid’s game is all vision, power, balance, and heart.

    I usually ignore preseason but when I saw him just completely truck Lance Briggs in the 2nd game, I sat up in my chair. Used my final fantasy draft pick on him a week later, and I look like a genius for the first time in my life.

    I have no idea how Florida Atlantic went 1-10 with this guy on their roster last year, but they must have had the most epically bad defense of all time.

    He’s just tough to bring down and has amazingly good vision, finding the cut back lanes before they’re even there.

    The draft combine could measure his slow 40, but there’s no effective test to measure a guy’s vision, which is why Shanny is able to find these backs in the late rounds and get them to be productive in the zone-blocking scheme.

  7. annes22 says: Oct 9, 2012 2:40 PM

    I am so please for Alfred Morris to be running well.
    He was outstanding at FAU last year, and it is nice
    for someone from a school that is not famous for football players, to do so well.

  8. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 9, 2012 2:42 PM

    Said the same thing about Roy Helu last year..

  9. nocitpeced says: Oct 9, 2012 2:49 PM

    theclaim says:
    Oct 9, 2012 2:03 PM
    This kid has the skills to become an elite back. Not to mention the fact that although he will earn $2+million this year and STILL drives a 1991 Mazda 626.

    In what world does a 6th round pick get 2 mil their rookie year?

    This kid is good though, serious burst through the line, keeps his legs churning, and falls forward all the time. Combine that with at LEAST above average vision and he’s a nasty runner to deal with.

  10. NakedCowboy! says: Oct 9, 2012 2:59 PM

    picked him as soon as i found out that he is the starter… very consistent every week… strange that i haven’t seen a full skins game this year…

  11. toonloonboon says: Oct 9, 2012 3:07 PM

    too bad he plays on a garbage , go-nowhere team.

  12. jmsincla says: Oct 9, 2012 3:14 PM

    nflofficeadmin-

    No it wasn’t. Helu didn’t start until later in the year and when he did, he was in and out with injury.

    For perspective, assuming Morris stays healthy and keeps up his pace, he’ll pass Helu’s total from last year sometime around the first quarter of week 7.

  13. gunpowderjones says: Oct 9, 2012 3:22 PM

    He has earned $221,500 gross thusfar in the year. Not chump change, but not enough to buy a Lambo even if he wanted to.

    We’ll see what happens if he’s running for 1,500 yards a year for 1/4th of what his backup makes.

  14. jmsincla says: Oct 9, 2012 3:22 PM

    Also, Doug Martin and Trent Richardson are somewhere around 37 ypg worse than Morris.

    Their numbers are more in line with RG3.

  15. z561 says: Oct 9, 2012 5:12 PM

    What is really amazing is that we (FAU) managed to go 1-11 with him as our runningback.

  16. larrydavid7000 says: Oct 9, 2012 9:12 PM

    After the Redskins drafted Alfred Morris I went to You Tube right away and was amazed at what I saw right away.Told myself this kid looks great. I knew he was the started when shanahan benched him in week 4 of preseason. Also took him in round 3 in fantasy football draft.

  17. redskinfansince82 says: Oct 9, 2012 10:21 PM

    The minute they drafted him I You Tubed his highlight reel…….It was their in plain sight the man got skills!!!!He just doing what he did in college. I knew he was the real deal when he trucked Lance Briggs twice in the preseason. It’s not a fluke….HTTR!!!!

  18. laserw says: Oct 9, 2012 11:26 PM

    The best acquisition the Redskins made in this draft is hands down Alfred Morris. When he can make runs with an offensive line as wretched as Washington’s, you know he is the real deal. The hype machine has had the China Doll, Griffin, as the big acquisition, but the Redskins overpaid for him – selecting a brittle running back who thinks he can throw as a quarterback. But Morris is the real deal and a steal at that!

    Imagine if the Redskins had selected quality offensive linemen that could pass and run block instead of selecting the short-term QB imposter (Griffin). Since this season is going to hell anyway for the Redskins, giving Kirk Cousins a great offensive line along with Morris would have given the Redskins a great 2013 season with even more hope for reinforcements to come. Since the Redskins mortgaged everything to get a limited potential QB like Griffin, there is no hope of a better offensive line (unless you pray for miracles) with the limited draft the Redskins have next year and the one after that.

    Imagine Griffin at Cleveland! He’d already be on IR.

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