Alfred Morris moves into lead role in Redskins running back competition

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Some trains are never late, including the one that travels to muddled running back situations on teams coached by Mike Shanahan.

Discussions about the starting running back for the Redskins this season have sometimes pointed to Tim Hightower as the team’s lead rusher, but only if he’s healthy enough after last year’s knee injury. Roy Helu, who had some good moments late last season, hasn’t been on the field enough because of his own injuries and Evan Royster lost a chance to nail down the job against the Colts because of knee soreness.

Hightower was able to play for the first time in the preseason on Saturday, but all the injuries left Alfred Morris to start and he took full advantage of the chance. Morris gained 107 yards on 14 carries and scored a touchdown to make his case for a lot more than the roster spot he hoped to win as a sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic.

It appears he’s won that much, but Shanahan wouldn’t offer any insight about a starting job after the game. While he praised Morris’ performance and said he’s in the mix for the nod, Shanahan was quick to point out that being the last man standing isn’t the same as winning the job.

“When you only have one guy that’s really healthy, it’s really hard to say a guy has taken advantage or taken control,” Shanahan said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “We’ve had some guys pretty beat up and they haven’t had a chance to get a lot of reps. Alfred has taken advantage of his reps and he looked good today.”

Woody Allen once said that eighty percent of success was showing up. Being healthy enough to show up has certainly served Morris well this preseason.

18 responses to “Alfred Morris moves into lead role in Redskins running back competition

  1. Shanahan is like a player when it comes to rb’s, cant commit to just one and uses all of them, FF league know to never draft a shanahan rb!!!

  2. Cue in voiceofreasoning/Hulkhogansays /stonecoldsays…..hey brother..the skins will win the nfc east and dominate brother, brother…..blah blah blah!!!

  3. i like this guy alot.. a hard ru7nner who always fall forward.. Redskins are showing not only they have depth but that they are hungry.. i really like Dezmon Briscoe he’s that big target we need in the end zone..

  4. Cue in the voices saying Peytonsneck18 is an idiot troll that has no clue about football because he worries and trolls on every Redskin post when he should be worrying about the Colts an their opponents.

  5. I’m glad for him. It’s awesome that he had this showing the week Mr. Portis retired because Alfred has always said he looked up to Clinton coming up and was there at his press conference watching his speech. I pray Roy gets healthy because all 4 RBs bring a unique but effective style and will help RGIII/passing gm open up.

  6. Shanahan is a fool. His only success was because of TD. Last year he staked his rep on John Beck and nobodys calling him out on that. I dont forget garbage like that

  7. kingcarl –
    I think you missed the whole point of the article/post… all Josh has said is that by being the only health back – and with his performance -Morris has muddied the waters.

    No one is going overboard on their kudos for Morris in this post.

    Reading comprehension…..

  8. My opinion is that Mike Shanahan may have found his Terrel Davis. I am not a big fan of Alfed Morris but he seems like he can stay healthy better than the other three RBs in the roster. He is doing everything he’s asked to and he just runs w/ purpose. I really think that if the running game works, RGIII will be dangerous. If the O-line do their job, this offense will be better than Houston’s since Mike Shanahan made that offense… the Giants did’t have their starting linemen all year and won the Superbowl why can’t the Skins?.. HTTR!

  9. Morris does look good, but everyone in the sports media industry is always trying to write headlines about Mike Shanahan finding his next Terrel Davis. The fact is that Shanahan has not found a Terrel Davis since Terrel Davis and probably never will. This is not a testament to Shanahan’s undeniable ability to find hidden runningback talent. It’s simply that, like the rest of the league, Shanahan does not believe in the idea of a single feature back anymore.

    The age of the franchise tailback is over, and, excluding Clinton Portis’ two seasons in Denver, Shanahan has used a committee approach and will use a committee approach until his last day as a head coach. Whether it was Mike Bell, Tatum Bell, Selvin Young, Travis Henry, or one of three dozen other guys we have all forgotten the names of by now, Shanny hasn’t had one back carry the load since Davis, and clearly feels that constantly switching his tailbacks up gives him a competitive advantage. Either that or he really hates fantasy football.

  10. peytonsneck18 says:
    Aug 26, 2012 9:35 AM
    Cue in voiceofreasoning/Hulkhogansays /stonecoldsays…..hey brother..the skins will win the nfc east and dominate brother, brother…..blah blah blah!!!

     Peyton’s neck is clearly in need of a 5th surgery, it appears it isn’t connected to a brain!

  11. jwreck the reason you have all those names to list is that they all DID carry the load. They all had big seasons, so did Mike Anderson and Reuben Droughns. The difference is they only got to do it for one year, two at the most. I think it’s because Shanahan is a perfectionist and after being spoiled with Elway and TD, he’ll never be happy enough with anyone to commit to them for good. I wasn’t thrilled with the hiring of Shanahan in the first place and so far I’ve seen no reason to change my mind, although I would give him all five years of his contract to do so instead of going back to the ‘Skins old ways. Can’t have RGIII being “developed” by a different OC every year like Jason Campbell was.

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