It seems everyone is asking who the next Alfred Morris will be in both a general and Washington Redskins-centric sense. It’s an intriguing question to ponder which late-round running back will make a major immediate impact in the NFL and also who is the next runner that Mike Shanahan will take from no-name to star in the span of one training camp, one preseason game or even one regular season game.
What Morris did over the course of the 2012 regular season holds up well to many of the past RB campaigns under Shanahan. Morris finished second in the league in rushing yards a mere months after departing the backfield of Sun Belt Conference doormat FIU. While he certainly fits the mold of a hard-plowing, one-cut back that excels in a Shanahan zone blocking scheme, his burst into the hole and vicious style of finishing runs make him a very good running back in his own right.
I think Shanahan knows that and expects him to stay in tip-top shape through training camp to continue carrying the load as a featured back. I don’t think Roy Helu, Evan Royster or anyone else will really threaten Morris for that role.
“I think you’ve got to stay in great football shape,” Shanahan told The Washington Post. “Anytime you have the success that Alfred had as a rookie, you’re invited to speak and have a lot of banquets to go to, fundraisers to go to. Sometimes guys lose perspective for what got them there. You don’t have to worry about that with Alfred. He’s in great shape. He does the little things the right way. He still goes out of his way to do as many charitable things that he can possibly do, because that’s the way he’s made.
“He takes care of business first and that’s a great part of his character. A lot of times guys when guys have that type of success, especially early, they lose perspective for what it is all about. He hasn’t at all. He looks even better in this camp than he did a year ago. He is a lot more comfortable in the system, his responsibilities. You can see that he is practicing at a very high level.”