The list of reasons Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris excels is long. Yes, he’s received excellent blocking at times not just from his line but from the tight ends and receivers. Yes he runs forward and breaks tackles and makes the first guy miss often. Yes he has good vision.
But that’s not all. Morris also understands how to set up blockers and shake defenders, finding clues on film and even during the game.
“I’m very observant and I remember things,” said Morris in my email report.
He picked up a clue on Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon that helped him set up his 29-yard run Sunday, causing him to overpursue and leave a big gap for Morris. Maybe because he’s not a speedster, Morris knows how important these nuances are to his success.
“It’s a game of angles,” Morris said. “You get angles on them, you beat the angles and you’ve won. When I do the quick steps I’m going to plant and get upfield. I get them to take the angle away so my linemen can get in their way and I have a better angle to get past them. It works and it helps.”
And he knows he must run with patience.
“Just because it glitters don’t mean it’s gold so you can’t go flying up in there like, ‘It’s a hole, let me go get that,’ ” Morris said. “You’ll get no gain or a couple yards, but if you press it just long enough to get them out of the way you’ll get a bigger run.”
That’s what happened on his 39-yard touchdown run vs. Tampa Bay.
“Everyone got washed down and I bent it way back,” Morris said. “It was me one one-on-one with the cornerback [Eric Wright] and I could tell by the way he was playing that he didn’t really want to tackle.”
Meanwhile, in the email report, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan talks about learning to cover.
“It’s so different than what I was used to do doing. You have to get used to the movement. Even your body has to get used to it,” he said. “At first I pulled my groin more than I had ever done because I had never opened up my hips like I had to. It’s your body, your mind. You have to get used to it as a whole.”
To read more on what Morris and Kerrigan have to say, sign up for my Friday email report.