A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1

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    Florida Atlantic

    Default FAU Alumnus Alfred Morris: Right Player, Right Place

    I'm very proud to not only have an FAU alumnus drafted in the NFL (there's not too many of them - Rusty Smith is still hanging on in Tennessee I think), but drafted by my beloved Redskins. Its not only a sign that the program is heading in the right direction, its awesome to root for an Owl on the Redskins!

    The best part? Morris grew up a Redskins fan! Rich Tandler wrote about him in his blog this morning.

    Running back Alfred Morris, the Redskins’ sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, could be the right guy in the right place.

    Morris said he was shocked when the phone rang during the draft and the Redskins’ head coach was on the other end.

    “‘He said, ‘This is Mike Shanahan, welcome to the Redskins,’” said Morris, who grew up a Redskins fan. “I was like, wow! It kind of floored be but I was excited, I told him thank you, thank you and ended up talking to [running backs] coach [Bobby] Turner.”
    Admittedly, I'm a terrible college football fan when it comes to my alma-mater; I knew very little about Alfred Morris, as I don't watch a lot of FAU games. In my defense, I would have to work hard to do so, they're not on TV that much. I found this highlight video that shows Morris as a tough runner with the knack to make the first guy miss, burst through the hole, and then run tacklers over. He's very hard to bring down, and seems like a very good fit in the ZBS.

    I'm aware that Morris is a long shot, but we've seen more obscure backs find a place in the Shanahan system, so I'm optimistic. If Morris does find his way onto the roster, he's the next jersey I will be buying! Go Owls!
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  2. #2
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    There is a spot for another tailback. I find it hard to believe that coming off the ACL Hightower is going to be 100% come training camp.

    Even with linemen it usually takes a season to come back and regain their strength and mobility and it is the SECOND season when they return to previous form.

    Hightower to me at age 27/28 coming off this injury is a 50/50 shot to come back as a spot starter in the league.

    Of course as the article at ESPN mentions the alternatives among veterans right now is 35 year old Thomas Jones and bad-boy Cedric Benson.
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    James Madison

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    We haven't signed Hightower have we? Did I miss that?
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    OLine. DLine. Secondary.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    We haven't signed Hightower have we? Did I miss that?
    Not yet and, unless the doctors say there's a VERY good chance he'll return this year, I don't think we will. I can't see us paying a guy who won't be ready to go 100% until September or October or later.

    Morris may not be as much of a longshot as you might think, especially for a guy who likes to block.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 05-09-12 at 11:41 AM.
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    Florida State

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    He kinda reminds me of Ray Rice. If he can catch the ball out of the backfield and block an oncoming LB, he will make the team. If I recall correctly, I read a piece that suggested his blocking was one of the things Shanahan liked about him during the Senior Bowl.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    He kinda reminds me of Ray Rice. If he can catch the ball out of the backfield and block an oncoming LB, he will make the team. If I recall correctly, I read a piece that suggested his blocking was one of the things Shanahan liked about him during the Senior Bowl.
    That would be phenomenal! Speed is a concern, but then again speed was a concern for Royster as well, and he showed he could play in this league. Shanahan certainly has more hits than misses when it comes to RBs.
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    Florida State

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    That would be phenomenal! Speed is a concern, but then again speed was a concern for Royster as well, and he showed he could play in this league. Shanahan certainly has more hits than misses when it comes to RBs.

    If he can make that cut to hit the hole like Royster and Helu were able to do last year, speed won't matter as much if he consistently churns off yardage like those guys.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    Likable kid...and runs with power and attitude. Nice combo and something the Redskins could definitely use. Just a matter of seeing if his game translates to the NFL level.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=AJZEXw3GQoc[/video]
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    This guy is a bulldozer. Just what we need.
    We havn't had a back like that in ages.
    Always wanted someone like Brandon Jacobs.
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Burgundy Blog did an interview with Alfred for his site, and its really good.

    http://burgundyblog.com/post/2268803...rris-interview

    The best part:
    BB: Welcome to the Redskins, Mr. Morris! We couldn’t be happier to have you. How does it feel to wear the burgundy and gold?

    AM: Thank you. To be honest it’s a dream come true. I’ve been a Redskins fan since Clinton Portis came aboard and I would have never in a million years thought the Redskins would be the team to draft me.
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Man, I'm gonna love rooting for this kid!

    I definitely do have a nose for the goal-line. I don’t waste much time “shaking.” I’m a one-cut-and-get-north-and-south guy and if you happen to get in my way, I will introduce you to my shoulder and the bottom of my cleats, or drag you along and charge you a fee for the taxi ride. LOL!
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    ... and Murf doing his thing on Alfred.
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    Morris sounds like the RB version of Griffin.....extremely intelligent, funny, likeable, friendly, and great character.
    Good to know Shanahan is looking for these types of guys.
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    Watching Morris highlights, the things that stand out are his vision and his balance and once he gets down the field, he follows his blocks very well. While some seem to compare him to Brandon Jacobs, he reminds me of a former Bronco under Shanahan.....Mike Anderson.
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    Virginia

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    Here you go Lanky - another positive article about Mr. Morris. I'm really cheering for this kid and starting to think (heck, believe) that he will have an impact.

    http://www.redskins.com/news-and-eve...4-02d261b1f24c

    At Florida Atlantic University, running back Alfred Morris became the school’s all-time leading rusher in a power-I scheme that emphasized upfield blocking and fullback play.

    With the Redskins, he will need to change his mentality and running style, to adjust to head coach Mike Shanahan’s one-cut, zone-blocking scheme.

    “He does a lot more zone than my offense did,” Morris told Redskins Nation’s Larry Michael. “We did do zone, but it’s a little different from my playbook.”

    Morris was an unheralded prospect out of a small school, but caught the Redskins' attention with a strong performance at the NFL Combine.

    Successful backs in Shanahan’s zone scheme have typically been one-cut-and-go backs, which is exactly what Shanahan saw in Morris.

    “He has the ability to make people miss, has great lateral quickness, can cut on a dime,” Shanahan explained. “Now we get a chance to see how he’ll come in and compete with the other backs.”

    With myriad options and fragile health at the running back position, the preseason competition figures to be fierce. Even for those that lose the competition, opportunities usually arise.

    “As we have proven through the years, a lot of times you’re going to need four or five guys to go through the season,” Shanahan said. The Redskins used six running backs and 12 ball-carriers on offense in 2011.

    One way that Morris sets himself apart from the field is his ability to play either fullback and tailback in the Redskins offense. With Mike Sellers gone from the team and Darrel Young battling injuries in 2011, Morris could also get the opportunity at lead blocker.

    At either position, Morris will have no issue picking up blitzes and helping keep rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on his feet.

    “I actually take pride in it,” Morris said of his pass protection. “I always said to myself that everyone can run the ball and catch the ball, but what will set you apart from everyone else? So I started taking pride in my blocking.

    “I take it as a challenge. I blocked a lot of defensive ends in the kind of set that we had. The only thing standing between me and him and the quarterback and a sack is me, and I took pride and I never let anybody touch my quarterback.”
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    I guess I spend too much time on Facebook. I keep looking for the LIKE button for this article.
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  17. #17

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    Awesome article! Can't wait to see this kid in some game action!
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    Amazing thing....you watch the highlight video and Morris looks like a man among boys. He just physically dominates.

    And he's an undrafted free agent.

    The NFL ain't for the faint of heart.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    And he's an undrafted free agent.
    Ok, this is a set up, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    Amazing thing....you watch the highlight video and Morris looks like a man among boys. He just physically dominates.

    And he's an undrafted free agent.

    The NFL ain't for the faint of heart.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ax View Post
    Ok, this is a set up, right?
    I'll bite: Alfred Morris was a 6th round draft pick, not a UDFA.

    :ducks:
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