Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Can Alfred Morris become a complete running back?

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris has gone from being a late round draft pick to becoming one of the top runners in the NFL.  He’s extremely hard to bring down, and has been very durable during his first two seasons.  However, as good a runner as Morris is, the Redskins have yet to use him as a versatile weapon like other top running backs in the NFL.

Alfred Morris obviously entered the league as a much better runner than receiver.  He fit in to the Redskins zone blocking running scheme perfectly, as he has the desired one-cut ability needed to find the hole in the zone and get up field quickly.  This has translated into Morris gaining an impressive 2,888 yards rushing and 20 TD’s over his first two seasons.

However, as a receiver Morris has only had 20 receptions, and is often replaced on passing downs with other backs.  And in order for Alfred Morris to truly become know as an elite running back, he must become better out of the backfield as a receiver.  When given the chance he has shown that he can be at least adequate an a receiver, but will that be enough?

If Morris can become a more dangerous receiver, then Redskins offense will become an even more versatile unit on first down.  With Morris in the game, defenses are reluctant to respect his skills as a receiver giving them better opportunities to cover other players.  If Morris could become a better receiving threat then teams would have to account for him more in the pattern.

And then also, the Redskins could become better running the ball on third downs, as their best runner in Morris could stay on the field more in passing situations.  So Alfred Morris can become a complete running back, as I think the potential is there.  He can pick up the blitz well, and has decent hands.  He just needs to prove to Jay Gruden he can do it, and the offense will be better off if he can.

 

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