From a being a sixth-round draft pick out of FAU to now being one of the top up-and-coming RB's in the NFL, Alfred Morris is looking to get more involved in the passing game.
At 5'10", 218 lbs, Morris is built for a ground-and-pound running game. He has shown good ability to play as the feature 1st and 2nd down RB thus far in his career, and is only getting better. In his first two seasons with the Redskins, Alfred Morris has totaled 2,888 rushing yards and 20 TD's with 4.7 YPC. However, Morris hasn't shown up in the passing game very much as he has caught only 20 passes in the two-year span.
Morris wants to get more involved in the pass-game, and even expressed his emotions recently:
"You can always find room for improvement," Morris said through a phone. "It's good to have different coaches who can critique you more because they have an outside prospective."
"My focus is building confidence in the quarterbacks as well as the coaches to let them know I can catch," Morris continued. "I know I can catch the ball."
"I can get better." Morris claimed. "Sometimes you get that linebacker that's real grabby and how to get away from them and set up is something I never had much experience doing. [Helu's] one-on-one routes where he wins, sometimes I'm like, 'How did you do that?' I always pick brains so I can better myself."
"Usually it's a safety and me or a corner and it's just making a guy miss to get an extra 2 or 3 or 20 yards. It's just being a smarter ballplayer. Sometimes I get caught indecisive in between moves or which direction [to go]."
Morris obviously wants to get involved in the passing game, and he believes he can do it. The question isn't whether or not Morris wants to be good at catching -- the question is whether or not he can pull it off.
He's not necessarily fast. Morris ran a 4.67 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2012, and isn't going to get much faster. His body type yells "POWER BACK," and that's what he's been playing in Washington. If he wants to get better at catching, he's going to have to put in extensive work so he can build up better route running ability and overall confidence in his hands.
Morris will continue to play on 1st and 2nd down as he has done in his first two seasons with Washington. However, Morris may not show a big enough impression to the team in training camp, and therefore sit out most of the third down snaps throughout the season. The Redskins have Roy Helu who can be their third down option at RB, and with the addition of Lache Seastrunk in the sixth round of the draft, Washington may already have their situation taken care of.
If Morris shows improvement by training camp, he'll likely start contending for the job throughout that process. We'll keep you updated when that time comes around, so -- stay tuned!