This is really the territory of my pals over at the Insider, but I couldn’t resist. Especially after I wrote about some back-and-forth between Mike Shanahan and a reporter, concerning the state of the Redskins’ offense, during last week’s post-game press conference. This week, the same reporter challenged Shanahan about Alfred Morris’s lack of involvement during the second half of the loss to the Giants.
(The running back, who entered the week third in the NFL in rushing yards, had two carries for 15 yards in the second half.)
Other Reporter: “We didn’t see a lot of Alfred in the second half. Any reason for that?”
Shanahan: “Um. Not particularly. We had a number of three-and-outs. I think we had three three-and-outs, and one four- or five-and out. And then kind of got in a passing situation at the end.”
Challenging Reporter: “Mike, Alfred Morris, I know he only had the 11 carries. You had a lot of running by your quarterback. Why not run maybe your running back, who has been playing pretty well the last couple weeks? Was there something strategically wise that sort of precipitated that? It seemed like you went away from him a little bit there.”
Shanahan: “Well, he had 11 carries there at the end of the first half and you’re averaging about a yard and a half a carry. That’s one of the reasons why you probably go away from it a little bit more.”
Challenging Reporter, later: “Again, back to Alfred. He’d only run for like a yard per carry. Coaches always say good running backs like him, they’re gonna pop one. How do you get him to that point, where he works up a lather and then pops one if you go away from him, I guess is what I’m asking?”
Shanahan: “Well, that has to do with third downs. When you don’t the opportunity to have a bunch of plays in that second half — like we didn’t — you don’t have the opportunity to run that many plays. We’ve talked about this a number of times, that you’ve got to make third downs. We didn’t make many. In that second half, I think in the first drive even though we went 50-some yards, I think we had 30 yards in penalties. And then you get a couple of three plays and out, and there’s a couple of situations where you have some penalties and you’re in long yardage situations and you’re trying to get first downs. So that’s why you don’t get the number of carries.”