Alfred Morris putting Week 1 struggles behind him

September 11, 2013

Philadelphia’s Trent Cole wraps up Alfred Morris on Monday night. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

A day removed from Monday night’s struggle-filled season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Redskins running back Alfred Morris still had few answers for what led to such a sloppy performance. His goal, however, is to quickly flush it from his system and rebound with a strong showing this week in Green Bay.

Morris, coming off of a dynamic rookie season in which he rushed for a franchise-record 1,613 yards, had two first-quarter gaffs against the Philadelphia Eagles, and finished the game with a career-low 45 rushing yards on 12 carries.

Morris fumbled on the Redskins’ first offensive play of the game, and then on the third possession, botched a pitch end the end zone from Robert Griffin III and had to fall on the loose ball, giving up a safety.

Morris, Griffin and the Redskins managed only three first-half first downs and looked nothing like the unit that ranked fifth in the league last season.

“We definitely was out of sync. We had to knock some rust off,” said Morris, who had only eight carries in two preseason games. “We couldn’t get into a rhythm until late in the game. The positive that we can take from that was we played like the offense that we’re able to play in the third quarter and going into the fourth quarter. That’s the type of offense we are when we find a rhythm and get in sync.”

Morris had a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and Griffin completed two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.

Morris, who lost only three fumbles all of last season, said that he won’t dwell on Monday’s struggles. After each miscue, his coaches and teammates encouraged him, and he said that helped him put the woes behind him.

“I was shocked to start off like that. This was the first quarter, and it was a rough start. Most people get in the tank, but I didn’t get in the tank. It helped to have coaches and teammates rally around you and say, ‘It’s okay, we’ve got a lot of game left to be played.’ When they support you and have your back like that when you make mistakes like that, that’s huge, and that’s characteristic of the type of team we have. We have a true team. I didn’t go into the tank and at the end of the day, you have to have a short-term memory.”

Morris added, “They could’ve pulled me, but that showed the faith and trust the coaches have in me, and so it definitely makes me feel better to know they are behind me even though I started rough like that. But I’ll go out this week in practice and work to get better and that’s all you can do.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

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● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m on Wednesday. Robert Griffin III, London Fletcher and Mike Shanahan speak with reporters afterward.

More on the Redskins:

Former quarterbacks say Griffin looked shaky, but see silver linings

Wise: Legitimate concerns and distorted realities from Week 1

Jenkins: Griffin should not have played in opener

Mailbag: The zone read, cap space and Griffin’s return

D.C. Sports Bog: “RGIII rusty’ the new catchphrase? | More Bog

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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