Morris says his opening-night performance was quickly put aside

September 14, 2013

Alfred Morris scrambles to recover a missed connection with Robert Griffin III. Morris fell on the fumbled pitch for an early safety. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Tailback Alfred Morris said he’s had no problems this week putting aside his disappointing performance in the Washington Redskins’ mistake-filled loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to open the season Monday night.

“When the game was over, after we watched film on it, it was in the past,” Morris said. “I can’t do anything to change that. So why keep dwelling on it? It’s only going to affect you going into the future. You’ve got to have short-term memory to play this game and I forgot about it already.”

Morris, after setting a single-season team rushing record last season as a rookie, lost a fumble Monday on the Redskins’ first offensive play of the season. He also mishandled a pitchout from quarterback Robert Griffin III later in the first quarter and had to fall on the ball in his own end zone to surrender a safety.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Morris said of the opening fumble. “And then to come out and bobble that toss maybe a few plays after that, I’m like, ‘Man, I have no clue what’s going on.’ I guess Robert wasn’t the only one rusty.”

Morris, though, did not attribute his opening-night woes to a lack of preseason playing time.

He finished the game with 45 rushing yards on 12 carries, including a five-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

“We played like we know how to play and how we should play toward the end of the third quarter going into the fourth quarter,” Morris said. “We were able to get rolling. We just were out of sync. We couldn’t get in a rhythm. I’m glad it happened the first game instead of like happening the middle of the season or something like that so we can learn from this. We can grow from it. We hopefully can bounce back this week.”

Morris said he “can’t wait at all” for Sunday’s game in Green Bay. He’s “definitely not concerned,” he said, that the opening-night struggles are an ominous sign of things to come.

“It was not the way I wanted it to go,” Morris said. “It did go that way so that was unfortunate. But I’m not concerned at all. I forgot about it all week. I’m preparing for the next game. That’s in the past now. I can’t do anything about it.”

Griffin and Coach Mike Shanahan were among those to voice their support for Morris, who said he appreciated the backing he has received.

“You’ve got to be able to shake it off and just keep playing,” Morris said. “You know, I mean, there’s a lot more games to be played. It definitely helps when you have not only your teammates but your coaches behind you, just saying, ‘It’s okay. Shake it off and get back in there. You’re going back in there. We still trust in you,’ and stuff like that. It makes a huge difference. Instead of like having to stand alone, you know you have the support of your teammates as well as your coaches.”

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · September 13, 2013

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