Alfred Morris’s lack of carries due to Giants’ defensive approach, Mike Shanahan says

December 3, 2013

The Giants made up their minds to take away Alfred Morris (46). (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Tailback Alfred Morris had only 11 carries in the Washington Redskins’ loss to the New York Giants, one fewer than quarterback Robert Griffin III had during Sunday night’s game. Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that the defense of the Giants was committed to keeping the football out of Morris’s hands on the Redskins’ option plays.

“In that game, their game plan was to take Alfred away,” Shanahan said. “So those option plays, Robert got the majority of those and sometimes the wide receiver would get a pitch. … I thought that field was a little bit slick for us. Alfred’s footing wasn’t that good. He went down on a number of plays. So that was a couple reasons that we probably didn’t go as much to him as we normally would. And then I think the rest is history. Any time you have three penalties on offense and you have five sacks, you get put in some down-and-distance situations that’s not real favorable to run the football.”

Morris had only two carries in the second half.

“They decided to take away Alfred Morris,” Shanahan said. “And normally they don’t always do that. Sometime they’ll change it up. In this game they took Alfred Morris away every time. So that’s why he didn’t get the carries he normally has on the option. Then… in the second half [with] some of our penalties that we had, some of our sacks, we got put behind the 8 ball in some long-yardage situations, which leads you to throw the ball a little bit more…. You have to take a look at the [defensive] front, too, what type of front you’re going against…. We believe in the running game. I think you realize that. So for us not to run it, there’s a reason why.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday. Mike Shanahan and Griffin are expected to speak with reporters after practice.

More from The Post:

Wise: Shanahan tried to stick by Griffin, and in the process might have lost him

Mailbag: On Josh LeRibeus, offseason changes and more

Sideline track at FedEx a hazard? | Decision on Maurice Hurt coming today

D.C. Sports Bog: Shanahan and sticking with the run | More

Shanahan defends emotional penalties | NFL: Officials should have stopped game

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · December 3, 2013