Alfred Morris is ‘Steady Eddie’ in Jay Gruden’s eyes


Running back Alfred Morris, left, bursts through a set of pads during a practice in June. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins’ passing game has run hot and cold since training camp opened July 23. The defense looks winded one day and roars back the next. But throughout the highs and lows, third-year running back Alfred Morris has motored along like a reliable, low-maintenance truck.

The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Morris isn’t just churning up yardage on the ground at his customary clip; he’s also proving a sure-handed asset in the passing game — shining in one-on-one drills against linebackers.

“He’s catching everything,” says fullback Darrel Young, Morris’s burly blocker and biggest fan. “He’s on a hot streak right now, running his routes, doing the little things better.”

With the first-team defense upstaging the offense in Thursday’s practice, the Redskins’ first since breaking camp Tuesday in Richmond, quarterback Robert Griffin III availed himself of the sure-handed Morris several times.

“Steady Eddie” is how Coach Jay Gruden referred to Morris after practice.

“He just comes to work every day, he makes his reads, he makes his cuts, does what he’s supposed to do,” Gruden said. “Just about everything about him is an impressive to me — the way he prepares, the way he works, the way he practices.”

Then there Morris’s “anti-diva” personae.

“You never hear a peep from him,” Gruden said. “If I throw the ball 10 times in a row in practice, and he’s in there, he doesn’t say a word. A lot of guys would be ripping their chinstrap off, ‘Give me the ball!’ But Alfred is a total team player and a total class act. He’ll get his touches, no worries about that.”

Darrel Young
Fullback Darrel Young. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

That’s great news to Young, too, who said he feels partly responsible that Morris fell roughly 300 yards short last season of the yardage he gained as a rookie, rolling up 1,275 yards as opp0sed to 1,613.

Young praised the lunch-pail ethic he brings to his job each day, as well as the humility that hasn’t wavered one iota in the wake of last season’s Pro Bowl honors.

“He’s one of the guys you root for,” said Young, bigger by one inch and 27 pounds. “I tell him all the time, you would be the best man at my wedding.”

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

The Redskins practiced this morning, and have another set for 8:35 a.m. on Friday.

Also from The Post:

Breeland ready to deal with consequences of citation

Five areas to monitor as Redskins get back to work

New OLB coach Baker is hip to technique

Haslett sees improvment in Redskins’ tackling

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Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post, she has also covered five Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.
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Mike Jones · August 14

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