A starter from Week 1, Morris was effective throughout the season — he averaged at least 4.5 yards per rush in 12 of 16 games — and sensational during the Redskins’ sprint to the division title. In the team’s seven-game winning streak to end the regular season, Morris averaged 117.1 yards rushing and scored eight of his 13 touchdowns. He capped the regular season with a 200-yard, three-touchdown performance as Washington defeated arch-rival Dallas to clinch the title.
Morris broke the Redskins’ previous mark of 1,516 yards set by Clinton Portis in 2005. No rookie runner in franchise history has scored more touchdowns than Morris. However, don’t attempt to get him going about his record-setting season. He’s not into numbers — unless you’re talking about “wins and losses,” he said. “I mean, it sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Even after games, [team officials] go, ‘Do you want to see the stat sheet?’ I’m like, ‘No.’ Did we win or did we lose?”
The Post Sports Live crew offers early impressions on the injuries, recoveries and fans from the first week of Redskins training camp.
The Post Sports Live crew debates whether the Redskins defense will be more susceptible to the run or the pass in the first part of the season with injuries to Keenan Robinson and Adam Carriker and Jarvis Jenkins’s four-game suspension.
Improving as a receiver is Morris’s next step in helping the Redskins. With only 11 receptions for 77 yards, he was a nonfactor in the passing game. Whenever the Redskins worked at Redskins Park in the offseason, Morris was either running routes, catching passes or both. He is excited about the trust he’s building “with the quarterbacks and coaches just to let them know, ‘Hey, I can catch.’ . . . Hopefully, it will translate on game day.”
Both Morris and the Redskins would be better off if he stays in the game. NFL history tells us that runners who embrace contact as much as Morris wear down more quickly than those who avoid it. Although he isn’t wired to take shortcuts, there’s nothing wrong with self-preservation. He needs to play it safer at times.
“Sometimes fighting for those extra yards, you get that hit and then you’ve got [an injury that] . . . will actually keep you off the field,” Morris said. “It’s kind of hard for me to say, ‘I don’t want to fight for that extra yard.’ Adjusting to that is going to be a little tough.”
But he can do it. After accomplishing more than most NFL observers figured he would, Morris should be even better and smarter this season. That’s a combination that would be another attention-grabber.
For more by Jason Reid, visit washingtonpost.com/reid.