The quotes from Alfred Morris’s post-game press conference Sunday night are already all over this Web site — and Boz’s tribute column — but they can never appear in too many places. After rushing for 200 yards — a career-high — while smashing the franchise’s single-season rushing record and polishing off the third most prolific rushing season for a rookie in NFL history.
And then he set a post-game record for most humble press conference ever, using the word “thankful” six times in less than six minutes and refusing to call himself a star.
This happened because Chris Cooley said it was so.
“I’ll tell you what: Alfred Morris became a star tonight,” Cooley said, via the AP. “He deserved it. He’s a phenomenal football player.”
Someone told Morris what Cooley had said during the presser, and Morris laughed. A long laugh, too, not a fake one. As seen above.
“I’m never a star,” Morris said. “I’ll never be a star. Other people may think I’m a star, but I’m just Alfred. I’ve been the same since way back when. And I’m not gonna change. I’m still gonna be the same guy when I walked in and nobody knew who I was. I’m still gonna be that guy. I couldn’t change even if I tried.”
Our Mike Jones asked Morris for a reaction to his 200-yard three-touchdown performance; “I’m just thankful that I was able to come out today and give it my all like I do every game,” he said. “And I guess the run game was working today. Just thankful that we’re in the playoffs.”
Jones later asked about setting the franchise record.
“I mean, that never really was on my mind, about the record,” he said. “It’s an honor to pass Clinton Portis’s record. He’s a great back. I actually looked up to him — I guess you could call myself a fan of Clinton Portis. And he told me before the game, he said I want you to break the record. So I mean, it’s just an honor, coming from where I came from, I’m just thankful. It’s a humbling experience, and like I said, I’m thankful to be here.”
And finally, someone asked Morris about playing a Sunday playoff game instead of a Saturday contest, giving the team an extra 24 hours of rest.
“I really don’t need extra time,” he said. “I mean, if we had to play tomorrow I’d be ready to go. That’s just the type of player I am, that’s the mindset I have, I’m always ready to go. I think one of the most asked questions is are you ready, and I look at them like that’s an insult. I’m like, I’m always ready. Extra rest, yes, is good, but like I said, if we had to play tomorrow, I would definitely be ready.”
Teammates, for the record, were less shy about Morris’s skills.
“I told him I loved him today,” Darrel Young told CSN’s Rob Carlin. “That dude, he’s something special man. Like I said, Shanahan’s done it again. He produces great backs….I mean, that guy’s something special. You’ll see him for a long time.”