RICHMOND – Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris can’t predict exactly how things will play out on offense for the Washington Redskins this season. But regardless of whatever changes new coach/play-caller Jay Gruden institutes in his game plans, Morris expects the run game to remain a key element.
“The running game is always important although they’re starting to devalue the running back,” Morris said, referring of the league’s offensive trend, which increasingly emphasizes the pass. “But if you don’t have a ground game, you don’t have any game. That’s just my take on it. It might be a little biased.”
When assessing play from last season, Gruden and General Manager Bruce Allen ranked the running game – spear-headed by Morris, who has rushed for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and made last season’s Pro Bowl – as one of the team’s strengths.
Because of that, the two retained the services of offensive line coach Chris Foerster to ensure a seamless transition in the rushing department. Foerster, Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay have worked to blend the zone-blocking scheme rushing attack from the Mike Shanahan playbook with the passing schemes from Gruden’s own play book.
Allen and Gruden intend to make the passing attack more potent, and thus acquired DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts to join forces with Pierre Garcon, who led the NFL in receptions last season.
Gruden has said he hopes to put a balanced, powerful offense on the field that’s as potent through the air as on the ground.
Morris hopes that’s the case, and he said that he won’t allow himself to worry about whether or not the new receiving weapons will translate into decreased opportunities in the run game.
“It doesn’t matter if we, the backs, get 20 carries a game, or 40 carries a game,” said Morris, who played in an offense that averaged 32 rushes per game in 2012 and 28 carries an outing in 2013. “We just have to make the most of it.”
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Washington’s first training camp afternoon walkthrough of the 2014 season is at 4:10 p.m. in Richmond. Here’s our camp guide.
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