In RG3's shadow is Morris, Redskins' other rookie

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-06 14:42

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - On third-and-one, Robert Griffin III faked an up-the-middle handoff to Alfred Morris - and the New York Giants fell for it big-time.

``They all just crashed down on me,'' Morris said. ``When that happens, I really just laugh in the pile. `Ha, ha.' I was thinking, like, `Y'all dumb, y'all tackled me, but the quarterback is running down the field.'''

Morris' acting job on Griffin's 46-yard scamper might have been the best example of how the Washington Redskins rookie backfield tandem is driving defenses crazy. It's hard enough to account for a dual-threat quarterback with world-class speed, but there's also the sixth-round draft pick from Florida Atlantic who is tied for third in the NFL with 1,106 yards rushing.

In another time or place, Morris would be the newest sensation - the kid who emerges from an 1-11 college team and instantly becomes a cog in the No. 1 rushing offense in the pros.

Instead, he's been eclipsed by the supernova known as RG3.

``It's a good thing for me, because I really don't like the limelight,'' Griffin said. ``I just love playing the game. I don't really need any outside attention. Not to say dump it on him, but he can have it all.

``People feel like I'm in the shadow - I don't feel like I'm in the shadow. I'm thankful that he's my quarterback. And I'm glad that we get an opportunity to be rookies together, to grow together. I hope it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and that it goes on for quite some time.''

That's not to say Morris is shy or withdrawn. He talks a mile-a-minute, especially when the topic turns to old cars or movies, but he'll happily settle for the occasional ``You da man!'' shout-out when he's out in the community when compared to the nonstop adulation heaped on Griffin.

``Robert, he can't go anywhere,'' Morris said. ``I'm surprised he even makes it to the movies.''

Morris also knows his road to NFL success was hardly guaranteed. He was far from a sure bet to make the roster when he arrived at training camp to compete with Tim Hightower, Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster. A 107-yard preseason effort against the Indianapolis Colts, who were playing their starters for much of the game, put Morris in the running for the starting job and confirmed to him that: ``I know for a fact I can do this.''

Now he has five 100-yard rushing games, including a season-best 124 in Monday night's 17-16 win over the Giants that raised Washington's record to 6-6 ahead of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

``I didn't think I'd touch the field until around the fifth or sixth game,'' Morris said. ``Maybe I'd get in there and get a couple of snaps. If I told you I'd known it was going to happen this fast, it would have been a lie. But I'm just thankful that it did.''

Morris has also become known for his 1991 Mazda, affectionately known as ``Bentley.'' He thought he was going to have to park it for the winter when the battery died while he away for a few days after Thanksgiving, but a warm spell has persuaded him to keep driving it to Redskins Park every day.

If ``Bentley'' does give him more trouble, Morris said he'll probably lease a car or get a ride from his roommate, a friend from middle school who happens to work at a pharmacy in the area.

Morris' dream car, however, is a 1964 Impala.

``I'm going to get one, one of these days,'' Morris said. ``I want to build my '64 Impala from the ground up.''

If the Impala runs as well as its owner, it'll be in good shape. Morris averages 4.8 yards per carry with a long of 39. The book on him is that he'll take a play that's blocked for three yards and get six, but that he's not someone who will break one for 60.

``They keep saying that,'' Morris said. ``But don't be surprised if it happens.''

Morris is also emphatic that he's not going to hit the so-called rookie wall, having learned the rigors of life in the pros in a hurry.

``All the stuff I didn't do in college, I do now,'' Morris said. ``I never stretched in college. I was stiff as a board. ... I'm not going to hit a rookie wall. I don't mean that to be, like, arrogant or anything. It's the truth. I've been taking care of my body, and mentally I'm prepared for anything.''

And, while Griffin continues to get most of the publicity, Morris is also learning more about the role model responsibility that comes with being a productive NFL player. He shared a letter he received this week from the family of Michael Denis Morlino, a Redskins fan from Virginia who died in October at the age of 11.

``He just took a liking to me,'' Morris said. ``I don't know why.''

Morris said he plans to frame the letter. He said he was particularly touched by a quote Michael's family found written in pencil on a piece of paper in the boy's room: ``Arrogance leads to failure. Success is derived from patience and humility.''

``So much negative stuff going around,'' Morris said. ``Kids need someone positive to look up to.''


Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Steve SmithOct 7 03:43p

Baltimore Ravens WR Steve Smith (back) is week-to-week with microfractures in his back, but he hasn't been ruled out for Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns yet, according to [ More ]

Davante AdamsOct 7 03:33p

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Ronnie HillmanOct 7 02:03p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson is still considered the starting running back by head coach Gary Kubiak, but RB Ronnie Hillman has 'earned the right' to see more chances. [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsOct 7 01:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (calf) is not being ruled out for Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans despite missing practice Wednesday, Oct. 7, according to head coach Rex Ryan.

Julius ThomasOct 7 01:12p

Updating an earlier report, Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (hand) has not been cleared to play in Week 5, but he has been cleared to begin catching passes Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Dan CarpenterOct 7 01:03p

Buffalo Bills PK Dan Carpenter (knee) had a left knee injury last week, but head coach Rex Ryan said Carpenter is fine. PK Billy Cundiff was signed, and Ryan [ More ]

LeSean McCoyOct 7 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is out of practice Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Lance DunbarOct 7 12:33p

Dallas Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar (knee) is scheduled for surgery Friday, Oct. 9, and his season is over.

Anthony DixonOct 7 11:23a

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon will likely be the main running back against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5, according to head coach Rex Ryan

Karlos WilliamsOct 7 11:13a

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams (concussion) is out of practice Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Josh JohnsonOct 7 11:13a

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Colts) re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts Wednesday, Oct. 7. He'll serve as insurance if QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) isn't ready for Week 5.

Eric EbronOct 7 10:03a

Updating previous reports, Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (knee) said part of his knee ailment is a bruised knee that can take up to three weeks to heal, depending on the individual.

Denarius MooreOct 7 09:53a

Free-agent WR Denarius Moore (Bengals) and PK Billy Cundiff (Ravens) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, Oct. 7. PK Jordan Gay and WR Marcus Thigpen were cut.

Billy CundiffOct 7 09:53a

Free-agent WR Denarius Moore (Bengals) and PK Billy Cundiff (Ravens) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, Oct. 7. PK Jordan Gay and WR Marcus Thigpen were cut.

Andre EllingtonOct 6 10:23p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) is expected to play in the Week 5 game against the Detroit Lions, head coach Bruce Arians said in [ More ]

Brandon PettigrewOct 6 08:13p

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring) will return to practice this week and could play in Week 5 if he doesn't have any setbacks.

Arian FosterOct 6 07:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited in practice Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Andrew LuckOct 6 06:02p

Updating a previous report, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) took the majority of snaps in practice Tuesday, Oct. 6, giving the indication that he will play in Week [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 6 05:02p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) said he's better, improved and making gains. He did admit that he's not where he wants to be, however.

Gerald HodgesOct 6 04:22p

Minnesota Vikings LB Gerald Hodges was acquired by the San Francisco 49ers Tuesday, Oct. 6. The 49ers sent C Nick Easton and a sixth-round pick to the Vikings.

Latavius MurrayOct 6 03:32p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray still has the confidence of head coach Jack Del Rio, despite a rough outing in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears. Murray accounted for [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 6 03:22p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) does not have a partial shoulder subluxation, as had been reported previously, according to a source. Head coach Chuck Pagano said he heard [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsOct 6 02:13p

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley said WR Sammy Watkins (calf) will play in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans 'fingers crossed.'

Dan HerronOct 6 02:13p

Free-agent RB Dan Herron (Colts) was signed by the Buffalo Bills Tuesday, Oct. 6. TE MarQueis Gray (forearm) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Daniel FellsOct 6 01:52p

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells (ankle) had surgery this week on his ankle and was diagnosed with MRSA, which is a very serious condition.

Roddy WhiteOct 6 01:42p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White could be open to a trade due to a declining role with the Falcons.

Devin HesterOct 6 01:32p

Atlanta Falcons WR Devin Hester (toe) was placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Fred JacksonOct 6 01:22p

Seattle Seahawks RB Fred Jackson (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Eric EbronOct 6 12:32p

Updating an earlier report, Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (knee) had an MRI reveal no structural damage in his left knee. His status is to be determined for Week 5.

Markus WheatonOct 6 12:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton (ankle) looks dramatically improved from his ankle injury and has a good chance to play in Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers.

Eric EbronOct 6 11:52a

Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (knee) had X-rays on his left knee, which were negative. He'll have an MRI as well.

Connor BarthOct 6 10:43a

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, Oct. 6, as he beat out other kickers to replace PK Kyle Brindza. Brindza was released.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group