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Sunday, July 26, 2015, 10:58am
The Redskins’ ranked 19th in the NFL in yards gained last year and their 4.2 yards per carry ranked 15th. That’s not good enough for a team that is as unsettled as the Redskins are at quarterback. Whether it’s Robert Griffin III behind center or Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy, the QB will benefit greatly from a running game that is better than something right around the league average.
So there will be changes in way they do things. One is a more power-oriented ground game. The other may be some form of running back by committee.
“The running game nowadays, you need to have a couple of guys that can tote it,” Jay Gruden told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro on ESPN 980 earlier this week. “Sixteen games is a long time, that’s a lot of games, a lot of carries, that’s a lot of hits on these running backs.”
Gruden said that he would like to split up the carries more than he did last year, when he went with what was mostly a one-back attack. Alfred Morris had 265 rushing attempts. The other tailbacks on the roster, Roy Helu, Silas Redd, and Chris Thompson, combined for 59 rushing attempts. That is 82 percent of the carries for Morris, 18 percent for the rest.
Most backs come into the NFL with some innate ability to run the football. But it’s learning to do the other necessary, less glamorous work that separates an NFL running back from a guy who can find a hole and pick up some yards.
The story went on to say in his three years as the offensive coordinator with the Bengals, Gruden spread the workload in different ways in different seasons. In 2012 he had BenJarvus Green-Ellis take 80 percent of the tailback rushing attempts. But in 2011 it was a 70-30 split between Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott. And in 2013 Cincinnati drafted Giovani Bernard and gave him 170 carries to 220 for Green-Ellis (that’s a 56-44 split in percentage terms). The story also added the roster can often dictate who gets the carries, and Gruden, in the interview, added that Morris would get the bulk of carries with Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and Silas Redd getting chances to get the carries Morris won't get. However, the story continued to say if Gruden can find another running back or two, it could be more of a running back by committee approach than we have seen with this team in the past.
Posted by Scott Pagel
Friday, July 17, 2015 - 1:50pm
If you’re looking for the ultimate RB2 for your fantasy team, Alfred Morris might be the guy. Throughout his career he’s been pretty consistent, even through the tough times when the Washington offense struggled. He’s gone over 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons and recorded 13-7-8 TDs over that same span. Bill Callahan’s arrival should keep Morris as a consistent fantasy RB, and we’ve had news reports that the team wants to run the ball more to set up the pass, keeping the pressure off QB Robert Griffin III.
The biggest downside to Morris is his lack of use in the passing game. That’s been holding him back from the status of RB1, and that probably won’t change this year even with Roy Helu out of the picture. Matt Jones looks to be the team’s third down back heading into the season.
Of all the RB2 backs rated between 13th and 24th, we project Morris to gain the most yards of anyone in that group (1,163). We know he’s not going to contribute a whole lot in the passing game, but being available late in the third round of 12-team leagues, you can do a lot worse than Morris as your second RB. In fact, even going WR-WR or WR-TE with your first two picks, Morris should give you some stability at the RB position to help balance your lineup.
2015 Strength of Schedule - WAS
Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.
2014 Game Stats