The biggest surprise of the Washington Redskins 2012 season wasn't Robert Griffin III but the record-setting performance of first-year running back Alfred Morris—who finished second in the NFL in rushing yards behind 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson.
Morris, who went by the nickname "A-Train" while in college at Florida Atlantic University, was a diamond in the rough, sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft. In his rookie year, Morris set the Redskins' all-time single season record with 1,613 rushing yards.
To break those numbers down further—Morris accounted for 60 percent of the Redskins' rushing yards (1,613 of 2,709), nearly two-thirds of the carries (335 of 519) and 60 percent of the rushing touchdowns (13 of 22.)
If you combine Morris and Robert Griffin III in the backfield, the numbers are astounding. Combined, the rookie duo produced 88 percent of the Redskins' rushes, 90 percent of the yardage and 91 percent of the rushing touchdowns.
The Redskins' third leading rusher in 2012 behind Morris and RG3, Evan Royster, totaled less than 100 yards the entire 2012 season (23 carries for 88 yards and two touchdowns.)
The point is—what happens if Alfred Morris sustains an injury in 2013 similar to RG3's knee injury? God forbid and certainly not anything we would want to see happen—but the Redskins do not have a running game without Alfred Morris.
It is good to have a plan in place or at least have some depth on the depth chart. Royster is listed on the Redskins' depth chart as second and Keiland Williams, who had two carries for three yards in 2012, third. Combined the trio have six years NFL experience.
With free agency and the NFL draft several weeks away, should the Redskins look toward the future at the running back position and make contingency plans? An injury to a running back is a common occurrence in the NFL and the Redskins have nothing in place.
The value of Morris certainly has earned the praises of his coaches, teammates and fans.
During an address to the media prior to Week 13, as seen on Redskins.com, coach Mike Shanahan spoke of Morris in glowing terms.
"He's a special kid...he can do it...he keeps on getting better."
In an address to the media on Redskins.com after the Giants victory in Week 13, RG3 described Morris' performance best by saying, "He looks like he's playing pee-wee football out there. He won't go down."
Griffin went on to add, "If I had a vote for Rookie of the Year, I'd vote for him."
With the majority of the workload in the backfield—averaging 21 carries per game in 2012—Morris can and will continue to lead the Redskins offense with heart, power and determination.
If, however, Morris should sustain an injury that sidelines him—the team should have a backup who can step in effectively and admirably such as quarterback Kirk Cousins in his role as backup for RG3.
There is nothing wrong with an insurance policy that goes unused. What would be wrong would be a highly effective offense that led the NFL in rushing yards to come to a grinding halt should the unexpected occur and lose the engine that fueled the Redskins locomotive offense in 2012.
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