Although Redskins running back Alfred Morris has only two NFL starts on his resume, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has already compared the rookie to former Broncos’ star Terrell Davis.
Shanahan’s basis for the comparison is Morris’ ability to overcome his lack of elite speed with strong cuts and above-average acceleration.
Morris “can put his foot in the ground and accelerate out of it and actually run faster out of the cut than he did going into it,” Kyle Shanahan said Thursday. “For a lot of those fast guys, it’s like playing on ice sometimes because it takes them a while to stop and then resituate their hips and then get going again. Al is very similar to Terrell Davis in that way.”
In February, Morris ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash at the combine. Davis, in case you’re curious, covered it in 4.7 seconds when head coach Mike Shanahan drafted him in Denver in the sixth round 17 years ago.
“Those combine fast guys don’t see as many long runs” in games, Kyle Shanahan continued. “Game speed is about carrying your pads, pressing blocks, put your foot violently in the ground and how much you accelerate out of the cut. Al is a guy that once he puts his foot in the ground, he actually gains moment from that.”
Morris, a sixth round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic, won the Redskins’ starting tailback job in training camp and has rushed for 185 yards on 44 carries (4.2 per average) and a touchdown. Morris’ total is tied for eighth most in the NFL it and compares favorably to Davis’ first 44 carries (199 yards).
“Terrell wasn’t a fast guy, but he hit that hole, and if there was a lane, he had that crease and he was gone,” Kyle Shanahan said. “If a [defender] was really fast and right behind [Davis], he’d catch him. But usually he was pressing, making guys overrun the hole and then cutting back. And you get [defenders] to overrun the hole, they’re not going to catch you.”