Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 11, three days before the Redskins take on the Vikings at FedEx Field.
Morris carrying a heavy load
Alfred Morris has carried the ball 100 times in the Redskins’ five games. You don’t have to be a math major to figure out that he has carried 20 times per game.
That is a fairly heavy workload but it is something that the rookie is used to. The last three years at Florida Atlantic Morris carried a total of 725 times. The Owls played 36 games in those three years so doing the slightly more difficult math that comes to 20.1 carries per game.
Morris told me yesterday that he is feeling fine and he is having no issues with the workload even though the guys tackling him are bigger, faster, and stronger.
I will follow up with Morris in December, when the Redskins are playing games 13 through 16. The most he carried in a season in college was 263 times. He is on a pace for 320 rushing attempts this year.
Changing feet again
Through five games Mike Shanahan is not looking very good when it comes to how he has handled the kicker position this year. After working with Graham Gano and Neil Rackers all spring and summer, he jettisoned both of them in favor of Billy Cundiff.
It didn’t work out. Even though he did pound kickoffs through the end zone on a regular basis, Cundiff was a bust in the field goal department. It is pretty safe to say that Gano would not have missed two field goals from 31 yards and another from 41. And, having hit a 59-yard field goal in 2011, Gano might have had a shot at hitting that 62-yarder that would have tied the game against the Rams.
Instead of bringing back Gano, however, Shanahan decided to double down on his gamble and sign Kai Forbath, who has yet to kick in an NFL game.
“Everybody’s got inexperience to start out with; I mean, you’ve got to have an opportunity,” said Shanahan. “We had some great competition on this field and he won it through the competition. We had a couple other guys who were a little bit more seasoned, one in particular was really seasoned, but he [Forbath] performed in a very tough situation.”
Presumably the “really seasoned” kicker was Olindo Mare, who is 39 years old. The other kicker trying out was Josh Brown, 33. Going with Forbath, 25, is in keeping with the team’s youth movement. But if a young lineman misses an assignment or an inexperienced receiver runs the wrong route it doesn’t necessarily get noticed. Every mistake a kicker participating in his first real NFL game makes has the potential to be headline news.
11:15—Open locker room
12:00—Jim Haslett news conference
1:00—Practice (closed to the media after first 30 minutes)
After practice (approx. 3:00)—Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences
In case you missed it
Griffin says multiple issues are causing third-down problems.
Redskins are fading in the fourth quarter.
Days until: Vikings @ Redskins 3; Redskins @ Giants 10; RG3 vs. Cam @ FedEx Field 24; Monday night football Giants @ Redskins 53