Alfred's salute is similar to the one Terrell Davis used in Denver. (US Presswire)
Alfred Morris isn't big and he isn't fast. He didn't attend a prestigious university and he wasn't considered among the best at his position. He still drives a 1991 Mazda and it may be a while before he's offered to star in a TV commercial.
But Morris has one thing going for him. He's the starting running back of the Washington Redskins, period. And if he continues to play like he played in September, he's going to have job security for quite some time.
As a rookie sixth-round draft pick from tiny Florida Atlantic, Morris was drafted by the Redskins after being overlooked and under-appreciated by 31 other teams.
He entered OTAs and mini-camp as the fourth halfback behind veterans Tim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster. But that was only after coach Mike Shanahan mistook him for being a fullback.
Then, injuries occurred and Morris got his chance—the rest is history.
376 yards and four touchdowns later, Morris is still maturing as a player and a person. But on the field, the 23-year-old is "all business". He's also unafraid to make a statement. Recently, he claimed that he will not be brought down by an initial tackler.
“I just run,” said Morris, in a recent column by Sports Xchange, via Lindy's Sports. “I refuse to let one person tackle me. It’s all about mindset, that willingness, my desire. You can’t measure a man’s heart.”
That also means if you're defending Washington's running attack, you better not bring a knife to the gun fight.
In all due respect to RGIII, Morris should be the Redskins' September MVP. So far, he's been the star of a "feel good" story that's desperately needed right now in the NFL. At a time when the league has soiled itself with lockouts, suspensions and courtroom dramas, Morris is an underdog athlete, who's using what God gave him to quietly make a difference.
On Twitter Thursday, Washington Examiner writer John Keim shared inside information on the Redskins' new premiere back.
That sounds a lot like a guy named Terrell Davis, who Shanahan snatched in the sixth-round of the 1995 draft, as coach of the Denver Broncos. 16 years later, "TD" was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Last Sunday against Tampa, Morris rumbled for the first 100-yard game of his career. But he's probably more content to hear the praises of his coach.
“The first guy doesn’t take him down very often and that’s what you’ve got to do to be an elite running back," said Shanahan, in a post-game interview with Redskins announcers Larry Michael and Sonny Jurgensen. "He’s tough as nails and I’m really proud of him.”
Now all the league has to do is recognize Alfred for being a rookie role model with a very bright future.