Alfred Morris Feels for Jonathan Martin, Suggests Killing Bullies with Kindness

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 8, 2013

Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Washington Redskins fell to 3-6 Thursday night in Minnesota, coming up short on a last-minute drive that could have forced overtime. Earlier, we noted that Robert Griffin III doesn't deserve the blame for that loss or the struggles the 'Skins have experienced this season. But if that's the case, running back Alfred Morris should also be off the hook.

Morris, who leads all NFL running backs with 5.2 yards per attempt. had a season-high 139 yards on 26 carries, but we were surprised by his lack of involvement on that final series. 

The second-year Florida Atlantic product reached out on Friday to discuss his involvement in the Fuel Up to Play 60 "Make Your Move" campaign, which gave us a chance to discuss that, Thursday's game and the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin controversy in Miami, which has taken the league by storm. 

Bleacher Report: I was really surprised to see that you didn't get the ball on the final 11 plays of last night's game, and you didn't get much work in the fourth quarter against Denver despite the fact you guys led at the outset. Has that been frustrating for you? 

Alfred Morris: No, it's not frustrating for me at all. The coaches call the plays and I trust in what they're doing and the game plan that they have. A lot of times, depending on where we're at on the scoreboard, you have to change it up. Once you get down—especially when you're down by a certain amount—it's kind of hard for you to keep running the ball because you're trying to control the clock and you only have X amount of time to get down the field. So a lot of times we have to put the ball in the air in those situations. But to me it's not frustrating at all, I just come in and do my job. I can only control what I can control.

B/R: I don't want to labor on this too much, but I just feel as though it wouldn't have hurt to surprise the Vikings defense with one run inside the five at the end. The clock wasn't a huge factor after Minnesota took a timeout with 38 seconds left. 

AM: Like I said, that's not my job to call the plays. That's coach's job to call the plays. I think we did get a run down there, but I wasn't in the game at that time. Roy Helu was in, and I think he got it down to the 4-yard line, if I'm not mistaken. But I mean, they just felt like it was best to go in the air and I trust them and I trust the decisions that they make. 

B/R: Those are smart answers. You're working with Fuel Up to Play 60 to get kids more healthy and active. Why'd you decide get involved in that? 

AM: The sooner you can reach anyone, especially kids, the better off they'll be. And I thought especially kids nowadays, even back when I was a kid, I'm sure when you were a kid, I feel like nutrition wasn't really stressed to kids. A lot of kids eat a lot of junk food. I was one of those kids. I figured out if I want to live a long, healthy life, I've gotta do it sooner rather than later...A lot of people don't get balance between exercise and nutrition. They think, "Oh, if I just exercise I'll be OK,' but that's not correct. You have to find a balance with your diet [too]. 

B/R: Clearly you're known as one of the good dudes in pro sports. Have you been paying attention to what's been happening in Miami? Does the NFL have a problem here?

AM: No, I don't think it's an issue. Granted, I'm not in the Miami Dolphins locker room. The way I look at it is, when you're on a team you have to be part of a family. And usually families don't put each other down. They always uplift each other. And I feel like up here in Washington that's something we do. Even if we have our differences it's never something to that extent that we feel like we're getting each other down, or we're in a sense hating one another. I think that's what's going on more so around the league. We're all in this together. And it's unfortunate that something like this will happen here and there, but I don't think it's widespread throughout the league. As a rookie, you have rookie duties to do, but it's nothing to the extent that you feel like you're under pressure or you have to toughen anybody up. We're all in this together. And league-wide, I feel like this is not a representation of what every NFL team is like. It's just one mishap that happened.

B/R: How would you react if you felt you were being bullied or hazed?

AM: [I'd] react with kindness. That old saying "kill them with kindness" definitely works. If somebody's always being mean to you and you're always so nice to them, then they're like, "Man, maybe I should leave him alone if he's so nice." Sometimes he [might] attack you more, but you just never know. Always kill them with kindness. "Thank you, I appreciate your opinion." Just being real nice to them is not fake or phony, it's just who I am. And I think that's the best way to deal with somebody who's bullying you.

B/R: Have you ever been bullied? And if so, is that how you reacted?

AM: I don't really get bullied, to be honest with you. I got picked on at times coming up through school, but nobody really gave me a problem. I'm a friend of all, and I was always the guy who took up for people being bullied like, "Leave him alone, or leave her alone." Leave that person to go about their business. You don't know what they're going through, you don't know where they came from. You don't know anything about that person, really. 

B/R: Do you feel bad for Jonathan Martin?

AM: Yes, I do feel bad for him. I don't like anybody getting pressured to do anything they don't want to do. We're all individuals in the sense that we have different personalities. No two people are alike and I feel like we should embrace those differences...I do feel bad for him in the sense that, one, he was being picked on like that, and two, nobody was tough enough to stand up for him and be like, "Hey, leave him alone and let him be him. That's who he is. You're who you are and he's who he is."