Alfred Morris Can Supplant John Riggins as Washington Redskins' Greatest Runner

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Alfred Morris Can Supplant John Riggins as Washington Redskins' Greatest Runner
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Arguably the most well-known Washington Redskins player of all time, John Riggins is widely regarded as the greatest runner in team history. 

Riggins will forever be loved by Redskins Nation for his fearless play on the field and antics off it, but he may soon be passed by Alfred Morris as the franchise's greatest runner.

Morris is often one of the quietest players on the field, but his play with the ball in his hands speaks volumes. No. 46 has enjoyed a very respectable and promising NFL career thus far and is well on his way to breaking records and cementing legacies as a Redskin.

His combination of size, shiftiness and speed makes him a tough back to game-plan for and allows Washington to have much more versatility on offense than they would otherwise have with a sheer power back or speedster.

Morris has been an amazing player for the Redskins and could potentially prove himself as the team's greatest runner with a strong 2014 season. It may seem folly to compare his two years with Washington to Riggins' nine, but if you look at the numbers it's hard to argue against the possibility. 

Career w/ Redskins
Category John Riggins (9 seasons) Alfred Morris (2 seasons)
Yards 7,472 2,888
Touchdowns 79 20
YPC 3.8 4.7
Receptions 121 20
Rec. Touchdowns 6 0

Pro-Football-Reference.com

As it stands right now, Morris has accumulated nearly 3,000 rushing yards over two seasons and is inching closer and closer to the top of the all-time list (he's currently 12th). If he can maintain his average of 1,444 rushing yards per season in 2014 he will have totaled 4,332 yards overall, giving him the fifth-most rushing yards in Redskins history through just three seasons. 

For some perspective, Riggins didn't pass that mark until hiseventh season with Washington. In fact, he had only 1,789 yards and eight touchdowns through his first three seasons in the league.

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Granted, a lot of things have happened in the NFL since the 1970s and '80s, but Morris' worth and potential based on those numbers are undeniable.

Let's also keep in mind that Morris has been putting up such numbers with a pretty patchwork offensive line in front of him. It hasn't changed much since last season, but with Jay Gruden now in charge and the new additions along their offensive line, Morris has an even brighter future ahead of him and can capitalize right away.

Will Morris pass Riggins as Washington's greatest runner?

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Washington will be trying to bounce back after a woeful 2013 season, and Morris will undoubtedly be an integral part of that effort.

What will also benefit Morris' game is that the Redskins passing attack has gotten a whole lot better since the conclusion of last season and will surely open things up for the entire offense—namely the run.

In looking at the possibility of Morris passing Riggins in Redskins history, iseems as though it's more of a matter of "when" than "if." Both runners have made the burgundy and gold look great, but Morris is clearly on a warpath and will continue chipping away at the space between them on the list of all-time leading rushers.

 

All stats provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com.

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