Before we turn all of our thoughts toward free agency, the NFL Draft and the 2016 season. Breaking Burgundy will put a bow on the Washington Redskins NFC East-winning 2015 campaign, player report card style. Peter Hailey on the highlights, lowlights and what the immediate future holds for all members of the Burgundy and Gold.
Player: Alfred Morris
Position: Running back
Contract status: Unrestricted free agent
Preseason buzz: People had seen Morris’ declining production since his superb rookie year, but many, including myself, expected the decline to stop in 2015. Running behind an offensive line that was addressed in the draft, along with the hiring of new OL coach Bill Callahan, were thought to be two factors that would get the A-Train back on track. Unfortunately, he never really did.
Ended 2015 as...: A part of the running back rotation, but not the main workhorse, at least not until rookie Matt Jones missed the final three games with an injured hip. Finished with 751 yards and a 3.7 yards per carry average.
Season highs: Week 1 versus Miami was his best game of the season, as he racked up 121 yards on 25 carries. His lone touchdown came in Chicago. And he posted another 100 yards in the regular season finale against Dallas. But those aren’t really highs; instead, they feel more like mediums.
Season lows: Starting in Week 5 vs. Atlanta and ending Week 9 vs. New England, in four contests, Morris had 29 attempts for a measly 51 yards. His highest YPC during that period was 2.5. Shawn Lauvao could’ve put up similar numbers.
Off-the-field highlight: No. 46 is a rare breed in the NFL, a guy who doesn’t let the money change who he is. No story or picture better portrays that than this tweet, which came from training camp. You can debate how skilled of a back he is, but you can’t debate how humble he is:
2016 expectations: While unfortunate to say, I think we’ve seen the last of Morris in D.C. I really enjoyed his time here, especially 2012, but there wasn’t one carry from 2015 that made me say, “Wow, that’s a dynamic running back right there.” Look for Scot McCloughan to pick up more explosive options at the position and let Morris walk.
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