Redskins mailbag: Alfred Morris' future should still be in D.C.


In Part 2 of the Redskins mailbag, the topics are Alfred Morris in 2016 -- here or elsewhere? Also: pass protection, Darrel Young and the red zone. Enjoy.

John Keim: As of now I'd lean toward Alfred Morris being the starter. That's because I haven't seen any proof that Matt Jones will develop into that guy. I also believe Morris will remain productive. After talking to people in the NFL, it's not as if everyone loved Jones and some rated him well below the third round. His game action from Florida was mixed, though I do think he can be a bigger threat on third down than he was at Florida. Jones has the size coaches love and he's shifty so he has a chance. But before I start thinking about discarding Morris I want to see what Jones can do.

Keim: You'd better be good in protection in order to get time on third downs, but it's also not as if the Redskins have had a lot of backs who do this well since Tim Hightower played his one season in Washington. And even he was no match for Clinton Portis' prowess in this area. Personally, I think they have enough weapons aside from running backs that I'd love to see them excel in protection (if they're at least good as a pass-catcher). I also think it gives them more options in what protections they can use. Also, I think it would give Robert Griffin III more confidence that he'll have enough time to be effective in the pocket.

Keim: They're not allowed to participate in any football activity with the coaches -- or anyone affiliated with the club -- or in any sort of organized workout (of course, unless it's a group of players getting together away from the facility and on their own). They can work out on their own and watch film on their own, but that's about it. Coaches are on vacation, but I'd imagine that some drop by on occasion. And players are allowed to rehab at the facility.

Keim: Not sure, but I wouldn't expect a much different role for him. His snaps have decreased each of the past two years, though if they run more power maybe they'll use him more in the I-formation. But what people must keep in mind with Young is that the more you use him, the more you potentially take the ball out of the hands of better playmakers. He's not going to do more damage than Morris, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, (a healthy) Jordan Reed or Niles Paul, etc. Young works best when he's a surprise; it's a less-is-more philosophy. He's great to have on a team because he can do a lot.

Keim: Good question and, yes, it was a major point of emphasis during spring workouts. (The Redskins were 26th in red zone efficiency last season.) I don't remember if it was any more than it had been in previous offseasons, but it certainly felt that way. Execution matters here, but so does having a more balanced attack. The passing has not been good here the past two years -- 49.2 percent accuracy each season. In 2012, the Griffin and the Redskins completed 64.2 percent of their passes in the red zone. Also, the past two years they've thrown four interceptions combined; they threw none in 2012. But the run game needs to help more. The Redskins averaged 2.30 yards per carry in the red zone last season. That absolutely must change.