- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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Alfred Morris will welcome the same attention he received last season. With quarterback Robert Griffin III not quite himself, and the team missing a second threat at receiver, defenses knew they had to stop one player: Morris.
He hopes they take the same approach.
“If they do, we’ll make them pay,” the Redskins' third-year running back said.
And that’s why Morris isn’t worried about whether the added talent at receiver will result in fewer carries for him. He has never expressed concern in his first two seasons about how much work he receives.
“Last year, especially with Robert being nicked-up and a couple other things,” Morris said by phone, “defenses were able to sit on their toes and stack the box more at certain times and were able to bring more pressure because we didn’t have the same threats. But now, having DeSean and Andre in the slot, there’s no way to stack that box. Having Robert back healthy, there’s no way defenses can do the same things they did against us last year.”
And the memory of last season, he said, is one reason he’s not worried if he has fewer carries. Of course, if the Redskins win more, then those carries won’t decrease much. Last season, for example, he had only four games with 20 or more carries -- and just 276 carries overall. As a rookie he had 10 games of 20-plus carries and 335 overall. If the Redskins rebound from a 3-13 season, it’s hard to imagine his carries going down from 2013's total.
His mindset: Whatever.
“The only thing I care about is winning,” Morris said. “If they want to give me the ball a bunch that’s fine. If they want to pass more, that’s fine. Coming off 3-13, that was just terrible and left a bad taste in our mouths. We want to do better than that. How they’ll use me, I don’t know. How much I get used, I don’t know. I’m keeping a positive attitude.”
Morris also is positive about what he has seen this offseason from the brace-less Griffin, who had extensive knee surgery in January 2013.
“I see a huge difference,” Morris said. “He’s so much more comfortable and so happy not to have the brace on. He’s running around, looking good. No limping, no anything. He has a great attitude and his work ethic has always been there. He’s always a hard worker. ... Things will go back up this year.”
As for drafting running back Lache Seastrunk in the sixth round (the same round that produced Morris in 2012), there’s no worry here. Morris, of course, isn’t about to be budged as the starter; others will be much more threatened by Seastrunk.
“It’s almost expected now to get another running back,” said Morris, who has two years remaining on his contract. “If you bring more guys in, it’s more competition and that makes us all better. When you have good young guys coming in, it pushes everyone that much harder. When there’s that much competition, the team will be better.”
10hDianna Russini and Adam Schefter