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Morris Thunders Into The Record Books


While rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has garnished most of media attention this season, another Redskins rookie has written himself into the record books this year.

Going into the game, running back Alfred Morris needed 104 yards to surpass Clinton Portis's Redskins single season rushing record of 1,516 yards set in 2005.

Morris did more than that, turning in a record-setting night with 200 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

In the second quarter, Morris became the second running back in Redskins' history with 1,500 yards in a season. Needing four yards to break the record, Morris rumbled for 10 on his 16th carry of the night.

Talking about the record after the game, Morris said, "It was special. It is an honor to pass Clinton Portis' record. He's a great back. I actually looked up to him.

"He told me before the game, 'I want you to break the record.' It was just an honor. Coming from where I came from, I am just thankful and it is just a humbling experience and I am thankful to be here."

Morris, the Redskin's sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, also broke another Redskins record by surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor for most total touchdowns by a rookie.  Taylor had a combined 10 touchdowns for the Redskins in 1964.

Morris surpassed Taylor's record in the second quarter, with a 17-yard rushing touchdown. He added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, running 32 yards to put the Redskins up 20-10, and scoring again with 1:15 left to seal the win.

When the settled, the Redskins' franchise-best 2,709 rushing yards this season was No. 1 in the NFL.

Redskins fullback Darrel Young served as Morris's lead blocker throughout the season and has witnessed his evolution.

"I've never seen a guy put so much on himself when he doesn't execute something. That's just a guy taking pride in what he's doing. If he makes a mistake, it's just something to fix for next week."

While the rest of the NFL may be experiencing Morris for the first time, Young said tonight's performance was a typical Morris performance.

"It's the same thing I've been saying every week; the first guy isn't bringing him down. I don't know what else to say, he's just Alfred," Young said with a laugh. "He's still running guys over.  He's just making plays. He's a tough runner, a humble guy, and you don't see that too often."

Commenting on Morris's performance, head coach Mike Shanahan said, "I separated him in the locker and said of all the guys, the guy that has separated himself today from the rest of the pack was Alfred.

"For him to play at that level for a full 60 minutes and get 200 yards with over six yards per carry, is really a testament to not only him, but the guys blocking for him. I'm very, very happy for him."

With his performance this season, Morris becomes the first rookie since Edgerrin James in 1999 to rush for over 1,500 yards.

With a regular season total of 1,613 yards, Morris is third in rookie regular season rushing yards, behind Eric Dickerson (1,808 yards in 1983) and George Rodgers (1,647 yards in 1981).

Even after a career night and record-breaking season, Morris remains humble, playing down his individual performance.

"I'm never a star, I'll never be a star," he said. "Other people might think I am a star, but I'm just Alfred. I've been the same since way back when, and I'm not going to change."




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