If there is one thing Mike Shanahan can hang his hat on it’s turning unheralded Running Back’s into stars – albeit briefly. Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Mike Bell, Reuben Droughns, Tatum Bell – the list goes on. We won’t get into Shanny’s Quarterback troubles, you’re welcome Redskins faithful.
Shanahan’s latest find is Alfred Morris, who will start at Running Back today when the Redskins travel to New Orleans. Morris was Washington’s 6th round pick in this year’s draft out of Florida Atlantic. In a preseason that saw injuries to Roy Helu, Tim Hightower and Evan Royster, Morris made the most out of his opportunity.
RG3′s first road start in the NFL won’t be easy – cliche alert – especially playing in front a hostile, and possibly bloodthirsty Superdome crowd. Morris will be key in taking pressure off of the DC messiah. While the Redskins pass protection was absolutely horrendous last year they excelled in the run game. Helu – another Shanahan ‘find’ – rushed for three consecutive 100 yard games last season and Royster had back to hack 110 yard plus performances.
I would refrain from slotting Morris into your starting lineup right away, but keep tabs on the Pensacola native’s performance today. He could be a flex option going forward.
Prior to training camp, Tim Hightower was pegged by many as the starter in Washington’s backfield after his seat was kept warm for the first few weeks of the season while he recovered from an ACL tear. That depth chart projection was made despite Mike Shanahan’s hobby of treating running backs with the same indecisiveness that a child brings to the ice cream aisle.
It was based on the assumption that Hightower would recover from his knee injury in a relatively timely manner, since you know, everyone can recover from ACL tears just as fast as Adrian Peterson. The plan appeared to be going swimmingly when Hightower was healthy enough to make his preseason debut two weeks ago, and he had 28 rushing yards on five carries. But then his knee swelled up, and in the world of figurative backyard running back mercy killings, the end was near.
Today is roster cut down day when every team needs to trim down to 53 men by 9 p.m. ET, and Shanahan pulled the trigger. Hightower will reportedly be cut, according to Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen.
If you’re even remotely shocked by the Redskins releasing Chris Cooley, then I suppose I shouldn’t mention anything about the veracity of your parents’ stories regarding a large man who delivers presents while being flown around the world by reindeer.
Generally, when someone signs up to have a needle repeatedly puncture their skin and an image imprinted on their body for eternity, the image of their choosing is something they feel passionate about. There are, of course, exceptions to this, like the bros wearing sparkly Ed hardy shirts who have spider webs around their elbows, or the bro-ettes(?) with butterflies, well, anywhere.
Football fans are a different breed of insane, so there is no halfway. Also, when they decide to dedicate part of their body to their fandom, there’s no part, and an entire region of the body is consumed by ink. Most often it’s men who pursue these body-devouring tats, and the resulting feedback is two fold, and both negative and positive.
Firstly, the male in question gains the utmost respect from the fellow members of his male species, though in fairness, that’s a pretty low bar because male respect can also be achieved by taking a very large crap. Secondly, the generously tattooed-man often has minimal intercourse with the opposite sex, which coincidentally can also be achieved by taking a very large crap.
We’re all fully aware that preseason games are meaningless, or at least the numbers on the scoreboard are. We watch firstly because we’ve gone far too long without football in our lives, and secondly because positional battles provide something to analyze and scrutinize, and any excuse to do that is a gift from the heavens above.
But tonight’s preseason games will take place under a much, much brighter spotlight with Peyton Manning making his debut for the Broncos, and Robert Griffin III doing the same for the Redskins. That’s all the motivation Reverend Redskin needed to wake up his D.C. neighbors in the early morning hours with his sun god worshiping.
By way of Hogs Haven, here’s the first sermon in GLS history…
As we astutely noted back in May, Robert Griffin III doesn’t actually sell his jerseys. There are stores and websites for that, but perhaps hawking merchandise on street corners is an avenue the players could pursue nine years from now if there’s another lockout when the current CBA expires.