Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris somehow managed to go under the radar while putting up the second-most rushing yards in the NFL last season, behind only Adrian Peterson. That's just what happens when you're a rookie on a team with Robert Griffin III. Many are equating Morris' success with the zone-read offense, suggesting that the extra attention paid to Griffin allowed Morris to pick up all those extra yards.
John Keim of The Washington Post thinks that's an incorrect assessment, saying that Morris' skills as a runner should not be overlooked. As noted by Keim, Morris averaged 4.6 yards per carry on non-zone-read runs, and he averaged less than four zone-read runs per game.
Given that Morris put up 1,613 yards with 13 touchdowns and a per-carry average of 4.8 yards in the regular season, it's obvious he wasn't picking up those yards on four plays per game. Morris deserves all of the positive attention anyone can give him, and willed the Redskins into the playoffs with his three-touchdown, 200-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 last season.
Going forward, the combination of Griffin and Morris may be one of the most potent quarterback-running back combinations in the NFL. The read option or zone-read offense is surely an effective tool with a guy like Griffin under center, given his running ability, but Morris gives the offense another threat and opposing defenses would do well to recognize that.