Tag Archives: Washington Redskins

Christian Athlete of the Week: Alfred Morris

The Washington Redskins recently wrapped up their OTAs and are now getting ready for the upcoming training camp. Running back Alfred Morris is one of those Redskins looking to make an impact this season. In his rookie year, Morris carried the ball 335 times for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those yards were third-most by a rookie running back in NFL history! That year was also the best performance by a Redskins running back in the franchise history! Clinton Portis had 1,516 yards rushing back in 2005 for Washington. Morris has already established himself as an elite back with 1,275 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. With him and Robert Griffin III, the Redskins have one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL.

While Morris has done so many great things on the football field, he still stays humble and true to Jesus Christ. Here is a video below on why Morris is a believer:

Morris is so humble, that he still drives a 1991 Mazda. It shows that he knows where he came from and he’s not ashamed of it. As Christians, we should never be ashamed of who we came from, which is God. He has given us life and it is our duty to live it out how He wants us to.

Born in Pensacola, Florida, Morris grew up with almost nothing. His family was living in poverty and Morris had to endure a lot of hardships during his childhood.

“My family didn’t have much, but we had each other, and that was really all we needed,” Morris said. “My six brothers and I loved to be outside playing every sport imaginable, sometimes even inventing our own games. I can still remember playing football in the yard with my brothers and cousins, dreaming of one day playing in the NFL.” (Credit: crossmap.christianpost.com)

His bond with his family was all that Morris had. Fortunately, he was able to perform well enough in high school to get a full-ride scholarship to Florida Atlantic University. Morris was also a big supporter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in high school and immediately joined a college group as soon as school started. In his sophomore year in 2009, Morris had 1,392 yards and 11 touchdowns. That year put him on the radar for NFL scouts and he finished his collegiate career with 3,529 yards and 31 total touchdowns.

Morris fell all the way to the 6th round where he was drafted by Coach Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins. From there, things took off for Morris and his career has jumped to a great start. Not only that, but his work off the field has garnered positive attention as well. He’s been known to handing out free toys to kids before Christmas and hand out free coats to kids in local hospitals. His heart is truly supported by a passion for God.

“Anytime I get an opportunity to give back, I give back,” Morris said in an interview during the Marine toy giveaway. “My heart for giving was shaped by others who gave to my family. I saw how selfless they were. It is not always about receiving, but giving, so every time they have some type of event to give, I am always there.” (Credit: Washington Post)

Morris is truly a great role model to look up to. He has a servant’s heart for Christ and is very humble about how he lives his life.


The Washington Redskins Release Reed Doughty

Veteran safety Reed Doughty was released by the Washington Redskins on Wednesday. The safety position in Washington is the most crowded and competitive spot on the roster. Doughty could not make the cut with players like Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Tanard Jackson and Phillip Thomas competing for the starting spot.

Doughty was drafted by the Redskins in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Northern Colorado. He started out playing on special teams. Doughty made his first start against the Dallas Cowboys on Week 11 of the 2007 season and ended up starting the rest of the season after the passing of Sean Taylor. In 2009, he made his first career interception against the Cowboys in Week 16. The following season, he recorded a career-high 93 tackles as well as one sack and a forced fumble. He finished his eight-year career with the Redskins with 506 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Doughty has faced a lot of trials and tribulations throughout his NFL career. He has a severe hearing impairment that makes him almost deaf and his first son, Micah, was born prematurely and suffered kidney failure as a baby. Doughty also had the duty of replacing the late and great Sean Taylor during the 2007 season.

Throughout his eight-year career with Washington, Doughty has always played to the best of his abilities on every play. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams called him an “overachiever” and “one of the smartest football players he has ever seen.” However, injuries had plagued Doughty for many years and has led him to his release by the team. He looks to continue his public work with supporting organ donation through his son’s story.

As a Christian, Doughty has always been a big help to the Northern Virginia community through his outreach with his wife Katie. This was his farewell address to the Washington Redskins via Instagram:

“Been a good 8-year run with the @redskins. Want to thank the Redskins organization, especially HOF coach Joe Gibbs. He valued character, hardwork and special teams. He believed in me enough to take a chance on me and draft me.”

“Thanks to my family, friends, coaches, teammates, fans, trainers, equipment managers, and all the people inside the redskins building who I have interacted with for 8 years. Thanks to the people at @VSI_spinemd and @thevtfc for getting me healthy after I thought my career was over prematurely. Most of all I am thankful for the relationships I have built over the last 8 years.”

“Thanks to my church @cfcwired and our small group bible study. This group has encouraged me and my family, prayed for us, and have become lifelong friends. God never ceases to amaze me. I pray that my life will be a living testimony of his faithfulness, mercy, grace and love. Whether I continue on my NFL journey or transition into a new career, I am thankful. I have my best friend, my wife Katie Deters Doughty, to share life with and raise our boys together. God Bless!” (Credit: The Washington Post)


Redskins Offseason Shaping Up Nicely

After the NFL Draft and OTAs, the Washington Redskins are looking to have a successful season this year. Hopefully. With outside linebacker Trent Murphy and offensive right tackle Morgan Moses signing their rookie deals, all of the draft picks are now under contract. The question is: what will this Redskins team look like with new head coach Jay Gruden calling the shots?

Well for starters, they upgraded their receiving corps tremendously. The Redskins resigned veteran Santana Moss, signed Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson in free agency and drafted Ryan Grant out of Tulane. Not only that, but tight end Jordan Reed is returning from a concussion injury and a great rookie season last year and Logan Paulsen has emerged as a top target as well. With all of these new additions to the offense, quarterback Robert Griffin III should easily rebound from last season’s poor performance. The biggest acquisition for the Redskins was signing DeSean Jackson on April 2. Jackson is coming off his career-best season with the Philadelphia Eagles and can also be a great punt returner for the Redskins, a need they have searched for in recent years.

Now let’s focus on defense. With the departure of London Fletcher, no one knows for sure who will step up to replace him. The resigning of Perry Riley has assured his spot on the depth chart as a starter, but it is unknown who will start alongside him with Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. With injuries and poor tackling, the Redskins linebacker corps has been in question heading into this season. Washington picked up Darryl Sharpton in free agency, hoping to replace Fletcher. However, Sharpton has been injury prone for the last couple of years. He is at the prime of his career at the age of 26, but there is uncertainty with his ability to stay on the field. Keenan Robinson, Akeem Jordan and Adam Hayward are also on the roster, but they will have to make their presence known during training camp in order to snatch that starting role.

Now back to the offense, specifically with the offensive line. Even more specifically, the position of right guard and right tackle are in question. Chris Chester holds that right guard spot, but with his increasing age and decreasing productivity, that might soon change. Third-round draft pick Spencer Long could push him out of the starting spot and second-round pick Morgan Moses could fill in at right tackle, beating out veteran Tyler Polumbus. These rookie players must develop quickly during training camp in order to gain RG3’s trust.

There are many other things to discuss about the Redskins. For example, can Phillip Thomas step in at safety after being injured last season? Can rookie running back Lache Seastrunk make some plays coming out of the backfield? All of these questions will be answered in due time. For now, fans are going to have to be patient and see if Gruden’s Redskins can make a difference this year.

Redskins Address Draft Needs

The Redskins had a lot of needs in their roster this off-season, especially on defense. Washington drafted eight players and even though they did not have a first round pick this year, they still managed to grab some talent. Here’s a look at who they drafted:

Round 2, Pick 47: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford – The 6’5″ and 250- pound pass rusher led the NCAA in sacks with 15. At first I was surprised at this pick, because Washington already has Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo as their sack artists. Then I realized what need they were addressing here: tackling. The Redskins’ defense had horrible tackling and with London Fletcher gone, this was something that had to be addressed early in the draft. Murphy is a tackling machine. He could basically play anywhere in the front seven. The Redskins will probably use him as a rotational pass rusher or maybe stick him somewhere in the middle with Perry Riley. He could also play on special teams, which is something that Redskins needed as well. When you really think about it, this was a good pick for Washington. I just don’t see where they will put him, but I’m sure Jim Haslett will utilize his abilities.

Round 3, Pick 66: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – I thought this guy would be taken in the first 50 picks of the draft, but he slid all the way to 66 and that was good news for Washington. They desperately needed an offensive tackle and they got one of the best in Moses. He played both right and left offensive tackle in college, but will most definitely play right tackle seeing that Trent Williams is holding down the left side already. At 6’6″ and 314 pounds, this guy is an immovable force that can both pass protect and run block. Moses will probably start on opening day after he gets some good coaching during training camp.

Round 3, Pick 78: Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska – The Redskins are officially stacked on offensive line. This was one of the biggest needs after last season and Jay Gruden has targeted the right guys to move forward. Gruden is known to prefer big lineman that take up space. That’s exactly what Long is. He’s 6’5″ and 320 pounds, but he’s faster than he looks. Like Moses, there’s a possibility he could start in week one, depending on how well he does in training camp. Good pick for the Redskins bulking up the depth on offensive lineman.

Round 4, Pick 102: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson – Secondary was a huge need for the Redskins after getting torched by receivers last year. With the addition of Tracy Porter during free agency, Breeland will probably be the third or fourth corner on the depth chart. The preseason games will definitely test the young kid, who can also play well against the run. This was a pretty good steal for Washington, knowing that this guy can mature into a great defensive back in the NFL.

Round 5, Pick 142: Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane – No this is not the former running back from Green Bay. Grant is a short receiver at 6’0″, but can run good routes and has great hands. It seems as if the Redskins don’t need any more receivers because of the free agency landing of DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. Grant will provide competition during training camp and could move up in the depth chart after the preseason. In the future, he might replace Santana Moss, who is getting up there in age and is losing productivity as he gets older.

Round 6, Pick 186: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor – The top running back coming out of high school, Seastrunk originally went to Oregon, but then transferred to Baylor after sharing the backfield with De’Anthony Thomas. His first name is pronounced “Lake” and he was known for his incredible speed. In college, he ran a 4.34 40-yard dash, but then at the NFL Combine, he only ran a 4.51. He’s probably the most athletic running back of this draft class, having the highest vertical jump (41.5 inches) and longest broad jump (11’2″). He was the semifinalist for the Doak Walker Running Back of the Year Award in college after leading the Big 12 with 107 rushing yards per game. He is also the first player in Baylor history to have back-to-back 1,000 yards rushing. With a backfield already occupied by Alfred Morris (who was also a 6th-round draft pick) Seastrunk will ease into the NFL and produce a few game-changing plays every once in a while.

Round 7, Pick 217: Ted Bolser, TE, Indiana – At first, this pick didn’t make any sense either. The Redskins already have Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen as their tight ends. However, Reed did have concussion issues and Paul has not played up to expectations so far. Bolser will primarily be used for special teams, but he did have six receiving touchdowns last season, which shows that he can be very productive. He was the semifinalist for the John Mackey award which is given to the nation’s best tight end and he set Indiana tight end records with 117 receptions, 1,337 yards and 15 touchdowns. He will be a big target for Robert Griffin III, standing tall at 6’5″ and 257 pounds. The only reason why he fell so far in the draft is because he is not a good blocker. It will be interesting to see how the Redskins will use this guy.

Round 7, Pick 228: Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas – I was upset with the Redskins drafting a kicker. They already have two kickers on the roster, including Kai Forbath who was the team’s starting kicker for the last two years. If you are getting a kicker though, you might as well get this one. Hocker connected on 16 of 19 field-goal attempts with a long of 51 and all 56 extra-point tries. He broke the school record for points by a kicker in 2011 with 118 after making 21 of 27 FGs with a long of 50 and 55 of 57 PATs. He will compete for the job in Washington.

Draft Grade: B-

I thought the Redskins did address some needs, but not all of them. I personally believed that they should have drafted a safety. They had many chances too, passing up on guys like Terrence Brooks from Florida State, Brock Vereen from Minnesota and they had multiple chances to grab Ahmad Dixon from Baylor. I guess with the signing of Ryan Clark and the resigning of Tanard Jackson and Brandon Merriweather, Washington felt like they were pretty strong at that position. I also thought that the drafting of Murphy was good, but not great and the drafting of wide receiver Ryan Grant was unnecessary and could have been used to draft a defensive back. Maybe next year, Gruden will have a much better draft with that 1st round pick in his pocket. Hopefully the Redskins will make good use of these players and make them useful for the Washington franchise.

Is Jay Gruden the Answer in Washington?

Jay Gruden became the Washington Redskins’ youngest head coach since Joe Gibbs was hired back in 1981 at the age of 40. The 46-year-old coach is the 28th head coach in Redskins’ history and also the fifth-straight offensive-minded head coach in Washington dating back to the hiring of Steve Spurrier in 2002. Ever since Daniel Snyder took over the team in 1999, he has hired seven coaches, six of them used to be offensive coordinators or were considered offensive-minded (Norv Turner was already coaching the Redskins when Snyder took over). So has history goes to show you, only Joe Gibbs had success as an offensive-minded Washington head coach, taking the Redskins to the playoffs in 2005 and 2007 in his second tenure. He’s also the only head coach under Snyder that didn’t get fired (Gibbs retired after the 2007 season). But like Gibbs, Gruden is also a coach that went straight from being an offensive coordinator to a head coach. But we all know Gruden is no Gibbs. So should this offensive-minded head coach finally be the answer Washington has been looking for since Gibbs? Well it’s too early to tell, but as a Washington Redskins fan (hard to admit) I would like to explore the subject. As an offensive coordinator at Cincinatti, Gruden’s offense statistically got better and better each time he was there. So there’s a good sign. Gruden also has experience dealing with young quarterbacks. He helped develop Andy Dalton ever since he was a rookie, which is the type of development Robert Griffin III needs. As for the coaching staff, Gruden has already gotten them in place. He reatined defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, offensive line coach Chris Foerster, and defensive backs coach Raheem Morris. It’s funny because all three of those areas of the football team need work. Washington’s secondary was one of the worst in the NFL because they had inconsistent play at the safety position. The Redskins’ offensive line was inconsistent as well; they would pick up their blocks in the running game, but wouldn’t be able to hold up their blocking in pass protection. As for the offense, Gruden promoted his tight ends coach Sean McVay to offensive coordinator. McVay is only 27 years old (turning 28 on the 24th), but he coached with Gruden back when they coached together at Tampa Bay. As a matter of fact, General Manager Bruce Allen knew both McVay and Gruden back in their days in Tampa Bay when they worked under Jay’s older brother Jon Gruden (Joe Gibbs was an offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before going to the San Diego Chargers and then eventually the Redskins). McVay was also his offensive assistant for both Gruden and Jim Haslett when they coached for the Florida Tuskers in the United Football League. Just like Gruden, McVay was also a quarterback in high school. It will be interesting to see how McVay does in his first NFL offensive coordinator gig along with a new head coach at the same time. This upcoming season for the Washington Redskins is going to be interesting because fans will get to see something no one has ever seen before. Only time will tell whether Gruden will succeed or not, but from the looks of his background and history, Redskins fans should have something to look forward to next year.