Morgan tries to stay upbeat despite reduced role

Morgan tries to stay upbeat despite reduced role
November 14, 2013, 2:00 pm
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A year ago, Josh Morgan hauled in a team-leading 48 passes for the Redskins. Through nine games this season, the sixth-year pro is on pace for only 20. 

Ask Morgan why he believes he’s been marginalized and you’ll get a shoulder shrug and some carefully chosen words.

“No sir, none at all,” he said Wednesday, asked why he’s not playing as much. “I don’t even really try to worry about it anymore.”

Morgan added: “I know I didn’t do anything to lose my job. I come out here and work just as hard, if not harder, than anyone out here. I try to keep negative thoughts out my head. I just come out and play for my teammates, my family and for the love of the game, as I always do.”

Morgan has taken 217 snaps, which ranks fourth on the team behind Pierre Garçon (576), Leonard Hankerson (386) and Santana Moss (313), according to ProFootballFocus.com. 

In addition, Morgan has only 11 receptions for 124 yards. He was targeted 10 times the first two games and had a pair of drops in those contests, according to PFF. Since the loss in Green Bay in Week 2, though, the 28-year-old hasn’t been targeted more than twice in a game. And on two occasions, he didn’t have any passes thrown his way.

“Not really,” Morgan said, asked if he recalls a specific drop or missed assignment that could have led to the decline. “It’s like tit for tat. You can say, oh, I dropped this pass, I dropped that pass. But then you could point to every other receiver on this roster and say the same thing. Or every tight end on this roster and say the same thing. …So, no, there’s no particular reason or indication or anything.”

Five games ago, Morgan began seeing time as a returner. But that role has been reduced, too. He’s no longer returning kickoffs and, after Nick Williams was promoted from the practice squad this week, he'll face competition at the punt returner spot, as well. (The Redskins rank 30th in punt return at 6.1 yards per attempt.)

Morgan said he hasn’t lobbied for more playing time and hasn’t brought up the issue with Coach Mike Shanahan or offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. It’s not his style, Morgan said.

“I try to keep away from the business side of it and the coaches’ aspect of it,” Morgan said. “They’re in control. They are going to do what they want to do regardless. I know I do my job when I’m out there.”

What makes the situation all the more confusing, Morgan said, is the fact that he’s 100-percent healthy. In the offseason, he had seven screws removed from his surgically repaired leg and both hands operated on.

“I’m finally healthy for the first time in a couple of years,” he said. “I’m playing pain free."

Morgan’s current situation has him wondering if he has a future with his hometown team. His two-year, $11.5 million contract expires after this season.

“I don’t try to think about the outcome of it and what’s going to happen next,” Morgan said. “I mean, obviously, if they’re doing this to me now, obviously I’m not going to be here next year. I don’t really try to worry about it. Stay in shape, keep going out there and doing your job when they put you out there. Whether it’s blocking or if they do finally throw me a pass. I’m going to keep playing for my teammates.”