RICHMOND—Although DeSean Jackson’ biggest impact with the Redskins will come in the passing game, running back Alfred Morris says he’s glad to have the three-time Pro Bowler, too.
Adding a deep threat like Jackson, Morris said on Thursday, should result in fewer defenders focused on stopping the run.
“I never looked at it as if I was going to get less touches having him,” Morris said of Jackson. “I actually got excited having him because he’s going to take that extra defender off the box.”
As a rookie in 2012, Morris ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,613 yards on 335 carries. Last season, Morris acknowledged that the Redskins faced more eight-man fronts and, quite predictably, his production declined. He finished with 1,275 yards on 276 carries last season in 2013.
Morris expects Jackson’s speed and big-play ability to reverse that trend in 2014.
“You know last year, a lot of teams looked to stack the box on us, and it was unfortunate,” Morris added. “It hurt our run game. But just having [Jackson], they have to respect him.”
Morris also believes the Redskins’ ground game could get a boost from the addition of wide receiver Andre Roberts.
“Having him in the slot, he’s been doing very good thus far in camp,” Morris added. “He’s another guy. They have to respect him. They have to honor him. And it definitely takes one, two extra [sets] of eyes off the backfield just for a split second, which can make the difference in any game, any play.”
And if defenses load up the box again this year, Morris said he's fine with that, too. It could mean fewer yards for him personally. But it could also mean more points for the team.
"I would love if they stacked the box this year," Morris said with a smile. "We could just go deep every play. I would love that."