Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris, the NFL's leading rusher in 2012 not named Adrian Peterson, set a franchise single-season record with 1,613 rushing yards while finishing third in the league in yards after contact and forced missed tackles.
"I call it demanding my respect, the way I run," Morris said on NFL.com's Dave Dameshek Football Program on Thursday. "I'm not a (sledgehammer), but I will lower my shoulder on guys. I demand my respect. And then it makes it that much easier to just avoid them, or lose them and get around them, because now they're thinking he's gonna run me over."
Morris succeeded with a rare big-back combination of nimble feet, top-notch power and precocious patience, but he believes he still left too many yards on the field last season.
We're interested to see if he can repeat his success if Robert Griffin III is forced to take a more cautious approach this year. The NFL's most dangerous running quarterbacks boost the effectiveness of tailbacks, especially out of the pistol formation when the defense is left guessing which player will end up with the ball. Griffin's freakish recovery rate from knee surgery bodes well for Morris' 2013 outlook.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.