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Alfred Morris: I was 'lost little puppy' on Redskins in '12

As a rookie, Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris turned heads last season with the second-most rushing yards in the NFL. His punishing style got attention from the start.

"I call it demanding my respect, the way I run," Morris told NFL.com's Dave Dameshek in late May.

Morris knows he won't catch defenses sleeping the second time around.

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"Teams this year, they know about me," Morris told the Pensacola News Journal this week. "Last year, I was, in a sense, a surprise. This year, they know about me. I know it's going to be tough because I know it's going to be a bigger challenge, but I love a challenge. I'm looking forward to this year."

Said Morris: "Last year, I was going in there like a lost little puppy. This year ... I'm a lot more confident and more comfortable."

That should concern opponents. That "lost little puppy" trotted out 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns as a newbie. His emphatic 200-yard, three-touchdown outburst against the Dallas Cowboys in the regular-season finale made him look nothing like a cowed rookie. The rise of Morris also deep-sixed Mike Shanahan's deeply tedious clown-car backfield, bringing a dose of sanity to fantasy enthusiasts everywhere.

If Robert Griffin III returns to form after knee surgery, the Redskins arguably house the most explosive quarterback-tailback combination of all. That should go a long way in an NFC East battle that's shaping up to be a street fight.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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