Running back Alfred Morris, the Redskins sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, could be the right guy in the right place.Morris said he was shocked when the phone rang during the draft and the Redskins head coach was on the other end.He said, This is Mike Shanahan, welcome to the Redskins, said Morris, who grew up a Redskins fan. I was like, wow! It kind of floored be but I was excited, I told him thank you, thank you and ended up talking to running backs coach Bobby Turner.It wasnt the first time that Morris had talked to Shanahan. He was a member of the South team at the Senior Bowl, the squad coached by the Redskins staff. Morris was a bit puzzled by Shanahans demeanor on the practice field. He was just kind of quiet the whole time, he just walked around.Morris found out during last weekends rookie minicamp that he was seeing Shanahans normal practice-field manner. He is normally seen around the middle of the field observing the offense and the defense.Morris believes that he is well prepared to play in Shanahans offense. His coach at FAU was Howard Schnellenberger and he was not one to get caught up in the trend towards the spread offense.He was a big I-formation guy, Morris said of Schnellenberger, who has been around so long he was the head coach of the Colts the year after they traded away Johnny Unitas. Ive been in the I formation, it helped me with my blocking skills, just running between the tackles . . . I definitely helped me transition over.Morris said that he is well aware of Shanahans history of taking running backs late in the draft and turning them into highly productive players. But hes not thinking about that right now.It just goes to show, he saw something in me that others didnt, he said. He was taking a chance on me and I definitely didnt want to disappoint him.
After signing All-Pro Josh Norman and drafting talented Virginia Tech product Kendall Fuller, Scot McCloughan informed the media on Monday during his post-draft press conference that the team has released cornerback Chris Culliver.
Culliver was signed to a pricey 4-year, $32 million deal last offseason, but struggled with injuries and his production in 2015. He later said in the presser that the door on Culliver's return isn't closed, but overall, he hopes the defender gets what he wants on the open market.
More updates to come on CSNmidatlantic.com
Some NFL players react negatively to receiving the franchise tag. In plenty of cases, the guy who is tagged views the designation as an insult or takes it as a sign that the organization doesn't fully trust him.
Kirk Cousins, though, an athlete who could seemingly find the bright side in anything — even something as gloomy as the ending to Marley & Me — said on Monday he has no issue with his team's decision to give him what's essentially a pricey one-year deal. The quarterback actually went so far as to borderline compliment the franchise's decision.
"I think that people make great decisions when they have a lot of information at their disposal, and if the Redskins would like more information from this next season to be able to make a decision on me long-term, I totally understand that and understand where they’re coming from," Cousins said during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny Show. "I think the ball’s in their court and I will react accordingly to whatever decision they make."
That's not to say the 27-year-old is simply going to accept the tag, though. During the interview, he reiterated his intentions of proving his worth on the field — that comes off as his top priority. With that being said, he's still not closing the door on his talks with the 'Skins, yet.
"I want to go out and earn it, and prove myself, and if I need to prove myself again, that’s fine. I’ll go see if I can do that," Cousins said. "By no means am I, or are we, going to try to force their hand in any way. They can do what they want and we’re going to react accordingly, but if they call, I’ll pick up the phone. We’ll see where it goes from here."
The terms of his agreement with the organization that drafted him may still be under some questioning, but his status as the starting signal caller absolutely isn't. So, with an eye toward next season, which will be his second as the lead man, Cousins said he's focused on taking more control as an individual and simply building himself as a passer.
"Stepping up vocally, being a little more confident in asserting myself that way," Cousins identified as something he's continuing to pick up. "With experience and with time, you get better and you get better and you get better, and you get more confident, and that helps you play better. I can feel myself on that growth process."
The Redskins' 2016 Draft class has a lot of variety. There's a player who went to college in California and another who attended school in Georgia. There's a corner who weighs 187 pounds, and a defensive lineman who checks in at 299. All in all, the seven newest members of the Burgundy and Gold have their differences, but since officially joining the team, they've come together to share one key similarity.
They all seem quite thrilled to be a part of the franchise.
Now, skeptics may say that a rookie expressing joy over being selected by an NFL team is about as surprising as Jordan Reed beating a linebacker in one-on-one coverage, and that's a fair point. But the tweets Washington's first-year guys have sent out in the past couple of days go beyond the general, "Thanks for the opportunity" messages that are as much a part of the draft as booing Roger Goodell or the phrase "high motor."
Take Su'a Cravens, for instance. This dude sounds like he's practically prepared to cross the line into breaking-and-entering territory already. Someone in the organization needs to get this man a key:
Redskins got a good one !— Su'a Cravens (@Sua_Cravens) April 30, 2016
I'm so damn hyped to be a Redskin man I wish I was allowed to be in the facilities! Coaches gone have to lock me out! 13th needs to get here— Su'a Cravens (@Sua_Cravens) May 1, 2016
The passion and love I saw in the fans eyes today at FedEx Field was unreal. They welcomed me with open arms. Couldn't ask for a better day— Su'a Cravens (@Sua_Cravens) May 1, 2016
Far from home, but it don't feel that way!— Su'a Cravens (@Sua_Cravens) May 2, 2016
Then there's Kendall Fuller, who just started his Twitter page on April 25. So far, four out of eight posts that he's put up himself are Redskins-related. 50 percent is a ratio that definitely demonstrates more than your run-of-the-mill excitement. Check these out:
Matt Ioannidis feels the same way:
Really proud to be joining the Redskins and I appreciate all the support from the fans #HTTR— Matt Ioannidis (@MattIoannidis) May 1, 2016
As does Nate Sudfeld, who's anxious to put on his first NFL uniform:
So grateful! Can't wait to be a part of the Redskins organization! Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am! #HTTR— Nate Sudfeld (@NateSudfeld) April 30, 2016
Then there are the two seventh-rounders, Steven Daniels and Keith Marshall, both of whom expressed gratitude for the chance they've been presented:
It feels so good to be apart of such a Great organization honestly. My visit was grade A the people in the organization were grade A WIN WIN— Steven Daniels (@StevenD513) May 1, 2016
Thank you to everyone that reached out and showed support this weekend. I am truly grateful! #HTTR— Keith Marshall (@Truthh4) May 2, 2016
The Redskins are on the rise, a group that is improving both in record and reputation. This next crop of talent will look to contribute to that growth. If the above set of tweets is any indication, they'll be an energetic bunch — on the field, and on the Internet. In the meantime, as their debuts are still a long ways off, can somebody seriously let Cravens into the facility? Let the kid go to work.