The obvious headliner of the Washington Redskins' top-ranked rushing offense is electrifying rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

While the Heisman Trophy winner deservedly garners the bulk of the attention, the engine of the Redskins' running game is the rookie who shares the backfield with Griffin.

Bruising rookie running back Alfred Morris has rushed for 1,106 yards and 13 touchdowns and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

The sixth-round draft pick from Florida Atlantic has been so effective that he reminds Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard of Houston Texans star runner Arian Foster.

"I respect him, I really do," Pollard said. "The guy is a very hard runner. One thing he understands is a four-yard run. He's going to run it hard. I respect him. He's buying in.

"It took Arian Foster a year to buy in and you see where he is now. They're different runners, but I respect him so much. I think he can be at the top of his game like Arian."

At 5-foot-9, 218 pounds, Morris provides power and speed to the Redskins' offense.

He's tied for third in the NFL in rushing yards with Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie Doug Martin.

"He’s hungry," Griffin said during a conference call with Baltimore reporters. "I’ve told people time and time again, there are a lot of great football players out there, and a lot of them don’t get drafted. So when you have a sixth-round guy, don’t just automatically assume that he’s not going to be very
good.

"So, he worked his way through the offseason, worked extremely hard, learned the whole offense, and he just runs harder than anybody in the league right now.”

Morris' attitude sets him apart as well.

"The guy runs angry," Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "That’s the way I explained it to our guys. That’s a good thing for them. He runs hard, he runs behind his pads. He’s been a force.

"I think the scheme has helped him, not only the zone scheme, but the dive scheme off the option and stuff. The guy has really been a good back, and he runs hard.”

awilson@baltsun.com

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