SANTA CLARA –
Joshua Morgan, not Josh Morgan, spoke this afternoon on Harbaugh’s new offense and how it impacts the wide receivers. He talked about the increase in slant routes from previous years in particular.
He also told the story of why he wants to be called Joshua instead of Josh.
Here’s the transcript of the interview. Enjoy.
Q: Harbaugh said he wants to make the wide receiver position more relevant. Do you get a sense of that?
MORGAN: Most definitely. Even in the run game, we’re going to have things that get the ball in our hands more. I feel that he (Harbaugh) is definitely trying to make all of us into the game, a lot more than when I’ve been here.
Q: Coach said that sometimes it seems like the NFL wide receivers are bored out there. Do you agree with that statement?
MORGAN: Yeah, definitely. It’s just how the game is nowadays. We got some coaches that believe that we need to run the ball 30 times a game no matter what the defense is.
Q: Is there more emphasis on physical blocking?
MORGAN: Always. Especially with a running back like Frank Gore. We have to be down on the secondary and block because he can be on a touchdown run. That’s the biggest emphasis now: make sure when they do break, that we get that touchdown block.
Q: How is the receiving core revolving?
MORGAN: It’s great. There’s a lot of competition. We can just interchange, maximize every matchup we get. There might be some plays where Braylon (Edwards) gets a better matchup than (Michael) Crabtree has. Or maybe Teddy (Ginn) might have a better matchup than I have. And we’re just trying, trusting all of our positions so we can interchange. Just maximize every matchup.
Q: Any new kinds of routes you’re learning this year compared to your first couple years in the league?
MORGAN: Most definitely. This offense is a lot more wide open and the past offenses that I’ve been in. You learn a lot of different routes, a lot of different techniques. You’re just going out there and trying to maximize every opportunity you can out there.
Q: How has Alex Smith looked?
MORGAN: Alex has looked good. Alex is a lot more comfortable, he’s finally got his feet up under him. With the lockout and everything, he’s finally got his feet under him. You can tell by his decision making, he’s looking a lot better, getting comfortable.
Q: How many slants did you run in previous years?
Q: Is this a route that suits your skills?
MORGAN: I think it’s good for all our receivers. Even Ted (Ginn), he’s good, he’s fast, he’s got moves after the catch. Even Delanie (Walker). None of us were slant route runners, that’s the first route you know when you learn football. That’s something you do – the slant route – when you were eight years old. That’s the West Coast Offense. There’s a lot of routes you’re going to run. I think all of them are good for all of us. All of us can capitalize on all the routes on offense.
Q: So it was no slants at all in the past?
MORGAN: We ran some in the past, but there wasn’t a big emphasis on it.
Q: So you’ve watched clips of Jerry Rice and John Taylor?
MORGAN: I’ve seen all the highlights. Even guys who run the offense now. Because all teams are running different types of this offense. We’re basically watching all of it. We’re just trying to find whatever technique is best for you.
Q: Why do you want to be called Joshua now instead of Josh?
MORGAN: My grandmother named me after Joshua in the bible, and she’s way old school. She doesn’t get on planes or nothing, and they don’t play our games on the east coast, so she said when she reads about me, she wants to read what she named me, and she named me Joshua.
Follow me on twitter @grantcohn.