Every single game this season that the North Carolina Tar Heels have taken the field, the same thought runs through my mind. Where are you Romar Morris? Why isn’t he on the field Larry Fedora? I can’t get over it, I just don’t understand how the fastest player on the team who is terrific in the open field and demonstrated the ability to not only be an excellent running back, but a receiver as well isn’t on the field more often.
Morris has been relegated to the role of #3 RB behind Giovani Bernard and AJ Blue. Now don’t get me wrong here, Bernard is special, I think he has Heisman like talent and will be one of the all-time great Tar Heel backs when all is said and done. I like Blue also, he’s more powerful than the other two runners and certaintly has a place in this offense.
Morris won the award for ACC receiver of the week for his five catch, 149 yards and two touchdown performance against Louisville. He’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry, yet despite Fedoras comments that Morris would be more involved in the offensive game plan after the game against the Cardinals, he has yet to be featured.
The majority of Morris’ touches have come in the second half of games as Blue and Bernard have been given the lions share of the carries and playing time in the first halves. Morris needs to be this teams version of Darren Sproles. I’m not suggesting the team give him 20 carries a game or make them the #1 receiving option. He simply needs to be on the field more often and more consistently throughout each and every contest.
The team is making a difficult transition to Fedoras fast paced, spread offense, they need the best play makers on the field as much as possible. And right now Fedora and his offensive coaching staff are not making that happen and it’s hurting the team. Morris’ first carry went for 17 yards against Idaho, he’s explosive and he makes things happen whenever he’s on the field, even contributing two blocked punts so far this season.
Fedora went back to Giovani Bernard as the teams punt returner against Idaho, even opting to keep him in that role in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of the Vandals reach, risking injury to the teams best offensive player. Morris is listed as one of the teams kick returners, yet has not been given a chance to fulfill that role, or a shot as a PR.
There is room for all three backs to make an impact on this team. Fedora finally went with two backs on the field at the same time against Idaho, yet it was Blue and Bernard each time. Morris needs to be in that mix and given the lack of experience and depth at the receiver position, he needs to be given more opportunities to work out of the slot, need proof? Re-watch the Louisville game.