Maybe some of Tirone Morris’ teammates are a little bit quicker. And maybe some of the league’s defensive backs have a couple inches on the 6-foot receiver. None of them can match his patience.
The receiver out of Florida A&M is now in his third season with the Lions, practically an old veteran on a squad that has 11 rookies including both of its main quarterbacks. But he’s had to find ways to fight — and wait — for playing time from the start.
Morris broke his leg two years ago and sat out part of the season. Last year, he had more than 300 yards receiving in only a few games, but struggled to see much playing time behind the team’s stacked lineup of receivers. This year he’s just been waiting for Lions coach Jason Gibson to take notice.
“I can’t lie and say it’s not frustrating,” Morris said. “I’ve been playing the waiting game, just waiting for Coach to give me a chance.”
After getting limited playing time in two other games this season, Morris finally got his opportunity to impress coaches last Saturday, catching a season-high four passes for 62 yards and a 20-yard touchdown.
“It really was just my own stupidity for not having him out there more before,” Gibson said. “He’s a guy who can turn any catch into a touchdown. He does it all the time. I’ve always known it, I don’t know why I haven’t played him more.”
While Morris had a small victory of his own, the Lions (5-2) lost 41-37 last week. A Fayetteville touchdown with less than a minute left sealed victory for the Guard (4-2).
Morris hopes to build off of his own performance and possibly have a stronger affect on the outcome of the game.
“I’ll just wait for my chance to shine and I’ll do it,” Morris said.
Morris’ odds might be even better this week with starting receiver Troy Bergeron out of the lineup nursing a sore hamstring. Joel Babb will start in Bergeron’s place, but it leaves a door open for Morris to potentially pick up some of the nearly 70 yards per game Bergeron has averaged this season.
And there’s been no shortage of preparation heading into this week’s South Division matchup.
“We’ve done a lot of extra stuff this week at practice, and I’ve really just been practicing hard,” Morris said.
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