“I said this before and I’ll say it again, I feel like I made the mistake for putting Todd (Gurley) in that spot,” Morris said Wednesday, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a little harder probably than me and you think to stop from going in. Obviously, it is. ... I made a bad decision from the 10-yard line to give him the ball thinking he could stop before he got there.”
NFL Films released footage of the huddle on Wednesday showing that the quarterback did in fact tell Gurley not to run the ball into the end zone.
“Hey, don’t score. Don’t score. Don’t score. Get the first. Get the first. Get down.”
The Lions, clearing wanting the ball back, parted ways and let the veteran running back go right through the pileup and a charging Gurley was unable to stop in time.
“Probably should have put the ball in Matt Ryan’s hands and took the knee, like I said before,” Morris continued. “That’s probably the biggest regret from the game. … I know I’ve said that clearly to (the media). I’ve said it clearly to the team. Moving forward, we won’t make that mistake again.”
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter seemed to put the blame on Morris as well, saying the responsibility shouldn’t be on players not to score.
“Maybe instead of not scoring, the thing you practice is getting the ball where your kicker wants it and taking a knee,” he said, via AJC. “That’s the alternative there. That’s what you practice.”
Gurley can be heard in the video acknowledging Ryan’s call but after the game he said it was the “momentum” that carried him in.
“It’s just one of those unfortunate situations. I’ve been in plenty of those situations since my rookie year – about six or seven. I’ve always gotten down. It’s an unfortunate one right there.”