Will it be like past years when Marshawn Lynch took most of the carries or will Chrinstine Michael still get significant work?
The answer — as boring as it sounds — is that how Michael plays the first few weeks will likely dictate things greatly. If he continues to play as he did in the preseason then the Seahawks will have to find ways to get him out there.
But if Rawls is clearly the better of the two, then there’d be no reason not to hand him the ball as often as possible.
All of which means it’s hard to know yet if Rawls will dominate the carries the way Lynch did when healthy.
The Seahawks also have rookies C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins on the roster at tailback. But Prosise seems headed initially for a role mostly as a third-down back. HC Pete Carroll went as far as saying Rawls and Michael will form a 1-2 punch, but more recent reports said Rawls will be the lead guy. It's a situation to monitor especially early on as Rawls tries to get back to full speed.
The Seahawks enter the season without Marshawn Lynch for the first time since 2010. That's not good news. The good news is that they already managed to find a suitable replacement in Thomas Rawls, who burst onto the scene last year when Lynch battled injuries.
The even better news: Rawls' recovery from a broken ankle, which ended his season last December, is going along as planned. On Wednesday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed that Rawls will be out there for the Seahawks' season opener against the Dolphins two Sundays from now.
"He continued to have a great week," Carroll said, per ESPN. "There's no question that he looks to be able to play in the opener."
The big question is will there be some kind of split with Rawls and Christine Michael in the backfield. Michael seems to have turned the corner in his career and had a very good preseason leading Carroll to call the duo a "one-two punch" at one point in camp. Rawls hasn't played in the preseason but could in the team's final contest. Either way, he could be eased into things if he is active Week 1.
When it comes to Josh Ferguson, the promise he offered coming into the season has not translated thus far. The Colts had extremely high hopes for him after signing him as an undrafted free agent from Illinois, but he has been frustrating to watch rushing for 9 yards on 13 carries this preseason. That’s not to say he had wide running lanes; the run blocking has been lacking, at best. But throw in the fact that Ferguson has had a couple of missed assignments as a pass protector and one could argue he faces an uphill climb against the veterans.
But the Colts still love Ferguson’s potential.
“He’s a third down match-up nightmare,” Chuck Pagano said.
Related players: Frank Gore
Ferguson hasn't carried his OTA momentum into camp or into the preseason games, so he's fallen behind Turbin, apparently. Turbin is a career 4.0 YPC journeyman who can hold down the fort if anything happens to Gore.
Seahawks running back Christine Michael is as sprightly as can be these days, and there are two potential reasons: 1) He has developed into a dependable ball-carrier who can consistently produce at an NFL level; and 2) It’s August.
Let’s not pretend we haven’t seen this before. Summertime in Seattle generally is when Michael mutates into Emmitt Smith.
In 2013 he blitzed through the preseason, racking up 201 yards on 40 carries. In June 2014, he prompted offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to declare that the Seahawks’ offense will be “running back by committee,” even though Marshawn Lynch had spearheaded a Super Bowl win a few months earlier. And on Saturday, Michael’s 44 yards on seven carries in a preseason win at Kansas City got Pete Carroll to say that Michael and Thomas Rawls would be the “1-2 punch” in Seattle’s backfield this year.
The story went on to say a few interesting things - the optimist might be compelled to believe this finally will be the year Michael, 25, tracks down his potential and becomes a mainstay in an NFL offense. The realist, on the other hand, would be compelled to ask: How is this any different? But, the story quoted HC Pete Carroll as saying Michael was a loose cannon before, but has now grown up. Michael has got a lot of positive press lately and it has Rawls owners in a bit of a panic. The point of this story seems to be don't count on a committee or a 1-2 punch in the Seahawks backfield just yet. Also keep in mind the Seahawks drafted three running backs in April.
But with the variables in play now, it's possible that the Seahawks don't give as heavy a workload to their lead back. Thomas Rawls was great last year, totaling 830 yards and averaging 5.65 YPC, but he has to prove he's the same guy physically, coming off offseason ankle surgery.
"He’s an NFL football player," Pete Carroll told reporters about Christine Michael. "He really has made it clear to us that he’s serious about the work. He’s serious about the consistency. He’s taken great pride in the way he’s brought it day in and day out all throughout the offseason and into camp and all of that. And he’s an explosive, dynamic athlete. So we’re just going to keep going with him."
Michael has to continue to prove to the coaches that he's had an awakening, according to the story, and up to this point he has. Rawls returned to practice last week but did not play in the team's first preseason game, but it appears he has some catching up to do. This is a situation to watch for sure. Carroll mentioned a "one-two punch" in another quote, but there were no details about how a workload would be divided.
But they should have Thomas Rawls, whose 2015 rookie season ended with a broken ankle in mid-December.
Rawls said Sunday that he will be ready for the start of training camp.
ESPN beat writer Sheil Kapadia tweeted Rawls' quote that he'll 'most definitely' be ready to go. Right now we have Rawls ranked 14th with an ADP of the fourth round, but we think that ADP could climb now with the news he'll be ready to go for camp. In the six games in which Rawls played and Lynch did not, the rookie averaged 20.5 touches for 120 yards and 0.84 touchdowns (on a stellar 5.6 YPC). That doesn't even include Week 3, when he turned 16 carries into 104 yards while Lynch was limited to five carries.
The second-half outburst came after the Seahawks shifted their offense during their bye week, deciding to emphasize quicker passes, timing routes and spread formations. They were especially successful with empty sets (no running backs in the backfield).
Throwing passes more quickly also helped mitigate some of the offensive-line struggles. Russell Wilson was sacked just 15 times in the last nine games after the Seahawks allowed 31 in the first seven.
Carroll said to expect more of the same in 2016, the first season since 2010 without running back Marshawn Lynch as the focal point of the offense.
“Our rhythm throughout camp, we stayed connected to what we did in the second half of the year,’’ Carroll said. “We went in determined to do that, and right from the get-go when we got back here on the field we were at it with tempo and timing and all that and stood strong throughout the whole camp.”
Of the early-round quarterback picks, Wilson is the player we’d be most inclined to draft since he’s sometimes still on the board in the 6th/7th round. After his Week 9 bye, Wilson averaged 279 passing yards and 3.1 touchdowns over the final eight games. That’s a 4,400-plus/50-TD pace, which is why he’s ranked with the likes of Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers atop our projections.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 5:29pm
Running back Marshawn Lynch is retired, unofficially. Officially, he’s still a member of the Seahawks’ roster.
The new league year has arrived without the Seahawks releasing Lynch or placing him on the reserve-retired list. It means that the Seahawks will carry Lynch and his $11.5 million cap number into the 2016 league year.
The story goes on to say it remains unclear why the Seahawks haven’t removed Lynch from the roster. One theory is that they’ll wait to do it until after June 1, so that he’ll count $2.5 million against the cap this year, and $2.5 million next year. Another theory is that Lynch is dragging his feet so that he’ll be cut — and so that if he decides to un-retire later he’ll do so as a free agent. Regardless, Lynch remains on the team, at least for now. And possibly for a while longer, the story added.
It takes a pretty big splash to make news in the middle of the Super Bowl, but Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch managed it. At 9:46 p.m., Eastern time, early in the fourth quarter of the game, Lynch posted a photograph of football shoes hanging from a telephone wire from his Twitter account. It was a subtle but clear message that he had chosen to end his football career at age 29.
Related players: Thomas Rawls
If Lynch does indeed hang 'em up, Rawls is first in line for workhorse back duties given his performance in 2015. In the six games in which Rawls played and Lynch did not, the rookie averaged 20.5 touches for 120 yards and 0.84 touchdowns (on a stellar 5.6 YPC). That doesn't even include Week 3, when he turned 16 carries into 104 yards while Lynch was limited to five carries. A fractured ankle ended his season, but it didn't require surgery and he should be ready to for training camp. If he's fully healthy and Lynch is out of the way, Rawls' ADP should climb into the 3rd round.
As unpredictable as some of these decisions can be for many players, it is even more so for the ultra-unpredictable Lynch. But as of now, despite the fact that his teammates still are attempting to change his mind, Lynch's plan is to walk away from the game, something that he has shared with some in the Seahawks' organization.
If Lynch hangs 'em up, Thomas Rawls is first in line for workhorse back duties given his performance in 2015. In the six games in which Rawls played and Lynch did not, the rookie averaged 20.5 touches for 120 yards and 0.84 touchdowns (on a stellar 5.6 YPC). That doesn't even include Week 3, when he turned 16 carries into 104 yards while Lynch was limited to five carries. A fractured ankle ended his season, but it didn't require surgery and he should be ready to for training camp. If he's fully healthy and Lynch is out of the way, Rawls' ADP should climb into the 3rd round.
Friday, January 15, 2016, 5:23pm
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen, probable) took full practice reps again Thursday and is probable for Week 19. Lynch says he’s “ready” for this weekend’s game against the Panthers. Lynch carried the ball 17 times for 54 yards and a TD in his Week 6 meeting with Carolina.
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 6:07pm
Over the past three games, Christine Michael has seen 13.0 carries for 64 yards with a total of two catches for 14 yards. Bryce Brown has averaged 8.7 carries for 24 yards and scored a touchdown. In fact, he saw seven red zone touches over that span compared to just three for Michael. Fred Jackson led the Seattle running backs with eight catches for 66 yards over the three game span.
Lynch has not played in a game since Nov. 15, and he underwent abdominal surgery Nov. 25. He had been rehabbing in San Francisco but rejoined the team for workouts and practices this week.
But following the team's final workout at its practice facility Friday, the Seahawks said, Lynch notified them that he could not play Sunday. He did not travel with the team to Minneapolis later in the day.
According to a source, Lynch did not suffer any kind of setback with his injury during Friday's practice.
Over the past three games, Michael has seen 13.0 carries for 64 yards with a total of two catches for 14 yards. Brown has averaged 8.7 carries for 24 yards and scored a touchdown. In fact, he saw seven red zone touches over that span compared to just three for Michael. Fred Jackson led the Seattle running backs with eight catches for 66 yards over the three game span.
Friday, January 8, 2016, 6:38pm
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