The numbers look great: 24 carries for 157 yards in three preseason games. But it's the little things that stand out with Michael.
Twice on Thursday night, he identified the right defender and did a good job picking up the blitz. He's carrying out his fakes on play-action and looks comfortable in the passing game as a receiver.
At this time last year, the Seahawks gave up on Michael, trading him to the Dallas Cowboys for a seventh-round pick. But he's been the story of camp in 2016 and looks poised to be a dependable contributor on offense.
Michael continues to look good deep into camp and preseason. It's one of the bigger fantasy questions of the season in how will Michael's presence affect the fantasy value of Thomas Rawls. HC Pete Carroll has called them a one-two punch a few weeks ago, and other reports say the team won't depend on one running back like they have in the past. Yet other beat writers feel the team has been down this road before with Michael and don't quite believe the hype.
Prosise looked good on all four carries. The first was a draw on third-and-20, and the second was a 5-yard gain on third-and-10. On Prosise's third carry, he was met by a defender four yards behind the line of scrimmage, but he spun out of a tackle and turned it into just a 1-yard loss. And on his final carry, Prosise broke a tackle and gained eight yards.
The story said the Seahawks drafted Prosise with the hope that he could be their third-down back, but he suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of training camp. It will be interesting to see if they're comfortable using him right away on third downs or whether Prosise needs some more time to carve out a role.
Romo stepped forward in the pocket and escaped pressure to his left while Avril closed from Romo’s backside. Romo began to slide as Avril chased him down and was caught in an awkward position as the two players went to the ground.
Romo immediately reached for his lower back area and was tended to be the Cowboys’ training staff being walking off the field under his own power.
Romo was reportedly asking to go back in the game, so this is probably nothing serious. But it's a reminder of Romo's fragility in recent years.
With Marshawn Lynch out of the way, 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 he should be ready to play in Week 1.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott has participated in three full practices the last three days and coach Jason Garrett said he anticipates the Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick will play Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Elliott suffered a hamstring injury on Aug. 2 while the Cowboys practiced in Oxnard, California. He missed eight straight practices and the first two preseason games, but he was able to participate in two workouts before the team returned to Texas last week.
"I'm excited to finally get some full-go action," Elliott said Tuesday. "It's been a long time."
Garrett wasn't sure how much Elliott would play against the Seahawks. The third game of the preseason is most like the regular season for the starters, but since this is Elliott's first game some accommodations will be made, the story said.
Add Dez Bryant to the list of absences from Thursday’s preseason game in Seattle.
The Cowboys revealed on Tuesday morning that Bryant suffered a concussion during the team’s Monday morning practice. Neither Bryant nor Tyrone Crawford will play against the Seahawks, as both players have been evaluated for concussions within the last two days.
This setback will likely end Bryant’s preseason, given that starters typically don’t play in the final preseason game. But with 19 days until the Cowboys open the regular season, the All-Pro receiver will have ample time to recover. Bryant had been on a fantastic run of play during the Cowboys’ first two preseason games. During limited action against the Rams and Dolphins, he caught four passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns, the story all said. Bryant tweeted he'd be OK, but it's still worth monitoring.
As the team had promised, Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls was a full participant in Sunday’s practice as he continues on his road to recovery from off-season surgery to repair a broken and dislocated ankle.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider has said the team hopes to get Rawls into the fourth preseason game at Oakland on Sept. 1, though it remains unclear if or when Rawls will play in the preseason.
Regardless of what he does in the preseason, though, Rawls remains on track to be ready for the regular season opener Sept. 11, head coach Pete Carroll said Sunday.
Carroll said the emergence of Christine Michael makes it easier for the Seahawks to be patient with Rawls. Carroll said Michael has been a positive addition and will allow them to make sure Rawls is ready to go. Carroll has called the two a one-two punch leaving speculation Michael is going to be a part of the offense.
On the Seahawks’ first drive Thursday during their preseason game against the Vikings, Michael took a hand-off out of the shotgun formation. As he neared the line, he had a few choices: He could either bounce the run outside or over the right guard, or he could cut up the middle.
Michael chose inside, squirmed through traffic and gained 10 yards.
So why is that run important? Because of what it represented. Michael, in his fourth season, always had ability but struggled with reliability. The Seahawks couldn’t trust him from play to play.
Michael continues to get positive press and really seems like he's made a turn in his career. It's potentially bad news for Thomas Rawls owners. Doubters say Michael has looked good when it doesn't count before, so it remains to be seen if this will be a one-two punch with Michael and Rawls.
Coach Pete Carroll had a hazy response to questions about Graham's readiness Wednesday, which seemed to dance around the central point: A ruptured patellar tendon is a rough thing to come back from quickly and there is a lot of work involved in doing so.
"We've had no issues at all in the work he's doing on the field," Carroll said, via ESPN.com. "That will continue to increase throughout the next few weeks. Really we're shooting for: Where is he at the start of the season? And we'll evaluate then on how much longer it may take, or he may be ready. We don't know that yet. But he feels good."
Carroll added: "There's some evaluation to be done going into next week, but I don't have any expectations for that right now. We'll just wait and see. We don't have a timetable for this; that he has to meet any schedule at all. We're just working him back, and he's gaining confidence, and it's really important not to have any setbacks. So we're being careful."
This talk will throw some cold water on the good vibes generated when Graham returned to practice. It sounds like it's no sure thing that he'll be ready to play Week 1.
Pete Carroll has said Tyler Lockett is going to be "in the middle" of everything the Seahawks do offensively. He and Russell Wilson struggled at times to get their timing down last year, but Lockett showed he can get open downfield on a consistent basis. And if the summer is any indication, Lockett will see plenty of opportunities in the short game on screens and other plays where he can pick up yards after the catch. That should translate to consistent touches on a weekly basis.
The Seahawks are not a high-volume passing offense, but 900 yards and eight touchdowns is a reasonable projection for Lockett, and he has upside.
As a rookie, Lockett owned the #5 fantasy points per target (FP/T) in standard formats (#3 in PPR), and he plays in a historically efficient passing offense. The only issue is volume. Lockett saw just 69 targets in 2015, but averaged 5.4 T/G (and 57.1 yards) over the final nine games of the season, including the playoffs. That’s an 86-target (and a 913-yard) pace, so if he’s able to maintain his 1.48 FP/T, it would yield 128 fantasy points, which is about what Rueben Randle scored as the #28 WR last year. If Lockett is going to crack the top 20, he’ll need to see 6.0+ T/G. The good news is that Wilson has increased his pass attempts in each of the last three seasons, and with Marshawn Lynch retired, it sounds as if there will be more opportunity in the passing game for Lockett.
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.
Third-round pick C.J. Prosise practiced for the first time since the first day of camp and seventh-round pick running back Zac Brooks practice for the first time in more than a week as each returned from hamstring issues.
“That’s a real boost for us to see those guys back out,” said coach Pete Carroll.
They were joined in the backfield by Thomas Rawls, who continued his progress from last week by taking a few snaps during the team period — the first time he has done that since his return.
“Yeah, he looked really good,” Carroll said. “He’s been working really hard. He’s been working like crazy, so just to fit him in is what we were tyring to do today and he looked terrific.”
It remains unclear when Rawls will return to game action but getting back on the field in team drills Monday — even if his reps continue to be closely monitored — was another significant step, the story said. There was no mention of Christine Michael in this story, who has taken advantage of all the injuries with a strong camp. The big question going forward is what will be the role of all these backs. We'll continue to follow.
In light of what he did in the Minnesota Vikings' offense during their final four games of the 2015 season -- gaining 260 of his 473 yards from scrimmage in three regular-season wins and the team's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks -- it seemed inevitable the team would use Jerick McKinnon in a larger role throughout the 2016 season.
The article said don't expect a split backfield with Adrian Peterson, but the team is trying to find ways to get McKinnon the ball. They moved him into formations as a receiver in camp and OC Norv Turner also mentioned using Peterson and McKinnon in the same backfield. McKinnon could have deeper PPR value on top of being Peterson's likely handcuff.
Monday, August 15, 2016, 8:09am
The quick passing game will be key early in the season.
Last year during the bye week, the coaches focused on implementing more of a quick passing game to help Russell Wilson on third down and against the blitz. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell still wants to take shots downfield, but when the team has issues with protection, it needs answers.
During Wilson's only drive Saturday, all three of his completions came on throws where he caught the snap from shotgun and got rid of the ball quickly. The Seahawks don't want their offensive-line issues to extend into October and November, but in the early part of the season it will be especially important for Wilson to execute the quick passing game.
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.
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