Seattle Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith insists that this time, there really is a change in Christine Michael.
During Michael's first stint with the Seahawks, the same questions were asked every summer: Is he willing to put in the work to be great? Will this be the year he finally gets it?
Last September, the Seahawks decided they were ready to pull the plug on the Michael experiment. He had spent two years with the team but was never able to earn the trust of the coaching staff. The Seahawks preferred their other options and traded Michael to the Dallas Cowboys for a seventh-round pick.
His run there ended in November when the team released him. The Washington Redskins signed Michael to their practice squad, but when the Seahawks suffered injuries at running back late in the season, they decided to bring him back.
This summer, with Thomas Rawls on the PUP list and C.J. Prosise and Zac Brooks dealing with hamstring injuries, Michael has been the first running back on the field with the starters every day at practice, with fifth-round pick Alex Collins rotating in. We still think Rawls should be the team's RB1, but it would help if he can get back on the field. 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).