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Seahawks’ RB Chris Carson feeling ‘more solid’ heading into 2018 season

RB Chris Carson had a promising debut for the Seahawks before injuring his leg in 2017. (AP)

Chris Carson joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle Friday morning to talk about his offseason workouts, the vibe at Seahawks headquarters now that longtime veterans are gone, and his relationship with rookie running back Rashaad Penny.

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Carson didn’t get much work in during OTAs last year – he was at that time recovering from a hamstring injury – but has been a standout through two open sessions this offseason. The difference in his frame and speed are noticeable.

“I feel a lot more solid than I did last year,” Carson said. He’s put on about 10 pounds (up to 227 from 216) since getting work in with a trainer.

“I feel a lot better now. Just my body feels a lot more stable than it did last year.”

After four productive starts in 2017, Carson looked to be the surprise rookie starter for Seattle. He rushed for 208 yards and one touchdown on 49 carries before a high ankle sprain and leg fracture landed him on the injured reserve. After undergoing surgery, he resumed workouts during the regular season but was ultimately unable to return to the field.

Carson faces a couple unique challenges as he prepares for his sophomore season. He must not only return from injury and prove he can be a durable option for Seattle, but must also prove he can replicate his impressive four-game performance from 2017. He’ll also need to push his way to the top of the rotation in a young, competive running back group that features Seattle’s newest first-round draft pick, Rashaad Penny.

“He’s got crazy speed,” Carson said of Seattle’s rookie halfback. “Crazy speed. Once he starts opening it up more you all are going to see it, it’s crazy.”

Even with Penny in the rotation, Carson enters the season with same mindset he had last year.

“When they (drafted Penny) I looked at it like I did last year,” Carson said. “They had Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, everybody; you’ve got to come in and compete. Me and Rashaad are real cool so I’m helping him out …

“Everybody’s competing no matter what – who comes in or who leaves – the model is to compete. Everybody’s hungry.”