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Why it could be difficult getting Chris Carson involved in the passing game

Seahawks running back Chris Carson. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer recently told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk that he wants to get running back Chris Carson more involved in the passing game. But is that even possible, given the many mouths the offense has to feed this season?

Notebook: Seahawks RB Chris Carson welcomes pass-catcher role

“To me, 50 [catches] is a very attainable number in today’s game,” said Brock and Salk co-host Brock Huard. “A number of times you call shots, they defend it — good, check it down to Chris [Carson]. The number of screens that we have seen in this game — good, run more screens. I think that is a very viable number.”

While Carson had a career year on the ground in 2018, the young halfback caught just 20 passes for 163 yards, with no touchdowns. In total catches, that had him behind the likes of Mark Ingram, Latavius Murray, and Ito Smith, none of whom are considered passing game specialists on their respective teams.

If Carson ends up in 50-catch territory in 2019, that would put him in more in the range of elite pass-catchers like James Conner, Joe Mixon, and Dion Lewis.

That being so, co-host Mike Salk still has some healthy skepticism, noting the coach-speak surrounding a handful of other players.

“[The team says], ‘we got to get Jaron Brown a whole lot more targets because we didn’t target him enough last year, and we’ve got to find a bunch of targets for rookie D.K. Metcalf down the field. And don’t forget Tyler Lockett’s going to be the new Doug Baldwin, so he’s going to be the focal point of this offense.’ All of these things can’t be true unless they’re planning to run about a million more plays this year,” Salk pointed out.