Seahawks notebook: Ground game Turbin-powered against San Diego
Robert Turbin’s vision is what made the run possible, Seattle’s running back cutting back against the flow of the play.
It was Turbin’s vicious end to the run that really excited his coach, though, punctuating a 47-yard run with a stiff-arm that gave Pete Carroll what he’s been asking for the past three years.
“I loved the finish,” Carroll said. “I’ve been trying to get Turbo to straight-arm somebody since he got here, and he had a dominant straight-arm. He finally used one in big fashion, and I was really fired up for him.”
It was the longest gain in a game in which the Seahawks didn’t run away from the Chargers so much as they ran over them. Seattle gained more yards on the ground (243) than through the air (165).
Turbin led the team with 81 yards and scored on a 1-yard run for Seattle’s first touchdown. He was one of four Seahawks to average more than 5 yards per carry, the culmination of what Carroll said was a week-long emphasis after Turbin and Christine Michael found very little running room last week against Denver.
“We had a very good week of practice,” Carroll said. “It felt like that week of work really translated to the night. We came off the ball well and all the running backs were able to get some running room, hit it nice and show some good stuff.”
Marshawn Lynch started the game but was on the field for just three plays, never touching the ball. Turbin came in next followed by Michael, who fumbled the first time he ran the ball. While Michael recovered his own fumble, it was very similar to a play last week in Denver in which he lost the ball.
“Tacklers got underneath him,” Carroll said. “He was low on both cases, but they got their helmet to the football and he needs to protect it more. He needs to fix that.”
Michael gained 45 yards on eight carries, and he’ll have just two more preseason games to show that he’s ready for a larger role in the offense after Turbin served as the team’s backup a year ago.
Turbin’s 47-yard run in the opening period not only got Seattle out from the shadow of its own end zone, taking the Seahawks from their own 7 to out past midfield, but it gave a glimpse of all the tools Turbin brings to the position.
“He put his foot down, stopped on a dime, and kind of cut back to the right,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “(He) just accelerated past everybody. He was physical at the end of the run, too, as well. Those are the things that Robert Turbin brings to our offense.”
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor pulled a fast one in the third quarter.
A very fast one, in fact, faking a handoff before keeping the ball on a naked bootleg, banking that the defensive end would come crashing down in pursuit of the running back. The defensive end did just that, and Pryor escaped out the backdoor and down the field for a 44-yard touchdown run.
“We’ve seen him do that before,” Carroll said. “So they gave him a chance, and shoot, he made it look awful easy.”
Too easy, in fact. Wilson had a message for Pryor when he got back to the sideline.
“I told Terrelle as he got over the sideline, ‘You know, you may be faster than me just by a little bit, but I’m still quicker,’ ” Wilson said. “He hit the edge pretty quick. He was moving.”
Pryor attempted only four passes, completing just one, but he rushed three times for 59 yards and his scoring run was the second-longest play in the game.
Pryor was the second quarterback to enter the game for Seattle, replacing Wilson for the final possession of the first half when the Seahawks ran out the clock. Carroll said the Seahawks had planned to play Wilson for the entirety of the first half, but changed plans after Seattle scored on each of its first four possessions.
B.J. Daniels came on to finish the game, though Carroll said he considered inserting backup Tarvaris Jackson. Instead, the plan is for Jackson to play with the second-unit offense in next week’s preseason game against Chicago.
Seattle rushed for five touchdowns in the game. Four were scored by quarterbacks, though, which prompted this complaint from Turbin.
“They’re ballhogs,” Turbin said. “They’re like Jordan in the fourth quarter.”