Heaps: Why Seahawks’ Chris Carson should get back over 1,000 yards in ’21

Mar 27, 2021, 3:04 PM

Seahawks RB Chris Carson...

Seahawks RB Chris Carson should have a big role in Seattle's 2021 offense. (Getty)


There was a lot of uncertainty about what the Seahawks’ running game would look like in 2021, but clarity arrived last week when news brokes that Seattle would re-sign starting running back Chris Carson to a two-year deal.

Jake and Stacy: Seahawks hit ‘home run’ by re-signing Chris Carson

Carson, a 2017 seventh-round pick of the Seahawks, has been Seattle’s lead back for the last three seasons, rushing for over 1,000 yards in both 2018 and 2019.

In 2020, though, Carson missed four games with a foot injury and finished the season with just 681 rushing yards and five touchdowns. And while he did tie his career-high with 37 receptions, including four touchdown catches, he was limited to just 141 carries compared to 278 in 2019 and 247 in 2018.

While 2020 was a down year of sorts for Carson, former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps doesn’t think you should read too much into it. He explained why on a recent edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy.

“I think you’re going to see Chris Carson have another 1,000-yard year,” Heaps said when asked about expectations for Carson in 2021. “Last year was a little more of an aberration for Chris Carson. I think there were a lot of things factoring in (to that).”

The “things” that led to Carson’s “aberration” of a season?

“He was going into a contract year, you had the ‘Let Russ Cook’ movement that happened early on in the season, and then you had a little bit of an identity crisis go on with your offense in the second half of the year and you never really truly found a way to get Chris Carson going,” Heaps said. “(And that’s) on top of trying to keep this guy healthy going into the playoffs. I don’t think you’re going to have all of those things to juggle this year.”

Something Heaps thinks will help Carson and the Seahawks in general is the hire of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. He joins Seattle’s coaching staff after spending four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where he served as tight ends coach for one year before being promoted to passing game coordinator for his next three seasons. He also served as quarterbacks coach in conjunction with being passing game coordinator in 2019.

“I think (the running game) is going to be very poignant in terms of Shane Waldron’s approach, how he wants to manage this, and Chris Carson is going to be a big factor in this offense and the way that they want to do things,” Heaps said. “I really anticipate that you’re going to see Chris Carson have over 200 carries on the year and I would assume that you’re going to see him rush for over 1,000 yards again, and you’re going to get that big, bruising back who is going to be able to make his presence known in a given game.”

Heaps also believes that news of Carson returning to the Seahawks made the rest of the NFC West less than pleased.

“The NFC West’s coaching staffs and players themselves who got that notification that Chris Carson is coming back to the Seahawks, that was a bad, bad day for them because Chris Carson makes this offense very versatile and makes it very physical,” he said.

Hear the full discussion in the second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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Heaps: Why Seahawks’ Chris Carson should get back over 1,000 yards in ’21