Bumpus: It’s time for Seahawks to use Walker in the passing game

Nov 4, 2022, 10:58 AM

Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...

Kenneth Walker III of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a touchdown against the New York Giants at Lumen Field on October 30, 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

After starting the year injured and as a backup to Rashaad Penny, Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III has emerged as one of the best and most dangerous backs in football.

Walker earned NFL Rookie of the Month honors for October as he ran for 432 yards and five touchdowns in five games (three starts), including rushing scores of 69 and 74 yards.

Seahawks’ Smith, Woolen and Walker all earn Player of the Month honors

He’s now Seattle’s unquestioned lead running back both because of his play and because Penny is out for the year with a knee injury.

So what’s next for Walker and the Seahawks’ offense? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus explained what he wants to see the Hawks do with Walker during Thursday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

“We need this man to get 20 to 25 touches a game, easily. And I’m OK with that being heavy (with) run (plays),” he said. “But I think it’s time now that they get him in the screen game. I think it’s time now to get in that empty formation and throw him a bubble (screen), or get in that traditional three-tight end look that we’ve been seeing and play-fake (to Walker) boot around and bam, come back to other side and hit him in space.”

Walker this season has 94 touches on offense, with just nine of those coming on receptions for 28 yards with a long of seven.

Bumpus said Walker can make plays happen in tight spaces, but he’s a shifty running back who thrives in space, and the passing game could help him and the offense out.

“I want to say he is the shiftiest running back in the league right now. I’m not saying he’s the best running back … but when it comes to ‘I’m gonna put my foot in the ground and make you go the other direction,’ there’s nobody that does it better than him right now,” Bumpus said. ” … So I think that what you have to do is find ways to get him the ball in space and let him manipulate. When you’re in space and you have that shiftiness and you can read blocks the way that he can, you’re setting blocks up two layers down. Like you see that safety over there or you feel that safety and you’re gonna take it left, bam, snap it to the right and set things up. He is great at doing that. He needs the ball in space.”

Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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Bumpus: It’s time for Seahawks to use Walker in the passing game