Bumpus: Why Seahawks are using Charbonnet ‘the right way’

Oct 5, 2023, 2:47 PM

Seattle Seahawks Zach Charbonnet...

Zach Charbonnet of the Seattle Seahawks runs the ball on Oct. 2, 2023. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

For the second year in a row, the Seattle Seahawks used a second-round pick on a running back.

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As was the case with last year’s rookie back Kenneth Walker III, it’s been a little bit of a slow start to the career of Zach Charbonnet, at least when it comes to the amount of touches he’s receiving each game.

Even though Charbonnet’s not getting a ton of rushing attempts each game, his physical running style is already catching the eye of many, including former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus.

“I’m looking at the backfield and I keep looking at Zach Charbonnet and go, man, I see you,” Bumpus said during Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports. “I like the way they’re using him. They’re not throwing him out there and saying, ‘We’re going to take so many carries from our guy (Walker) and it’s going to be all on you.’ And it shouldn’t because (Walker) is a very good back in his league.”

What we are seeing, Bumpus said, is a “steady” increase in touches and production from the young UCLA product.

“The first game he gets three carries for 11 yards, second game four carries for 16, third game nine for 46, and last one you’ve got five for 31,” Bumpus said. “But I’m really looking at the average, right? He averaged 3.7 per carry the first week, then four, then 5.1 and 6.2 … There’s a steady increase in what this guy is doing.”

Additionally, Bumpus thinks Charbonnet’s running style “directly complements” what Walker brings to the table.

“Ken Walker will run through you, but he’d rather run by you. Zach Charbonnet isn’t trying to run by you, he is trying to run through you. He is the enforcer,” Bumpus said. ” … He is just trying to physically hurt a man when he has the ball, and I love it. You need running backs who can do some similar things but definitely complement each other.”

That “steady increase” of Charbonnet is also something that Bumpus thinks the Seahawks are doing right.

“At first I’m thinking, man, give this man eight to 10 carriers off the top. No, you don’t need to. Why? Because the tight ends are playing well, the receivers are playing well, Ken Walker’s doing his thing. Eventually as the season goes along, we’re gonna see him getting more and more reps. I’m excited to see what he does.

Listen to the full fourth hour of Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story. 

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