Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks have embarrassment of riches at RB

Nov 16, 2018, 2:10 PM | Updated: 2:39 pm
Seahawks RB Chris Carson is on pace for 928 rushing yards this season. (AP)...
Seahawks RB Chris Carson is on pace for 928 rushing yards this season. (AP)

A year after posting the worst running attack in Pete Carroll’s tenure – a season that saw just one rushing touchdown from a running back and no more than 240 yards from any individual back – the Seahawks have turned things around on the ground.

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After Thursday night’s win over the Packers, Carroll talked about each of Seattle’s running backs and the team’s overall depth at the position during a Friday morning interview with Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle. (Hear the full interview in the audio clip embedded above or watch video of the full interview here.)

“We’re very fortunate,” Carroll said. “I can’t even believe we’re talking about the depth at running back after the last two years of suffering through it.

“Mike (Davis) doesn’t like to hear this, but when we went into training camp last year Mike was the sixth running back on the roster. And Mike wound up starting and playing really well for us at the end of the year. But we went through all those guys to get to that, and now we’re just in a different realm.”

The Seahawks started off their 2017 season with 2015 rushing leader Thomas Rawls as the presumed starter and former Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy as a high-profile addition from free agency. Seventh-round pick Chris Carson impressed during training camp but didn’t take on the bulk of the carries until Week 2 of the regular season, when he rushed for 93 yards.

Carson’s promising rookie campaign was cut short when he suffered an ankle injury in Week 4. Fellow back C.J. Prosise also landed on the injured reserve list, and both Rawls and Lacy finished the season with less than 200 yards apiece. Davis ended up being Seattle’s lead running back and finished his first season with the Seahawks with 240 yards.

Last season wasn’t a sudden drop-off in production for Seattle’s run game. The Seahawks haven’t had a running back accrue more than 1,000 yards in a single season since Marshawn Lynch did it in 2014. Chris Carson is on pace to come close to that mark this year – ESPN projects him to finish the season with 928 yards, and that’s in the midst of Seattle’s three-back rotation.

Carroll told Huard and Salk what he sees from Carson, Davis, and rookie Rashaad Penny.

“Let’s start with Mike,” Carroll said. “Mike is a really, really savvy runner and he’s really got good quickness and fit into the hole. He just seems to have a knack for knowing when to be aggressive. He’ll punch you right in the mouth when he gets his chance at times. He’s just been really versatile.

“Chris has got a real style to him. I love his style. He’s got that kind of lateral footwork, a little bit like Marshawn had, back and forth and can make you miss. He’s got some hops in him too, you can see that at times. And he’s a really good ball catcher – all these guys can catch. Chris has just got a real style about him that I really like; I’ve always fallen for it kind of.”

As for the lone rookie in the rotation, first-round pick Penny: “Rashaad has unbelievable feet. He’s got such quick feet. And he’s 230 (pounds) and he’s got great speed. He’s probably the fastest of those three guys. So you put those elements together. He’s got big plays in him obviously. That’s what we’re seeing. So hopefully we can keep mixing it. It’s just unfortunate, he sprained his ankle on his big run (in the first quarter against Green Bay). I didn’t know how bad it was, it didn’t turn out to be bad… but he came back and did a nice job.”

Carroll also mentioned Seattle’s two other running backs: J.D. McKissic, who will return this week from the injured reserve list, and C.J. Prosise.

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