Notebook: Seahawks RB Chris Carson welcomes pass-catcher role
Earlier this week, Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk that he wants to have running back Chris Carson more involved in the passing game. After practice Tuesday, Carson said he’s welcoming the challenge.
Last year, the 24-year-old Carson became the first Seahawks running back since 2014 to amass more than 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. Unlike peers Ezekiel Elliot, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey, however, Carson finished with fewer than 200 receiving yards.
Carson’s 20 receptions and 163 receiving yards ranked second-to-last among all 1,000-yard rushers – though to his credit, that’s more a result of play-calling than anything else, which is what Schottenheimer is working to fix.
“He’s doing a lot with the running backs,” Carson said about Schottenheimer, who is entering his second year in Seattle. “He’s splitting them out wide, putting them in different spots around the field. He’s using us more in pass-catching than what he did in the previous year. It’s fun for us… All the running backs have great hands, it’s good to see us finally be able to use it.”
While there’s certainly plans to have him more involved as a receiver, Carson continues to look speedy and powerful as a runner. In Tuesday’s practice he had a gain of about 20 yards on one handoff from Wilson, and on another play took advantage of a hole for a gain up the middle.
Bo Scarbrough and J.D. McKissic were also heavily involved, primarily with a Paxton Lynch-led No. 2 offense (Geno Smith, who normally leads the second team, was sidelined Tuesday). Lynch had a nice completion to wide receiver Terry Wright but also saw a pass batted down by defensive end Barkevious Mingo and another tipped pass intercepted by strong safety Marwin Evans.
Mingo talks transition to DE
Speaking of Mingo, the former first-round pick has transitioned from strongside linebacker to defensive end this offseason, a position he played from 2010-12 while at LSU.
“I’m enjoying it a lot, man,” Mingo said of the opportunity to get after the quarterback. “I get to go back to what I did in college. That’s kind of what got me here in the NFL. Being able to do this again, I’m enjoying the opportunity.”
Mingo had a strong series against Lynch, with the batted pass on one play and pressure on another. But the transition brings its own learning curve; he paid for an offside penalty on another play by running laps afterward.
“Take a shot, you know,” Mingo said with a laugh after practice when asked about the penalty. “I was obviously wrong that time. But hey, if you’re not getting off you’re not ever going to get there… Obviously you don’t want to jump offsides, but get as close as possible where you may get the call or you may not get the call, but that’s where you get those tackles kicking back.”
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner – who recently underwent a “lower-body procedure,” likely platelet-rich plasma therapy, according to The Seattle Times – remained out Tuesday. Also out was quarterback Geno Smith, running back C.J. Prosise, guard Mike Iupati (foot), guard Demetrius Knox, tight end Jacob Hollister (groin), linebacker Justin Currie and defensive tackle Nazair Jones.
Linebacker Cody Barton (groin) returned to practice in a limited fashion, participating in conditioning drills only. Defensive lineman Rasheem Green (elbow) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks were full participants.