Tom Cable on Seahawks’ running game: ‘We have to stay us’ despite changing personnel

Dec 24, 2015, 12:38 PM | Updated: 12:45 pm
Seattle’s running game didn’t miss a beat last week with Christine Michael and two othe...
Seattle's running game didn't miss a beat last week with Christine Michael and two others splitting carries. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – For all the instability in their backfield this season, the Seahawks’ commitment to running the ball and the effectiveness with which they’ve done so has remained the same.

Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls have gone down, DuJuan Harris got a brief shot and now Christine Michael and Bryce Brown are taking their turns. Yet there the Seahawks are again among the league leaders in rushing, 19 yards behind top-ranked Buffalo.

Offensive-line coach Tom Cable, who coordinates Seattle’s running game, was asked on Wednesday how validating it was that the Seahawks rushed for 182 yards against Cleveland behind the trio of Michael, Brown and Derrick Coleman, who accounted for 137 of them 30 carries.

Cable said quarterback Russell Wilson “did a nice job of getting us in some good plays throughout that game, and then guys blocked it pretty well and guys ran it pretty well. So I think collectively they all kinda dug in on this thing.”

“We have to stay us,” Cable added, noting that with other teams, all the turnover at tailback “would throw a big curve ball at you and what you’re trying to do. But for us, we need to be able to do and be who we are in order for this to fit – defensively, special teams, offense. It’s by design.”

With Lynch out indefinitely, Michael and Brown would appear to be in line to handle the majority of the workload given how much more effective they were Sunday than Coleman, who gained 10 yards on five carries. Michael carried 16 times for 84 yards while Brown gained 43 yards on nine carries.

“I think both this kids did really well for their first time out, being put in that position,” Cable said of Michael and Brown. “They’re obviously different style of runners but both of them performed I think really, really well in a short period of time. So it’s nice to have them back this week. Now … they’re getting the reps and getting the work the second week here in a row, so that should help him.”

Here’s a bit more of what Cable said during his media availability on Wednesday:

• Cable had some interesting comments about Lynch when asked whether or not he’s counting on him to return at some point this season. Cable first noted the uncertainty with Lynch’s health, but the rest of his response is open to interpretation. Cable said that the biggest challenge for Lynch whenever he returns will be “for him to come back in and be able to adapt to this football team and the way it is and the way it acts and the way it’s moving right now collectively. So that will be his challenge, but right now his No. 1 thing is getting healthy.”

• Asked what he’s seeing differently from Michael in his second stint with the Seahawks, Cable responded: “I would probably echo what he said. I think he’s taking the opportunity very seriously, and it’s good to see that, really.”

• Cable gave this assessment of the way Alvin Bailey played at left tackle Sunday when he replaced Russell Okung, who went down with a calf injury. “Good. He was solid. He didn’t do anything that hurt us and he didn’t do anything spectacular, he just really did his job and that’s what we’re asking him to do.”

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