The Seattle Seahawks will use Thursday nights (7 p.m PT) exhibition against the Dallas Cowboys to reestablish their identity. Not to assert that the Seahawks have had an identity crisis, merely pointing out that the emergence of quarterback Russell Wilson as one of the top quarterback in the league and the retirement of Marshawn Lynch has some believing the Seattle Seahawks are shifting from their historic identity as a running football team to a passing team.
Long before beast mode, there was ” Ground Chuck”. A reference to former head coach Chuck Knox emphasis on the run. The Seahawks have a rich history of elite running backs, Shaun Alexander (2000-2008),Chris Warren (1990-1997), Curt Warner (1983-1990), and current running backs coach and the franchise first running back Sherman Smith (1976-1982) who is also the current running backs coach.
” We look for a running back who can make people miss and be a physical runner at the same time, said Smith during this weeks minicamp.” We want player who is productive, dependable and able to take care of the football.”
All systems seem to be ago last season when Thomas Rawls amply filled in for Lynch who was bothered by an abdomen injury before his off season retirement. When Rawls went down with a fractured ankle against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14th the Seahawks had to improvise and the success made many wonder if they would abandon the run.
Despite skepticism from individuals individuals outside of the organization, the Seahawks continued to talk about how they are a run first team regardless of who is carrying the ball.
The Seahawks just didn’t talk about being a run first team they acted, the team promptly drafted C.J Prosise, Alex Collins and Zac Brooks during this years draft and signed free agents Troymaine Pope and Christine Micheal.
The acquisitions were not an indictment on wether Rawls would fully recover from his injury but more a statement about the teams commitment to the running game. Rawls has had a productive rehab and is slated to be the starter on opening day. From there the picture gets muddled.
C.J. Prosise and Zac Brooks have been hampered by hamstring injuries and both need a good game on Thursday night to convince coaches they can play a significant role in the teams offense. Prosise will be making his preseason with the team while Brooks had two carries for ten yards in last Thursdays 18 to 11 losss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Two players who raised eyebrows in the lost to the Vikings where , Troymaine Pope and Christian Michael. Pope finished the night with 86yards and a touchdown on ten carries, while Michael had 55 yards on ten carries. Alex Collins had 13 yards on six carries.
With the Seattle starters expected to play past the third quarter, Thursday will provide opportunity for the players to improve their chances of making the team.
” The running back look good, we are handling all of the situations well, and we are putting up some good numbers,” said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell after a team workout this week. ” That’s where we are, that’s who we are and that’s where we want to start.I like where we are at.”
Fast forward to Thursday nights game and what you have is an opportunity for the players to leave a positive impression on the coaching staff as deadlines for roster cuts approach.
Roster cut down dates
Tuesday, August 30 90-man roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players by 1 p.m. (PT) Saturday, September 3 Roster reduction to 53 players by 1 p.m. (PT)
Sunday, September 4 Clubs may establish practice squad of 10 players