Which Seahawks running back will earn starting spot?

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Jun 13, 2017; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) participates in a drill during a minicamp practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret to any of us that the Seattle Seahawks had a major offensive identity crisis throughout last season. Quarterback Russell Wilson set career highs in passing attempts, completions, yards, yards per game. But he also set a career high in interceptions.

While most of those stats are great, it also triggers an alarming bell that the Seahawks really didn’t play their usual smash mouth Seahawks football. The rushing attack we are so used to seeing on Sundays was nonexistent. Eighteen different players recorded a rushing attempt last year, and the leader was let go mid-November.

This clearly was alarming to the front office as Pete Carroll has brought in some fresh faces to the position. The real question everyone wonders is who will be taking the first carry against Green Bay in the season opener?


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The running backs with no chance are rookie tailback Chris Carson and second year runner Alex Collins. It is speculated that these two are battling it out in camp for the final running back roster spot. Commonly, a fringe player is not going to be the one taking that first hand off from Wilson. For those whom have been paying attention this camp is sure to have at least heard about the Carson hype train. Pete Carroll has often been quoted as saying Carson was “his favorite player in this draft”.

“I’m really excited about this guy. Really have high hopes for him. He’s a very physical runner in the style that we like. We might have a really competitive guy’

That really doesn’t sound all too good for the former 5th round running back from Arkansas. Collins might just be the odd man out in this back field with the emergence of Carson. Carroll has always preached competition and this position is loaded with it.

The real contenders for the honor of being the starter are between three players. A former pro bowl runner on a prove it contract. An undrafted runner wanting to prove to this fan base that he wasn’t a flash in the pan. As well as a player we saw crush his audition under the prime-time lights in New England last season. Let’s dive in like we hope to see these players dive into the end zone this upcoming season.

C.J. Prosise showcased to all of us in New England last year that when healthy, he is capable of being an absolute game changing weapon. Racking up 153 total yards from scrimmage that Sunday night, Prosise displayed a Swiss army knife like ability that these other backs don’t possess. He is a former wide receiver at Notre Dame, and he showed off his hands hauling in seven passes for 87 yards. Prosise is hands down the best dual threat running back in this group.

When on the field last year, he was just oozing talent every chance he got. The problem is that it can’t be stressed enough that the best ability is availability in this league. The injury bug really put a damper on his rookie campaign, and for Prosise a much bigger sample size is needed to give him a more serious case for the job. With sustainable health being his biggest question mark, getting consistent play out of him should be taken as a bonus for now.

Thomas Rawls is a fan favorite amongst the 12’s and why not? Rawls led the league in yards per attempt in 2015. Even in limited action that season, he was on pace to break the 1000-yard mark. But his season ended after fracturing his ankle against Baltimore in Week 14.  Rawls is unfortunately another very talented and physical runner that tends to have an injury bug. Rawls has not played a full season yet in the NFL, and only appeared in nine games last season.

When in action last season Rawls still seemed a little hampered by his prior ankle injury. He didn’t really have a Rawls like game till the playoffs in the Wild Card showdown against Detroit. 27 carries, 161 yards and a touchdown later, fans have reason to believe the future is still bright for Rawls. Rawls has indeed been running for the first team offense in preparation for Sunday’s opener in Los Angeles, but this competition is far from over.

Eddie Lacy signed a one-year deal with the team back in March and likely won’t be giving up the starting opportunity anytime soon. Lacy, a former Pro Bowl running back has statistically the best resume amongst the tail backs. What haunts Lacy the most during his career is his physical shape. Some fans have even humorously given him the nickname “feast mode’ because of his husky reputation.

The Seahawks, however, added incentives into his contract in the form of weight clauses to motivate Lacy to get into the shape Carroll desires to have him in. Fortunately for fans, he has hit all of them so far. Carroll confirmed him clearing his most recent one this past week. When in shape and healthy, Lacy is an absolute wrecking ball when sporting his downhill running. A style that Seahawk fans got used to with having a hard hitting back like Marshawn Lynch for so many years.

Overall, the competition at the competition is quite thick this season and might just be the most interesting on this team. When the dust settles after this preseason the signs might just point towards Lacy running the ball against his former team week one. While this is just pure speculation and most likely a far too early conclusion, we shall not ignore that for any of the runners to truly have success, we must see an improvement from the offensive line.

Fully aware that most of us fans are tired of hearing this but it does indeed go a long way. With the unit still looking shaky at best, Lacy has what is believed to be an edge due to his build and style of running. Opportunity is knocking for these guys, someone just has to answer it.

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