How will the Seahawks split carries in a stacked backfield?

RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks working again Kenneth Walker III was answering questions on the podium after an OTA follow earlier this month when Chad Morton, his place coach and probably the most vociferous instigator on Pete Carroll’s employees, chimed in from just a few ft away.

“They stole that Rookie of the Yr!” Morton shouted. “It ought to have been you!”

Morton, after all, was referring to how voters picked New York Jets extensive receiver Garrett Wilson because the 2022 AP Offensive Rookie of the Yr, regardless of Walker outproducing him by 5 touchdowns and greater than 100 scrimmage yards.

{Hardware} or not, no offensive ability participant was extra productive final season than Walker, which made it a shock when Seattle spent the 52nd total decide on UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet to be their RB2.

It was a digital certainty that the Seahawks would draft at the least one working again. Rashad Penny and Travis Homer had simply left in free company, which meant their backfield was all the way down to Walker and DeeJay Dallaswho’s coming into the final yr of his rookie deal. However the second spherical, the place Seattle drafted Walker a yr in the past, was sooner than usually anticipated.

It raised eyebrows, and the apparent query of how Seattle plans to divvy up the workload. Walker remains to be the clear-cut RB1, but it surely’s exhausting to think about that the Seahawks drafted Charbonnet as early as they did to solely give him the ball 5 or 6 occasions a sport.

Charbonnet (6-foot-0, 214) has proven the comfortable fingers to be an element within the passing sport, however he’s additionally seemed lots comfy working in between the tackles, albeit within the non-contact setting of spring practices.

“You get that true professional really feel from the man instantly,” offensive coordinator Shane Waldron stated. “He’s actually critical about his enterprise, and then you definitely discover his dimension and velocity at working again. I do know you possibly can’t inform a complete lot about what’s going to occur when the pads go on once we’re out right here proper now, however you do get the texture the place he’s taking part in at a excessive tempo. He’s an enormous again, he’s obtained a toughness about him, and he’s actually gathering the entire data and choosing up the offense shortly.”

Neither Waldron nor Carroll have given any indication of what the division of labor will appear like in Seattle’s backfield; they might not even know till the pads come on in coaching camp. However each have made intriguing feedback concerning the working backs’ potential to contribute as pass-catchers.

The Seahawks have by no means closely featured their working backs within the passing sport underneath any of the 4 offensive coordinators Carroll has employed in Seattle. Within the final 5 seasons, they’ve ranked between twentieth and thirty second in targets to working backs. However they maybe have by no means had a backfield with as many adept pass-catchers as this one.

In accordance with ESPN Stats & Info, seventh-round decide Kenny McIntosh was one in every of solely two gamers in FBS final yr with 500 dashing and 500 receiving yards. His 504 receiving yards at Georgia had been third-most amongst working backs in FBS. He had 43 receptions final season whereas Charbonnet had 37. Each might be mistaken for extensive receivers with now easy they appear catching the ball.

“Yeah, they’re catchers, for positive,” Carroll stated. “Kenny is a extremely pure athlete, you possibly can simply see it in every thing that he does. Zach does every thing properly. He simply is an entire ballplayer. He is already proven his understanding and his instincts about blocking within the passing sport — not the bodily aspect of it, however his assignments and his footwork and stuff like that. We have simply obtained to throw them on the market and begin handing the ball to them, see what occurs and see who produces and all.

“I do know [Walker] has been actually impressed with these guys too, and for a man to say stuff about his younger teammates like that — he is come out and been outspoken about it — that is an announcement. So they appear actually good.”

Walker rushed for 1,050 yards and 9 touchdowns on 228 carries final season, tops amongst rookies in all three classes. After catching solely 13 passes in 2021 at Michigan State, he completed with 27 catches for 165 yards.

That gave him 1,215 scrimmage yards and 9 touchdowns on 255 touches in 15 video games (he missed the opener following hernia surgical procedure and one sport in December with a foot harm).

Wilson’s stat line: 1,107 yards, 4 touchdowns on 87 touches in 17 video games.

Which is why Walker thought he was going to be named OROY up till the second that Wilson was introduced the winner. He really acquired yet one more first-place vote than Wilson, however the Jets receiver obtained greater than twice as many second-place votes. Walker known as Wilson a “nice participant” whereas admitting to being “kinda annoyed” by the snub.

“However you realize, it occurs,” Walker stated. “I can’t make these choices. I’ve simply obtained to return out right here and do my greatest and get higher.”

Whereas raving about Walker’s offseason, Carroll gave an unprompted point out of the work he put in on his pass-catching.

“He is labored so exhausting with the receivers,” Carroll stated. “He is labored full-speed day after day after day. His confidence, his explosiveness, his quickness, his potential to run the routes and catch the ball, he is doing every thing. He is catching punts. He is catching kickoffs. He is doing every thing he can probably do, and he is having a blast. His angle and spirit is simply such an incredible praise too, coming off the season that he had.

“I am glad we have got quite a lot of guys at that spot. We’re not going to overuse him within the early a part of preseason … however he is able to go. He is had pretty much as good of an offseason as you can have, actually.”

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Revealed : 2023-06-26 12:21:15

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