State Of The Seahawks: Running Backs

Rookie Running Back Robert Turbin
Photo credit: Bleacher Report

This is the latest installment of our “State of the Seahawks” series. Click here to view the state of the quarterback position. 

Last year the Seahawks running attack was the vocal point of the offense, spearheaded by the pro bowl tandem of Marshawn Lynch and Michael Robinson. But then Marshawn had a little too much beast mode for one night.

On July 17, Lynch got charged with driving under the influence after he was arrested near his hometown of Oakland. His court date is set for August 14, conveniently right in the middle of training camp.

What’s really concerning is the fact that Lynch has gotten in trouble with the law before, which includes a suspicion of sexual assault, a hit and run incident, and a misdemeanor gun charge. Add this recent DUI to the list and NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell might have no choice but to slap a 4 to 6 game suspension on Marshawn.

OK, so let’s say Lynch is suspended for the first 6 games of the season. Who would take his spot as lead rusher?

We all know about the rushing abilities Leon Washington: Can occasionally break for a nice 15-yard gain and has the ability to catch swing passes… but that’s about it. He’s not a reliable option to handle the load of 25+ rushes a game.

Pete Carroll, knowing that he wasn’t going to keep backup Justin Forsett around, drafted a running back out of Utah State in the fourth round with the name of Robert Turbin. Turbin rushed for over 1500 yards and 19 touchdowns his junior season and developed a reputation as one of the best “bruiser” backs in college football.

He won’t blow you away with his speed, but Turbin has a nice burst to get to the second level and is similar to Marshawn Lynch in a lot of ways. But putting your entire running game and basically your entire offense on one 4th round running back isn’t a very reliable option.

The only other rushing options the Seahawks have are NFL wanderers Kregg Lumpkin and Tyrell Sutton. They will probably be buying time on the practice squad or coming up if Washingon or Turbin gets hurt.

If Lynch is suspended, Carroll will probably try to create a running back tandem in Turbin and Washington. But if we learned anything from the dark days of the Forsett-Washington tandem, is that it doesn’t work without at least one standout back like Lynch.

There’s really no way to get around the fact that without Lynch, the Seahawks will inevitably struggle. Whenever the Hawks get one-dimensional they usually run into problems; once the other team’s defense knows that Seattle has given up running the ball, they can just drop back 8 guys into coverage and boom, game over.

All we can do now is hope that Rodger Goodell likes Skittles and/or Top Pot doughnuts. If not, Pete Carroll better get ready to throw the ball.

- Nathan Parsons (@nathanparsons98