By John Boyle
So remember when Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell caused a bit of a stir last week when he brought up that the Seahawks would have a “running back by committee” approach in 2014? Well on Monday Bevell backed off from that statement, which he made at the team’s town hall event last week, saying he meant that to describe how things were being done in organized team activities.
“I was referring to a question at that thing, and I was thinking more out here — we’re kind of rolling (through) all those guys, we really like what we’re seeing from them, just kind of moving them around,” Bevell said. “That’s not our policy, it’s not something that we talk about or do that way, so it was just something I threw out there really thinking about the OTAs.”
In other words, Marshawn Lynch is still Seattle’s featured back, even if Christine Michael does get more work this season, which is what everyone is expecting for last year’s second-round pick.
Asked about Michael and Robert Turbin, who are getting the bulk of the work with Lynch choosing not to attend these voluntary workouts, Bevell said, “We really like what we’re seeing. Both the guys have really been working hard, they’ve worked hard at the details. They’ve come a long way, particularly Christine Michael from last year to this year. Robert’s working extremely hard out here as well, finishing his runs; you see him running all the way to the end zone. So those guys are just doing a really nice job working.”
On what Michael needs to do better, Bevell said, “Just the attention to detail, becoming a professional football player and kind of taking it like it’s his job. I think there were some distractions going on for him a little bit, and he just really needed to focus in on the details of things — footwork, reads, assignments and all those kinds of things that he’s really doing right now. He’s really kind of turned a page on last year and we really like what we’re seeing right now.”
Pete Carroll was also asked about his running backs, and said, “This has been great for them. Christine has made the most progress, he had the farthest to come. Turbo continues to work really well. Turbo got his knee cleaned up, which has really helped him. Those guys are right on it, really doing well in pass protection and pass assignments — in the passing game both guys have shown they can help us — so it’s been a great offseason for those guys.”
On Michael, Carroll agreed with Bevell’s assessment that the young running back’s improvement is more mental than physical: “It’s just a little bit of everything, just maturing into the role. It’s hard for guys who have been star players to come in and have to fit into a backup position and understand how you’ve got to focus and study and all that kind of stuff. Just really regular rookie stuff is what he had to get through. We had a veteran group and we were flying and there was separation between him and the other guys. He’s really closed in on them now.”