Seattle Seahawks Position Breakdown: Running Back

NFL News And RumorsAnalyst IMay 23, 2009

SEATTLE - AUGUST 29:  Running back Justin Forsett #30 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the Oakland Raiders at Qwest Field on August 29, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Raiders 23-16. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

(Current RB’s: Starter- Julius Jones, TJ Duckett, Justin Forsett, Devin Moore)

In the 2007 offseason, the Seahawks completely reshaped their RB situation. They signed Dallas castoff Julius Jones to a four-year/$14 million deal to be the feature back.

They grabbed former Atlanta Falcons RB TJ Duckett with a five-year/$18 million contract to be the short yardage specialist. He was let go by the Lions after a largely unproductive season.

They drafted elusive RB Justin Forsett out of Cal in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. 

Forsett lit it up in the preseason, gaining 248 yards on 46 carries, He shined in the KR role, and gave Seattle fans a potential glimpse at the next Darren Sproles (San Diego Chargers RB).

Devin Moore is an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming who had a productive college career, rushing for 2,963 yards and 15 TD’s.

The Seahawks let longtime RB Maurice Morris walk in free agency this offseason. He signed a three-year/$7 million contract with the Detroit Lions.

With Morris gone, Julius Jones will be the feature back in an offense transitioning to the Zone Blocking Scheme. He is referred to as a one cut type RB, the type of RB who flourishes in the Zone Scheme the Seahawks are converting to in 2009.

After two fumbles in a 34-9 loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Jones was benched in favor of Morris. For the final six games he was in coach Holmgren’s doghouse. He  only carried the ball 19 times the rest of the season.

Jones has a lot to prove after being a mediocre player for the majority of his career. He has only topped 1000 yards rushing once in his five year career. This is a pivotal season for him and he should be hungry and out to prove that he is capable of being a true feature back with Morris now gone.

TJ Duckett will be the short yardage specialist next season, and for years to come. He thrived in the role in 2008, and was one of the few bright spots in a dismal season. He punched in 8 TD’s and was an effective 15/18 on short yardage attempts of two yards or less.

He should see an expanded role under Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp, whom under he enjoyed his most success in Atlanta. In the three straight seasons, Atlanta boasted the No. 1 rushing attack, Duckett posted a 4.0 YPC average and scored 27 TD’s.

Justin Forsett might see an expanded role in the offense as well, although it is too early to tell. He is only a second year player and is very raw, he has plenty of talent and upside. He will be a special teams player who will handle a good portion of the KR/PR duties.

Devin Moore is a roster hopeful who will compete with Justin Forsett for the third, and likely final RB spot on the roster. Look for the Seahawks to relegate him to the practice squad rather then outright cutting him if he doesn’t make the active roster.

The Seahawks are equipped with a fresh a new Zone Blocking Scheme, and an Offensive Coordinator who knows how to run the ball (offenses never finished below 10th in rushing).

They are poised for a breakout season running the ball. Success in the ground game will translate to success in their passing game. Passing is something they have done well in recent years (except for 2008).

No one expects anything from Seattle in 2009, I say, prove them wrong, let's run the ball down their throats boys.