Justin Forsett Deserves To Start Over Julius Jones: Seattle's RB Controversy

Todd WilliamsCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2009

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 29:  Justin Forsett #20 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 29, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Seahawks beat the Rams 27-17.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Usually, the controversial story lines for NFL teams entail two quarterbacks.  In those situations, two players demonstrate the ability to produce and lead an offense.

Seattle has gone through this in the past with a young Matt Hasselbeck and Trent Dilfer.

It usually comes down to a couple factors: Who is going to make my team win right now, and who is the future at that position? If a team is out of playoff contention, one usually sides with the future; conversely, if the playoffs are still within reach you stick with who makes you win now.

What if the player who looks to be more a part of the future is also currently producing better than the incumbent starter?

Take a look at the situation here in Seattle for the 2009 season. Let’s call them players A and B.

Player A has 392 yards on 107 carries. That works out to 3.7 yards a carry. He has also produced two touchdowns. He has also caught 20 passes out of the backfield for 177 yards.

Player B has 385 yards on 67 carries. His average is 5.7 yards a carry and has punched the ball into the end zone four times. This player has also added 29 catches and 246 yards receiving the ball out of the backfield.

So whom would you start? Most would choose the more productive player in B, correct?

Not so if you are Seahawks coach Jim Mora. Mora has insisted on going with Player A, the Week-One starter, Julius Jones.

In Mora’s defense, he has stated that they will split time and has told Seattle media that Forsett is "earning" more carries as he goes.

The question is, what exactly is he waiting for Forsett to prove?

It is true that Jones is a more proven commodity. His career has been more traditional than Forsett, who has been cut before. Julius has proven his worth in a six-year career that has involved getting traded and replaced a starter, but never cut. Justin, on the other hand, is still proving what he can do in his first full year at running back.

The problem is, Jones has proven to be one thing—fairly average. He isn’t a poor running back. His career yards per carry of four are fairly average. Everything about his career screams "average." Which is fine—he is consistent and you know what you to expect out of him.

Seattle, however, is not in the middle of a playoff hunt. While mathematically still possible, not many people consider the Seahawks a real playoff threat at this time. If we were in a position where we just needed a steady run game, then maybe Julius is the right guy for balance if he could remain healthy.

That isn’t the situation Seattle finds itself in, and in a year like this production should trump experience. Forsett has had more than just a token amount of carries thanks to Jones' injury, and by looking at the stats it is obvious he is more than holding his own this year. His 5.7 yards a carry is more than Jones has ever averaged.

Why not give Justin a chance the rest of this year? You are not suffering any loss in production—the guy is producing more than Jones—and by having him shoulder the load the rest of the year we know how much of a priority drafting a RB is.

The jury is still out on Forsett, and I think that is the strongest argument to give him the starting role over Jones. We know what we have with Jones, and it is average, but Justin gives us glimpses that he can be the more productive than Julius.

Forsett has had bad games as well and needs more time carrying the load to prove he is durable enough. At this point though, what do we have to lose by giving him that shot?

Come on Coach Mora, Let the kid run!