Seattle Seahawks: Running Backs by Committee?
Pete Carroll was known at USC when he had ample talent available for playing a series of running backs who would comprise a committee. Will this be the case in his first season with the Seattle Seahawks?
There are advantages to playing more than two people at the position when the opportunity is available. It is one way to help minimize injury. Also, by having fresher backs with fewer carries, they will tend to sustain fewer injuries and be in a better position to launch explosive long gainers.
As will be seen, Carroll has a group mainly of shorter, more powerful and compact backs.
After playing backup to Cal Bears star Marshawn Lynch, Forsett got his chance in his senior year and made it pay off with a big season. He also performed well on those occasions when Lynch was injured. Forsett stands at 5'8" and is a compact 198 pounds.
Last season as backup to Julius Jones he showed what he was capable of achieving. A shorter, explosive type runner, Forsett has the low center of gravity and quick starting thrust.
Forsett’s performance last season established him as a crowd favorite. Many Seahawk fans would love to see him as starter if Carroll opts for something other than a committee approach.
Ganther put together an impressive senior season at Utah, gaining 1,120 yards and a nifty 5.5 per carry average. He added 314 yards on receptions and had eight total touchdowns.
After being drafted by the Tennessee Titans, Ganther was given scant opportunity either there or with his next team, the Washington Redskins.
Jones had a superb college career, setting all kinds of team records at Notre Dame for rushing and returns.
Last season the 5'10" 208-pound Jones was first team running back. Many Seattle fans complained that he was outplayed by his backup Forsett, but then again, 2009 was a strange year to calculate performance wise for running backs considering the blocking problems the Seahawks encountered in a dreary 5-11 season.
If Pete Carroll decides to go with a tandem arrangement the betting nods would almost certainly establish Jones and Forsett as the likely choices to be selected.
Rankin is an obvious sentimental favorite with Seattle fans. Born and raised in Stockton, California, he performed for the Washington Huskies and was chosen second team Pac-10 in his senior season of 2007.
The second team all-conference status is particularly impressive in view of the fact that the blocking was not that reliable in a Tyrone Willingham program that was sliding downhill and would implode one year later with a winless season and the coach being fired.
Rankin is a trim and muscular 6'1", 205 pounds. He is a good kick returner and in his final game, the traditional Apple Cup in Husky Stadium against Washington State, he took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
After a great high school career in Jacksonville the 5'8" 202-pound Washington was unsurprisingly coveted by major state power Florida State. As a freshman he changed positions from cornerback to running back.
The 28-year-old Washington was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He was with the Jets from 2006 to 2009. Washington is also in the explosive mold, a short, stocky runner, as are the other aforementioned runners with the exception of Rankin.
In four seasons with the Jets Washington rushed for 1,782 yards on 370 carries for a 4.8 average and 13 touchdowns. As a receiver he chalked up 969 yards on 123 receptions and scored two touchdowns.