Motivated LenDale White Will Replace Julius Jones in Seattle

Chris CluffCorrespondent IIApril 27, 2010

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 23:  Running back LenDale White #25 of the Tennessee Titans smiles during the game with the Houston Texans on November 23, 2009  at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With word floating around that the Seahawks have been shopping running back Julius Jones in a trade for the past few days, it is clear that, as expected, he will not be a Seahawk for much longer.  

That’s the result of the two trades that brought LenDale White and Leon Washington to the shores of Lake Washington. It’s an LW thing, apparently.

Because White and Washington are each signed only for this year, both backs should be sufficiently motivated to perform well.

White has always been a quirky guy, and his weight was an issue in his first three years in Tennessee. But he lost 45 pounds last offseason (by giving up tequila, he said) and is eager to get back on the field after basically redshirting 2009 behind 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson.

White accepted responsibility for his role in things not working out with the Titans, who drafted him in the second round in 2006 but gave him only 64 carries in 2009. And he sounds quite motivated to be reunited with Pete Carroll, who coached him at USC when White and Reggie Bush were tearing up college defenses.

“It is great to know you are now going somewhere where they want you,” White told the Tennessean over the weekend. “Why didn't it work out in Tennessee? I have to blame myself some, I guess. But with that said, it was obviously time for me to move on.

“If I would have come into camp every year in shape and on time from the beginning, maybe things would have been different,” White said. “But last year I showed progress. And I lost 45 pounds in one offseason and was keeping it there. I was busting my butt. I worked hard…But what I had done in the past caught up to me, I guess.

“I know people heard about things like me being late for a team meeting and not getting to play. But I practiced and I busted my butt regardless of not getting any carries.”

Even though he was overweight, White ran for 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns in his second season and then scored 15 times in 2008.

He’s obviously hungry to get back on track and should be able to do that under Carroll. At USC in 2004 and 2005, he rushed for 2,405 yards and 39 touchdowns.

“I didn't feel like I could become the kind of player I wanted to become at Tennessee because of past history of things, maybe things that weren't always right,” White said. “But I'm not mad about it at all. I get another chance to prove myself.”

Meanwhile, Washington gets a chance to prove he can come back from a broken leg. Peter King of SI.com reports that Seattle’s team doctors talked to the Jets’ doctors about the running back’s recovery from a broken tibia and fibula. The Seahawks are obviously optimistic that he will be back in time for the season, and Washington said he has been running on the leg for several weeks.

If Jones is out, what does this all mean for Justin Forsett?

While Forsett played well last season, he has limitations. Yes, he runs hard and requires more than one defender to drag down. And he can catch well.

But he’s just not fast enough. He gets caught from behind a lot, and that’s what will take him out of the third-down set, assuming Washington is healthy.

And, with White being bigger and just as “fast” (they both ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.6 range at the Combine), Forsett figures to get bumped back to backup. He’ll most likely have to hold off Quinton Ganther for the No. 3 spot.


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