Time To Unleash The Sea-Hulk


Oct 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Robert Turbin (22) runs with the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

When the Seahawks drafted Christine Michael with their first pick in the 2013 draft it was a bit of a head scratcher to say the least.  At the time the Seahawks already had a dominant running back in Marshawn Lynchand a capable backup in Robert Turbin. However, as the days went on Seahawks fans were able to talk themselves into the pick. Perhaps Lynch would be sharing the load a little bit more this year? After all Michael is a pretty special talent with an element of breakaway speed that the Seahawks backfield lacks. As the New York Giants are finding out now, it never hurts to have a couple of running backs because injuries tend to strike at that position. Also it’s hard to fault John Schneider for sticking to his “best player available” policy even when it means choosing to add depth as opposed to fill holes.

As the 2013 season has carried on it appears that Christine Michael is not going to be making a major contribution in the short term. So far, Michael has 9 carries for 37 yards and has been a non factor in this offense. The primary reason for that being that he has been unable to unseat Robert Turbin for the 2nd running back spot. If one had to guess the assumption would be that he lacks the pass protection or route running acumen at this point because that is almost always the reason that young running backs don’t play. This isn’t to say that Turbin is a chump who Michael should clearly be ahead of on the depth chart because he’s a very solid back in his own right. In fact, Turbin’s ability is what brings me to the topic of today’s article.

With Robert Turbin and Christine Michael on the roster it seems like the Seahawks would be looking to share the rock a little bit more, but that really hasn’t been the case this year. Here’s a look at Robert Turbin’s statistics on a per game basis in 2013:


Attempts per Game

Rushing Yards per Game

Yards Per Carry

Receptions per Game

Receiving Yards Per Game

Yards per Reception
















I included the yards per carry and yards per reception here to make it clear that Turbin’s performance has not fallen off in a meaningful way. The Sea-Hulk is ready to go but he’s just not getting the ball. I’m not in any way trying to make the claim that Turbin is as good as Lynch and should be splitting carries with him 50-50, but it seems like a little bit more sharing wouldn’t hurt. Marshawn Lynch is 27, firmly middle aged for a running back and he is dealing with a nagging hip issue. It seems logical to ease his load slightly; the problem is the exact opposite has happened this year:


Lynch’s Carries

Lynch’s Carries as a % of Carries by Seahawks Running Backs











This isn’t to say that Lynch is on the verge of breaking down. It just seems that as he gets older he should be getting less carries rather than more. This is especially true given that Seattle has not one but two talented running backs sitting behind him. Seattle is gearing up for a playoff run and it’s likely to be a long season around these parts. That’s a beautiful thing, but this coaching staff has to make sure that Marshawn makes it to the end of this marathon of a season. The answer is simple. Get the Sea Hulk involved.