3 significant questions for Seattle Seahawks at running back

Seattle Seahawks
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When it comes to the offensive focus for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2023 season, the running back position isn't the first one (or even the third position group) to be mentioned. From the team's loaded wide receiving corps to the concerns along the offensive line to the underrated cadre of tight ends assembled, the Seahawks' offense has a lot of various talking points—both good and bad—that typically overshadow the backfield.

Within the offensive backfield, however, there are some significant questions or concerns that will still require the attention of the coaching staff and front office, even if not too many persons are focused on any potential issues coming into another year.

Given some offseason changes to the choices at running back this spring, the Seahawks are hoping some new faces will fit right in, some older faces won't be missed, and that the team's rushing attack can take advantage of defenses keyed in on slowing Geno Smith and the passing attack.

Lets look at some significant questions for the Seahawks coming out of the backfield.

Will Kenneth Walker demand more touches in 2023?

This question is less of a concern, at least for the Seahawks, and more of a threat for opponents given how good Walker looked last year as a rookie in limited play.

That 4.6 yards/rush average was a healthy total for a first-year back Last year, Walker was a true revelation when stepping in for Rashaad Penny for the Seahawks due to injury (although Penny looked great as well and we've got more on him in a moment) with 228 carries for 1,050 rushing yards and 9 scores in only 11 starts—that 4.6 yards/rush average was a healthy total for a first-year back. He also caught 27 of 35 targets for another 165 yards through the air.

While Walker's totals look very good for a rookie campaign, the truth is things could have been even better. First, he only had 15 total carries for 58 yards through the first quarter of the season sitting behind Rashaad Penny on the bench. It wasn't until Week 5 that Walker came on strong and then took over after Penny was lost for the season due to injury (more on him in a minute). Imagine what he can do as a lead back with a 17-game season in front of him.

Second, the offensive line in front of Walker was hardly doing him any favors. Outside, the tackles for the Seahawks were inexperienced and overmatched as the season progressed. The learning curve was going to be steep when rolling with younger options, but Seattle needed further help there. Even worse was an interior o-line that ranked among the league's worst. If not for Damien Lewis, this line would have been a complete disaster.

Last year, the Seahawks ranked No. 22 overall in the number of carries on the year, and after drafting wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, it's hard to believe that number is going to climb. Yet it's easy to see how Walker could have potentially put up the sort of numbers to keep him in conversation with the most productive backs in football. But the coaching staff will have to emphasize Walker's talents while the line will have to do their job better.