Carson, a seventh-round pick and the star of the preseason, carried the ball only six times for 39 yards in Sunday’s 17-9 loss, but he looked like Seattle’s best option.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Rookie Chris Carson did not solve the Seahawks’ jumbled running back situation in his first NFL game. But he did, at the least, make the case that he should be a big part of the answer.
Carson, a seventh-round draft choice and the star of the preseason, carried the ball only six times for 39 yards in the 17-9 defeat Sunday against the Packers, but he looked like Seattle’s best option.
That statement comes with caveats: Presumed starter Thomas Rawls didn’t play because of an ankle injury, and 30 of Carson’s yards came on one impressive run, and the offensive line struggled, and it’s a tiny sample size. But all we have is that small sample size. And in that small sample size, Carson looked like a part of the Seahawks’ immediate future: big, physical and, frankly, more explosive than veteran Eddie Lacy.
Lacy carried the ball five times for just 3 yards, and the Seahawks gave him only one carry after halftime. Carson, on the other hand, had five of his six carries after halftime.
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“I feel like I did good, but there’s always something I need to go back and work on,” Carson said. “Work on my conditioning, for one, so I can stay out there longer.”
“There were a lot of times I was out there and felt like I wasn’t going as hard as I needed to be because I was tired,” he said. “That’s something I need to go back and work on. Just being able to last for a long drive.”
It called to mind a story receiver Doug Baldwin told during training camp, when Carson pulled off a big run and then asked out. Baldwin ran up to him, and as he recalled for reporters, told Carson, “Get your ass back in there. If you want to be a part of our tribe, if you want to be a part of this organization, you’ve got to be a little bit tougher than that.”
That’s something Carson will have to work on. But if nothing else, he looks like a Seahawks’ running back, and it’s telling that his role grew after halftime.
He runs hard, and his 30-yard run looked familiar to anyone who has watched Rawls or Marshawn Lynch: He saw a hole, cut back and bounced the run outside — something a Seahawks’ running back must do.
“You’ve got to have that in your game, and I’ve been trying to implement it,” Carson said. “The coaches have really been on me about reading my keys and not pressing things, and that just opened up. The offensive line did a great job, and it opened up.”
Rawls has taken Carson under his wing, which helped Carson before his first game.
“He’s probably the biggest person to talk to me before every game, every practice,” Carson said. “He just told me, ‘This is not your first game. You played four games already in the preseason.’ So I just really listened to that.
“He’s been telling me that throughout the whole week. ‘Don’t get too wrapped up in the hype. It’s football. Something you’ve been playing since you were young. Don’t even pay attention to the media and social media and all that stuff about it.’”
The Seahawks likely will continue splitting carries, but in his first game, Carson played like someone who will get more opportunities.
|Chris Carson was the Seahawks’ best bet at running back Sunday, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.|