Nothing but questions about running backs in our latest Seahawks mailbag.
Time for another round of Seahawks questions and answers via Twitter.
And this one is all about the running backs, a position group eliciting a lot of interest as we head into the summer.
Q: @ImFrank4U asks: Will they run Eddie Lacy harder in preseason games then they did Marshawn Lynch to see what they have in the run game?
A: Running Lacy just about at all would be more than Lynch, who had 10 carries for 31 yards combined in his final three preseasons with the Seahawks.
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I think the Seahawks will want to see Lacy more. But a lot of that will depend on Lacy’s health and conditioning — the number one goal of the preseason when it comes to veterans is still to get to the opening game of the season as healthy as possible and Seattle will undoubtedly err on the side of caution when it comes to Lacy’s surgically repaired ankle.
I also don’t think the Seahawks are going to feel like they have to settle who is going to be the number one tailback between Lacy and Thomas Rawls (or even C.J. Prosise if he works his way into that) by giving each a lot of carries in the preseason. I think their main concern will largely be getting each enough work to be in condition for the regular season.
It’s a good point, though, that Seattle wants to re-establish its running game this season and might feel a little more compelled to want to set a tone in the preseason.
But I still think health will be the main concern. So maybe give Lacy about the same number of carries this preseason as Lynch combined for his last three.
Q: @Sillylung13 asks: Are we going to carry four running backs and how will the carries be divided?
A: To the first question, I think the answer is yes. I did a 53-man roster projection last week and had the Seahawks keeping four —- Lacy, Rawls, Prosise and Alex Collins.
Four is not an uncommon number — Seattle also had four tailbacks on its roster to start last season in Rawls, Prosise, Collins and Christine Michael.
As for how the carries will be divided, that’s a tougher one to answer if not impossible at this point.
The boring answer is that it will be dictated largely by how they play and who has the hot hand, and who is healthiest.
Lacy, Rawls and Prosise all are coming off of seasons when they had significant injuries and I think the Seahawks are going into the year just fine with the idea that they can spread the carries out and not have to count on anyone taking a Lynch-like share of the load.
My best guess, assuming they each are healthy, is Lacy and Rawls take a fairly equal share of the basedown carries with Prosise slated largely for a third-down role as well as being worked into the gameplan to take advantage of specific matchups from week to week.
That might leave Collins as the extra running back who could be inactive on many gamedays if the other three are healthy.
I also expect Seattle to keep a fullback — at the moment, the options are Kyle Coleman and Algernon Brown. Keeping four tailbacks and one fullback for a total of five running backs would be right in line with what Seattle has often done with its roster the last few years.
Q: @MagicJasoni asks: Where is Alex Collins in the mix for RB?
A: Judging by what Carroll said after mini-camp, he’ll be right in the thick of things for a roster spot.
Recall that Carroll said first that “Alex had by far his best work done in the last three or four weeks. He has just been so consistent for us.’’
Carroll then praised the conditioning of Collins, which the team felt was an issue for him during the preseason last year.
Said Carroll: “If you remember he went into a mode of really working hard, adapting diet stuff, the extra conditioning and all that and he has not taken a step backwards at any time. He is in phenomenal shape. He showed it. He’s just clicking out here for us in every drill that we’ve done throughout every single day that we’ve been out here. So he’s shown really well for himself in competing and all that. He’s leaner, he’s faster, he’s quicker. He’s all of that and he knows what he’s doing now, so he’s really positioned himself well to compete for a spot.”
Now does that mean Collins has a shot to win the starting job? I don’t think I’d go that far just yet. The team has made a somewhat significant investment in Lacy and Rawls looks ready to go after the starts-and-stops of last season. Then there’s Prosise.
But for now, I think Collins is in good shape to get a spot on the 53-man roster as a fourth tailback and ready to provide depth when needed — something the Seahawks have learned the value of more than ever the last two seasons.
Q: @Team_Nordin asks: Will Christine Michael be active on Sunday?
A: Define active.