Thomas Rawls has just 125 rushing yards on 49 carries for the Seahawks this season. He was a healthy scratch for Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons as practice squad call-up Mike Davis got the start and an opportunity to spark Seattle’s anemic rushing attack.
With Davis dealing with a groin injury this week, Rawls will factor again into Seattle’s plans at running back as he tries to recapture the form from his rookie season in 2015. Rawls rushed for 830 yards in 13 games with seven starts before a broken ankle ended his season in early December.
Despite being fully healthy, Rawls hasn’t been able to live up to that rookie success. As he tries to work his way back into form, Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable had a simple message for Rawls.
“Don’t try so damn hard,” he said. “You see it all the time when guys are trying to make a statement or they’re trying to stake a claim to something, sometimes they kind of overstep on the gas if you will. He just needs to relax and be Tommy and play ball. … Stop trying to do so much. Just take what’s there. Stick with your discipline and let the game come to you. Don’t try to go and force everything.”
Rawls has such a desire to make something happen and wants to take advantage of the limited opportunities he’s getting. However, it can sometimes be to his detriment as well as he gets too excited to make a play.
“I’m one of those guys, man, if it’s one play, I’m going to take advantage of that opportunity,” Rawls said. “It’s all about opportunities to me. … I work so hard, man. I don’t beat myself up about it. It’s just one of those things where the coaches, whenever they’re ready to call on me, I’m out there. I’m always going to be that way.”
Rawls has missed holes at times, cutback when he shouldn’t have, missed a cutback opportunity in other situations and sometimes outrun his blocking help as well.
“I tell him all the time, you get one cut,” Cable said. “You don’t get three, you get one. Make one cut, one cut. ‘Ok, ok.’ One cut. Again, just getting him to take a breath, stay in the moment, don’t try to do too much. You’re not going to become a 1,000-yard runner on one run. You’re not. So until he figures that out and we can help him do that, he’s just pressing so hard it’s hard on him.”