Bevell: Seahawks to be more running back-by-committee next season

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Marshawn Lynch has been the workhorse that has driven the Seattle Seahawks offense the last several seasons.

The Seahawks have consistently run the ball as much as any team in the league. Lynch has carried at least 285 times and rushed for at least 1,200 yards in each of the last three seasons. Their commitment to the running game helps set up the play-action passing attack that Russell Wilson manages so well.

However, Lynch is getting older and the Seahawks may be looking to take some of the load off “Beast Mode” next season.

According to Terry Blount of, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said the Seahawks will spread the carries around more this fall.

“We are going to be running back by committee,” Bevell said at a Town Hall event for season ticket holders. ”

One of the reasons Seattle would be more open to a committee at running back is due to second-year back Christine Michael.

Michael essentially redshirted for the Seahawks last season. He was Seattle’s first draft selection last year, being selected with the 62nd overall pick of the 2013 draft. However, he was active for just four games as the Seahawks preferred the stability of Lynch and backup Robert Turbin.

But Michael’s combination of speed and power still has the Seahawks intrigued and he is expected to have a bigger role this season.

“We really like what Christine Michael is doing right now,” Bevell said.

Michael rushed for 201 yards on 40 carries in three preseason games last August. Head coach Pete Carroll has also praised Michael during OTAs.

“He’s just a million miles ahead of where he was in terms of understanding what we want scheme wise, pass protection wise, route wise, and we know he’s a natural runner,” Carroll said. “He’s got explosive talent and we just want to get him fit in. By the end of preseason he should be just a real comfortable part of this football team.”

The Seahawks are also approaching a time where they may have to move on from Lynch and 2014 could be his last season with Seattle. He has a cap hit of $9 million in 2015 and the team could save $7.5 million by releasing him after this year. He’ll also be 29 years old for the 2015 season.

With the running back position getting paid less and less around the league and Wilson expected to earn a contract extension that could surpass the one given to Colin Kaepernick by the San Francisco 49ers, a $9 million running back may no longer make sense for Seattle.

Finding out if Michael could handle the load as Lynch’s replacement would be a wise decision by the Seahawks. That may be the biggest reason Seattle could turn to running back-by-committee next season.

40 responses to “Bevell: Seahawks to be more running back-by-committee next season

  1. Also would expect Seattle to draft a RB high next year .. at least in the first few rounds. I believe in Michael but not much confidence in Turbin as the starter whether that be via injury or such.

  2. Would love to see Michael break out. Turbin is lucky if he is slightly above average. Has not impressed at all. Lynch and Michael could potentially be a devastating 1-2 punch

  3. I hope Bevell will go to the air more often with the addition of super speedster WR Paul Richardson.

  4. Lynch will be playing elsewhere after this season. Especially with the devaluation of the RB position. Lynch is rightly named the Beast. Load the box up against him and he still runs you over. Wilson looks good because of him.

  5. It will be a sad, sad, day when Beast is no longer with the Hawks or out of the league for that matter. Dude is the most relentless and hardest runner I have ever seen. He is 100% blue collar.

  6. Aha Chrisette Michelle gets his chance, i remember during fantasy draft some owners drafting this guy. He was promptly dropped off all rosters.

  7. Makes financial sense to not keep paying Lynch that kind of money, but he is truly special. I don’t think teams are going to fear that running game as much without him in there. Would love to see him come home to Oakland and finish his career as a Raider.

  8. Ever since pre-season last year I have checked the inactive/active list each week hoping they would unleash Christine Michael. I think many Hawk fans are just as excited.

    His burst/explosion is special. I kept reading it was pass protection that was the problem and Robert Turbin does that well who I am not sold on Turbo as most fans.

    Pete Carroll/John Schneider and now the OC are all on record talking about Michael having a breakout year. In case any Hawk fans missed there is a video on Twitter of him making an ungodly cutback for big yards in OTAs.

  9. This season will be a test for Wilson as well. Expect the Seahawks to unleash a more explosive passing game a year ahead of having to make a decision on Wilson’s extension. They will want to see if Michael can take over for Lynch, but they’ll also want to be sure they’re signing a QB who can carry the offense more than Wilson has been asked to thus far.

  10. Turbin will bring the thunder, and Michael will bring the lightning. We’re going to have a one-two-three punch this next season – Beastmode, Turbin and Michael – that will be difficult for teams to stop.

  11. Makes sense. Keeps both guys fresh for the entire game, and with their different running styles, will keep defenses off balance for a good portion of the game as well.

    The offense of this team is going to equal the defense in strength this year…which means hell for the rest of the league!

    Seahawks…back to the Super Bowl!

  12. and the 49er’s play follow-the-leader to the #1 Seahawks again by drafting Frank Gore’s replacement in this years draft. Wanna bet you don’t see Carlos Hyde in a game this year?

    Too bad their Coach will NEVER be loved by his players like PC is up North.


  13. Shaun Alexander is still fresh in the Seahawks’ minds. He went from being best in the league to not being able to cross the street within one season. He is still only 36 by the way. It will be sad to see Beast Mode leave but it is better than watching him quickly decline.

  14. Smart move, but what else do we expect from Seattle? Michael has a quick twitch reflex not seen in backs his size, power and another gear in space.

    I’m sure they will offer Marshawn a reduced contract out of loyalty, but his days of being the workhorse are over. I’d bet that the Seahawks think Turbin and Michael could share the load this year … if need be.

  15. Wow, last year the first round pick doesn’t play and isn’t even active for most games? That is either a poor draft or a very deep roster.

  16. Lynch will not leave the field unless he’s injured and can’t play. Nobody has the guts to sit this guy.

  17. Hawks are going to be so much faster and more explosive on offense…

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  18. Sad to say it but guys like Lynch might be the last of the legendary RB’s…. He has definitely earned his money and he is a true Seahawk.

    I would to see Lynch stay in Seattle until he retires at that same time retiring his number. No one could ever fit the big 24 again like that guy. He is a big part of what helped turn the Hawk franchise around.


  19. The scariest Christine since Stephen King’s 1958 Plymouth Fury is about to hit the NFL.

    And will still be second string to The Beast.

    Lynch wore down a little towards the end of the season, but still managed 100 yard games against the Saints and 49ers. Imagine him being fresher towards the end of the year and the playoffs….and with four games of the final six against the Cardinals and 49ers, the Seahawks will need stronger legs late in the season.

  20. The Saints defense shut down “Beastmode” last year playing in Seattle. He had a great run in 2010, but on MNF he had 45 yards at 2.8 YPC.

  21. lengai says: Jun 5, 2014 11:32 AM

    The Saints defense shut down “Beastmode” last year playing in Seattle. He had a great run in 2010, but on MNF he had 45 yards at 2.8 YPC.

    Lol really? Lot of good it did them. They were absolutely dismantled in the MNF game and wore down in the playoff game.

  22. The Seahawks haven’t changed what they are doing. They are doing the exact same thing. Before the player potentially can go on the decline they bring in a possible replacement. No matter who you are. Remember next man up?

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