Rashaad Penny slides behind Chris Carson, Mike Davis

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Remember when the Seahawks did fist pumps over landing running back Rashaad Penny in round one while media members zealously applauded the team for getting a tailback who was destined to be much better than widely perceived? Remember when Penny himself bristled at the fact that his name wasn’t mentioned in the same breath as Saquon Barkley?

Well, Penny now can’t even get his name mentioned in the same breath as Chris Carson and Mike Davis.

With Carson injured last week, it appeared to be Penny’s chance to prove what he can do. And the Seahawks instead opted to roll with Mike Davis, who had 124 total yards and two touchdowns in a road win over Arizona. Penny had nine carries for 49 yards, a respectable showing but apparently not enough to get meaningful chances — especially with Carson back.

“Chris is ready to go,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Saturday. “He had a great week.”

So how will Carroll divide carries between his available tailbacks?

“That’s a good problem,” he said. “We’re looking forward to our guys playing and I’ll let you know when we start playing.”

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was slightly more revealing, when asked whether there’s a running back rotation.

“I would agree with that,” Schottenheimer said. “I think we have a number of backs that can challenge you different ways. That’s why it’s hard to get guys rolling sometimes but I think we’ve figured that out the last two weeks, that you go in with a mindset of ‘Okay, this is the guy that we’re going to start with,’ and if things don’t work out that way then you adjust but Chris the week before got significantly most of the touches and then this last week, the plan was to let Mike go. A veteran player, let him get started, see how he does and he didn’t disappoint.”

Penny’s name was mentioned by neither Carroll nor Schottenheimer in their most recent media sessions. And while the online depth chart still shows Penny as the No. 2 man behind Carson and Davis at No. 4, it’s clear that’s changed.

Penny has 92 total rushing yards on the season. He could get some opportunities in the rotation the Seahawks now plan to use, but his performance to date underscores the reality that good running backs can be found anywhere and everywhere. Carson was a seventh-rounder and Davis arrived via waivers from the 49ers. Proving yet again that team that would use a first-round pick on a tailback needs to see something special that would make him both a guy who will merit plenty of work and a guy who will thrive with those opportunities.

Penny could still become that guy. The fact that he already hasn’t makes it fair to wonder whether the Seahawks should have gone in a different direction with their first-round pick.

29 responses to “Rashaad Penny slides behind Chris Carson, Mike Davis

  1. Penny comes from the same school as Donnell Pumphrey whom the Eagles drafted in the 4th round in 2017. Pumphrey is no longer in the league because thus far he hasn’t proven the ability to be a NFL caliber player. Must be something about those SDSU running backs…smh!

  2. The biggest problem with the Seahawks is the disproportionate number of passing plays over running plays. Ole Pete calls a couple runs, those get shut down, then they abandon the run. IMO a running game takes commitment… you get a couple small or no gain runs but that wears on a defense. Pete doesn’t get this.

    The other problem with Seattle is that they don’t allow any runner to get into a groove. Penny (who really hasn’t been great) had 9 runs for 49 yards last week… that’s 5.44 yards per carry, which is good. So why didn’t he get more carries?

    This offensive staff doesn’t get it… they don’t appreciate o-line, they don’t know how to establish the run, they simply want Wilson to do it all himself with mediocre weapons.

  3. Penny comes from the same school as Donnell Pumphrey whom the Eagles drafted in the 4th round in 2017. Pumphrey is no longer in the league because thus far he hasn’t proven the ability to be a NFL caliber player. Must be something about those SDSU running backs…smh!
    ……………………………………………………………………………………
    Well you ever heard of Marshal Faulk? Part time fan

  4. Penny is fine, looks good actually – but w Carson healthy and Davis looking good, it just wasn’t a need pick.

    They could have used a talent upgrade at WR or CB w that first pick.

  5. jasons81 says:

    October 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

    The biggest problem with the Seahawks is the disproportionate number of passing plays over running plays. Ole Pete calls a couple runs, those get shut down, then they abandon the run. IMO a running game takes commitment… you get a couple small or no gain runs but that wears on a defense. Pete doesn’t get this.

    The other problem with Seattle is that they don’t allow any runner to get into a groove. Penny (who really hasn’t been great) had 9 runs for 49 yards last week… that’s 5.44 yards per carry, which is good. So why didn’t he get more carries?

    This offensive staff doesn’t get it… they don’t appreciate o-line, they don’t know how to establish the run, they simply want Wilson to do it all himself with mediocre weapons.

    ——

    Your suggestion is good in theory, but it doesn’t work if you are falling behind and don’t have a good OL. I know this because I’m a Vikings fan and AP was the ultimate rhythm back. The issue is if he didn’t bust a big one, you were always at 3rd and 8. You literally had to rely on AP breaking one. That can work if you have an elite defense and good OL, but Seattle has neither.

  6. Carson is a part time back at best and Davis is a bruiser. Penny just needs to lay off the Eddie Lacy diet which nobody has mentioned once as being a problem until the last 3 weeks. But it sure does look like his main issue.

  7. It’s TRUE…This offensive staff doesn’t get it. They SHOULD be throwing the ball to Penny out of the backfield! GET this guy in open space and he is off to the races.

  8. Penny has looked okay… a little hesitant and slow to the hole compared to Carson and Davis, which is why he isn’t ahead of them. I think the bigger problem is Russell Wilson is playing the worst football of his career and apparently is no longer a threat to run, which diminishes his game even further. When Mitchell trubisky is playing better than you it’s a bad sign.

  9. There hasn’t been enough carries to really evaluate him as yet. I think he will get more touches as the season wears on. He missed most of pre-season with a hand injury, but finally got some carries and looked good against Arizona. With all the injuries Seattle had with running backs for the last 3 years, they’re loading up at that slot. The line is starting to come together as well. Penny deserves a full season before he’s labeled a bust. the above comments remind me of a lot of the things said about former Seahawk Alex Collins.

  10. I don’t mean to sound as if I’m sounding off on the Seahawks, but if I were Penny, I would not worry too much. Seattle seems to change their lead back every other week, I’m sure Penny will rise back towards the top of the rotation at some point. Davis is a very talented back with more power than either of the others, but he unfortunately has a tendency to be hurt. Penny or Carson will eventually have another shot, if for that reason than anything else.

  11. Spending a first round pick on a player does not make him a first round talent. Seattle wasted a first round pick on Germain Ifedi, who, like Rashad Penny, was predicted by draft analysts to be picked in the 2nd to third round, not the first round.

  12. Seattle is where it is today because it has drafted poorly, failed to re-sign good players and traded equally poorly. Got nothing for by trading Jermaine Kearse and a draft pick for Sheldon Richardson for example. Sent C Max Unger and a first round pick to New Orleans for TE Jimmy G. Allowed lots of players to become free agents, including Bruce Irvin, Golden Tate, Russell Okung, James Carpenter, Richard Charmin, Brandon Meatbrain, just to name a few. To be fair, they had little cap space, but then they wasted a lot of cap space on Jimmy G. too.

  13. John John says:
    October 6, 2018 at 10:40 am
    WHAT A REACH AND A BUST ,penny is worth a penny,nothing special about him .Bust
    +++
    They’re only four games into the season. Lots of first round picks take a little longer to get up to speed. That’s not unusual.

    Look at Chub for Denver. Number five pick, if I remember correctly. He hasn’t played very well also. By your summation, he’s a bust to.

    In college there’s a lot of fast guys. In the NFL, everyone is fast. If Penny is still having the same issues in year two or three, then the ‘bust’ moniker can be used. But, after four games?

  14. Football is cyclical. The Pats are the only team that has been able to stay on top for a whole legendary QBs career…….by trading almost everyone before or at their career peaks. Seattle signed half their D to second big money contracts, adjusting their draft style, and both finally came back to haunt them two fold.

  15. How stupid can you be starting a 7th rounder and a waiver wire guy over college football’s leading rusher? Brian Schottenheimer is the worst offensive coordinator in NFL history. I didn’t think it was possible to have a downgrade from Darrell Bevell but they did.

  16. Mike Davis is one underrated running. He closed out last year very well. Seattle found a steal in Carson both those guys are solid NFL running backs.

    Penny has the traits that could be elite. He also missed all of training camp. Arizona game he showed explosiveness in a couple of runs. 3rd on the depth chart is right for now. Prosise should hit the street soon

  17. Seattle has done such a horrendously bad job drafting O linemen the past few years that they were scared to pick one in 2018. Turns out they aren’t that good picking running back either. Christine Michael was supposed to be a good one, just like Rashad Penny [not] from Heaven.

  18. Successful running styles in college don’t always translate to the NFL. That is obvious but Penny is really young. Carson could be really good, possibly even great so you have to give him a shot to prove it. Davis is a really nice to have tough runner but may be limited….my gut? let them play it out, use Penny in garbage time for now. Give him a chance to hit holes at NFL speed, figure out how to make good decisions at this level…..who knows. But right now Penny looks a half step slow compared to Carson.

  19. Rashad Penny Not From Heaven is getting more snaps than his yards per carry average would justify. Perhaps the person who drafted him (most likely Petey) wants desperately to prove that he made the right decision picking a running back predicted to go in the second or third round with a first round pick.

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