Seahawks in Desperate Need of a Back-up Running Back

Forsett and Washington don’t cut it

We have all heard the terms “backup running back” and “change of pace back” but what do they mean and are they interchangeable?


Lets first take a look at the backup running backs position and what a team needs from them.

Like any position in football, running backs get hurt and miss games due to injury. A back-up needs to be able to step into the game in place of the injured starter.

No one expects him to play as well as the starter but he needs to be able to fill the same responsibilities.

What about a change of pace back?

Most teams in the NFL use more than one running back. They have the teams starter who gets the bulk of the carries but they also have another running back on the bench who brings something different to the table (change of pace). Teams do this as a way to try to trip up opposing defenses.

Seahawks Running Backs

It's all smoke & mirrors! The Seahawks change of pace running backs are not cutting it?

In the Seattle Seahawks case they have a powerful starting running back in Marshawn Lynch who will hit you right in the mouth.

Behind him on the depth chart are change of pace backs Justin Forsett and Leon Washington.

Justin is a small back who can hide behind his blockers, pop out all of a sudden and before the defenders can react he is past the first wave of the defense.

Leon is a play maker, give him the ball in space and watch what he can do. This makes him a great return man and a player the defense must focus on when he is in the game.

Notice above how I called them “change of pace backs”?

Neither player fits the criteria of the backup. They are both at their best when they get a hand full of plays in a game and when someone like Marshawn is the guy who carries the ball time and time again to wear down opposing defenses.

The Seahawks need to fill the backup running back position if they want to be able to run the ball without Lynch in the line up.

Forsett is in the final year of his contract and it would make a lot of sense for them to part ways with him and draft a guy like Washington Huskies running back Chris Polk who may be available in the middle rounds of the draft to replace him.      

Follow our Editor "Q" on Twitter, and NWSB, 'Like' us on Facebook.
About Brett Bivens

Born and raised in Spokane. Moved to Seattle in 2006. A Seahawks fan since he can remember, Seahawks season ticket holder for 5 years!. He blogs, tweets and bleeds blue and green. 12th Man For Life! Connect with Brett today!
Brett On Twitter
NWSB Facebook FanPage
Brett's NWSB Forum Profile
Subscribe To Brett's Articles Via RSS On NWSB
Brett's North West Sports Blog
Like Something I wrote? Hate it? Hit me back today I want to hear from you!

  • I saw a guy wearing an Alexander jersey today and it made me reminisce about a team that actually knew how to run the ball.  So it isn’t just that we need a good backup RB, we need a philosophy shift for everyone on the offensive unit

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully the young kids coming in can bring that philosophy shift with them. The kids on O-line are coming from winning programs.

  • Seahawk80way

    I guess I have to disagree a bit on this one. Leon Washington is averaging 4.9 YPC. That’s a great number. In past years, Justin Forsett was up over 4 YPC as well. The problem isn’t the backs. The problem is the willingness of Darell Bevell to call more runs. We failed to do that on Sunday, even when we were having success. Bottom Line: The backs are fine, the play-calling isn’t. 

North West Sports Beat

Sponsored Links


10 Articles To Your Inbox Daily! NWSB Daily Brew! Get It Now! Newsletter
NorthWest Sports Beat