The Rook Rocked
Seattle Seahawks 2013 second round draft pick, Christine Michael, proved his worth Thursday night in the preseason opener versus the San Diego Chargers. With last year’s backup, Robert Turbin, held out with lingering foot issues and veteran Marshawn Lynch making only a brief appearance, Michael shouldered the load nearly the entire game.
Pete Carroll and the coaching staff wanted to test Michael’s endurance and in-game decision making. The results must have made them smile.
The rookie from Texas A&M rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries, a 5.6 ypc average, which included a 24 yard gain early in the fourth quarter. If there was a concern, however, it would be against the competition his success came against.
In the first half, going against the Chargers 1st and 2nd string, Michael only rushed for 21 yards on 6 carries, a 3.5ypc average. By themselves, those numbers are unimpressive.
When combined with the rest of the game though, his end line looked significantly stronger. Seeing as how the Chargers personnel changed, the defense’s fatigue is not a root cause of the rookie’s success.
By the time Michael hit his longest run of the game, the Chargers were fielding their 3’s and 4’s. That being said, even the most pessimistic fan can take solace in knowing that Michael can dominate those he should be dominating.
The question for the coaching staff now becomes, is Michael showing enough to push for the #2 slot behind Lynch? With Turbin cleared to participate again, the battle is just heating up.
To be honest, while Michael had a stellar preseason debut, I don’t think it’s nearly enough to cancel out what Turbin accomplished last year.
With 354 yards on 80 carries and another 181 yards on 19 receptions in 2012, all with no lost fumbles, I don’t think he will be falling down the depth chart any time soon.
Besides, Michael would have to better his performance against top competition while enhancing his skill-set in pass protection before the backup running back battle even becomes a real discussion.
The silver lining for everyone involved though, is this Seahawk’s team is extremely deep and talented at the RB position.