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RB Situation

Postby seahawks506 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:41 pm

What do you anticipate will happen with the RB situation right now?
Will Julius Jones be cut loose? Will Forsett take over the full time starting role? Will we bring in another RB through the draft, free agency? Could Rankin play a limited role next season?
Discus ;-)
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Re: RB Situation

Postby biju » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:54 pm

To answer this, we probably need to review what the thoughts were in preseason 2009.

Most folks viewed the move to a zone blocking scheme as the answer to an old and mismatched O-line. It favors a one-cut system that is supposed to favor "speedy" backs like Julius Jones (along with how our turf was going to make him extra fast too). We also had a theory that Julius Jones needs 17+ carries in a game and that he's less effective when he gets fewer than this amount. We also theorized that nothing short of an injury would unseat JJ from the starting position under Mora.

Well, what ended up happening is Julius Jones averaged 3.7 yards per carry, the second worst average of his career. He seemed tentative with the ball and had problems with his burst and acceleration. He rarely found the cutback lane and didn't thrive in the zone blocking system Mike Solari and Greg Knapp set up.

Normally I would consider most of his problems on the O-line, who was regularly ineffective across the season, and the fact that there wasn't a strong passing game. But in the wake of this comes Justin Forsett's numbers; 114 carries for 619 yards and 41 catches for 350 yards, plus 5 overall TDs. That's a 5.4 yard average. At first I figured this was due to the "Felix Jones" rule in which change of pace guys usually do better with the fewer carries they receive but his two best games were from times he toted the rock 17+ times. JJ had 63 more carries than this guy and only generated 44 more yards on the ground.

Furthermore there was a real drive in Forsett's body language. He had a great run late in the season where we had to make up something like 14 yards on 3rd down...and he got it. It happened to be called back due to a call that probably didn't affect the play, but when we were asking him to do the impossible he was nearly achieving it.

If Coach Carroll looks at the tape I'm guessing he'll find that Julius Jones should be nothing more than an insurance policy in 2010. The Seahawks owe it to Justin Forsett to try him out as the featured back. Besides, he's a great cheap option and really could be our future. I suspect we'll need to take a long look at C.J. Spiller at that #14 pick and we should do our due diligence for someone like Jonathan Dwyer or Ryan Matthews with that #40 pick, but given our needs I would think that RB is low on our want/need list for this year's draft. If Forsett is exposed as someone who cannot handle the load we'll need to look to the 2011 draft (if there is one) for a more complete back and use Forsett as a backup option--we'll have rid ourselves of Julius Jones by then.

At least, I hope the Seahawks and Pete Carroll see it that way. ;-D
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