The 2019 Seattle Seahawks will make the playoffs. Oh, yes, and not only that, I think they are going to retake the division. Why this confidence you ask? I got three words for you that go back to the early portions of the Pete Carroll era in Seattle; Bigger, stronger, faster. That was their motto in 2011 through 2013, and my eleventh reason why these Seahawks exemplifies all those traits.
Running back Rashaad Penny.
Why is Penny poised to make a big impact?
This 220 lb running back is a rare compensation of size and speed that can go the distance every time his touches the ball. Coming out of San Diego State last year, there was some Marshawn Lynch comparisions, but if truth be told, from my point of view, this dude’s style feels more think a combination of Lynch and Seahawk great Shaun Alexander. He’s got the power to run through tackles, but his extra gear is Alexander special. Combine his running style with the power style of Chris Carson, and Seattle could have the best offensive backfield in the league this year. I kid you not.
The vibe from OTAs and mini camp is that Penny has looked really good both from his conditioning, and his much improved command of the offense, and that should excite you as a fan. Last year, he supposedly came into training camp weighing closer 240 and that extra weight likely hurt his initial explosion. Now before you go crying Eddie Lacy 2.0, let’s at least concede the fact that as the regular season went on, Penny at least started to flash some of those traits that made him so dynamic in college. His extra gears in the open field were pretty impressive.
My hunch is the Penny suffered from something that is not uncommon with a lot of rookies that were first round selections; an overconfidence that teeters on full blown entitlement. Of course he thought he was going to be the guy. He led the nation in rushing yards in college, and Seattle just spent a high round pick on him, and are they really going to favor former seventh round pick Chris Carson over him? Well, they did, and Penny had to watch a lot of early football from the sidelines, and when it was time to spell Carson, they coaches initially went with Mike Davis.
I’m pretty sure that didn’t sit well with Penny, but I also think that he didn’t spend too much time sulking about it. As the season went on, I think he dug in, and worked hard to earn his time, and in spots, it really showed. You could see the potential. Coach Carroll even intimated as much in his pressers that was the case. He had to rededicate.
So, I like a dedicated, humbled, focused Rashaad Penny going in 2019. I like that a lot. By all accounts, Chris Carson looks like a great running back, but I think Penny has the potential to be really special in this league. There is a reason why Seattle felt the need to draft him in the fist round in 2018, and for Seattle to snatch this division back from the Rams, they will need both of these guys at the top of their games. If they both are, this could be a really exciting offense to watch that the league may not see coming.
I can’t wait to find out.