A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 21:
Marshawn Lynch. When it comes to the Seahawks’ workhorse running back, just how much work is too much work?
One of the reasons the team selected Robert Turbin in the fourth round of April’s NFL Draft was to provide a back to spell Lynch. But as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami, only the Texans’ Arian Foster has more carries (249) than Lynch (212).
Asked about limiting Lynch’s carries during his midday Q&A session with the media, coach Pete Carroll said, “I just stopped him and asked him how old he was today. I said, ‘What are you, 27?’ He said, ‘I’m 26, I won’t be 27 until next April.’
“We’ve got to load him up. We’re taking it too easy on this guy. He’s a young man. So I think it’s the other way around – we need to give him some more carries.”
Asked after practice about Carroll joking that he might want to give the ball to Lynch even more, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell smiled and offered, “He was joking?”
When the laughter subsided, Bevell added, “We do (have to watch his number of carries). But Marshawn is just going to keep going. He’s not going to turn it down. He’ll take it every time. We have to be able to mix Robert in there. But when it comes time, when it’s crunch time during a game, we want 24 out there. We want to hand him the ball. We want to give it to him and see what he can do.”
And that’s almost always something positive, and often jaw-dropping. Lynch not only has the second-most carries in the league, he has the second-most rushing yards (1,005).
“He’s going to scratch and claw for every inch that he gets,” Bevell said. “He’s going to break tackles. He’s going to make 2-yard runs into 10-yard runs. I’m asking, ‘Where’s he down?’ They’re like, ‘He’s still running.’ ”
And running. And running. And running some more. The only time Lynch isn’t forcing the issue is when he is being forced to take a play or two off. Then he trudges to the sideline.
“That’s his slow-poke walk,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “That boy can run the ball, and I just like to do everything I can to make sure he gets to the second level. Once he gets to the second level, that’s where he makes the big money.”
Left guard. James Carpenter returned to practice today for the first time since getting a concussion that forced him to sit out the pre-bye games against the Vikings and Jets. But John Moffitt continued to work at left guard with the No. 1 line in practice.
Carpenter got his limited reps with the No. 2 line that also included Frank Omiyale at left tackle, Lemuel Jeanpierre at center and guard J.R. Sweezy and tackle Mike Person on the right side.
“We’ll see how Carp handles it,” Carroll said. “We’re anxious to see him get back out there.”
As to whether Carpenter will step back in as the starter this week, Carroll said, “We’ll see. We’ll see how the week goes. We’ll see what happens. I just want to take it one day at a time.”
Cameron Wake. “Who?” says the look that washed across Robinson’s face. He and Wake played together at Penn State. But that’s also when Wake went by Derek, his first name.
“Derek. Derek. His name is Derek,” Robinson said when asked about Cameron Wake. “I don’t know Cam. You all laugh, but I’m so serious. I don’t know who that is. His name is Derek.”
By any name, Wake has the ability to get to the quarterback. The Dolphins’ defensive end has 9.5 sacks this season and 37.5 since making the jump from the CFL to the NFL in 2009.
“He’s really good,” Carroll said. “He’s powerful. He’s a natural athlete. He’s got great length. And he has a good motor, too; he’s bringing it all the time. He’s really a classic, big-time rusher. He’s a problem. He’s just as natural as you can be at bringing the heat.”
Wake said during a conference-call interview today that he’s looking forward to being able to finally hit Robinson on Sunday, because he wasn’t allowed to do it while Robinson was playing quarterback at Penn State.
Told that, Robinson offered a look that screamed, “Please.”
“He had his chances, OK, to hit me in college and he just couldn’t do it,” Robinson said. “It wasn’t my fault. I ran the ball and he had to get his feet together to get me. But he couldn’t do that.”
Robinson then shifted into a more serious gear before continuing. “It will definitely be fun to play against him,” he said. “Derek’s a great kid. He’s worked hard to get to where he is. I’m glad to see that he’s had success. He’s always been physically a man-child.”
MARTIN UP, LOUKS IN
Wide receiver Charly Martin rejoined the 53-man roster today, filling the spot that opened when rookie safety Winston Guy was given a four-game suspension by the league on Tuesday.
To fill Martin’s spot on the practice squad, wide receiver Corbin Louks was signed to the practice squad. Louks ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds during his Pro Day workout at Nevada, where he also played running back – a role he stepped into immediately on the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense.
The official practice participation report, as issued by the team:
OG James Carpenter (concussion)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)
DT Clinton McDonald (groin)
LB K.J. Wright (concussion)
For the Dolphins:
Did not practice
LB Austin Spitler (ankle)
LB Karlos Dansby (biceps)
P Brandon Fields (left knee)
C Mike Pouncey (ankle)
S Jimmy Wilson (ribs)
STAT DU JOUR
We’ve used this before, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of just what Lynch has done since Week 9 of last season – which is run for 305 more yards than any other back in the NFL. It’s a tribute to not only his productivity, but his durability. Here’s a look at Lynch’s 19-game totals, and those backs who continue to chase him:
Player, team Att. Yards Avg. TD
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks 423 1,946 4.6 14
Arian Foster, Texans 392 1,641 4.2 16
Chris Johnson, Titans 325 1,607 4.9 7
Ray Rice, Ravens 340 1,572 4.6 14
Thanksgiving Day, of course, but also “Turnover Thursday.” Practice will start earlier and there are no post-practice meetings so the players can celebrate the holiday with family and friends.
The players also will practice Friday before the team flies to Florida for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Joyous, humble and committed to his community – that’s Marshawn Lynch off the field. On it? You better strap in or get out of the way. With four straight 100-yard games, he’s averaged even better stats in the second half of games than in the first.” – Sports Illustrated in a “Back to Backs” feature in this week’s issue