It's easy to forget that the Seattle Seahawks actually have a fairly rich history of fielding great running backs and successful ground attacks. Curt Warner tore a hole in the AFC West for most of the 1980s, Chris Warren put up big numbers for some awful teams in the 1990s, and around a decade ago Ricky Watters had some of the best years of his tumultuous but borderline-Hall-of-Fame career in a Seattle uni.
Then there's Shaun Alexander, who must be regarded as one of the greatest Seahawks ever, no matter how many Twelves detested the shortcomings in his demeanor and skill set. SA's gifts deteriorated rapidly in 2006 and 2007, however- So now we're going on FIVE YEARS without a running back/ground attack that can get in the end zone on 3rd and Goal from the 2, or convert on 4th and 1, or eat up long stretches of clock to help us hold onto a 4th quarter lead.
THAT is why Pete Carroll went out and got Marshawn Lynch. Just for fun, I wanted to compare Lynch to some of the great Seahawks running backs I've already mentioned.
Today, Lynch is 24. He has 34 NFL starts, 687 NFL carries, for 2765 yards and 17 TDs.
Curt Warner at 24 (through 1985 season): 33 starts, 636 carries, 2583 yards, 21 TDs.
Chris Warren at 25 (through 1993 season): 31 starts, 513 carries, 2113 yards, 11 TDs.
Ricky Watters at 24 (through 1993 season): 26 starts, 414 carries, 1963 yards, 19 TDs.
Shaun Alexander at 25 (through 2002 season): 29 starts, 668 carries, 2806 yards, 32(!) TDs.
Does this mean that Marshawn Lynch is going to be a multiple Pro-bowler like these other Seahawks greats? Not necessarily. It is clear that Lynch is an instant upgrade at RB, and as the O-Line develops through the season, we should be able to move the ball on the ground and control the tempo in those critical games down the stretch in November/December/January.
Welcome to Seattle, Marshawn. If you produce, the Twelve Army will treat you as a 5th-rate God. Don't go do anything stupid to fuck it up.