Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith joined Dave 'Softy' Mahler yesterday afternoon to talk about the situation in the Seattle backfield. Softy asked him about the Michael Robinson/Spencer Ware competition at fullback, the plan to keep four or five backs, the development of Robert Turbin, and more.
Some snippets - and listen in below:
On Spencer Ware "beating out" Michael Robinson at his job at fullback:
Well I mean you see him out there running around with the football and everyone gets excited, and 'oh, it's time for a change.' Mike Robinson's an All-Pro fullback. He's the most dependable guy that we have as a fullback, so we're better with Mike Robinson. We're glad we have Spencer Ware, but also Derrick Coleman - he's the one that's really pushing for that, you know, challenging Mike Rob [for that fullback spot] more than Spencer is.
On keeping 4 or 5 running backs:
I think it sorts itself out. I think coaches like to keep five guys - you know, probably three tailbacks and two fullbacks, so then you have to shorten the numbers up somewhere else. Out of the six guys that we have, we have six very good football players, so you wish we could keep all six of them.
Oh, he ran it well. He ran it well. Didn't surprise me. He's missed a lot of practice. So, he's going to run better on Friday night. Turbo, he's a pro. He wants to be well - what he wants to do, he wants people to know that if Marshawn isn't in the game, defenses can't rest. They'll still know that we have a legitimate threat out there.
On Christine Michael getting carries this season:
It's going to be tough! It's hard to use three tailbacks. You've got Marshawn, you've got Turbo - it's hard to play two, let alone three - so I don't know how that'll work out. I don't know if you go into the game with three active tailbacks. So, we just have to decide how that works out for us. It's going to be tough to get him in there - it's tough to get reps with Marshawn and Turbo [in front of you].
On the kickoff role for Christine Michael:
Well it's still up for grabs right now. You saw what happened last week with Jermaine Kearse. Jermaine Kearse is saying 'I want to be the returner'. You know, so we've got a couple guys back there that can do it, so Christine has to become a special teams player in order to be active on Sunday, and Turbo plays special teams. Marshawn is the only guy in our room that doesn't play special teams. If he becomes a starter, then he doesn't have to worry about that.