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Seahawks Grades: CJ Prosise gets over 100 yards vs the Saints

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The rookie’s first extended look

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In another frustrating performance by the Seattle Seahawks offense, there was at least one bright spot: Rookie running back CJ Prosise.

Prosise led the offense with 103 yards of total offense. Four rushes for 23 yards averaging 4.6 yards per carry and four receptions for 80 yards averaging 20 yards per catch. Take out the 43-yard bomb from Tanner McEvoy, and Prosise had three receptions for 37 yards averaging 12.3 yards on passes from Russell Wilson.

There was a lot of hype for Prosise after being drafted in the 3rd round out of Notre Dame. The running back and former wide receiver has the size (220 lbs) that Seattle, likes for their running backs, but also has the skill set to become a great third down running back as a run/catch threat out of the backfield, and even lined up out wide. Did I mention that he’s a great athlete and explosive? At the NFL combine, he had 4.48 forty yard dash, 35.5 inch vertical and had 121 inch broad jump. And would you guess that his NFL comparison is Fred Jackson?

I would, because on the field, he looks like Fred Jackson 2.0. I think they even look alike with their helmets off, but that just might be me hoping that he can have a long, healthy and productive career like Jackson. Especially since he’s struggled to get on the field so far in his young career, after dealing with a hamstring injury in the offseason and then breaking a bone in his hand/wrist in Week 1 against the Dolphins.

Well after the great showing he had against the Saints, the hype is alive and well and is showing that he’s another weapon for Darrell Bevell to use, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your views of Bevell. I’m saying it’s a good thing.

So let’s get to breaking down CJ Prosise’s game.

First, a quick refresher of the long, frustrating, and difficult scoring algorithm that is so proprietary and confusing to understand by the casual fan that we aren’t actually going to share it....wait a sec...sorry that’s a disclaimer from some other popular website and their mystical grades.

Here at Field Gulls, let’s keep it easy. We’re still using the Field Gulls Grading system and the Keep it Simple, Stupid (KiSS) system. This week a slight change to FGG, just in description only, as this is the first time we’ve evaluated a running back.

Now on to the tape!

Like they say, it’s easier to just go ahead and do it and ask for forgiveness later.

Well this is me asking for forgiveness this week because unfortunately this post won’t have very many gifs. I just relocated to another state this weekend and as I sit on my couch/makeshift bed in front of my non-existent TV, I’m still waiting for stinkin’ Comcast to fix my internet, which is ridiculously overpriced if I might add. Everything I have is choppy and grainy, so bear with me as the choppy gifs don’t do Prosise justice!

So let’s take a look.

Play 3: Flea flicker, McEvoy to Prosise for 43 yards, YAC 15

The best offensive play of the game for the Seahawks. First of all, notice the great blocking all the way across the line but watch Jimmy Graham run a route across the backside corner’s face and up to the safety, taking them both out of the right side of the field. This leaves Prosise one on one versus the linebacker. This is a great play design by Bevell.

Quick time out to show Tanner McEvoy some love and also some criticism. He only played four snaps at wide receiver, but was still able to make an impact on the game. It seems as even though he’s getting a small number of snaps, Bevell is trying to get at least one play that he’s involved in, which I know everyone loves!

Now the criticism, which overall isn’t terrible, but McEvoy needed to throw this ball a hair earlier or put more zip and less air under the ball to hit Prosise in stride. The throw caused Prosise to slow down just enough for the linebacker to catch him at the two yard line. I don’t know how well McEvoy played quarterback at Wisconsin, but he owes Prosise a good steak dinner for costing him a touchdown. However, the throw is still quite impressive, showing off his arm strength, as he threw that all the way across the field, while there’s a $72 million quarterback in Houston that can’t.

Now let’s get back to Prosise. Here he uses his 4.48 speed to just blow by the linebacker and shows his good hands. He also does a good job of catching the ball while having to turn back for it, these wide open catches are ones you see many players drop every other week in different games (Miami Kenny Stills week 1 for example).

Play 6: Pass incomplete to Baldwin

During the live broadcast I thought this was just an overthrow by Wilson, but here using the All-22 footage, you can clearly see he’s not able to follow through on his throw as Prosise is right in his way, when he doesn’t have to be. Prosise starts out across the line of scrimmage to help Fant and Glowinski, but they don’t need it. As he looks back across the line for someone to block, he barely moves back, but its just enough to get in Wilson’s way. The incompletion on this pass is on Prosise.

Play 7: Pass to Baldwin for 10 yards, YAC 0

Here Prosise is left on an island to block the blitzing linebacker one on one. He does a good job of going up to meet him and squaring up, but gets a bit timid on initiating contact. He gets pushed back but does enough to keep the linebacker engaged long enough for Wilson to escape the pocket right behind him.

Play 10: Prosise left end for 7 yards

This is the fifth run in a row in the first series of the 3rd quarter and the line is just dominating the Saints. Here Jimmy Graham and George Fant seal the edge and Graham even turns Paul Kruger and pancakes him on the ground. It’s awesome seeing him being this physical week in and week out.

As for Prosise, he does a good job here, but it’s really a hard run to mess up with such great blocking. The only thing he did do wrong, is that he should of read Paul Richardson’s block, planted his outside foot and cut back up field rather than just stringing the run out of bounds. I expect him to make better reads as he gets more carries.

Play 13: Prosise left end for 8 yards

There’s a few things I want to highlight on this play.

  1. The offensive line does a good job blocking again, and Jimmy Graham does another good job on the defensive end.
  2. Prosise uses his speed to get to the sideline and turn the corner for eight yards.
  3. George Fant. He passes the DE off to Graham and works to the second level. He doesn’t get a block, but look at the hustle and how well he’s moving chasing down the safety! Gotta love it when the big guys hustle.
  4. Watch Justin Britt. See anything? Good because I didn’t either, but apparently the refs saw an illegal block above the waist and effectively killed the drive that started off great on first down.

GRADES

Throughout the game CJ Prosise was solid and proved to be an additional weapon in not just the passing game, but the run game as well. He was consistent and made plays when he was asked to. Overall he graded out with a Field Gulls Grade of 74% and a KiSS grade of 81%. I only had him down for failing on two plays which are both correctable. One thing that did help his grade out, was on plays where he would run a route or help block, but wasn’t thrown to or didn’t have anyone to block, but that’s no fault of his own. He definitely had an above average performance and his grades reflect that.

Take Aways:

  1. CJ Prosise showed that he can be more than just a 3rd down back. He spelled Christine Michael during drives, getting several carries on 1st and 2nd downs. He got yards that Alex Collins wouldn’t have, and is a much better option as the #2 back right now. When Thomas Rawls gets back, I’d still like to see Prosise get a few carries a game that aren’t in 3rd and long situations.
  2. The most lacking aspect in Prosise’s game right now is pass blocking, which is to be expected from a guy that has only played running back for one year. He gets in to position and gets his assignments correct which is great, he just needs to work on his technique and be more physical which will come in time.
  3. Jimmy Graham continues to make great blocks, especially in the run game.
  4. The refs were terrible, missing the two pick plays by the Saints that Sam already broke down, but you can see the bogus call on Britt above.
  5. Out of the 24 plays reviewed, Fant was inconsistent at times and impressive in others. We’re going to take a closer look at him next!