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Inside the Film: How the Seahawks got C.J. Prosise the ball through the air

The Seahawks sought to make Prosise more than a ground-based weapon; we go inside the film to see how they did it

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

After losing Marshawn Lynch to retirement in 2015, the Seattle Seahawks knew they lacked depth at the running back position. So in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, they took C.J. Prosise, a one-year starter at running back, but who had also previously played receiver. Sophomore backs Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael were thought to be the lead backs for the 2016 campaign, which left a question of where Prosise would fit in.

Prosise suffered an injury to his wrist in the season opener, sidelining him until the Week 8 matchup with the Saints. During that game is the first time we see Seattle show a willingness to draw up plays specifically for Prosise. Early in the second quarter, they rolled out just such a play, a fake wide receiver screen to former Wisconsin QB Tanner McEvoy that he launched 43 yards downfield to Prosise’s open, waiting hands.

C.J. Prosise is a Weapon

Wherever the Seahawks lined up Prosise, whether it was in the backfield or as a receiver, he made the most of every opportunity. On multiple occasions, he was the centerpiece of the play design. The purpose there was to exploit his talents as a receiver when being covered by linebackers, along with his skills and size as a running back when being covered by defensive backs.

If Prosise can put together a healthy sophomore season, Seahawks fans should see him put up big numbers not only in the rushing attack but as a downfield threat as well. Even with a crowded running back room, he should see a fair amount of touches because of the explosive nature of his play on the field. Expect to see even more plays that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has schemed around Prosise in the 2017 season.