Following the Seattle Seahawks’ second consecutive loss to begin the season, there was a lot to unpack.
Something called “Competitive thoughts.”
Losing Tom Johnson for no good reason.
Perhaps lost in the shuffle was something Pete Carroll mentioned on the radio on Tuesday morning, regarding rookie running back Rashaad Penny.
According to Carroll, Penny is down eight pounds and that was part of the reason they gave him such a heavy workload in the second half of Monday’s loss.
Regardless of whether the second part of that statement is true, or even sensible, it should raise some eyebrows.
At the Scouting Combine this past spring, Penny weighed in at 220 pounds. A solid weight for his frame and athletic profile. (For comparison, the Seahawks claimed Marshawn Lynch played at 215 during his time in Seattle.)
Just prior to the beginning of preseason, Carroll casually mentioned Penny was up to 236 pounds, a jarring 16 pounds gained since the combine.
If we track Carroll’s comments both in August and on Tuesday morning, Penny now sits at 228 pounds, having gained 16 and then dropped eight since the spring. Perhaps they are trying to find his ideal weight—which is completely fair—but it isn’t the first time this has happened.
As a rookie, Alex Collins’ weight fluctuated as well, as the Arkansas product thought he had to bulk up to handle life as a RB in the NFL. Collins was sluggish and unimpressive as a rookie, leading many to write him off.
When he arrived in camp for 2017, Collins had dropped 13 pounds, coming in at 204 pounds. Though it still didn’t end up working out for him in Seattle, Collins was electrifying as the Baltimore Ravens’ lead back last season.
Whether Penny’s initial weight gain was at the team’s instruction or not, we likely won’t find out. However, that he has already lost half of the weight he put on has to be a good sign. The running game hasn’t taken off the way the Seahawks had hoped, but if they can maintain both Carson and Penny’s health, it should be a matter of time.