C.J. Prosise was the fourth running back off the board in 2016, going after Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, and Kenyan Drake. That made him a pretty significant prospect at the position despite going 90th overall, which is still fairly high for any player. He was a third round pick and an incredible athlete who had the versatility of playing both receiver and running back at Notre Dame.
As a rookie, Prosise played in Week 1 but a wrist injury forced him out of the next four games. In his second game back in action, Prosise had 80 receiving yards in a 25-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Two weeks later, he had 66 rushing yards and 87 receiving yards in a 31-24 win over the New England Patriots; the excitement of Prosise the prospect had finally seemed to meet the production of Prosise the professional. The next week, he had a 72-yard run in another huge win, this time over the Philadelphia Eagles.
That was over two years ago and it is the last time we’ve seen the Prosise we had so much hope for after the Patriots game.
A shoulder injury forced Prosise out of the rest of 2016 after the Philly game. An ankle injury cost him all but five games in 2017. But even as the 2018 season approached, I still had high hopes for Prosise if he could just stay healthy. I understand why people have such frustration with C.J. — it’s because he is good. And the fans that say they want him to get released know he’s good. If he wasn’t any good:
A) The Seahawks would have released him already
B) You wouldn’t care as much as you care
I, like you, saw the potential in Prosise to be a tantalizing weapon in the mold of Darren Sproles or Danny Woodhead, which has plenty of value, and I just believe that sometimes with “injury prone players” the patience pays off. After all, Prosise didn’t cost the team much of anything. He still doesn’t, and that’s why he’s still around. But I at least believed that if he was healthy this past season, he’d have an impact. Brian Schottenheimer even said as much before the season:
“I kept hearing about C.J.,” Schottenheimer said Wednesday. “And they said, ‘Go watch the New England game’ or ‘Go watch this game.’”
“So I’d go and watch it,” Schottenheimer said of the film of Prosise’s semi-legendary Patriots and Eagles games about which Seahawks coaches and people kept telling the new coordinator. “And then I’d watch him in practice. Tremendous skill set. Tremendous. Size. Speed. Athleticism. Ability to catch the football. Match-up problem.
“The big thing with him would just be the consistency, you know?”
“He gets open,” Schottenheimer said. “He had a drop today that I know he wants back, but (a) very, very talented young man that we expect great things from this year.
“We know we can use him in a lot of different ways.”
That sounded all well and good, but when the games started happening, Prosise was actually pretty healthy ... for Prosise. He appeared to be available but Seattle stuck with Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and/or Mike Davis at any point where they needed a running back, even when Carson or Penny were hurt. Prosise went on IR in December with an abdomen injury, but he was also a healthy scratch at several points in the year.
He finished with one carry for minus-three yards and three catches for 22. The Seahawks had Prosise at their disposal and they didn’t even use him, perhaps further exposing that healthy or not, it’s possible that Prosise is not a fit. Unless he wasn’t actually healthy, then I was wrong about him needing more opportunities to prove that he could be available. So when thinking of expectations I was way off base on headed into the season, Prosise was the first thing that came to mind.
I guess he might also come to mind in 2019 too, since Carroll said this week that he’s still excited about Prosise next season. Prepare yourselves:
While listing off players he’s excited to have return from injury next season (Will Dissly, C.J. Prosise), Pete Carroll on @710ESPNSeattle reiterated that he wants to have Mychal Kendricks back. He’s a free agent.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) January 7, 2019
One of the problems with Twitter (the internet? the world?) is that I often only see people who have a point of view or opinion and then they just won’t shut up about it. They only affirm it. They only retweet people who agree with them. They only follow people who agree with them. They mute or block people who have a different opinion. They run in the circles that will make them feel correct and therefore they never feel wrong. There’s specific people I could call out, but why? They might only feel attacked and revert further into their belief system.
I know I would. I know that I am guilty. So please let me try to take steps in a different direction with posts like today, where we admit the things we’ve been wrong about. I was wrong about Prosise, even though I hope more patience eventually pays off for him and Seattle. Here’s a few other things I was surprised about in 2018:
- I thought a lot of people were overrating Poona Ford because he had a fun name and was considered the best UDFA by a lot of internet experts. He was actually a worthy piece of the 53-man roster and by the end of the year a really exciting young player at the defensive tackle position.
- Naz Jones, for whatever reason, went in the other direction.
- I had no problem with the Tyler Lockett extension, I just had no idea he’d outplay his deal to this degree. He’s incredible.
- I don’t think Germain Ifedi has gotten significantly better and I thought that he might. Now I feel like a lot of people might disagree with this, but Duane Brown is the only offensive lineman on the team that I think should be guaranteed a spot.
- I thought you should never, ever, ever draft a punter or kicker. Nope, sometimes you should.
- I went back and forth on Schottenheimer so many times that honestly I don’t even know where I stand right now.
- Figured Jimmy Graham was still an elite tight end, he just didn’t fit in Seattle. So far he hasn’t really fit in with the Packers either, it’s interesting to think about.
- Still don’t think that the team should have necessarily kept Richard Sherman, but I am a little surprised that his return from injury went as successfully as it did, especially on a new team.
- Pretty much the same sentiment for Michael Bennett. The idea that there’s no way the Seahawks should have traded him just because he was productive with the Eagles? I don’t agree with that. There are sometimes things that go beyond field production. It doesn’t mean that I’m saying it was the right decision, it means that I’m saying I don’t exist in that world and I would never want to assume that I know as much about what’s going on inside the building as the folks who work there do. I do know what it’s like to have co-workers that simply don’t fit into the office environment or culture anymore though. You can be a good employee and a good person and still not fit in with the office.
- I assumed Lockett would be taken off of special teams duties by now and he wasn’t. I still think he should be. The punt return game was nothing special and it just seems needless until they fix it anyway.
- The drop off from Kam Chancellor to Bradley McDougald is ... negligible?
- I figured Jarran Reed would be an elite run-stuffer and a good player but had no idea he’d be joining some very rare company as a defensive tackle with 10+ sacks and so many other skills. He could command an insane amount of money.
- Given that they went two years on his deal, I assumed that Barkevious Mingo might have a greater impact. He played a ton of snaps when you fold in special teams, but Mingo’s name was rarely called and special teams, as a unit, was bad.
- Dion Jordan had 1.5 sacks, which is probably at least 4.5 sacks less than I would have assumed if I had known he’d play in 12 games.
- Shaquill Griffin was the third-best cornerback on the team.
I posed this question on Twitter and you can follow the tweet for some responses. What are yours?
I thought CJ Prosise would have a much bigger impact if he was healthy. Rather than only tweet about what you were right about, tell me what you were wrong about.— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) January 7, 2019