Sea­hawks im­press new play­caller

Schot­ten­heimer likes what he sees so far from run­ning backs and re­ceivers in train­ing camp

The Province - - SPORTS | FOOTBALL - BOB CONDOTTA

SEAT­TLE — New Seat­tle Sea­hawks of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Brian Schot­ten­heimer, the man en­trusted with re­viv­ing the of­fence fol­low­ing the strug­gles of last sea­son that led to the fir­ing of Dar­rell Bev­ell, met the me­dia for the first time since the be­gin­ning of train­ing camp.

Here are the Top 5 things he said.

HE RE­ALLY LIKES THE RUN­NING BACK GROUP

The Sea­hawks have five tail­backs on the ros­ter — Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, C.J. Pro­sise, Mike Davis and J.D. McKis­sic — and Schot­ten­heimer said he was im­pressed with what he has seen from all five so far in camp.

“Great po­si­tion com­pe­ti­tion. Hon­estly, all five guys are play­ing well right now. We’re try­ing them in dif­fer­ent spots. We know ver­sa­til­ity is go­ing to be a big thing for them, that they can do mul­ti­ple things. Again, to­day was a big step. You know, when you don’t get to wear pads very of­ten, when you get a chance to wear them, you’ve got to do a lot of stuff so we did a bunch of one-on-one stuff. Coach (Chad) Morton took those guys down there.

“We’ll see that film, but wow, what a great group. I mean, re­ally, a fun, fun group. An ex­cit­ing group — and they’re young. I mean, it’s a young group. It’s not like there’s re­ally an old, ex­pe­ri­enced guy in the group. What a bat­tle, one that we’ll watch through­out the course of train­ing camp.”

And here is what he said specif­i­cally about Penny, Seat­tle’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft.

“Again, an­other good, young back. We talked a lit­tle bit about the backs ear­lier. His skill set, his run tal­ent, his abil­ity to come out of the back­field is unique for such a big guy. Most of those scat — he has scat back qual­i­ties along with the abil­ity of run­ning in be­tween the tack­les.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing. Ev­ery­body wants to see him pass pro­tect, but I’ve been blown away by his abil­ity to, again, di­ag­nose the blitz, see where the blitz is com­ing from, and track his guy. It’s been out­stand­ing for a young back, one of the best if not the best I’ve ever been around.

“But then again, now we’re get­ting into pads where you’ve got to show the abil­ity to get into po­si­tion, find your guy, strike and keep him away from the quar­ter­back — and it’s early. So we’ll see the film, but very, very pleased with Rashaad and where he’s at right now.”

HE’S OK GO­ING WITH A COM­MIT­TEE OR HOT HAND

Schot­ten­heimer, who was of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor with the Jets from 2006-11, said his time there showed a team could be ef­fec­tive us­ing one back pri­mar­ily or mul­ti­ple backs.

“That’s a great ques­tion. It dif­fers. Each sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent. Most of those years in New York (Jets) when we were run­ning the ball re­ally, re­ally well, there was al­ways at least two guys. There’s a Thomas Jones and a Shonn Greene and there was a LaDainian Tom­lin­son and a Leon Wash­ing­ton. It takes more than one, for sure.

“But, ob­vi­ously, you’d like to find each guy’s niche, what they can do, and if there’s guys that can do mul­ti­ple things you kind of do it based on the op­po­nent, kind of what you’re see­ing from the matchups that are cre­ated, and again, I think we have great flex­i­bil­ity in that re­gard.”

YOUNG RE­CEIVERS HAVE STOOD OUT SO FAR

Asked what he has seen out of the re­ceivers so far, Schot­ten­heimer said:

“Yeah, again, a lot of good, young play­ers. Again, get­ting Bran­don (Mar­shall) here, ob­vi­ously Doug (Bald­win) and Tyler (Lock­ett) have been here for a long time, it’s just kind of — a guy like Keenan Reynolds has shown up. He showed up to­day, did a cou­ple good things. David Moore has been do­ing some good things. We love Jaron Brown. So again, it’s a com­pe­ti­tion we’re re­ally ex­cited to see.

“It’s still early. To­day was re­ally kind of one of the first days that the de­fen­sive backs can con­test the ball and do that, so again, once we see the film — we’re not play­ing real foot­ball rather than tak­ing guys to the ground. It’s real foot­ball that you see on Sun­day af­ter­noons or Mon­day nights. It’ll be good to see who kind of sep­a­rates them­selves. But, im­por­tant bat­tles.”

Speak­ing of Mar­shall, Schot­ten­heimer said the Sea­hawks are still play­ing it cau­tious with him af­ter he had an­kle and toe surgery last fall.

“Well, it’s a process. Again, it’s just been a lit­tle bit, kind of in­cre­ments each day. He’s work­ing re­ally hard in the class­room. Hon­estly, I bumped into him like three times to­day be­cause I’m call­ing the play and I go to move and he’s right there and I’m like, ‘can I get a lit­tle space?’ So he’s re­ally ex­cited about his op­por­tu­ni­ties here, but just him get­ting ready, him get­ting his body right — we all know, ob­vi­ously, what he’s ca­pa­ble of do­ing and so again, it’s the process of him get­ting healthy, feel­ing great and then ob­vi­ously him learn­ing what we do and then build­ing the tim­ing and trust with Rus­sell (Wil­son).”

VER­SA­TILE PRO­SISE HAS BEEN ‘OUT­STAND­ING’

Pro­sise has been oft-in­jured in his two pre­vi­ous years with the Sea­hawks. But he was on the field for ev­ery­thing dur­ing OTAs and mini-camp and has been a con­stant pres­ence the first three prac­tices of train­ing camp. Sun­day, he worked with the first-team of­fence dur­ing the two-minute drill and for now he ap­pears to be the leader for the role of be­ing the two-minute, third-down back.

“Ob­vi­ously, C.J. is a guy that ev­ery­body’s talked a lot about. These last three prac­tices, the first two for sure (and) I’ve got to watch the film to­day, but the first two prac­tices (he was) out­stand­ing. Ob­vi­ously, ev­ery­body knows how ver­sa­tile he is. He’s on top of his as­sign­ments men­tally, so off to a great start this train­ing camp.

“In the spring, I didn’t maybe feel him as much as some of the other guys, but off to a great start. Talked to him about that even to­day, just in the stretch line. He’s off to a great start and we all know his abil­ity level and what he can do for us.”

HE WANTS TO BE ABLE TO RUN WHEN THE DE­FENCE KNOWS A RUN IS COM­ING

Much has been made of the Sea­hawks’ de­sire to get back to be­ing a bet­ter run­ning

TED S. WAR­REN/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New Sea­hawks of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Brian Schot­ten­heimer, right, has only good things to say about the per­for­mance of Seat­tle’s nu­mer­ous run­ning backs dur­ing the first few days of train­ing camp.

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