Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls was projected to be the team’s workhorse in the backfield when the 2017 season began, but has failed to live up to expectations.
Rawls has rushed for only 125 yards on 49 carries so far, but he’s been presented with another chance to redeem himself, now that Mike Davis is dealing with a groin injury he suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Falcons. Davis is unlikely to play in the team’s upcoming game against the 49ers, which opens the door for Rawls, who should see plenty of action.
The third-year running back rushed for 830 yards on 147 attempts during his rookie season, but injuries affected his play on the field last year, when he averaged only 3.2 yards per carry. Rawls has struggled to regain his 2015 form, but Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable recently provided him with some great advice that may help him accomplish that goal.
“Don’t try so damn hard,” he said, via Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. “You see it all the time when guys are trying to make a statement or they’re trying to stake a claim to something, sometimes they kind of overstep on the gas if you will. He just needs to relax and be Tommy and play ball. … Stop trying to do so much. Just take what’s there. Stick with your discipline and let the game come to you. Don’t try to go and force everything.”
Rawls, to his credit, seems focused and grateful for the opportunity at hand, which could project well for his performance in Sunday’s game.
“I’m one of those guys, man, if it’s one play, I’m going to take advantage of that opportunity,” Rawls said. “It’s all about opportunities to me. … I work so hard, man. I don’t beat myself up about it. It’s just one of those things where the coaches, whenever they’re ready to call on me, I’m out there. I’m always going to be that way.”
The 49ers rank 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed (133.5 yards per game), so Rawls could be primed for a big game on Sunday. He seems to have the right mindset, and if he doesn’t overthink things, and takes what the defense gives him, the Seahawks running back could turn in his best performance of the season so far.