The Seattle Seahawks are starting to have a who’s who in their backfield, which now features two thousand-yard rushers and a former first-round pick. Despite all that talent possibly making things a bit murky when trying to divvy up snaps, there does appear to be a clear pecking order at the moment with Chris Carson solidified as the starter while Brashaad Penny and newly signed back Carlos Hyde fight for carries behind him. Still, that doesn’t appear to be stopping Hyde from trying to ascend.
“I think everybody knows who the starting running back is for Seattle, and that’s Carson,” Hyde, who signed a one-year deal with Seattle last month, told reporters on Monday. “I knew that before I even signed into Seattle, that he was the guy. Would coach Carroll change his mind? Maybe. I don’t really know. I know maybe the second spot is open. Maybe the first spot. I’m going to come in there and compete for the first spot, make sure I solidify myself and go from there. I’m not really sure what’s the plan.”
Carson has been Seattle’s starter in the backfield for the past two years and has rewarded the franchise with back-to-back thousand-yard seasons, which includes a 2019 campaign where he totaled a career-high 1,496 yards from scrimmage. Usurping Carson for that RB1 spot won’t be easy for Hyde, who is entering his seventh year in the league after totaling over a thousand yards rushing for the Texans last season, but the back is embracing the opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to competing,” Hyde said. “There’s definitely going to be competition with Carson and (Rashaad) Penny, guys who have already been there, who are already established. So, you definitely got to come in and compete, you’re coming in trying to take a guy’s job who’s already been there. Carson, he’s been putting up a thousand yards like it’s nothing each year. So, it’s definitely tough coming in trying to replace a guy like that, but I’m definitely open to the competition. It’s not my first year in the league, I’m going on year seven, so I’m used to competing. It brings out the best in me, so I’m looking forward to it.”
He added: “Whatever it boils down to, whatever coach asks of me, this is what we need you to do, I’m all for it. I’m coming in right now with the mindset of trying to be that guy, every-down back, be the guy for the team.”
Both Carson (hip) and Penny (ACL) suffered season-ending injuries towards the tail-end of last season, which was a reason why they dipped into free agency to bring in the likes of Hyde. Earlier this offseason, head coach Pete Carroll noted that Carson is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, while Penny may have to start the year on the PUP list. If that’s the case, Hyde will see plenty of opportunities early on this season behind Carson. Where he goes next is anyone’s guess.