After a slow start to his rookie season, running back Robert Turbin came on strong down the stretch for the Seattle Seahawks. Despite limited touches, the fourth-round pick out of Utah State proved to be a reliable backup to 2012 All-Pro Marshawn Lynch.
While his first taste of NFL action was promising, is the young runner really ready for a bigger role as the Seahawks look to build off of their impressive 2012 performance?
My gut tells me yes.
While Turbin is far from a polished product, the youngster proved that there isn’t much drop off when he enters the game to spell Lynch.
Turbin saw the field in all 16 games for the Seahawks throughout the 2012 season while serving in a reserve role. During his limited snaps, Turbin received 80 carries, amassing 354 yards (4.4 yards per carry) in the process. Although he failed to score a touchdown, he showed good burst and the ability to pick up tough yards when called upon. He also flashed some effectiveness as a receiver, hauling in 19 passes for 181 yards.
With a full year of NFL experience and coaching under his belt, there’s a good chance that the Seahawks will look to feed Turbin the ball more often in 2013. Following his rookie performance, there’s plenty of reason to believe that they’re comfortable with letting him sideline Lynch here and there, keeping their workhorse fresh.
Lynch is only 26-years-old, but has had some injury issues during his NFL career. With a young, promising player like Turbin in that backup role, the Seahawks can sleep easy knowing that Lynch won’t have to shoulder the entire load going forward. It will also make the Seattle running game an even bigger threat, taking some of the extra attention and pressure off of rising star Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks are heading into an exciting 2013 campaign full of promise and playoff implications. Using Turbin early and often will be crucial in coming away with the NFC West crown.