Robert Turbin steps in at fullback for Seahawks
The Seahawks were hoping to emphasize the running game after trading Percy Harvin, but the team was left scrambling when fullback Derrick Coleman broke his feet in pregame warm-ups.
Seattle Times staff reporter
ST. LOUIS — High on the list of priorities for the Seahawks heading into the game Sunday against the Rams was this: A renewed emphasis on running the ball with Marshawn Lynch.
That meant the Seahawks loaded up the game plan with plays featuring a fullback to serve as Lynch’s lead blocker. But during warm-ups before the game, starting fullback Derrick Coleman took a step and broke a bone in his foot.
Without another fullback on the roster, coach Pete Carroll approached running back Robert Turbin and asked him if he could play fullback against the Rams.
“I’m like, ‘I know what the fullback does,’ ” Turbin said. “ ‘He blocks for me so it helps to know what he’s doing. I’ve never taken any reps at it or done anything in practice for it. But if you guys need me to play fullback to help our team win the football game, I’m going to play fullback.’
“We didn’t all of the sudden want to disregard the game plan,” Turbin added. “We didn’t want to throw it in the trash. To avoid that, I had to be the adjuster. And I was fine with that.”
When the Seahawks had wide receiver Percy Harvin, they deployed a lot of three-receiver formations and didn’t use a fullback much. But that changed after the Seahawks traded Harvin to the Jets shortly before the team took off for St. Louis.
“Percy’s such a unique talent and has to be used in a specific manner,” general manager John Schneider said on the Seahawks’ pregame radio show. “I think you’re going to see us playing a little more like we did last year when he wasn’t able to play.”
The Seahawks had mixed results running the ball against the Rams. They rushed for 171 yards and averaged nearly 6 yards per carry, but quarterback Russell Wilson picked up 106 of those yards on just seven carries. Lynch got the ball 18 times, but averaged just 2.9 yards per carry.
Turbin served as Lynch’s lead blocker on a number of those carries, despite having never so much as played the position in practice. But Turbin, who is 5 feet 10 and weighs 222 pounds, fits the mold, and he understood what the fullback should do on plays.
Turbin had some fun with Coleman after the game, tweeting at him, “So can I get your game check for today?!”
Coleman was on crutches after the game, and Carroll didn’t give a timetable on how long he will be out. If Coleman is out for some time, the Seahawks will have to make a roster move to add a fullback.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org