Seahawks Insider

Forsett: ‘I can do it all’

Post by Eric Williams on May 27, 2010 at 10:27 am with 38 Comments »
May 27, 2010 11:17 am
Seattle Seahawks running back Justin Forsett (AP file photo)

Judging by the poll readers here participated in a few weeks ago, many expect LenDale White to emerge from the Seattle Seahawks running back competition. Nationally, the fantasy football gurus expect the same thing, rating White as a sleeper prospect in the upcoming season.

That sentiment is understandable. White, 25, should have fresh legs after rushing for a career-low 222 yards in 2009, watching much of the second half of last season while teammate Chris Johnson marched to 2,000 yards. And he’s playing for his former coach at USC Pete Carroll, who understands how to you use White’s physical running style.

Explosive playmaker Leon Washington is another possible candidate for the starting job, but questions linger on how he will return from a broken leg. I’m still bullish on Julius Jones, although the readers are not, giving him a three percent chance of earning the starting job. Jones seems to have a better feel in the zone blocking scheme during OTAs, and probably has the best overall package of strength, speed and pass-catching and pass-blocking ability out of all the candidates.

Quinton Ganther and Louis Rankin also have had their moments of brilliance in camp, but a somewhat forgotten player who could emerge as Seattle’s starter come Sept. 12 is third-year pro Justin Forsett.

Justin Forsett against Tampa Bay (The News Tribune file photo)

Forsett, 24, looks even quicker and more explosive than he did last season. And although he’s only 5-8, 195 pounds, Forsett is a good runner in between the tackles. The humble RB out of Cal believes he could be an every down runner in the league.

“Definitely I think I can do it,” Forsett said. “In college I’ve had over 300 carries in a season, and that’s nothing for me. I work hard during the summer to make sure my body is right. I’m ready for it, whatever they want to with me.

“I can do it all. I can go inside of the tackles or go outside. I’m not afraid to bring it inside just because of my stature.”

Forsett is efficient in the zone blocking scheme because he’s been working in that type of running offense for seven years – since his days with Jeff Tedford at Cal. So he is one of Seattle’s best runners at reading the line blocking and finding the creases and gaps created in the defense in the inside and outside zone plays, a staple of the zone scheme.

“Just like when I was back with Coach Tedford at Cal, we’ve been running this same zone scheme, one cut and go, so I’m used to it,” Forsett said. “I’m trying to get better every day. And it’s not just me, there are a lot of guys that’s been in a zone scheme before, so I’m taking it in stride.”
For Forsett, the proof is in the numbers.

For hose concerned about Forsett’s durability, he carried the ball 305 times his senior season at Cal in 2007, finishing with 1,546 yards and 15 touchdowns, and posting 5.1 yards per carry.

And last year in a smaller sample set Forsett put up similar numbers, finishing with 619 yards on 114 carries for 5.4 yards per carry and four touchdowns.

Forsett started two games last season, struggling against one of the best defenses in the league in Minnesota and finishing with just eight yards on nine carries.

But the next week in St. Louis, Forsett broke out with 130 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Forsett also rushed for over 100 yards at Arizona two weeks earlier when Julius Jones went down early in the game with a bruised lung, finishing with 123 yards on 17 carries and a score.

Forsett said the experience last season let him know that he can get it done at this level.

“It meant a lot, just knowing I could start and get the ball,” Forsett said. “I’m OK with getting the ball, 22-23 times a game. And I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s been going well so far, so I’m ready for the season to start.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. I’m getting an opportunity and everybody’s fighting for the job. It’s open competition, and every time you get competition everybody’s level is going to rise a little bit. We’re getting better everyday and fighting everyday, so it’s going well.”

While Forsett continues to get reps with the first unit along with Jones and White, he’s also working on special teams as a punt and kick returner. So no matter who emerges as the starting running back come September, expect Forsett to be an important playmaker for Seattle on offense and special teams.

“When everything is settled and whatever my role is, I want to excel at it,” he said. “If it’s me coming in and helping out the offense sometimes and doing kickoff and punt returns, I’m going to do that. I’m going to settle into it and help this team win.”

Any questions? Watch the tape.

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Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. I’m one of the biggest Forsett fans out there, or so I’d like to believe, and I want him to win the starting job and be successful in this league, and I hope he does exactly that.

  2. Hawkfan1951 says:

    I hope Justin Forsett gets his chance to start this year. I’m excited about LenDale White and hopeful for Leon Washington’s full recovery.

    Julius Jones has been here several years and hasn’t lived up to his potential so far. As for me, “I’m from Missouri!” I want to SEE him be productive before getting on the 1st team consistently.

    In any event, it sure seems these guys are buying into the “competition at every position” mind-set of Coach Carrols!!! Kewl!!!!

    GO HAWKS!

  3. This man is a stud. He is a game changer. He is a play maker.

    He lacks breakaway speed, which makes him a poor man’s Ray Rice.

    This regime respects speed or size, Forsett has neither. He is just a flat out football player. Sometimes this regime feels to me it’s all about measurables that look great in practice vs football players who look great on Sundays. That worries me for Forsett.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, this piece was long overdue! Thank you. I too have been a huge fan of the Little Big Man since the preseason game vs the Bears in ’08. I’ve felt that the competition that Carroll has been fostering here would really help bring the attention to him that he deserves. Because if you are basing who gets carries based on merit and production alone, he’s your man. I love the fact he rarely goes down on first contact. Thanks Eric. Love The Little Big Man!

  5. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – I thoroughly disagree. I believe Carroll and Schneider place a much greater emphasis on how a player performs that whether he fits a certain profile. That was Mora’s M.O.. If that were the case, they wouldn’t have traded for Leon Washington or drafter Earl Thomas. These guys like players first and foremost, even if they don’t fit an ideal. This is a wonderful position and staff for Forsett to be working with, IMO.

  6. The one thing that really stands out on that video is John Carlson blocking to the whistle! He Shows up on almost every play. Technique may be lacking on a couple but the effort is 100%. I think the young core we have can really be something to grow on!

  7. chuck_easton says:

    I love Forsett. I do have concerns about durability given the fact that the little guy is smaller (and weighs less, but Jenny Craig is helping there) than me. I know I wouldn’t have the cajones let alone the skill to do what Forsett does on Sundays.

    That being said, the days of the everydown back are over. White and Forsett make a great team. Washington will get his 10-15 touches (PR/KR and running the ball) per game to be a great change of pace.

    Jones is welcome to meet me at Sea-Tac. I’ll chip in for the flight anywhere in the U.S. he wants to go and will even buy him the farewell lunch of his choice.

  8. I have been a big Forsett fan since he was with Cal. He deserves the rock as many times as his small frame can carry it. A mix of White and Forsett running the rock shoud be a great one two punch. Throw in Washington for punts kicks and some spot carries and we have rb squad to be excited about.

  9. OCHawkFan says:

    I love Forsett as a football player. He’s they type of guy that’ll get you a hard earned 5-6 yrds everytime he touches the football. He does, however, lack breakaway speed. An athlete like Leon Washington would’ve taken a couple of those runs to the house!

    But, PC is smart. Each RB has an individual skillset that will be beneficial at different points in the game. I see Force as more of the workhorse who will get you 5-6 yrds and chew up the clock toward the end of the game.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    That last run, against Tenn in the season finale, epitomizes what I like and admire so much about Hasselbeck. He’s been beat up all year, miserable season, just playing out the string and there he is, racing down field to throw his body into a defender to help get Forsett gain a few more yards or maybe get him into the endzone. Pure heart.

  11. Can’t believe Seattle actually cut Forsett. So glad we don’t have to watch him moving the chains for Indy. He’s my second-favorite Seahawk right now (Hass is still the first).

    As for Jones, I’m going to join Chuck in chipping in for his one-way ticket.

  12. oceanic says:

    Still can’t understand why Forsett didn’t start in 08 and 09. Or why Morris didn’t start in 06 and 07. Or why Golden Tate is singing on you tube.

  13. Devinc253 says:

    Forsett is incredible. Hopefully White isnt the starter. He’s never averaged NEAR as many ypc as Forsett.
    Leon Washington is even better that white

  14. I always wondered why Momo didn’t get more starts. I’m rootin’ for my dawg Rankin though. When it comes down to it, I believe it will be a combo of all three with maybe Washington get more carries than the other two, but pretty much being evenly distributed. I do not want to see JJ period.

  15. Yeah, both Hass and Forsett shows the fire and passion we all love.

    Speaking of love Golden Tate, remember that receiver we drafted, apparently likes to sing Taylor Swift songshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx99LST6jEY
    I just had to post that link, it made me giggly.

    Anyway…

  16. White will probably be the bruiser to soften the d up.

  17. Or goalline back

  18. Who’s goining to be our starting Wideouts, Housh, Tate, and then Branch/Butler/Williams?

  19. I don’t know of any Hawks fan who does not like J-Force.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    TruBlu – For what it’s worth (in May no less) I see it as Housh, Tate, Williams and Butler. Everyone else is on the outside looking in at this point, yes, including Branch.

  21. Considering all the depth at TE, that group of WRs looks to be more than adequate for a solid passing game. Things are really looking up.

  22. BobbyAyala says:

    Seriously, if you’re going to make a 6 minute highlight video, why would you ruin it with terrible music?

    Hook up some beats, Youtube nerd…

  23. chuck_easton says:

    TruBlu,

    If we are talking opening day I’d say TJ and Branch start. By the 3rd game of the season Branch will be out with a season ending hangnail and Tate moves into the starting position with M. WIlliams and Butler as the two backups.

    I’m going out on a limb and guessing that Obo doesn’t get picked up by anyone so when Branch goes on IR the team can go out and re-sign him.

  24. Dukeshire says:

    Lol. We’re not going to be calling him Golden “Pipes” Tate anytime soon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx99LST6jEY

    Oh man… brave. Lol.

  25. BobbyAyala says:

    I suspect Tate will have a ton of carries this upcoming season. There’s no reason why he can’t be on the field at any skill position other than quarterback.

  26. IBGoofy says:

    The one thing that strikes me most, is the ‘concern’ of this coaching group about the running back prospects… (Like BobbyK says… ) this guy here is another ‘J-Force’ supporter….

    Yes, we heard they want to run more efffectively…. This group of running backs sure have potential… Another example of the coaching group putting their actions where their mouth’s are…. It will be fun to watch this develop….
    My coin is on Forsett….

  27. Unless J-Force is in pass protection, I like him better than any of our healthy RBs. He’s a tough runner inside. He can get to the outside (it’s not like JJ or LenWhale can do better getting outside). And he’s great on screens (he made some great open field moves/runs last season when he caught the ball on a screen and was in open space). He’s tough as heck, too. He’s simply a guy who needs his chance. Once he gets it, he’s going to take it and run with it (literally).

    I also love hearing from EVERYONE that J-Force is a great kid. The players, coaches, and even Ryan/Eric talk about how nice he is. It’s refreshing.

  28. raymaines says:

    I don’t care who’s in the backfield or at WR. All of these guys are just numbers on a blue jersey. All I want is a good running game, a good passing game and some defense, and I trust the coaching staff to make the right personal decisions. But then, I said that last year too.

    Separate subject: I really (Really, REALLY !!) wanted Jim Mora to do well and I’m still disappointed he flopped so badly and has then looked like such a dope in the press, on Twitter, and in interviews. I was sooo wrong about him. I wish him and his family well, but he’s the guy I’d buy a meal at the airport.

  29. If Hawks OL can get halfway back to the run-blocking performance of ’05 from what they did in ’09 (C.Baker was as good a runblocker for NE as Hannam was for Hawks – or better), and if Williams can run block as well as J.Jureviscious did, Hawks could vault from the 27th ranked rushing offense up to 15th this coming season. That’s where Hawks rushing ranked in ’04. Hawks rushing offense moved to 3rd in ’05, and could do the same in ’11.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    This team’s ability to return to the upper half of the league in rushing won’t come from a second team TE and a WR. Those things are ancillary to the far more important issue, and that is consistent execution and a healthy core up front of skilled linemen. WRs blocking downfield are necessary but secondary to the front 5 executing. The same front 5, not a mis-mash of rotating bodies week after week. Without that, the rest is meaningless.

  31. I don’t think it’s realistic to compare our run blocking this upcoming season to ’05. We have no Jurevicius. We may have a Hannam (Baker). We have no Mack Truck. Okung never will be Walt (nor should we expect him to). Hamilton, while an improvement, will never be close to as good as Hutch. If anyone expect Spencer to favor favorably to an ’05 Pro Bowl Center, they should be checked for cheap drugs. Gray had experience over Unger at RG (although I expect Unger to eventually be better). There’s no use comparing Lock and Lock at RT. Let alone the blocking scheme is totally different with limited FB use and many two-TE sets (and ZBS vs. mostly man on man power of Holmy). The only area I think we can be better on offense than ’05 is big play ability on the outside with Butler and Tate.

  32. JRocket says:

    Screw the meal and the ticket, we’ve paid JJ enough, he can pay his own way out of town. Give me Justin, Lendale and Leon, wasn’t someone pushing to call them ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’? Better blocking, better running backs, better play calling, better running game this year.

  33. udub671 says:

    Thank you, BobbyAyala, for stating what was on my mind the entire time watching that video. I loved the highlights, but I wanted to hit mute so badly.

  34. ruminator1 says:

    hate to put a damper on the JF lovefest, but…. he is shifty, he gets extra yds, he is tough minded and sometimes he rips off a good one. but he also gets stopped easily sometimes in his tracks on a first hit. i do like him, but i wish he were either bigger or faster (mostly bigger). i have concern about the RB situation. JJ too inconsistent, almost consistently underperforms. White–slimmed down. will he be a banger? won’t that depend a lot on the offensive line and blocking? washington? god i would love to learn that he had recovered and could run as before. but the rod in the leg? that is worrisome. if he recovers and can stay healthy, i’d feel a lot better about the RB’s.

  35. Hit mute instantly – great fun watching the highlights.

    Run-blocking: Yer all right – I know it should take like two years to get all the right players across the OL plus depth, then another 2-3 years playing together, but I get excited – then impatient when I start to see rays of hope for the OL and the run offense.

    Thinking pass-pro should be at least middlin in ’10 – hopefully better than the last few seasons. What I see Hawks missing more and what would help overall offensive performance most is better run production. So ’10 is all about Gibbs ability to convey his zone blocking scheme, and the gifts and abilities of Hawks blockers to ‘get it’ and convert that knowledge to performance in games. Look at Hawks OL performance since ’05 (when they were 3rd in both run blkg and pass-pro and 1st overall):

    ’06 Run Blkg 30th, Pass Pro 26th (WJ, FW, RT, CG, SL/TA)
    ’07 Run Blkg 29th, Pass Pro 19th (WJ, RS, CS, CG, SL/TA)
    ’08 Run Blkg 27th, Pass Pro 22nd (WJ, MW, CS, FW, SL)
    ’09 Run Blkg 27th, Pass Pro 21st (SL, RS, CS, MU, RW)

    That initial drop from ’05 to ’06 maybe wasn’t all on Hutch. SA getting hurt and losing JoeJ and R.Hannam also influenced their blocking performance, as well as maybe a tougher schedule. TRs acquisitions did little more than replace the subsequent losses in OL personnel. JS & PC are wholeheartedly continuing a half-hearted OL blocking scheme conversion attempt of ’09 in order to give this team some of the run-blocking performance that was sustained at DEN for so long under Gibbs. That hope maybe should be tempered by looking at what Gibbs did for HOU:

    ’07 (pre Gibbs) Houston’s man-blocking OL (LT E.Salaam 9yr, LG C.Pitts 5yr, C M.Flanagan 9yr, RG F.Weary 5yr, RT E.Winston 1yr) ranked 8th in run-blkg and 10th in pass-pro.
    In ’08, (under Gibbs) their zone-blocking OL (LT D.Brown 0yr, LG C.Pitts 6yr, C C.Myers 3yr, RG M.Brisiel 1yr, RT E.Winston 2yr) ranked 10th in run-blkg and 16th in pass-pro (got worse).
    In ’09, HOU’s 2nd year with Gibbs and ZBing, HOU’s OL (LT D.Brown 1yr, LG K.Studdard 2yr, C C.Myers 4yr, RGs M.Brisiel 2yr & C.White 4yr, RT E.Winston 3yr) was rocked with injuries, yet they ranked 15th in run blkg and 8th in pass-pro.

    In Gibbs 1st season in HOU, he changed out the LT, C & RG. Like SEA in ’10, HOU took LT Brown in the 1st rd of the ’08 draft. Gibbs got C Myers from the Broncos, and RG Breisel was a HOU backup in ’07. Gibbs new starters all played 16 games in ’08. In ’09, he kept the same players, except Pitts and Breisel got IRd after a few games. Seems they also had another RG besides White playing a few games too. With all that, they still made an improvement in pass-pro. That’s kinda confusing, but HOU’s OL personnel were a break from the ‘type’ of personnel Gibbs had last at DEN and before (heavier), and I can understand how the choreography of zone run-blocking requires more consistency in personnel.

    ’10 Run Blkg 20th, Pass Pro 16th (RO, BH, CS, MU, SL) ?
    ’11 Run Blkg 15th, Pass Pro 12th (RO, rookie, MU, CS, SL) ?? (if no lockout)
    ’12 Run Blkg 10th, Pass Pro 8th (or better if Gibbs still here)

    And yes it’ll take more than a “second team” TE. A bit harsh dontcha think? I wouldn’t have called Hannam a 2nd teamer. Baker is statistically one of the best run-blockers on this team, much better than Owens. Hopefully, Gibbs can help Baker continue to be a very good blocker in the ZBing scheme. Also, since PC is gonna run 2 TE sets, C.Baker is probably more a “starter” than a “second teamer”. The thing is, we’ve got that blocking TE now, and we also have several WRs with the potential to block as well as JoeJ. Hawks are no longer a team of just ‘smurfs’ for receivers.

    True, we don’t have Strong, but like Red, Schmitt really needs to step it up this season. JF “can do it all” except run outside zones. JJ and JF don’t have the speed for it. Now, Leon does (or at least he did). We also have a potential ’05 SA – type RB for short yardage in Lendale.

    Okung will be a continuously improving rookie. I know that Hamilton is older, but he knows what he’s doing in Gibbs scheme, and if he can transfer enough of his savvy to Okung in TC, Russell may not have as bad a year as D’Brick had his rookie year. I don’t expect a Big Walt, but a steady improvement thru the season with Okung. At least it has to be better than the continuity of 5 LTs like last season. Scheme and players, Hawks run game should significantly improve.

  36. Dukeshire says:

    “And yes it’ll take more than a “second team” TE. A bit harsh dontcha think? I wouldn’t have called Hannam a 2nd teamer.”

    No, I don’t think that is harsh. But if it makes you more comfortable, we can refer to him as a situational TE.

  37. footballscaa says:

    Forsett can do it all. That’s nice. Well, at least when he’s playing quarterback he shouldn’t fumble the handoff to himself. Just nate to klm: who do you think really wants to read all that drivel?

  38. footballscaa-
    I guess not you. But Duke did :-)

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