Pete Carroll has been raving about C.J. Prosise since the Seahawks drafted him last spring. But, because the running back had been hobbled by a bevy of bumps and bruises pretty much since the day he was drafted, the rest of us had no clue why — until Sunday in New England.
He started over a slightly hobbled Christine Michael and did a little bit of everything to tally 153 total yards and help the Hawks pull off a meaningful upset. In fact, Carroll was so happy about his play during the game that he wouldn’t let the rookie pull himself off the field.
“He tapped out a couple times to catch his breath,” Carroll said. “There was a time when I told him, ‘Don’t do that. Get out there. Get your butt on the field.’ He kind of looked at me like, ‘Oh, OK, I guess I can’t tap out.’ So he went back in.”
You can’t blame Prosise. The guy had touched the ball just 17 times in four other games this season — basically his personal preseason — and he got 24 touches in 51 plays vs. the Patriots.
“He’s going to get in shape and all that,” Carroll said. “He can’t be in great game shape; he just can’t be. He hasn’t played enough.”
Prosise gave the Hawks something Michael really hadn’t: The physical style they prefer from their runners. He was no Marshawn Lynch — or even Thomas Rawls — but he showed some moxie while running it 17 times for 66 yards.
“He’s tough; he’s really tough,” Carroll said. “I love the ball he catches right up the sidelines. He’s got a chance to step out of bounds or whatever and he laid wood to a guy. Our guys really respect that. He was trying to make every inch he could. He had a couple really good finishes. He got smacked a couple times, too. He got surprised by a couple hits and bounced right back up. So, he showed a really good mentality about it.”
Prosise also caught seven passes for 87 yards — acting as the Percy Harvin-type dual threat Carroll and Darrell Bevell envisioned when Seattle drafted Prosise in the third round.
“I think what stands out the most is the variety of things that he did, that he looked good at,” Carroll said. “He ran the ball inside, he ran the ball outside, he caught the ball well in the short passing game to make some first downs, and he caught the big ball down the sidelines. … He’s very versatile, and I was excited to see that.”
It is good news that Rawls is coming back this week, because it means the Hawks will regain their physical running style without wearing down Prosise — who looks too small to carry the load every week like he did in New England.
Carroll said, “With C.J., the versatility of all the things he seems to be able to do at this point, and knowing that there’s a real style to Thomas that we’re really looking forward to seeing, it could be a real nice matchup. We’ll see how that works.”
In the meantime, the rest of us finally saw how Prosise works for Seattle and why Carroll has been bragging about him for months.