Is Christine Michael ready for an expanded Role in Seattle?

christine-michael-seattleSeattle has no shortage of depth at running back. For starters, they feature Pro-Bowler Marshawn Lynch, who racked up 1,257 rushing yards and 12 TDs while starting in the backfield. They also have Robert Turbin, a multi-purpose back who gained over 500 total yards on the 2013 season. That said, there was little need to play rookie Christine Michael during the Seahawks’ championship run last season.

Now, this isn’t to say that Michael wasn’t deserving of playing time. The bruising 5’10”, 221-pound player out of Texas A&M runs a 4.43 forty and has the moves and power to be a great NFL tailback. But buried behind two veterans like Turbin and Lynch, Michael only managed 18 carries for 79 yards.

Coming off of what was akin to a redshirt season, Michael may force his way onto the field this time around. So if you’re interested in 2014 Seattle Seahawks betting, you’ll want to take into account how loaded this second-year man makes the team’s backfield.

Fitting in

He’s already been shining in OTAs, ripping off a number of impressive runs that have writers talking about the 23-year-old. Of course, this is nothing new to Seattle since they knew he had talent, taking him with their highest pick (62nd overall) in the 2013 Draft, despite already having two strong backs. But what’s really impressed coach Pete Carroll is the strides that Michael has been making in other areas.

christine-michael-seattle-1“We have very high expectations for him,” Carroll said. “He’s going to get a ton of work. He’s just a million miles ahead of where he was in terms of understanding what we want scheme-wise, pass protection-wise, route-wise and we know he’s a natural runner. He’s got explosive talent and we just want to get him to fit in.”

As Seattle running backs coach Sherman Smith points out, the only thing keeping Michael off the field more is a typical roadblock for many young players – understanding the NFL intricacies. “For Christine, it’s just the development that he has to go through,” Smith said. “You see the physical part of his game, there’s no question about that. It’s the mental part where most guys have to develop.”

What to expect from Michael in 2014

Smith has made it clear that Lynch is the starter, and for good reason too. “Beast Mode” is in the prime of his career and showed no signs of decline last season. But as for Turbin, well, Michael definitely has a shot to steal work – or outright take the backup role – from the fourth-year veteran.

A big reason why Turbin backed up Lynch is because he had a better understanding of the offense and is a strong blocker. But judging from Carroll’s comments, Michael seems to have improved in these areas. And even if he’s not quite as good of a blocker as Turbin, he could still usurp the latter’s role.

The idea behind drafting Michael was that he’d be the franchise’s running back of the future. So Seattle will definitely be looking to groom him more in 2014. And it’s not entirely crazy to think that he could be starting in 2015, given that Lynch is 28 and would add $9 million to the salary cap in two years. But first thing’s first, and that is for Michael to get some meaningful playing time this season.

Adam Muema’s Bizarre Behavior may bounce Him out of 2014 NFL Draft

adam-muema-nfl-draftGoing into the 2014 NFL Combine, San Diego State running back Adam Muema was an intriguing prospect with a 40-inch vertical leap and an unofficial 4.57 forty-yard dash time. More importantly, his last two years with the Aztecs were pretty impressive. In 2012, he rushed for 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns on 237 carries. He followed this up with 1,244 yards and 15 touchdowns on 256 carries in 2013.

Given all of this, some analysts had Muema going as high as the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The lowest estimates were usually in the fifth round due to his smallish (for running backs) 5’10”, 205-pound stature. But thanks to recent developments, it’s almost impossible to see Muema getting drafted at all.

Those around the league were already wondering about his sanity when he left the combine because he was “following God.” Muema later told reporters that God told him it was already a given that he’d be playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Forget the voices in Muema’s head since the thought of him playing for the Seahawks is already crazy enough. They return Marshawn Lynch, capable backup Robert Turbin and heralded first-rounder Chrstine Michael, so it’s highly unlikely that he’d crack this lineup.

adam-muema-nfl-draft-1Things have gotten even more bizarre lately because Muema was missing for three days after he left the combine. Thankfully, he’s turned up, but the reason why he was missing is because God told him to stay in a Florida airport for three days. Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson, who’d been working out with Muema, explained the matter to the San Diego Union-Tribune, as you can see from the following excerpt:

Adam Muema was found Thursday at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, ex-Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson said.

The airport is near the athlete performance facility where they spent the past two months training for the NFL. Muema had been there since Monday, when his Southwest flight from Indianapolis landed at about 1:30 p.m. ET.

Muema called Nelson on Thursday to ask for a ride. When Nelson arrived, he said Muema was still dressed in NFL-issued combine gear. When asked to describe Muema’s demeanor on Thursday, Nelson said the running back seemed “focused, cheerful and very wise.”

“He said he was at the airport for three days straight,” Nelson said. “He was telling me when I picked him up that God told him to stay at the airport and don’t do anything. Just stay there. That’s what he did for three days straight.

“On the fourth day, he told me he couldn’t do it anymore. He decided to call me.”

Not to turn this whole situation into a sacrilegious joke, but there’s a strong chance that God doesn’t want Adam Muema to get drafted with the advice that he’s supposedly been dispensing. It’s not like Muema was a guaranteed first-round pick going into the combine. And now that he’s shown some very irregular behavior as of late, the former San Diego State star will have a very difficult time convincing anybody to draft him.

Maybe some team that’s desperate for a running back will take a seventh-round flier on Mumea…maybe he won’t get drafted and he’ll work his way on to a team with a great preseason. Or, just maybe Muema’s odd decisions will continue and he’ll never see the field in a regular season game.

We’re not wishing the worst upon the 21-year-old. However, he needs to change things around quickly, or he’ll be the new Dimitrius Underwood, who was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. After being drafted by the Vikings and later signing a 5-year, $5.3 million contract, he walked out of training camp saying that his Christian faith and playing football didn’t mix. He later blew an opportunity with the Dolphins after showing little aptitude for the sport. Underwood hit rock bottom when he said he “wasn’t worthy of God” and tried to commit suicide by slashing his neck with a cutlass. Following this incident, he spent several months in a treatment facility.

2014 Super Bowl Outcome Likely to change Future of NFL Teams

cliff-avril-seattleIn a day and age where NFL teams desperately reach for the next great quarterback while ignoring the rest of their roster, the Seattle Seahawks are an anomaly. Their GM, Joe Schneider, in collaboration with head coach Pete Carroll, took no shortcuts en route to transforming a middling team with no identity into the powerhouse that destroyed Denver 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.

The league definitely took notice of this spectacle, as Seattle’s tall, lengthy corners, Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell, held the Broncos’ star-studded receiving corp in check. The league saw safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas make crushing hits whenever Peyton Manning did find his receivers for mostly harmless chunks of yards. They watched as Seattle’s pass rushers, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril and Red Bryant, completely took one of history’s greatest quarterbacks out of his comfort zone. They witnessed the Seahawks’ offensive stars, Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, make huge plays whenever they were needed. And now, the league is going to act on what they saw in the 2014 Super Bowl.

You can count on a dozen or more teams working to build a roster that’s more akin to Seattle. And this means that defensive players will gain a little more value this offseason. Greg Hardy, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are all set to make far more money this summer thanks to the Seattle Seahawks.

richard-sherman-seattleTeams have already been gravitating towards quarterbacks who can throw on the run. However, guys like Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater gain even more value in the draft after Wilson helped lead Seattle to a championship. Furthermore, the prototypical height requirement of 6’3″ or taller is diminished because of the 5’11” Wilson.

Running back committees have almost become automatic in this day and age. But when looking at the success Seattle had with a bruising, workhorse back like Lynch and a competent backup in Robert Turbin, getting somebody who can carry the load will be of extreme importance.

The Seahawks have definitely created the template here. And multiple teams will now be hoping to emulate Seattle’s roster. Obviously some organizations will fail badly at doing so. Others might achieve the success of San Francisco and Carolina, which are both very similar to Seattle. But will anybody be able to reach the heights that the Seahawks did this year? Or will it be the team from the Pacific Northwest repeating again as champs? You can bet that this will be a busy offseason as teams try to prevent the latter from happening again.