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Robert Turbin finishes what he started

Posted Aug 17, 2014

Playing in the shadow of Marshawn Lynch is not an easy task. But when Robert Turbin gets his opportunities to be the lead back the production follows, as was the case in the Seahawks’ preseason home opener.

Twelve carries (how appropriate) for 81 yards. From his 1-yard run for the first of the Seahawks’ five rushing touchdowns to his 47-yard burst that set up the first of Steven Hauschka’s two field goals. A 6.8-yard average.

That’s how Robert Turbin spent his Friday night during the Seahawks’ preseason home opener against the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field, and no one should be surprised by his propensity for productivity.

ROBERT TURBIN: BY THE NUMBERS

A closer look at Robert Turbin’s productive performance in the Seahawks’ preseason home opener on Friday night:

Possession Carries Yards Result
First 4 18 TD run
Second 4 53 FG
Third 4 10 TD run

Since being selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Turbin has always been there for whatever role the Seahawks needed him to fill. Third-down back, which involves blocking blitzing linebackers as well as catching the occasional pass. Give-him-a-breather back to leading rusher Marshawn Lynch, which involves waiting your turn to get your carries. Lead back when the Seahawks have a comfortable lead, which is how Turbin got 20 carries for 108 yards in a 58-0 romp over the Arizona Cardinals in 2012.

And no one was happier to see Turbin do his considerable thing on Friday night than Russell Wilson, the Seahawks’ third-year quarterback who has been Turbin’s roommate for road games since they arrived in the same draft class.

“Robert Turbin works so hard every day – catches the ball extremely well, he protects extremely well, obviously we runs extremely well, too,” Wilson said after rushing for two touchdowns and completing 11 of 13 passes for 121 yards. “He’s really in a groove right now. So watching him run the football is really exciting.”

Turbin’s take? He’s not exactly the excitable type. He’s the type that prefers to let his actions speak for him, and then share the credit.

“That was all offensive line, tight ends, fullback, just creating the seam for me,” he told the reporters gathered around his cubicle in the locker room when asked about his long run; the longest of his NFL career – preseason, regular season and postseason—by 21 yards.

“I don’t think you guys understand, but they did their role, too. Receivers a lot of times are the reason we have big runs. They get up field, they block the safeties. I give the credit to my team.”

And what Turbin brings to this team, and the Seahawks’ offensive smorgasbord, was on display during his 47-yard run.

The start: “He’s so quick,” Wilson said. “One of the things he’s really been working on is his flexibility, is mobility. He gets in and out of cuts a lot quicker. He’s physical as can be. He runs right at you.”

Or away from you, as was the case once Turbin got through the line.

“On something like that, it’s just my job to stay disciplined to my read and make the cut,” he said. “I was able to do that and my receivers did a great job of blocking downfield.”

The burst: Wilson was asked if he knew that Turbin was that fast. “Oh I knew he was fast,” Wilson said, and then added with a smile, “He thinks he’s faster than me. I’d have to take off the pads and see one day.”

And Wilson was quick to praise what he saw from his friend and teammate on this run.

“He put his foot down, stopped on a dime and kind of cut back to the right and just accelerated past everybody,” Wilson said.

The finish: Coach Pete Carroll has been talking to Turbin about doing a more physical job at the end of his runs, and it appears Turbin has gotten the message by the stiff-arm he displayed.

“I loved the finish,” Carroll said. “I’ve been trying to get Turbo to straight-arm somebody since he got here, and he had a dominant straight-arm. He finally used one in a big fashion. I was really fired up for him.”

The play also fired up his teammates.

“He’s got those huge arms,” Wilson said. “So the stiff-arm was crucial I think.”

And the capper to one of the biggest plays on a night of big plays for the Seahawks.

“It was a great read, a great run and then a great finish,” Carroll said. “So it was a hell of a play.”