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Saturday in Hawkville: With Marshawn Lynch away, Robert Turbin reminding everyone that he can play

Posted Jul 26, 2014

Robert Turbin has been waiting his turn the past two seasons. But with leading rusher Marshawn Lynch not at training camp, Turbin and Christine Michael are sharing the load with the No. 1 offense.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for July 26, when the Seahawks held the second practice in their Training Camp presented by Bing:

WORD OF THE DAY: TURBO OR TURB

They’re not so much words as nicknames, and they belong to third-year running back Robert Turbin.

And everyone from coach Pete Carroll, to running back coach Sherman Smith, to quarterback Russell Wilson has been Turbo/Turb talking because leading rusher Marshawn Lynch has not reported to camp. So Turbin, a fourth-round draft choice in 2012, and Christine Michael, a second-round pick last year, have been splitting the carries with the No. 1 offense through the first two days of camp.

“I have the same goal I’ve had since I was a young kid playing ball – I just want to come in and work hard and try contribute to the team the best I can,” Turbin said after Saturday’s spirited practice.

The past two seasons, Turbin’s role has been as a backup and complement to Lynch. Turbin had 80 carries for 354 yards as a rookie and 77 carries for 264 yards last season. He also has added 27 receptions.

But if his performance during the first two days of camp is an indicator, Turbin is ready for more if it comes to that.

“I always pride myself on being an all-around running back, so I want to work on all-around things,” he said. “I want to work on not only running the ball, but running routes. I want to work on catching the ball and I want to work on pass blocking and all the details that come with playing running back.”

As long as Lynch is away, Turbin will get the workload to match his work ethic.

YOU DON'T SAY

“I always wondered what the slime tastes like. When I went in there, it just tastes like water. So I was disappointed.”

– All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas on being slimed at the recent Kids’ Choice Sports Awards.

“Turb has done a great job,” Smith, the Seahawks’ original running back, said. “Turb has always been a pro. From Day One when he came in here, he’s been looking for an opportunity to play more and contribute more. And he puts in the work.

“There’s no question that he’s one of the most dependable players that I have. He works hard. He wants to lead by example and he’s going out there and showing that he’s the good player we thought he was.”

No player on the team is closer to Turbin than Wilson. They’ve been road roommates since their rookie season.

“We have a very good connection, in terms of talking and thinking on the field and all that,” Wilson said. “But he’s a guy that is a workhorse. On and off the field, he’s mentally strong. He’s a guy that’s going to always put his best foot forward.

STAT DU JOUR: TACKLE BY BOBBY WAGNER

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner has led the team in tackles in each of his first two seasons with a rookie club-record 140 in 2012 and 119 last season. If he does it again in 2014, Wagner will become the seventh player in franchise history to make it three-peat. Here’s a look at the group of linebackers that Wagner is looking to join:

Player Tackles per Season
Player Year Tackles
Terry Beeson '77-'79 134, 153, 114
Michael Jackson '80-'82 136, 140, 64
Fredd Young '85-'87 118, 121, 101
Chad Brown '97-'99 104, 150, 117
Lofa Tatupu '05-'08 105, 123, 109, 94
David Hawthorne '09-'11 116, 105, 115

Note: Tatupu is the only player to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive seasons; Beeson’s 153 tackles in 1978 is the club single-season record; Eugene Robinson (1988-89 and 1992-93) also led the team in tackles four times and Anthony Simmons did it three times (2000-01 and 2003), but not in consecutive seasons.

“He always runs the ball into the end zone (after every carry). You’ve just got to love that about him.”

PLAYS OF THE DAY: EXPANDED COVERAGE

Offensive running play: Most of the attention has been on Turbin and Michael as they split the first-team reps. But on this day, the best play belonged to rookie free agent back Demitrius Bronson, who somehow was able to slip his 5-foot-9, 211-pound body through a crease on the right side of the No. 3 line to break a long run. Honorable mention to left guard James Carpenter, whose block to spring Michael around the left side prompted line coach Tom Cable to run in and give him a high-five.

Offensive almost play: Kearse made an impressive reaching grab of a Wilson pass along the sideline despite tight coverage from All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. But the catch was nullified because Kearse was flagged for pushing off.

Defensive running play: On the second snap of the first full-team drill, nose tackle Brandon Mebane blew through a gap to get to fullback Derrick Coleman just after Turbin had taken the handoff from Wilson.

Defensive passing play: With rookie rush-end Cassius Marsh pressuring Wilson into making a quick throw, Wilson went to Turbin – only to have strong safety Jeron Johnson steal the pass before Turbin could get his hands on it.

Defensive almost play: With veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams applying the pressure, Terrelle Pryor tried to make a quick throw over the middle. Rush-end Benson Mayowa came oh-so-close to making an interception and then vented his frustration by doing three somersaults.

PLAYER WATCH: DESHAWN SHEAD

On any given day, you’ll find DeShawn Shead lining up at cornerback, free safety or strong safety. Some days, the obviously versatile third-year defensive back from Portland State will play all three spots.

Talk about the more you can do.

“That’s why he’s been around so long,” All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas said. “He can play any spot in the defensive backfield. That’s raw. That’s raw talent. And he has a great mind for the game. You rarely see any DB switching from that spot to that spot. That’s why. It’s rare. And we have it in that guy.”

ROSTER MOVES: PAIR SIGNED

Free safety Steven Terrell and linebacker Brandon Denmark were signed before Saturday’s practice after being worked out by the team on Friday.

They fill the roster spots that opened when Lynch was placed on the reserve/did not report list and defensive tackle Dewayne Cherrington was waived/injured.

UP NEXT: SUNDAY ON THE SHORES OF LAKE WASHINGTON

The players will return to the practice fields along the shores of Lake Washington on Sunday morning for their third training camp practice before getting Monday off.

Sunday’s practice is sold out, as are the remaining sessions open to fans. Saturday’s practice drew a crowd of 2,506.