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Bryce Brown and Christine Michael Looking to Make the Most of Another Opportunity with Seahawks

With Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls both sidelined by injuries, two running backs added to the roster this week, Bryce Brown and Christine Michael, will compete with Derrick Coleman for playing time.

For Christine Michael, this is a second chance with a team that traded him only three months ago. For Bryce Brown, it's his third stint with the Seahawks in seven weeks. For both Michael and Brown, as well as fullback Derrick Coleman, this week is an opportunity to take on a big role in a Seahawks offense that has lost both Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls to injuries.

Michael, who was Seattle's second-round pick in 2013 and the team's No. 3 running back for two seasons, was traded to Dallas prior to the start of the season to make room for Rawls. Brown, meanwhile, signed with Seattle on Oct. 27, then was waived, re-signed and waived again in the span of a month.

"I'm a pretty even-keel guy," Brown said. "This is a part of the league. This is the kind of stuff that happens. This league is about opportunity. When opportunity comes, you've got to make the most of it, and my opportunity is right in front of me now. 

"The league is crazy, you never know what can happen. I honestly didn't think I'd be back here again, this year anyways, but look what happened. It's a physical game, guys get hurt and you're right back in this situation."

For Michael, meanwhile, this is a second chance with a team that decided to part ways with him in September despite his considerable physical talents.

"First of all, it's a blessing to be back with the guys who drafted me, the guys who got me," Michael said. "It's a tremendous opportunity just to come in here and work. Just give all I can to this team."

Michael said being traded away was difficult, but added, "It's all a learning experience. I know Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider), those guys are good at what they do. It was a good decision for them at the time. It was all OK, and it's all about right now. That's what's on my mind right now, just come in here and work."

In his brief NFL career, Michael has gone from second-round pick who many touted as an eventual replacement for Lynch, to a player who was traded to Dallas, released by the Cowboys, then signed to and released from Washington's practice squad, a process that has humbled him. 

"It has, man," he said. "I use that word to myself when I'm evaluating myself. It is a humbling experience. I just have to evaluate myself and just do things right. Come in here with a good mindset, come in here focused like the other guys are, and come in here and work so I can help as much as I can."

When Michael talked to Carroll and Schneider, he said the one of the things that came up was a need for improved consistency.

"It's true," Michael said. "I would have a couple of good days, but I've just got to show them consistency. Work like these other guys do."

The Seahawks are banking on Michael coming back a better player than the one who left here in September because of what he has gone through.

"When it doesn't work out and you go someplace and you don't wind up playing, you go another place and you don't wind up playing, it can be humbling," Carroll said. "He seems very serious, he's very focused and wants to do something with this opportunity."

Added offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable: "I'm counting on it. I think we all are. He's a young man, so he's got an opportunity, a responsibility to himself and to these guys out here to do it, and I certainly think he's embracing it, he showed that today, so let's move forward and go for it."

How things will look come Sunday, however, remains to be seen. Both Carroll and Cable made it clear that they'll need this week of practice to determine who plays and in what roles against Cleveland, but Michael, Brown and Coleman, a running back at UCLA, all have a real shot to carry a significant portion of the load.

While there won't necessarily be one back taking on as big of a workload as Lynch and Rawls did previously, Cable noted that ideally one or two players will emerge in practice this week.

"In a perfect world, if it goes right, you'd have two of the three you can lean on," Cable said. "Obviously Fred (Jackson) has his role on this football team that is so valuable in terms of third down, but see if we can find two of the three that we can lock in and go play with them."

And while he doesn't factor into the mix to be the lead back, Jackson will still have a very important role in Seattle's offense, as Cable noted. Jackson will continue to be the third-down back, and is the steady presence the Seahawks know they can turn to in important situations, such as drives late in a half, or when they're backed up near their own end zone, as was the case in last week's game on the possession immediately following Rawls' injury. 

"He's a pro," Cable said. "He's been there for a long time, he has done all those things for a long time, he's had a lot of success in all those different situations, so you do lean on him being stable, on being right. He has done that thus far."


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