Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls was back in town recently to speak at the Seattle Friends of Scouting Luncheon March 31, and while he was here he also sat down for an interview with Q13 FOX that aired in three parts.
In Part 1 of the interview, which aired last week, Rawls talked about his recovery from a season-ending ankle injury, as well as the situation with the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
In parts II and III of the interview, Rawls talks about going undrafted last year, the chips he and so many Seahawks teammates have on their shoulders, and why he's encouraged about his team going forward.
Rawls, who went undrafted last spring, then went on to lead the NFL rushing yards per carry in 2015, had a message for prospects who may not hear their names called in this year's draft.
"As far as being drafted or undrafted, one thing I want to tell the guys going into the draft who possibly could get drafted but may not get drafted, it's not about that," said Rawls, who rushed for 830 yards last season, including a Seahawks rookie record 209-yard performance in Week 11. "One thing about society, a lot of people want to put rankings on us, put numbers on us, but in all actuality, it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, if your life is written, if you continue to go down God's path and work hard, the results are going to come out. It's not about a ranking, it doesn't matter who you are, where you stand, what number you are, it's not about that. Because at the end of the day, when you reach this level, everybody's got the same opportunity. Everybody is fighting for jobs, everyone's going to lay it all on the line. And the person who has the mindset of worrying about the next person, they may not get where they want to go. So me going into training camp a year ago, it wasn't about competing against the other running backs, competing against the other guys, I was competing against myself, because I knew what I can do."
Of course Rawls is far from being the only player on Seattle's roster to excel despite being a late-round pick or undrafted free agent, something he and plenty of other Seahawks have said makes the team what it is.
"You've got a lot of guys who weren't drafted for whatever reason, they were probably underrated," Rawls said. "But when you play with a chip on your shoulder, you go out there and practice with a chip on your shoulder, you've got to prove to the world, you've got to prove to yourself, you've got to prove to everyone, 'Hey, I don't care what you put in front of my face or in my way, that roadblock will never stop me. I will overcome anything, I will face any adversity, and it don't matter how long it takes, it's going to get done.' That's the mindset I love being around, because that's my whole mentality, that's my makeup, so when I'm around these guys, we take so much from each other, we give so much to each other, and when you've got guys like that, it's hard to stop."
And while Rawls wasn't on the field for Seattle's playoff loss to Carolina, he did express the same optimism about the team's 2016 hopes as many of his teammates did after that game that saw the Seahawks nearly overcome a 31-point deficit.
"I know it sounds cliché, but it's so true," Rawls said of Seattle's focus on finishing. "It's not about where I came from, it's about where I'm going. It's not about what I've done, it's about what I'm going to do now with the opportunity that I'm given. When everyone is in the same mindset and everyone is in that positive vibe, it's destined for greatness. We didn't get it done last year, but it takes time. It takes patience, it takes time, and it takes everyone to trust each other, because I'm accountable for every man on that team, and every man on that team is accountable for me. And when we intertwine like that, it's an amazing feeling."
Thomas Rawls along with former Seahawk Paul Johns and President Peter Mcloughlin spoke at the Seattle Friends of Scouting Luncheon on March 31.