RENTON, Wash. – If you’re wondering how important backup running back Robert Turbin’s contribution is to the Seattle Seahawks grind-it-out approach on offense, just ask offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable.
“We’re counting on it,” Cable said. “What we saw last spring was really exciting. And it took off in the fall, so if he gets going back into this now, and he can pick up from this spring, it will be really neat.”
Added Seattle head coach Pete Carroll: “There’s nothing that Robert can’t do. He can run the ball. He can catch the football. He’s a really good pass protector, and he’s a good special teams player also. We expect a tremendous amount out of Robert. He’ll play regularly and we’ll have no hesitation of putting him in the game in all situations.”
Turbin ran for 354 yards his rookie year, which included a 108-yard effort in a 58-0 win over Arizona in December. Turbin also hauled in 19 receptions for 181 yards.
Rookie Christine Michael was impressive against San Diego, rushing for 89 yards in Seattle’s exhibition opener. However, for now Turbin remains Seattle’s No. 2 option behind starter Marshawn Lynch, along with working as the team’s third-down back.
After starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list with a sore foot, Turbin practiced fully for the first time on Sunday.
Turbin said he dreaded watching practice from the sidelines the past, couple weeks.
“The player always wants to play, and the trainers always want to keep you out until they feel like you’re 100 percent and ready to go,” Turbin said. “It’s a little bit of a love/hate kind of thing. I love them for taking care of me, and being patient with me. But I hate them for taking so long.”
Turbin missed some time during the team’s mandatory minicamp due to the foot injury, and said his sore foot developed over time, giving him problems when he tried to make sharp cuts while running the football.
“Over the course of a practice it would get worse and worse,” Turbin said. “When you’re out there and you feel like you can’t do what you normally can do, it just affects your game.”
While Turbin’s play steadily improved during the second half of the 2012 season, he still feels the need to improve. And part of that effort includes daily film work with Cable to better understand defensive schemes Seattle might face in the upcoming season.
“A lot of people say I improved toward the end of the season last year, and I would agree,” he said. “But it’s still not good enough for me. And it’s still not good enough for this team. I’ve got to play better. And I’ll do everything I can to get better.”
Entering the second season of a four-year, $2.56 million rookie deal that will pay him a base salary of $480,000 in 2013, Turbin understands the diligent work and attention to detail will lead to more opportunities on Sundays.
“I want to be a guy that’s just very versatile,” Turbin said. “First, second, third or fourth down – whatever the game situation is.”