Rashaad Penny

Colin Cowherd says he believes Seahawks will be best team in NFL in 2020

Colin Cowherd says he believes Seahawks will be best team in NFL in 2020

You heard it here first. The Seattle Seahawks are going to be the team to beat in the NFL in 2020, at least according to FS1’s Colin Cowherd.

After the league schedule was released for the upcoming season, Cowherd, who was discussing the Patriots early season tests, vowed that he believed Seattle would set itself apart from the rest of the NFL.

“I think Seattle’s going to be the best team in the league,” Cowherd said. “I think if it wasn’t for cluster injuries last year in the backfield, I did not buy Seattle last year. They blew me away, many of their rookies played well, they will not have that kind of injury-riddled backfield.”

Cowherd isn’t wrong. Injuries to Seattle’s backfield were catastrophic. It was so bad that Marshawn Lynch unretired and came off the couch to aid a backfield hampered by injuries. In a matter of weeks, Seattle lost starting running back Chris Carson, his backfield mate Rashaad Penny, and reserve C.J. Prosise to season-ending injuries.

With rookie Travis Homer the only healthy player on the roster, the Seahawks brought in veteran Lynch and Robert Turbin to help Seattle’s depleted backfield. Seattle is expected to return a healthy Carson and Penny in 2020, although it is possible Penny will begin the season on the PUP list. 

Seattle’s reunion with Lynch might not be over either. The veteran running back recently told ESPN his agent had been in talks with Seattle on a return. 

When healthy, the Seahawks backfield can do some major damage. The emergence of Carson and Penny provided Seattle with a potent punch and gave Seattle one of the NFL’s best tandems. Add an explosive Lynch into that mix, a more experienced Homer, fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas, and the Seahawks run game is menacing. 

Nonetheless, a Jarrett Stidham led Patriots will head to Seattle on September 20 for the Seahawks’ home opener. The Pats’ 2019 fourth-round pick, who will serve as Tom Brady’s successor, has never traveled to CenturyLink Field, one of the toughest road environments in the NFL. 

Cowherd knows it doesn’t get much more difficult than Seattle. 

“That is a tough game at Seattle. I’m not sure how winnable that is,” Cowherd said. “I think Seattle and New England for a year are going in different directions.” 

Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells.

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny shows off his brisk footwork in latest rehab video

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny shows off his brisk footwork in latest rehab video

Bigger, faster, stronger. Rashaad Penny is taking another step forward in his recovery from a torn ACL in 2019.

The Seattle Seahawks running back posted a video to his personal Twitter account on Wednesday showing off his quickness while taking part in footwork drills. 

Just how fast? His shoelaces couldn’t even stay tied. 

His teammate, Will Dissly, who is reportedly rehabbing his Achilles tendon down in Hermosa Beach, California alongside Penny, commented on the third-year running back’s explosiveness.

“Bro so fast he untied his shoe and y’all didn’t even see it,” Dissly said. 

Penny sustained the ACL injury in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams after catching a pass from Russell Wilson that resulted in a 16-yard gain. In his last two games, Penny had 129 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles and 74 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.

“It would be an extraordinary accomplishment if he was ready by the time we got to camp and all that,” Carroll said of Penny at the NFL Combine. “So, we will see what happens. We’re not going to set any deadline on it, just see how he develops.”

[RELATED: Penny hops back on the bike again]

His backfield mate, Chris Carson, also underwent a season-ending injury in Week 16 when he suffered a hip fracture. Carson rushed for 1,230 yards on 278 carries and recorded seven touchdowns before he was sidelined. 

Rookie Travis Homer became the team’s lead back before the Seahawks returned veterans Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin to assist in the playoffs. Lynch and Turbin are current free agents.

The Seahawks added more depth to their backfield in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft when they added Miami running back DeeJay Dallas. Dallas, along with Homer, will have an opportunity to compete for the Seahawks backup gig if Penny's injury sideline him past Week 1. 

From the looks of Penny's latest post, he's doing everything to be ready when his name is called. 

Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with Joe Fann below: 

Brian Schottenheimer believes Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny will bounce back

Brian Schottenheimer believes Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny will bounce back

The Seattle Seahawks running back corps took a hit in 2019.  

In a matter of weeks, Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise sustained significant injuries which ended their seasons. Rookie Travis Homer became the team’s lead back before the Seahawks returned veterans Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin to assist in the playoffs. 

When healthy, Carson and Penny provide the Seahawks with a 1-2 punch at running back. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer indicated confidence in the two players’ chances of rebounding from their injuries.  

“I feel really good about both of those guys coming back,” Schottenheimer told Sports Radio 950 KJR. “Obviously, they both had significant injuries. Chris has been through some injuries before. I think it was his rookie year before I got here, he had the leg fracture. I think he’ll be great. It sounds like they’re doing well when we get our updates from those guys. Rashaad (is) a guy that really hasn’t had to deal with that adversity before, but I think that we really saw him mature last year. He was really playing terrific football for us. We saw a difference with just the way he practiced, the way he prepared. Nobody wants to see their players get injured but the injury happened at a time where he was really kind of peaking and feeling great about himself and maturing as a young man and as a football player and I think that’s just going to lead into him having a terrific rehab as well.”

Carson rushed for 1,230 yards on 278 carries and recorded seven touchdowns before suffering a hip fracture in Week 16. He was later placed on Injured Reserve. 

His backfield mate, Penny, tore his ACL a couple weeks earlier and underwent surgery to repair the ACL, as well as some additional work. In his last two games, Penny had 129 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles and 74 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. 

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recently told reporters at the NFL Combine that he was confident Carson would return to his usual form, while Penny could miss the start of the 2020 season. 

“It would be an extraordinary accomplishment if he was ready by the time we got to camp and all that,” Carroll said. “So, we will see what happens. We’re not going to set any deadline on it, just see how he develops.

“But this is the kind of timing that might take in the PUP thing."

With Prosise, Lynch, Turbin all free agents, the Seahawks could look to the NFL Draft to fill positional needs, including running back, before camp. Schottenheimer, however, spoke highly of the group that’s already in place. 

“It’s a good group,” Schottenheimer continued. “We’ll see where those guys come back when we actually come back and have a chance to be together with them, but my money is on both those guys to bounce back from those injuries.”

Check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast below:

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny has an update on his recovery

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny has an update on his recovery

Rashaad Penny has an uphill climb ahead in his recovery from a torn ACL, but the Seattle Seahawks running back is on the right path.

The 24-year-old shared an encouraging post on Twitter Tuesday that he is “back on the bike,” quite literally.

Penny’s sophomore campaign came to a halt on December 8, when he suffered a torn ACL against the Los Angeles Rams. Unlike teammate Chris Carson, who avoided surgery on his hip, Penny did undergo surgery to repair his ACL as well as additional work that needed cleaning up.

“He’s doing great,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Penny during exit interviews last month. “He’s ahead of schedule already. They’re really excited about the progress that he’s making. That’s a much longer prognosis there. He’s got six or seven months ahead of him that are going to be really challenging. We’ll have to wait and see. He’s really determined, his attitude is great about it. He’s planning on making it back and getting ready to play. So, we’ll see how that goes.”

Penny emerged as the Seahawks No. 2 back before his injury, showing a lot of promise. He carried 65 times for 370 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 in 10 games. His road to recovery will certainly be a long one, but it's encouraging to hear Penny's making progress in his return to action. 

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny suffers ‘significant” ACL strain

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USATI

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny suffers ‘significant” ACL strain

After being tackled on a 16-yard reception in the first half, Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny immediately grabbed his left knee. He would go to the blue tent on the sidelines before limping to the locker room where the team declared him out for the game.

Following the game, head coach Pete Carroll informed the press that Penny’s knee injury was a “significant” ACL sprain.

NBC Sports Northwest’s Seahawks insider Joe Fann speculates that would mean it’s unlikely we see Penny suit up the rest of the regular season. 

During the game, Penny tweeted his gratitude to the fanbase for their support.

The second-year running back had been a rising star in Seattle's offense. Penny racked up 203 yards, 33 receiving yards and three total touchdowns over his last two games combined. He'd earned a near 50/50 split in a timeshare with Chris Carson.

Social media reacts: Seahawks top Vikings to take control of NFC West

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USA Today Images

Social media reacts: Seahawks top Vikings to take control of NFC West

The Seahawks took control of their destiny in the NFC West with a 37-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.

With the win, the Seahawks took over the NFC West and second place in the NFC. Had they lost, Seattle would have fallen all the way back to the five-seed. It was a crucial game with high stakes, but only one team could come away victorious. 

After trailing 17-10 at halftime, the floodgates officially opened for the Seahawks, thanks to two touchdowns from Rashaad Penny, a 60-yard bomb from Russell Wilson to David Moore and how could we forget the defense? That Bradley McDougald recovery and Tre Flowers pick was out of this world. 

Here's a look at how fans and media reacted to the Seahawks 37-30 win over the Vikings in prime time: 

It was the 1-2 punch Pete Carroll has talked about all season long, but we finally saw it in real life. Carson, who sustained a hard hit early on which required a trip to medical tent, got things started for Seattle and scored the first touchdown of the game.

Rashaad Penny responded with one of his own in the third quarter, when he came in on a second-and-goal. Seahawks Twitter kind of lost it. 

Then David Moore was left wide open at the end of the third quarter. The Seahawks wide receiver caught a 60-yard bomb from Wilson to extend the lead to 27-17.

The touchdown pass was Wilson’s 63rd touchdown pass that traveled at least 20 air yards, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The game wouldn't be complete without some defensive stops. Bradley McDougald came up with a clutch recovery and Tre Flowers intercepted the Vikings, which turned in a seven-point play. 

Rashaad Penny SZN wasn't over yet, though. The rook cooked the Viks defense when he sprinted into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. 

With the 37-30 victory, the Seahawks are now 10-2 on the year and the best in the (NFC) West. Seattle will next head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams, who are coming off a 34-7 stomping over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13. 

Seahawks' Rashaad Penny at his best after frustrating, humbling rookie season

Seahawks' Rashaad Penny at his best after frustrating, humbling rookie season

“I just hit a wall.” 

These were the words Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny used when describing his 419 yards, two touchdowns and one broken finger that limited his potential in his rookie season. 

Now, heading into his second year, Penny is a few pounds lighter, one year wiser, and ready to soak up all of his opportunities in Seattle. 

“Over the past few months and this offseason, I’ve just started taking everything seriously by treating my body right and doing the little things,” Penny said. “Also, I think what helped me was losing all that extra weight. Now I feel better. I don’t have all those nagging injuries. I’m at my best.”

So, what’s changed in Penny? A few things. The team’s first-round draft pick in 2018 hired mentor former NFL running back and Super Bowl Champion Marshall Faulk, who has helped him learn the dynamics of becoming a pro. 

“I sent him the playbook and he shows me what to look for,” Penny said. "We watch videos on FaceTime. I’m just trying to learn the dynamics of being more of a pro.”

Penny is also feeling better than he’s ever felt, thanks to his nutritionist and a few healthy meals per day. He says he’s now 230 pounds, although the Seahawks currently list him at 220. 

His faster pace and newfound patience has caught the attention of his coaches, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. 

“It’s been cool to watch Rashaad, watch him grow up, watch him mature, watch him learn to kind of be a pro,” Schottenheimer said. “I’m really pleased with the way he is attacking practice right now. I think last year he didn’t know what he didn’t know. Now, he’s got some leadership ability, he’s getting a ton of reps because obviously Chris is out. But it’s been fun to watch him grow. The talent is there—we all know that. It’s just him putting consecutive days in a row and I think he has done that the last couple of weeks.” 

While Penny still has a lot to learn, he feels like he’s more prepared to step into the role of a true pro in his second season. 

“You get anxious over-excited. You have high expectations, being a first-rounder,” Penny said. “But at the end of the day it’s all about coming in and doing what’s at hand. You know, we have a great running back in Chris Carson. So I try to take little details from him, try to be his best friend. 

“We are trying to create something that hasn’t been done here.”

Seattle Seahawks' running back Rashaad Penny a different player this spring

Seattle Seahawks' running back Rashaad Penny a different player this spring

RENTON, Wash. - Seattle running back Rashaad Penny has an uphill climb ahead of him to unseat starter Chris Carson. The first step in that process for Penny is demonstrating to the coaching staff that he is capable of matching the consistent displayed last season by his competition, who led the team with 1,151 rushing yards.   

So far through voluntary offseason training activities, Penny has been nothing less than impressive, according to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who said he sees in the second-year back a more mature and professional individual.

An example of Penny's versatility and talent offered up by Schottenheimer involved the 220-pounder running a choice route out of the backfield, deftly setting up a linebacker and then getting open for the reception. 

"You don't really see guys that big that can move like that," Schottenheimer said. "There's really nothing that he can't do."

That was the thought process that compelled Seattle last year to selected Penny in the first round of the NFL Draft out of San Diego State. An injury during training camp set him back while Carson, a seventh-round pick in 2017, emerged as the clear starter. Penny showed flashes during the season while rushing for 419 yards and two touchdowns with an average of 4.9 yards per carry. But Carson, who has been sitting out of OTAs with a tweaked knee, proved to be the more consistent professional and remained the starter when healthy. 

Penny has one trait that Carson does not and that's explosive speed. If Penny can put together the rest of this game, that breakaway ability would make him difficult to keep him on the sideline. Although it's only June, Schottenheimer said Penny appears to be a different man this time around. 

"I'm really pleased with the way he's attacking practice right now," Schottenheimer said. "Last year he didn't know what he didn't know. Now he's got some leadership ability. He's getting a ton of reps  because obviously Chris is out. It's been fun to watch him grow. The talent is there. We all know that. It's just him putting together consecutive days in a row. And I think he's done that the last couple of weeks. It's been cool to watch him mature."

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said that Penny appears leaner and faster than he did last year, which should only enhance his chances of making a bigger impact in 2019. 

"He looks great. He looks great," Carroll said. "He’s fast, he’s lean, he looks like the off season that he put forth and then also what he’s done with our guys has been working right on point. He’s doing really well. He’s trimmed a little bit. Yeah. He’s stronger than he was, I think, so he’s transferred some weight. But he looks great right now, so we’re really happy with them."

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - A No. 3 running back might be needed

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USA Today

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - A No. 3 running back might be needed

Part 2 in an eight-part series that takes a position-by-position look at the Seattle Seahawks' needs heading into the NFL Draft on April 25-27. 

Past posts: Quarterbacks

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Today: Running backs:

Depth Chart: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Bo Scarbrough. 

Need: Medium to low. 

Expectations: Seattle could be in the marke for a No. 3 running back. 

Potential targets: Ashley Young provides a list of potential draft targets at running back for Seattle.   

Picks: The Seahawks have four picks in round one (No. 21), round three (No. 84), round four (No. 124) and round five (No. 159).

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Seattle is certainly set at the top of the depth chart at running back but healthy depth is an issue.

Seattle went from being one of the worst rushing teams in 2017 to leading the NFL in that category last season thanks to the rapid development of a largely pieced together offensive line and running back Chris Carson. The former seventh-round pick rushed for 1,151 yards to become the team's first 1,000-yard back since Marshawn Lynch in 2014 (1,306). 

Uncertainty at the position last year after Carson played just four games because of a broken leg led Seattle to select Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2017 draft. 

Penny, injured early on, could never supplant Carson, who fits the mold of a hard-nosed runner coach Pete Carroll likes to revolve his running game around. Penny, on the other hand, offers more breakaway speed. 

The No. 3 running back, however, remains a big question mark. Mike Davis, who rushed for 514 yards last season, got scooped up in free agency by Chicago. 

Seattle has been waiting for the electrifying C.J. Prosise to pay off since selecting him with a third-round pick in 2016. But numerous injuries have limited him to 192 rushing yards in 16 games over three seasons. Can the Seahawks continue to wait on him? 

J.D. McKissic, who also returns kicks, caught 34 passes in 2017 but was limited to five games last season because of injury. 

Seattle picked up Scarbrough late last season as insurance depth. 

If Seattle is committed to either Prosise or McKissic being the No. 3 running back then there is no need to burn a draft pick on a new project. With a 1,000-yard back and a recent first-round pick on the team, drafting a running back at all appears to be quite unlikely. 

However, given that Prosise and McKissic are hardly proven commodities, Seattle could do well to improve the depth here through the draft but only if the Seahawks are able to trade down to acquire more picks. Using one of their four current picks at this position would be too redundant at this point. 

Seattle Seahawks' GM John Schneider ready to wheel and deal?

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USA Today

Seattle Seahawks' GM John Schneider ready to wheel and deal?

The Seattle Seahawks enter the NFL Draft process with four picks. That's about 10 too few for Seattle general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll.

Having picks in just rounds one, three, four and five certainly won't cut it. 

“That’s a challenge for us,” Schneider told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind.  

Don't expect Seattle to sit still with just four selections once the three-day, seven-round draft starts on April 25. 

Schneider and Carroll love the NFL Draft process and for them, the more picks the better. The duo has made a living out of selecting middle-to-late-round gems such as quarterback Russell Wilson (third round, 2012), cornerback Richard Sherman (fifth round, 2011), safety Kam Chancellor (fifth round, 2010) and running back Chris Carson (seventh round, 2017).

[ALSO READ: Seattle Seahawks' GM John Schneider addresses QB Russell Wilson's future]

For those reasons, Seattle seeks to stockpile picks. They drafted nine players last year, 11 in 2017 and 10 in 2016. In fact, the last time Seattle drafted just the normal allotment of seven players was in 2009, a year before Carroll and Schneider took over.

“It’s what we do,” Schneider said. “Our guys do a great job of working their relationships around the league and we’re trying to navigate where we’re going throughout the draft and targeting players and moving around.”

There is a good chance that Seattle will do much of the same in April. 

"We don’t necessarily have to go down all the time," Schneider said in regards to trading down in the draft. "But it’s kind of fun." 

Seattle is light on picks because it traded its second-round pick to acquire left tackle Duane Brown from the Houston Texans in 2017, traded its sixth-round pick to Green Bay to acquire backup quarterback Brett Hundley and sent its seventh-round pick to Oakland for safety Shalom Luani.

On safety Earl Thomas: Schneider was asked about safety Early Thomas, who held out of training camp in hopes of a contract extension before returning to action and then breaking his leg in the fourth game of the season. Thomas is now a free agent.

"I understood his frustration," Schneider said when asked about how things ended with Thomas. "It's a business. He's a free agent. He’s going to test free agency. We’ll see what happens. He's going to be one of those dudes that's up in the (ring of honor)."

On running back Rashaad Penny: During last year's draft, Seattle traded down to acquire picks and then selected running back Rashaad Penny No. 27th overall. Penny battled injuries while rushing for 419 yards and two touchdowns while not being able to beat out second-year running back Chris Carson, a seventh-round pick in 2017 who rushed for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns. 

“He had a nice rookie year," Schneider said. "Battled through some things. He’s never been hurt before. As a rookie it was kind of hard for him to figure things out. But I think he’s on the path of getting ready to have a great season. We don’t have any reason to not think that.”

On defensive end Frank Clark: The biggest free agent on Seattle's radar is likely its own, Frank Clark, who led the team with 13 sacks. Seattle is expected to work to keep him but Schneider offered little insight into that process. 

"Frank and I, we have a great relationship," Schneider said. "Communication has been great. There’s a strong level of trust between the two of us."

Kicking situation: Another free agent is kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who turns 41 this weekend. Seattle made a move at that position shortly after the season ended by signing Sam Ficken to a futures contract in January. Ficken appeared in two games with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018 and two in 2017. The 26-year-old out of Penn State has attempted six career field goals making three.

"He had a great workout with us," Schneider said. "We wanted to get him in there as quickly as we could to have that stable guy. We will continue to look for someone to work with him.

Janikowski has made 436 of 542 career field goal attempts.