Carroll says he's confident in Rawls, running game - and even the offensive line

SEATTLE – Recent results aside, the Seattle Seahawks aren’t giving up on the running game, Thomas Rawls or the offensive line.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said during his press conference Tuesday that - despite three games in which Rawls has totaled 56 yards and one touchdown – the second-year running back remains firmly entrenched as the starter.

“I don’t think it’s going to be like that going forward,” Carroll said. “I think there were some numbers out there – he didn’t carry the ball very much. Every running back needs to get out there and stay on the field. He hasn’t gotten a lot of carries because he got nicked here, and what happened last week.

“So I don’t think that’s really a factor to be concerned about on our end of it. We’re gonna just keep feeding it to him.”

So what did happen las week, when Rawls carried only eight times for 14 yards?

Carroll said the plan going into the game was to get Rawls 20 or so carries. But as the Falcons appeared to be defeating the New Orleans Saints handily – taking with them the No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that goes with it – the Seahawks decided to give their starters some rest.

It was probably not a bad decision, as Rawls spent much of the season recovering from various injuries.

“We were really excited about Thomas, and then he broke his leg in the second game,” Carroll said. “He didn’t get a chance to get right until this late in the season.”

Of course, many fans have put the brunt on the blame on the offensive line.

Don’t worry: Carroll sees it too. He just sees it a little differently than you might.

“It shows that we’re still young, and that the consistency to be nailed is still out there for us, and that’s our challenge is to believe that we’re capable of playing like we’ve played when we’re at our best, and continue to find that and bring that to our front,” Carroll said.

“This is a young bunch of guys. We’ve got two first-time starters ever and another guy that’s started one game in his life before. So, that’s about as young as you can get. So, all of the growth is going to be huge between year 1 and year 2.”

Carroll, in fact, said he sees much of this offensive line sticking around.

“They’re young, they’re hungry, they’re bright, they’re working at it and they’re going through tremendous experiences and they’re going to be measurably better as we come back around,” he said.

“I think this is the line of the future, yeah.”