Rookie Turbin gets his chance, excels

Staff writerDecember 10, 2012 

As a backup, Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Robert Turbin has struggled to find a rhythm in his complementary role to every-down guy Marshawn Lynch.

But in Seattle’s blowout victory over the Cardinals, the Utah State product finally got a chance to show what he can do.

And Lynch still got enough carries to break his single-season record for rushing yards.

Turbin finished with 20 carries for 108 yards, the first time he topped the 100-yard mark in his pro career.

“It really helped a lot,” Turbin said. “To finally not just get flashes of carries here and there, but to just get consecutive carries and get a feel for the defense for my own self.

“That’s a lot of what Marshawn does. You guys talk about that all time — he doesn’t break a lot of his big runs until the second half. Well, that’s a part of him feeling the game. And I was able to kind of feel the game myself.”

Added fullback Michael Robinson: “Marshawn has been through this before. But to see Turbin’s face, knowing that he had 100 yards, man — his first 100-yard game — it was definitely gratifying to see that.”

Lynch totaled 128 yards on 11 carries, setting a franchise mark of 11.68 yards per carry for a single game. That mark was previously held by Lynch’s position coach, Sherman Smith, of 8.86 yards, set against Atlanta on Nov. 7, 1976.

The last time Seattle had two players rush for 100 yards or more was against Houston on Oct. 16, 2005, with Shaun Alexander (141 yards) and Maurice Morris (104).

Seattle’s 284 rushing yards was the fourth-best total in team history. The team record is 320, set against Houston in 2005.

With his effort against Arizona, Lynch also set a career high for rushing yards with 1,266, eclipsing his previous best of 1,204 set last season. Lynch also posted a career-best seventh 100-yard rushing game in a season. His previous best was six, also set last season.

REPORT: SHERMAN COULD PUSH APPEAL

According to an ESPN report, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has hired outside counsel to represent him in fighting his four-game suspension by the NFL for allegedly violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

Further, according to the report, it’s realistic to expect that Sherman’s scheduled hearing on the issue on Friday could be delayed.

That’s good news for the Seahawks, who already will miss cornerback Brandon Browner for four games. Browner began serving a suspension Sunday for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy by allegedly taking an amphetamine-type substance.

Sherman declined to comment on the situation after the game Sunday, stating that his agent, Kevin Poston, is handling the matter.

JUST SOME HURT FEELINGS FOR RICE

The play was scary. The hit was vicious. And the result was a penalty.

But in the end Sidney Rice was fine.

Late in the game on a pass over the middle, Rice made a fantastic reaching grab, but was leveled by Arizona safety Rashad Johnson. The hit drew gasp from the stands and a penalty from the back judge.

Rice popped back up in defiance and spun the ball on its top to show Johnson he wasn’t affected.

So did it hurt?

“My feelings were hurt a little bit,” he said. “But it was cool to get back up.”

Replays show that Johnson led with his shoulder and hit Rice squarely in the chest. Johnson was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a defenseless player, but even Rice admitted it wasn’t really a penalty.

“It was a clean hit,” Rice said. “Everybody said it was a clean hit.”

Up 51-0, Rice was done for the day after the big hit. No reason to risk any further injury. He finished with two catches for 35 yards.

SHUTTING DOWN FITZGERALD

Third-year pro Walter Thurmond said he felt right at home on the field. The University of Oregon product made his first start of the 2012 season, playing in place of Browner.

Thurmond finished with three tackles, including one tackle for loss, and helped keep talented Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald to one catch for two yards. Fitzgerald was targeted 11 times.

“It felt like right before I got injured last year,” Thurmond said. “I felt real comfortable. It was just football out there today. I really felt back into the groove of things.”

Even with his pending appeal looming, Sherman continues to focus at the task at hand and play well. The Stanford alum finished with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Sherman also returned his first interception for a touchdown in the NFL, a 19-yard scamper on a pass intended for Fitzgerald that gave Seattle a 24-0 lead in the second quarter.

Sherman said it was nice to get in the end zone, particularly since his teammates continued to remind him that he got caught from behind by Arizona running back LaRod Stephens-Howling after picking off John Skelton in Seattle’s overtime loss to the Cardinals at the end of the 2011 season.

“My teammates still get on me for that,” Sherman said, laughing.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams Staff writer Ryan Divish contributed to this report.

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