RB aims to put past behind him

Staff writerApril 22, 2013 

Texas A&M running back Christine Michael offers the type of risk/reward proposition that sometimes lures Seahawks coach Pete Carroll into risking a gamble.

The risk? Michael suffered a broken leg in 2010 and a torn ACL in 2011, cutting short his seasons.

On top of that, Michael had a rocky relationship with Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin that resulted in him plummeting to the bottom of the depth chart. Michael was held out of the Aggies’ 41-13 win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl — the final game of his college career.

After a shaky report from college, Michael reportedly overslept during his most important job interview — the NFL combine in Indianapolis — missing two interviews with NFL teams.

So is Michael a changed man?

“Oh, definitely,” Michael said. “You take the guy who was at the end of last season and kind of compare him to the guy I am now. I’ve learned a lot.

“That’s the thing — you live and you learn. For the next time those things come about, you know how to handle those things. But for the most part, I feel like I handled it pretty well.”

The reward for Seattle could be a first-round talent for the price of a second- or third-round pick.

At 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, Michael is a power runner who would be a good fit in Seattle’s zone-blocking scheme.

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, pushed out 27 repetitions at 225 pounds on the bench press and posted a 43-inch vertical jump.

“His talent is crazy. … I have trouble seeing him getting out of the second round just because his physical traits are so good,” said Mike Mayock, a draft analyst for NFL.com.

Michael’s athleticism is one of the reasons the Seahawks had him in for a visit last week, giving the coaching staff a chance to ease concerns about his character.

However, selecting Michael would be a luxury for the Seahawks. Starting running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for a career-best 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012, and he’s heading into the second season of a four-year, $32 million deal.

Utah State product Robert Turbin, a fourth-round selection last year, showed promise as Lynch’s backup, finishing with 354 yards on 80 carries.

Seattle released change-of-pace running back Leon Washington because Percy Harvin will handle kick returns, so Michael could compete with UCLA product Derrick Coleman for playing time as the third running back.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com @eric_d_williams blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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