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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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July 28, 2008 5:59 PM

Seattle's running game: Sharing is caring

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Coach Mike Holmgren reiterated on Monday his desire to split the role of featured back between Maurice Morris and Julius Jones.

"They're both starting," Holmgren said. "Who runs out of the tunnel, I might alternate that, I don't know."

It's pretty unequivocal. The story from Monday's newspaper talked about that philosophy and explained how it meshed with a league-wide trend in which fewer backs had an overwhelming workload last season.

Holmgren said Monday he had talked to both Morris and Jones about that, explaining his hope is that spreading the load can help both Jones and Morris stay healthy.

OK. So let's check in with Morris and Jones, which we did on Sunday.

Start with Maurice Morris.

Q: This whole approach of a two-back system, are you on board or does it matter?

Maurice Morris: "It doesn't matter in my approach," Morris said. "I approach it the same way I approach these past six years. Just go out there every day, work hard and be prepared to play."

OK, now for Jones.

Q: Sharing a role, Holmgren has talked about that. How are you with that?

Jones:: I don't know anything about sharing a role. I'm just coming out here and practicing every day. That’s really not on my mind right now. It’s really not. I’m new here. I’m still learning the offense and things will work themselves out. But that’s so far from my head right now.

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Posted by Keith

6:48 PM, Jul 28, 2008

I don't know if I agree with the dual back system. It may work out, but if we have an injury to either back, that whole system is done.

I will hope for the best with it and it is a breath of fresh air to try somethign new and make Morris a regular name.

Posted by good ol' george

7:00 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Running back by committee doesn't work (example: 1979 Broncos). Pick one to be the man, and let him run through the defense.

Posted by B

7:53 PM, Jul 28, 2008

2007 NY Giants were basically a runningback by committee team., and to a lesser extent, so were the Patriots.

Posted by 12thmanforlife

8:16 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Yeah, referring to something from 1979 isn't really relevant. Times have changed. Almost every team does it now. The Giants won like that. The Colts won like that. The Pats won like that....and so on. Its a good way to keep guys fresh. Especially when you don't have a guy who can't handle the full load. We have 2 backs who are very similar in size and style with Mo Mo and Jones and we have a bruiser in Duckett. Plus a good runner in Weaver. I think this could work out well because of the many options we have. I think you will see Holmgren use more of his playbook than he has recently.

Posted by JLW

10:20 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Trust in the "Holmgren" You think you know more? It's early! He wants both to fight for it.

Posted by KG

1:13 AM, Jul 29, 2008

wow, a 1979 reference to make your point? I agree with everyone else, the running back by committee approach seems to be working so I think the Seahawks need to fold into that mold. Plus, with a weaker O-Line we need fresh backs to bust through the defense. And I agree most with JLW, trust in Holmgren and we'll be okay.

Posted by JB

2:32 PM, Jul 29, 2008

We need to give the bulk of the carries to Jones. He had over 1,000 yds and a 4.1 yard per carry average 2 years ago. Maurice is ok for a breather, but Jones is our guy. The Patriots have been good because of their passing game. The Rams had Faulk. The Colts had James and now Addai. We don't have a Randy Moss or a younger Torry Holt. We need to ride Jones to the Superbowl!

Posted by Ken B

2:37 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I believe in 1934 the chicago bears tried Red Grange and Beattie Feathers and it didnt 1979 Holmgren will change if it 1979

Posted by Aady

11:39 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Flowing back by committee does not work Pick one to be the man, and let him run done the defense.
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Posted by RP

7:35 AM, Jul 30, 2008

To set the record straight, in Super Bowl XLI it was Dominic Rhodes who rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries and Addai 77 yards on 19 attempts. Addai did have 66 yards receiving though. Having more than one featured back is the future of the NFL and there are many more examples of successfully doing this around the league in recent years.

Posted by 12thmanforlife

9:59 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Aady- your post made very little sense. On top of that it DOES work. I think other than the Ravens in 00, every super bowl winner this decade has had a running back by committee and it was productive. And that's all we really need. We don't need to run for 200 yards a game to be a good offense. Just provide some kind of running game to take some pressure off of Matt. This is a copy cat league and we need to get with the trends. However, having one main guy or 2 or 3 guys sharing the load isn't the real issue with our running game. Its our line and whether they can block or not. Lets hope Sims can do better on the right side. He was terrible last year and a big reason why our running game was so bad.

Posted by DaneGer509

7:45 PM, Jul 30, 2008

First of all anything is better than Shaun...good ridence. Second of all, ya no crap if one running back gets injured then you change the game plan, thats basics of football. Its not like we haven't got the options in RB's. The one-two punch is a devisating strategy when you get a small quick back and another who can hit. The defense gets tired and can not adjust to the different styles play by play nor the running styles.

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