Until proven otherwise, I will continue to believe that Tim Ruskell is more clueless about how to build an offense than Mike Holmgren ever was about how to build a defense. I may do a deeper dive on this topic, but for tonight, let’s take a look at just one position that he has completely and utterly screwed up, running back.

Ruskell inherited Shaun Alexander during what became his MVP season. Let’s look at the running backs Ruskell has passed up each season in the draft:

Seahawks 1st Round Pick (28) – Lawrence Jackson
Matt Forte (44th) 1,238 yards rushing, 1,715 total yards from scrimmage
Ray Rice (55th) Beat out Willis McGahee to be 2009 Ravens starting RB
Kevin Smith (64th) Started for Lions and rushed for 976 yards and 8 TD
Steve Slaton (89th) Led all rookies in rushing with 1,282 yards (4.8 YPC) and added 50 receptions for 377 yards
Tim Hightower (149th) Became Cardinals starter and scored 10 TDs

And let’s not forget free agency where Michael Turner signed a $15M guaranteed contract and rushed for nearly 1,700 yards while Ruskell spent ~$15M to sign TJ Duckett and Julius Jones.

2006 (2007 wasn’t much to look at)
Seahawks 1st Round Pick (31) – Kelly Jennings
LenDale White (45th) 1,110 yards rushing and 7 TDs in 2007, 773 yards rushing and 15 TDs in 2008
Maurice Jones-Drew (60th) 941 yards and 15 TDs in 2006, 768 and 9 in 2007, 824 and 14 in 2008
Jerrious Norwood (79th) led the NFL in YPC at 6.4 in 2006, 6.1 in 2007, and was strong at 5.1 in 2008

I can’t even bring myself to look at the 2005 draft when we took Chris Spencer in the first round. You could argue Ruskell wouldn’t be thinking to draft at that position then due to Shaun and Mo Morris, but that hasn’t stopped him from drafting defensive ends by the boat load. This is just a total fail for Ruskell. Youth dominates at the running back position like no other in the NFL. It’s a position you can fill for cheap through the draft, yet we keep trying to solve it through free agency. Give up one Darryl Tapp, Josh Wilson, Lawrence Jackson, Kelly Jennings for one of these guys and we are a different team. 2008, in particular, was known to be a strong RB draft and we drafted…Justin Forsett in the 7th. That’s it. Look at the quality teams got in later rounds.

Shame on you Timmay.

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Man, what a bargain Forte turned out to be. While I am not a huge fan of Ruskell, he has found some bargains.

    Now, free agent wise Ruskell has whiffed incredibly bad. Just burning cap space left and right..I just hope Paul Allen comes to his senses and kicks this ego maniac to the curb next year.

  2. What's The Deal?

    wow i have been begging the hawks to get a rb… Jothan stewart even trade up for him… and a guy like ray rice. i wanted him so bad and instead we pickidno how but im sure nothing specail thats for sure….

  3. Lori Thompson

    Can I just say Amen!!! Julius Jones and TJ Duckett? And now Edge–who is 31????? While we're at it, why don't we just get Shawn back? Aggghhhh!!!

  4. Byron

    The 2005 draft wasn't so bad; the only good RB in the first two rounds was Ronnie Brown, who went second overall before we drafted. It would have been nice to get Frank Gore (1st pick, 3rd round), Marion Barber (8th in the 4th) or Brandon Jacobs (next one).

    To me this just emphasizes what a crapshoot the draft is, because other than the guys listed above the only notable RBs taken that year were Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams, J.J. Arrington and Darren Sproles. Benson and Williams were the 4th and 5th overall, but they (and Brown) were the only first rounders. That means each of the other guys was passed over multiple times by each team. Hell, Ryan Grant wasn't even drafted! Yet there were at least a dozen other RBs drafted that year and I don't think I'd ever heard of them.

  5. hawkblogger

    Thanks for doing the legwork on 2005, Byron. My main point is that there is a rather high number of RBs that have been drafted and made an impact the last few seasons and all we've done is draft Forsett and THREE fullbacks. I do place some of the blame on Holmgren who always was way too enamored with Mo Morris, but last year's draft was a joke considering our needs. Julius Jones and Duckett were not valuable enough to nab in free agency prior to the draft. That money should have been spent elsewhere.