Will Marshawn Lynch manage to fill the bill as a consistently productive running back unlike T.J. Duckett, Julius Jones, Edgerrin James and LenDale White were able to do before his arrival in Seattle?
The way we hear it, there's strong reason to believe that the 24-year-old Lynch, who was traded from Buffalo for what is widely believed to be a fourth-round pick in 2011 and either a fifth- or sixth-round pick in 2012, will indeed benefit from a badly needed change of scenery.
"(Pete) Carroll has been looking for a big back who can move the chains since becoming the head coach, and Lynch is a back who runs a lot bigger than his (5-11, 215-pound) size," said one source on the scene in Seattle.
"They like him for first and second downs and Justin Forsett in the third-down role, which he has always done extremely well.
"Forsett is a willing blocker who is great at blitz pick-up, and it doesn't hurt that he and Lynch are former college teammates (at the University of California) who are also very close friends. Look for a lot of mix-and-max packages, including a one-WR, two-TE, two-RB formation involving both of them."
Lynch, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher who was chosen by the Bills with the 12th overall selection in the 2007 draft, comes to Seattle with some character issues. His three-game suspension at the start of last season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge probably would have been enough of a red flag to make previous GM Tim Ruskell steer clear of him.
"But that hasn't been nearly as big a deal with the new regime (Carroll and GM John Schneider)," the source said.
What is a big deal that could turn out to be a big negative, though, are the nonstop personnel changes at every offensive position that have quickly become a trademark of the Carroll-Schneider regime.
That's especially the case on an offensive line that will be trying to open holes for Lynch and Forsett featuring five of 10 linemen who did not take part in the team's training camp.
Team insiders can only venture a guess at the starting line moving forward, especially at left guard, where as many as four players — Chester Pitts, Ben Hamilton, Mike Gibson and Allen Barbre — could seriously figure in the mix.