There’s something you should know about the 2012 Seattle Seahawks. While QB Russell Wilson’s emergence is undoubtedly one of pro football’s hottest stories at the start of the season, he’s far from the only Seahawks rookie capable of making a major impact right away.
Four other draftees — first-round DE Bruce Irvin, second-round LB Bobby Wagner, fourth-round RB Robert Turbin and seventh-round OG J.R. Sweezy — are particularly noteworthy.
While Sweezy, who played with Wilson at North Carolina State, and Wagner are also beginning the season as starters at left guard and middle linebacker, respectively, and Irvin is being counted on to quickly bolster the pass rush the same way Aldon Smith did for the 49ers last season, Turbin is a heartbeat away from the starting RB role being filled by Marshawn Lynch. That's because Lynch's legal issues (a July DUI that could trigger a suspension) and tender back are causes for more than a little concern.
Hot on the heels of a 2011 campaign that featured four Seahawks rookies in starting roles — ORT James Carpenter (who has since been moved to guard), ORG John Moffitt, OLB K.J. Wright and CB Richard Sherman — it appears youth once again will be served in a major way by head coach Pete Carroll.
“It definitely helps your confidence when you have a coach like Pete Carroll who really believes that you can be successful,” Turbin told PFW a few days before the season opener in Arizona. “He is a great coach who has been a huge part of my progress as a rookie.”
Displaying a bruising, physical style with a strong burst similar to that of Lynch, Turbin made a strong impression on close team observers this summer. At the same time, Lynch has made a lasting impression on Turbin.
“He’s definitely become a guy that I kind of look up to,” Turbin said of Lynch. “He’s always in my ear, always giving me advice on how to practice and what he sees, giving me test questions.”
Turbin also has wasted no time developing a special relationship with his roommate Wilson.
“We’re kind of similar,” Turbin said. “We have a lot of the same interests, same beliefs. And we both love the game of football very much and put in a lot of time on it. The one thing about Russell is that he always comes into the room with a playbook or a call sheet in his hand. He’s always walking around reading his notes, going over plays. It’s football all the time with him. He’s a great roommate to have.
“I think he’s the real deal. He has a lot to prove, and so do I. The way he approaches the game, I have no doubt that he’s going to be great.”