By Eric D. Williams Tacoma News Tribune
Posted July 31, 2012 at 9:28 p.m.
RENTON — BEAST MODE INSURANCE
The Seattle Seahawks signed running back Kregg Lumpkin in free agency this offseason as another big body in the competition at back-up running back behind Marshawn Lynch, which includes rookie Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, Tyrell Sutton and Vai Taua.
And with Lynch's availability uncertain because of a DUI charge in his hometown of Oakland, Lumpkin's services could be needed at the beginning of the season.
At 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, Lumpkin is a big back who can also make tacklers miss in the open field.
"I try to run as a bruising back, but as a shifty back as well," Lumpkin said. "So I say I'm a 'tweener.'"
A ZONE RUNNER
Lumpkin counts Emmett Smith and Larry Johnson as running backs he studied and tried to emulate growing up in Albany, Ga.
"You try and take bits and pieces of what they did and try and put it into your own game," he said.
Lumpkin, 28, entered the league as an undrafted rookie free agent with Green Bay in 2008 when Seahawks general manager John Schneider worked in the personnel department for the Packers.
He's a good fit for Seattle because of his familiarity with offensive line coach Tom Cable's zone blocking scheme. Lumpkin said he ran a similar scheme with Green Bay and Tampa Bay, and in college at the University of Georgia.
BRUISING RUNNER WITH SOFT HANDS
But what has given Lumpkin an added benefit is the fact he can play both running back and fullback. Lumpkin also was a core special teams player in Tampa Bay last season. He finished with 31 carries for 105 yards in Tampa Bay last year, and also showed soft hands, totaling a career-high 41 receptions for 291 yards.
"If you can do more than one position you have a better chance of making the team, so I'm trying to do as much as I can," he said. "I've been raised to compete all my life. So I'm just out here trying to have fun, and to continue to learn as well."
Lumpkin's performance so far in camp has left a good impression on Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.
"Kregg caught a bunch of balls last year in the role that he played," Carroll said. "He's a good blocker. He hasn't carried the ball as much as some of the other guys, but he's 237 pounds, so he runs heavy and thick. Getting into the games and seeing him, we'll get a lot of looks on where he is."