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RENTON Cullen Gillaspia Jersey , Wash. (AP) — and decided with their team winless after two games there needed to be a change.What the Seattle Seahawks were trying to do on offense wasn’t working.“He and I sat down and kind of had a little heart-to-heart,” said Schottenheimer, Seattle’s first-year offensive coordinator.“There were things that he and I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page about. It wasn’t just the running game, it was he and I continuing to build our relationship and it was an awesome meeting. It probably lasted about an hour and we talked about a ton of different stuff. I know I came out of that meeting feeling really good just about the direction where we wanted to go.”The direction has been clear for more than three months as the Seahawks went from a team searching for answers to a team back in the postseason after a one-year absence from the playoffs.And it was the decisions made before playing Dallas in Week 3 where the switch was made and Seattle started on its path that has the Seahawks headed to face the Cowboys on Saturday night in an NFC wild-card game.The conversation between Carroll and Schottenheimer made clear Seattle was going back to the fundamentals of how it wanted to be offensively. They were going to make running the ball the priority and let Russell Wilson be a playmaker around the running success.The result: Seattle ended the season as the best run team in the NFL, and with Wilson having one of the best seasons of his career making big plays in the passing game.“I don’t think you’d always sit there and say we’re going to make this philosophy and go do this, and then you think you’re going to be the best in the league at it,” Schottenheimer said.Throughout last offseason, Seattle preached it was returning to the basic offensive fundamentals that led them to consecutive NFC titles. They were going to be bullies running the football behind the trio of Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny.But for the first two weeks of the season, Schottenheimer and Carroll got too far ahead of themselves. They tried to see how much the Seahawks could rely on Wilson, rather than relying on the run game. The result was a pair of ugly losses to Denver and Chicago, and Wilson running for his life getting sacked 12 times in those first two games.When Dallas arrived in Week 3 Rock Ya-Sin Jersey , so did Seattle’s change in approach. That was the week Carson became the workhorse in the run game. It was the week that the additions of D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy at the guard positions started to become noticeable, and Seattle’s running success meant Wilson was no longer under siege by the opposing pass rush.Seattle rushed for only 113 yards that day in the 24-13 win — 102 by Carson — but it laid the foundation for what the Seahawks became.“They were talking about it the whole time of running the ball more and being a run team,” Carson said. “They finally started getting it going against the Cowboys and it’s taken off ever since.”Starting with Week 3, Seattle has rushed for 2,422 yards, the fourth-most by any team since 2010 during that 14-game span. The 2014 Seahawks had 2,447 yards during the same stretch of games, one spot ahead of this year’s team.While it was the Cowboys when Seattle committed to its offensive identity, when it fully took hold depends on whom you ask. For Schottenheimer it wasn’t until Week 12 at Carolina when he became convinced Seattle had the ability to win in multiple ways. The victory over the Panthers came on a day Seattle ran for only 75 yards, but Wilson threw for 339. It’s the only time in the final 14 games Seattle was held under 100 yards rushing as a team.For offensive tackle Duane Brown, it was Seattle’s first game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 5. Seattle lost 33-31, but ran for 190 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry.“It just became our norm and we had some pretty good fronts that we went against http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/ben-banogu-jersey ,” Brown said.Carroll agreed with his left tackle that it was a few games after facing the Cowboys before the commitment to Seattle’s offensive style became the norm.“It was a step in right direction and the commitment came through but we were just getting started,” Carroll said. “I don’t think that was the pivotal week, it took us two or three weeks after that before we started to find the stride that we wanted and started to build on that.” Minkah Fitzpatrick understands the value of his skill set.

At 6-foot-1, 201 pounds, he hits like a safety. His speed, hip movement and feet might make him more tailored to cornerback.

So the Alabama star is spending this weekend explaining to NFL scouts he can excel at either, both or some combination of the positions.

”It’s a different kind of position, kind of like a combination between safety and corner,” said Fitzpatrick, describing the slot corner spot he played in college. ”I like to play both safety and corner, so I think slot corner is optimal for my abilities.”

If true, Fitzpatrick would be one of the rarest commodities in football – a tweener with an actual fit.

Traditionally when players at the NFL’s annual scouting combine are explaining what position suits them best Parris Campbell Jersey , it’s because team executives aren’t sure where they should play and the player’s draft stock sinks.

But Fitzpatrick’s physical gifts could make him a trend-setter in a league that has become increasingly more pass-happy and places a premium on versatility.

He was recruited as a true cornerback, moved to slot corner before the 2015 season, won the starting job and never relinquished it. Coach Nick Saban was so impressed he usually paired Fitzpatrick on the opponent’s top receiver, one-on-one.

It didn’t take long for Fitzpatrick to make an impact.

After being selected to the SEC’s all-freshman team in 2015, he earned first-team All-American honors in 2016 and 2017.

Now he’s off to the NFL, where teams are trying to figure out what Saban once did – the best place for Fitzpatrick to play.

”I think he could play all six defensive back positions. Both corners, both safeties, nickel and dime linebacker,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Saturday. ”He’s the only guy I can say that about. Now, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’ve had a couple of coaches say to me, `Hey, is he a difference-maker? Is he a nickel? Where’s his ball production?’ He had six picks two years ago Will Harris Jersey , but only had one this year. But I look at (his versatility) as a positive.”

Mayock’s sentiment may explain why Fitzpatrick appears to have a slight edge on his competition right now. He’s projected to be a top-five pick.

Some expect Ohio State’s Denzel Ward, a true cornerback, to be selected in the top 10 with Florida State safety Derwin James the only other defensive back tabbed for the top 20.

The workouts in Indianapolis, which conclude Monday, will help determined the actual pecking order in April.

But one thing working in Fitzpatrick’s favor: work ethic.

While growing up in New Jersey, he sometimes helped his father fix trucks.

After the family’s home collapsed during Hurricane Irene in 2011, Fitzpatrick helped his parents rebuild.

And when the Catholic high school he attended provided peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students who couldn’t afford school lunches, Fitzpatrick ate them up.

So when he arrived at the combine, less than two months away from possibly hitting a multimillion-dollar jackpot, the reality finally hit.

”It’s really crazy,” Fitzpatrick said. ”I remember the second I got here, I was laying in bed http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/austin-bryant-jersey , looked up at the ceiling and just started smiling.”

Yes, it’s been a long trek here for Fitzpatrick and his family.

Yet he hasn’t forgotten his blue-collar roots, his humble perspective on life or his passion for football. It’s served him well, so far.

”I think he’s going to go out there and run like a corner, have the size of a safety, and if you’re a defensive coordinator and take him in the top 10, you’ve got to have a plan,” Mayock said. ”What is he? Is he my safety, is he my corner, is he my nickel? Or is he a piece that I can match up week to week against a big wideout or a tight end? How you use him is ultimately going to determine the value of him.”



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