A few minutes with Kregg Lumpkin, running back.
‘BEAST MODE’ INSURANCE
The Seattle Seahawks signed running back Kregg Lumpkin in free agency this offseason to be another big body in the competition to be the backup running back behind Marshawn Lynch. The other candidates include rookie Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, Tyrell Sutton and Vai Taua.
With Lynch’s availability uncertain because of a recent DUI charge in his hometown of Oakland, Lumpkin’s services could be needed at the beginning of the regular season.
At 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, Lumpkin is a big back who can 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 Hall of Fame back Emmitt Smith and ex-Kansas City Chiefs back Larry Johnson as runners whom he studied and tried to emulate while 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 free agent with Green Bay in 2008, when Seahawks general manager John Schneider was working in the personnel department for the Packers.
Lumpkin is a good fit for Seattle because of his familiarity with offensive line coach Tom Cable’s zone blocking scheme. Lumpkin said he ran behind a similar scheme with Green Bay and Tampa Bay and in college at the University of Georgia.
BRUISING RUNNER WITH SOFT HANDS
What gives Lumpkin an added benefit is that he can play both running back and fullback. Also, Lumpkin was a core special teams player in Tampa Bay last season. He finished with 31 carries for 105 yards with the Buccaneers in 2011, and he showed soft hands while making a career-high 41 catches 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,” Lumpkin 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 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.”