Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny 'starting to play faster'

Rashaad Penny's rookie training camp was derailed by a finger injury that sidelined the running back for the final three preseason games.

That injury threw the start of Penny's 2018 campaign off-tilt, yet he showed flashes, popping big plays down the stretch that made spectators remember why he was a first-round pick, including a 12-carry, 108-yard, TD performance against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10.

Heading into the 2019 season, the expectations surrounding Penny are heightened, with the Seahawks expected to give him a chance to siphon carries from Chris Carson.

Penny knows in order to take snaps from Carson this season, he's got to be more productive with his chances.

"When you do everything right and the other back is doing everything right, they're going to stick with the guy who is consistent, who is on it, who is faster," Penny said, via Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic. "This year, I think it's going to be way different because now I'm starting to pick it up and I'm starting to play faster."

Part of playing faster is better understanding the offense in Year 2 and improving his pass protection, something that is vital if he wants more playing time. Last season, because of his struggles, the running back saw only 81 snaps on passing plays. Penny said he's improved leaps and bounds in pass pro.

"It's easy when I come out here and get it," Penny said. "The part about striking, finishing with your guy, I think that's the most consistent thing I have to get better at."

Carson and Penny will sort out who earns more snaps each week, with the Seahawks likely deploying a hot-hand approach on Sundays. Behind the top two sit pass-catchers J.D. McKissic and C.J. Prosise. Rookie Travis Homer and big back Bo Scarbrough are battling to stick on the roster.

Penny said the competition between himself, Carson and the rest of the backs helps all boats float.

"It's competition every day," Penny said. "Just the race up to the locker room is competition. I wouldn't want to compete with any other guys because we're all trying to get the spot."

While Carson will be tough to bump out of the top RB job unless injury strikes, Penny is ready to prove he can be the running back who can be more than just a six-carries-per-game spot-sub in the Seahawks backfield.

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