Pete Carroll has preached the importance of a running game from day one as the Seattle Seahawks head coach. Carroll has repeatedly emphasized this and has not changed his philosophy even as the players on the team changed.
Since Marshawn Lynch left, the Seahawks have been less than adequate as a running football team. In Lynch’s last year with Seattle, they rushed for almost 2,300 yards, in the years since the Seahawks have not managed to break the 1,700-yard rushing barrier. This has had a resounding impact on the team as a whole that supposedly was a run-first team. Thomas Rawls looked like the next man up for Seattle, and after a huge rookie season with 830 rushing yards coming on less than 150 carries everyone was optimistic. But he has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries and the simple fact he seems to have lost a bit of his field vision over the years.
Then C.J. Prosise looked like he could be a guy to take over some playmaking responsibilities. He had a few big games and flashed the ability to make big plays, but he has also struggled to stay on the field for the Seahawks. The most productive running back the Seahawks have gotten besides Christine Michael since Lynch has been Alex Collins and he waited until he got to Baltimore before breaking out.
Seattle got good by investing in their defense. And when the time came to either bet on new players or investing in the players they already had, they invested in people like Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Richard Sherman and everyone else. On the surface this looked like a fine idea, the Seahawks had one of the best defenses in the history of the game, but then injuries and age slowly crept up and there was no money to upgrade the offense around Russell Wilson. If last season was any indication, this was not the right move in the long run.
This does not mean they did not try and upgrade the offense. They traded first round picks and the best center the Seahawks have seen in decades for Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham. Neither of these trades worked out like they hoped, both were moderately productive but overall did not contribute at the level they were supposed to. If Seattle had used those picks on rookies, they might not have been more successful than Harvin or Graham but it would have cost much less and Seattle could have spent the money somewhere else.
It is just speculation but for me franchises are mostly made from the draft because of the rookie wage scale. This fixed dollar amount lets teams spend more freely on free agents and retain more players they want. I believe the Seahawks bet on themselves several years in a row and did not quite balance the future with the present.