Q&A: Rashaad Penny wants to be Offensive Rookie of the Year
Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks' top pick in the past draft, will get his first taste of live NFL action when Seattle hosts the Indianapolis Colts Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks hope Penny, who led the FBS in rushing as a senior last year at San Diego State University, can help the team resurrect its run game in his rookie season.
SeattlePI sat down with the highly-touted rookie to chop it up about his tattoos, having an older brother in the NFL, his aspirations to be Offensive Rookie of the Year and more.
SeattlePI: You have your mother's name, Desiree, tattooed on your right forearm. You also have an image of a lion on the corresponding shoulder. What do those symbolize to you?
Penny: "(My mom) is the one that raised me. I mean, she's the one that brought me into this world. Like she always says, she could bring me in and take me out at the same time. She's the one that's been most influential in my life. Both (my) parents are, but mom is special.
"Just the art of toughness (represents the lion). Preparing yourself for a huge season like this that I'm getting ready for. I mean, just showing that I'm capable of doing anything and everything at 100 percent."
SeattlePI: What is something about you that you think most people don't know?
Penny: "I'm quiet. I'm not social at all. Anti-social. I play video games, watch movies, hang out with my girlfriend. When I'm done with football, when football is out of my mind, it's time to take a break -- then get back to training. ... I deleted all social media accounts for right now just to focus on training camp."
SeattlePI: Your older brother, Elijhaa, is a fullback for the Arizona Cardinals heading into his second NFL season. How much easier has the process, transitioning into the pros, been for you with a brother that has already been through it all?
Penny: "I don't think it made it easier because I've seen the situation and how hard he worked to get to where he's at. That process isn't easy. Just watching him develop and becoming the man he is today, that's probably the easiest part. I love what he's done. He pushed me to be who I am today. He just said to be me (coming in to training camp): Be yourself at the end of the day. Don't try to come in and be somebody else that you're not."
SeattlePI: The running back competition is one of the most talked about position battles in training camp. But do you think there's a sense that you guys -- you and Chris Carson -- can actually be a tailback tandem? The New Orleans Saints had success with that philosophy playing Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram together last season in the backfield.
Penny: "Most definitely. Chris is a great running back in his own right. He does a lot of great things. He says he's a power back, but I think he got speed where he can get around people. I'll just bring my role to it. Chris can be the power guy, I can be the speed guy. We can compliment each other. Same with Mike Davis, C.J. (Prosise) and J.D. (McKissic). They're all great running backs. We can all compliment each other."
SeattlePI: What are your goals for your rookie season?
Penny: "Just bring that championship back to Seattle, bring a winning culture again. Not saying that they lost it, but just having that winning feeling again. Hopefully, (I win) Offensive Rookie of the Year. But definitely winning a Super Bowl behind a great team and staff like this. It'll be fun."