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Forming Brotherly Bond, Chris Carson Giddy About Seahawks Rookie DeeJay Dallas

Both born and raised in Georgia and entering the league as unheralded day three selections, Carson and Dallas seem to share the same DNA. Though he's only been at art of training camp, the veteran loves what he's seen from the versatile rookie thus far.

RENTON, WA - Having dealt with unthinkable loss with multiple deaths in his family, Chris Carson understandably hasn't been around the Seahawks for most of training camp this month. Taking two separate leaves of absence, he has missed more than half of the team's practices and didn't participate in either mock game at CenturyLink Field as he was attending funerals in Georgia.

But despite the fact Carson hasn't been with the team for large chunks of Seattle's camp, that hasn't prevented him being the latest to take notice of one of the team's most intriguing rookies in DeeJay Dallas, who has drawn raving reviews from coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, and others recently.

“That’s my little brother, I love that kid,” Carson smiled. “He’s a spark of energy, he loves being out there, he loves playing the game. He’s a Georgia boy, so he’s got that dog in him."

Considering Carson's own path to NFL stardom coming from the peach state, it's easy to see why he'd be drawn to Dallas, a fourth-round pick out of Miami. Just four years ago, he was selected by the Seahawks in the seventh round out of Oklahoma State and entered his first training camp as a long shot to make the final roster.

But as Dallas has done throughout his first camp, Carson quickly made his presence felt. During the first few days of practice, Seahawks star receiver Doug Baldwin told reporters the rookie ball carrier "had all the tools in his tool bag" and as the preseason unfolded, he climbed up the depth chart rapidly.

By Week 2, Carson surpassed veterans Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls as Seattle's new starter, nearly hitting 100 rushing yards in his first NFL start in a win over San Francisco. An ankle injury ended his season two weeks later, but the stage was set for him to be the team's workhorse back upon his return and he has rushed for more than 1,100 yards in each of the past two seasons.

With Carson and fellow 1,000-yard rusher Carlos Hyde currently atop the depth chart, Dallas doesn't find himself in the same advantageous situation. There isn't a direct path to significant playing time aside from injuries and the eventual return of Rashaad Penny from the PUP list could provide another roadblock to seeing the field on Sundays.

However, Dallas hasn't been intimidated by the talent around him in a loaded Seahawks backfield. Carson's extensive absences opened the door for him to receive a ton of reps during practice and when he's had a chance to work with the veteran, he's absorbed everything he can to help with his acclimation to playing at the highest level.

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"He approaches the game with that dog mentality. Shoot, I've just been trying to feed off of that and take in everything that I can just through his experience," Dallas said in regard to Carson's influence. "He tells me stories about different games, what to and what not to do and how to react to different stuff. Just picking his brain a lot. We kinda are wired the same. I like to think guys from my state are all wired that way."

While Carson hasn't been present to see Dallas shine for the majority of Seattle's practices to this point, it hasn't mattered. Upon his return to the team last week, he could already see substantial growth from the versatile newcomer since on-field work started on August 12.

"He’s one of those players that, you know, you can just see the growth from the first practice to the last – and I haven’t even been out there for that long," Carson commented. "Me just being out there for the little time I’ve been out there, I already see improvement."

Though there time together has been brief, Carson already has a strong feel for what makes Dallas tick. Once a late-round pick himself, the two backs seem to have the same DNA with an incredible passion for the game, a relentless drive to constantly improve, particularly as receivers in the passing game, and a desire to prove doubters wrong.

"Something I like about him is if he makes a mistake, he carries that heavy, Carson continued. "He wants to be someone that’s perfect, he wants to be someone that’s reliable and you can’t help but have respect for somebody like that, so I’m excited for him.”

Always demanding more of himself, it's easy to see why the veteran back has taken a liking to the spirited young back, who looks to have a place secured in Seattle's backfield rotation. With his work ethic on display for all to see, Carson sees a bright future for his backfield pupil.

In regard to where he fits in Week 1, Dallas doesn't know what his role will be for the Seahawks to start the season. But no matter what the coaching staff has planned for him, he smiled and said he will continue to attack each day with toughness and grit as he has dating back to his Pee Wee league days.

"Whenever they do bring it up, I'll be happy if I have to give water to whoever, whoever it is. As long as I'm on the team, I'm good."