After three-plus seasons in Buffalo, a tenure that started with two 1,000-yard seasons but soured to the point that both Lynch and the Bills felt it was best to go their separate ways, the running back practiced with the Seahawks for the first time Wednesday.
“I feel like this change is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “In football, but just in life as well. Everything that happened with me I feel is an opportunity, the things that come out of it, just the way I handle it. This is another one, and I plan to handle this situation just as good as I handled the rest. And I say that because I’m still here standing.”
Lynch is still standing and ready to leave behind a past that included a pair of arrests, a subsequent three-game suspension, the loss of his starting job, and start anew with the Seahawks. He’s even ready to change the opinion he formed of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll when Carroll coached at USC and Lynch was a star running back for California.
“I couldn’t stand him,” a grinning Lynch said of Carroll. “I couldn’t stand him, man. Straight up, I couldn’t stand him.”
It wasn’t that Lynch had some personal feud with Carroll. It was just tough to watch his conference rivals have so much fun and dominate at the same time.
“He was one of the only coaches you’d see running up and down the field like he was playing in the game,” Lynch said. “Running up, jumping, high-fiving his players. They’re over there dogging us, and you’re just sitting there watching them have all this fun, like, ‘Man, what is he doing? Run me to that sideline so I can hit him one time.’ But man, I just always thought he was a fun guy, somebody that likes to have fun and win, which is something he’s had a career of doing — winning. I could probably get used to it a little better now that I’m on the same side.”
Lynch got in one day of practice before the team takes the next four days off during its bye week, time he’ll spend at the Seahawks practice facility playing catch up. Having run behind zone-blocking schemes in college and the NFL, Lynch doesn’t feel like it will take him long to learn the system here.
“With the zone scheme, it’s pretty much the same as what I ran in Buffalo,” he said. “With football, there’s not too much difference as far as running the ball. It’s just the different kind of terminology that they use, that’s something I’m going to have to adjust to. But those guys, (running backs) Leon (Washington) and Justin (Forsett), they’ll be able to catch me up to that real quick.”
Lynch got word of the trade Tuesday from a Bills teammate while in the training room. Even though his name had been attached to trade rumors as far back as the NFL draft in April, Lynch said he was resigned to the fact that it wouldn’t happen at this point, making the news a surprise.
“Just talking to (Bills general manager) Buddy (Nix) about how I wasn’t going to be going anywhere, so when it finally did happen, it was a big surprise, but at the same time, a little excitement as well,” Lynch said.
It was a whirlwind after that for Lynch, catching a flight to Seattle, getting a few hours of sleep, then showing up at 6 a.m. to start getting acquainted with his new team.
The hectic day was only the beginning for a new chapter for Lynch, who said his past troubles are just that — in the past. He pleaded guilty to a traffic violation in 2008 for hitting a pedestrian in Buffalo and failing to stop, and last year pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles.
“That was a thing of the past,” he said. “I feel if you often revisit your past, you get stuck there, and that’s not what I’m about. I’m about moving forward, so what happened in the past has happened. I grew from it, it was an opportunity for me to grow and help me become a better person, which I did. So now I’m here in Seattle to show y’all that good person.”
And if Lynch can be that good person he says he now is, the former Pro Bowler should provide a spark to an offense that has struggled to run the ball this season.
“You really get a boost from getting a guy like that,” Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “He brings something to our team that we didn’t have: a big, powerful, strong back who loves football, has a good football IQ, and complements Justin (Forsett) and what he does well. So it’s exciting to have him. ... I don’t know if we’ve ever had a guy like him. He’s a beast.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog
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