By John Boyle
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was excited to have his team back on the field for the opening day of training camp, but as you might expect, much of the talk Friday was about the one player on the 90-man roster who wasn’t present: running back Marshawn Lynch.
“Sure, I’m disappointed he’s not here by his choice,” Carroll said. “I’m really focused on the guys who are here who have been with us and are working really hard and all.
“We’ve had a substantial plan working for us for years now, and Marshawn was a big part of this plan. Just a couple of years back we made a big statement by making a big effort for him, and we wish he was with us now. But this is a tremendous opportunity for the guys who are getting their shot. Robert Turbin and Chrsitine Michael, they’re ready to go and really fired up about this opportunity and will try to take full advantage of it.”
Carroll’s sentiment echoed what GM John Schneider had said earlier in the day on 710 ESPN Seattle, basically pointing out that the Seahawks paid Lynch big two years ago, have a big-picture plan in mind, and that they hope Lynch will be a part of it.
Asked if he’s been talking with Lynch, Carroll said, “I have talked to him, on a kind of ongoing basis.”
On if there’s a deadline for getting Lynch into camp, Carroll said, “No. We’re practicing and working real hard and getting going, and that’ll take its own course.”
Carroll was asked if he’s confident something will be worked out with Lynch and said, “I’m hoping that he’ll be back with us.”
When Carroll was asked about Lynch’s unique skill set, he praised the running back, but also did so while noting that the team has acquired the toughness Lynch brought them early on. If you want to read between the lines, that could be Carroll’s way of saying Lynch is less irreplaceable now that he was two years ago.
“He’s a pretty unusual football player,” Carroll said. “He’s got great, unique qualities about him. We’re going still run the football. We ran the ball over 1,000 times the last couple of years, we’re going to keep doing that, none of that’s going to change. The attitude he brought in these past few years has been significant. When we were trying to make a mark that we were a tough, physical football team, he stood right at the front of that, he was a big part of it. But I think we’ve accomplished that, that’s our mentality and our makeup. We’re grateful he was part of that and we’d like to get him back into it.”