By John Boyle
A week after reports surfaced that Marshawn Lynch would skip the Seahawks’ mandatory minicamp because he was unhappy with his contract, the running back was in attendance Tuesday, though he did not practice because of a sore ankle, and likely will sit out the next two days as well.
So what did Pete Carroll think of Lynch showing up?
“It was a big story,” Carroll said sarcastically. “We expected him to be here and he’s here.”
Asked what kind of communication he has had with Lynch this offseason, Carroll said, “I’ve talked to him a number of times. He’s made it very easy on us to do that. We have a great relationship. He’s got a great relationship with our club and his teammates and our coaches and all of them. We have rested him a lot in the offseason. He takes a big pounding during the year, it takes him a long time to get his body back to where he doesn’t feel the rigors of the season that’s passed. In this case it’s unique, but he is a unique player and he has a unique role on our football team, so we have to do what we have to do to take care of him. You won’t see him get the ball a lot in preseason. We’ll work all the way to that opening day and see if we can have him right for then. That’s what’s most important.”
On the reports of Lynch wanting a new deal, Carroll said he wasn’t going to discuss that: “There’s nothing in our conversation about the business side of it that we’ll talk about. There’s no reason to. We haven’t talked about other guys in that regard, so we’re not doing that now.”
On Lynch not practicing: “He’s got a sore ankle, so we’re going to make sure we take care of him. As always, right now if there’s any question at all, we’re going to opt to give guys more time now.”
Asked if he had gotten any sense that Lynch is uncertain about his role going forward, Carroll said, “We have never even approached that because that’s not even a question. It’s never even come up.”
Asked if that meant Lynch was still the team’s “Bell-cow running back,” he said, “Absolutely. We expect him to come right back in battling and doing the things that he does. Turbo and Christine, those guys want some time too and they’re battling, they’ve had great offseasons for us, but Marshawn has really been the guy for us and we love everything about the way he plays and what he brings to this team. He’s never taken a step backwards at any time for us in all the years he’s been here. From the day we went after him and got him, we had sights on him becoming the player he has become, and he’s never disappointed us. Hopefully he’ll be really healthy and ready to go at season’s start, and if we’ve accomplished that with this offseason, then that will be very successful for him and our team.”