RENTON — It’s been a strange week for one of the Seattle’s Seahawks’ most unique players.
On Tuesday, Marshawn Lynch was part of a group of Seahawks players that paid a visit to Marysville Pilchuck High School, and that trip ended up including a trip to a gas station where a fan left his wallet, only to have it returned to his house by Lynch and Ricardo Lockette.
Then on Wednesday, Lynch was fined $100,000 by the NFL for another violation of the league’s media policy, not long after which he spent roughly 10 minutes talking to the media, only to answer nearly every question by talking either about his shoes or his favorite hip hop artists.
“I think he’s a very interesting guy,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said in the understatement of the week. “I don’t necessarily think what you see is what you get. There’s a lot of layers to him, I think there’s a lot of hidden things he does. He’s a good person, a good guy, he does a lot of good things for people, and you want him on your side. I can tell you that much.”
Lynch’s fine was the result of him not being available to the media, and it was so steep because it included not just $50,000 for his latest violation — Lynch was warned he might be fined if he didn’t comply, then talked to reporters after the Oakland game, but wasn’t available after games against New York and Kansas City — but also the $50,000 that was held in abeyance last year under the condition that he would cooperate going forward.
So on the day Lynch got word of his fine, he decided to play nice with the media…sort of. Almost every question, whether the topic was his health or Arizona’s defense, was met with Lynch either talking about the Nike cleats in his locker, or with him talking about some of his favorite musicians like Lil Boosie — “You ever heard of Boosie? ‘You Got No Juice.’ I think you should listen to that song” — or Lil June “He’s hot right now, too.”
Lynch’s media session wasn’t entirely without substance, however. When asked about the story of the returned wallet, Lynch noted that it was odd how so many people are making a big deal, “About me giving something back that belonged to him. It would have been a story if I’d kept the (wallet).”
Perhaps the most telling line came from Lynch when, after talking so much about his shoes, he was asked if he had any input on designing them. His answer seemed to be about more than just shoe design.
“In this league you really don’t have a lot of input on nothing,” he said. “Just your play.”
From his training camp holdout to his relationship with coaches to his status with the team for next year — it has been speculated for a long time that the Seahawks might release Lynch after this season to free up salary cap space — Lynch has been a topic of frequent conversation despite rarely saying anything himself in the public eye.
Yet for all the background noise surround Lynch, he is, at 28, enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, rushing for 813 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games, while adding 247 receiving yards and three touchdown catches. Lynch’s 4.6 yard-per-carry average is the second highest of his career.
So while it has been an interesting season and an especially peculiar couple of days for Lynch, it’s no wonder that he is still as important to Seattle’s offense as ever as they prepare for a huge game against NFC West-leading Arizona.
“I don’t even want to think about it,” Bevell said when asked what the offense would be like without Lynch. “He’s so special to us. He does great things in ever phase of the game, whether it’s the run game, the type of runs he can make. Whether it’s in the protections, how he takes care of the quarterback and sees things some other running backs won’t see. Then his ability as a receiver, he’s outstanding in terms of running routes and being able to catch the ball. Then again, once you have it in his hands, he does amazing things with it.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com