Anyways, let’s talk about Marshawn Lynch. Why not, right? We don’t have anything else to talk about. And frankly, Lynch is an intriguing topic of conversation now that he’s the most recent newest member of the Seahawks (not be confused will all those other newest members of the Seahawks who came before him).
The most amazing factoid I digested about Lynch in the past few days is this: he’s only 24 years old. Amazing, I know. I figured he was at least 27, if not older. I’ve been hearing this dude’s name for most of the past decade, if only because he played his college ball in the Pac-10. Still, just retaining memories of someone for that long will play tricks on your mind. For that reason alone, I figured he was nearing the deadly running back plateau of 30. Clearly, I was wrong.
Surprisingly, Lynch is actually six months younger than fellow Hawk tailback Justin Forsett. Forsett and Lynch, as I’m sure you already know, played their college ball together at the University of California. Lynch, however, turned pro a year prior to Forsett, leaving the Cal program in 2007 after his junior season. The 5’11”, 210-pound human bowling ball was then selected 12th overall in the ’07 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, the same team he has played his entire career with up to this point.
So what do we make of this guy?
Well first off, he’s a talented power back in the mold of the Cowboys’ Marion Barber. He hits the hole hard, he explodes through contact, and he runs with a certain violent passion that we haven’t seen from many (if any) of our hometown backs of late. You all remember Shaun Alexander and his notorious ability to succumb to gravity, right? Lynch will make you forget about that.
And while Forsett is still the starter for this ballclub, it’s certainly likely that Lynch could take the reins of the running game from his former Golden Bear teammate at a moment’s notice. As a feature back during his first two seasons with Buffalo, Lynch rushed for a combined 2,151 yards. He found the end zone 15 times on the ground over that span, and also scored once on a reception (he totaled 484 receiving yards in ’07 and ’08).
In 2009, Lynch’s production plummeted as he dealt with the consequences of a league mandated three-game suspension to start the year. The Bills named Fred Jackson their starting running back, and Jackson held onto the gig even after Lynch returned from the sidelines. Lynch’s time off came as a result of a misdemeanor weapons charge he pled guilty to in the ’09 offseason. (Weapons, shmeapons.)
After the Bills selected Clemson halfback C.J. Spiller in the first round of the 2010 draft, Lynch’s days in Buffalo were numbered. He was rumored in potential deals throughout the ’10 offseason, and was even linked to the Seahawks at previous intervals over the past few months. It took longer than expected, but the Hawks finally landed their desired target at the expense of two draft picks (a 2011 fourth-round selection, and a conditional pick in 2012) on Tuesday.
If you’re a Seahawks fan, you have to like this move. Lynch is in his prime as an athlete, and were it not for the suspension that doomed him in Buffalo, he’d probably still be a premier back in this league. This isn’t Edgerrin James we’re talking about here. Lynch has plenty left in the tank and has the talent to be an every-down back if he wants to be. How the coaching staff chooses to deploy him remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised to witness the ex-Bill earning the lion’s share of the carries by the end of the year. He’s that good.
Now please allow me the opportunity to speak candidly about the obvious. Because frankly, that’s what I do. Marshawn Lynch is not a very attractive man. To make matters worse, he has dreadlocks and golden teeth. That’s not normal. Do I like him as a football player? Yes. Would I fear him walking down a dark street? Yes. Does he look like something out of the Thriller video? Yes. Will he be doing any modeling anytime soon? Probably not.
Look, Lynch might be able to run like the dickens, but I guarantee you that if he was coming after me, I’d be running faster than him in the other direction. He is that frightening to look at. Maybe that’s why he’s so hard to tackle. Because he’s scary.
To wrap things up, I leave you with this video of Lynch driving a cart around the Cal field after knocking off a Carl Bonnell-led Husky squad in 2006. Even if you’re a diehard Dawg, you have to find some humor in this.