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Thursday in Hawkville: Marshawn Lynch can now focus only on football

Posted Jan 30, 2014

From misconception to compromise, that has been Marshawn Lynch’s oral ordeal during this Super Bowl week as the Seahawks’ Beast Mode running back would rather let his on-field actions speak for him. 

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – A recap of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl activities for Jan. 30, when they had their final media session and then headed to the Giants’ facility for their “Turnover Thursday” practice:

WORD OF THE DAY: MISCONCEPTION

That’s what this week has been all about for Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks’ media-shy leading rusher has made headlines the past three days for not sticking around for the entire Q&A sessions – first at Media Day on Tuesday and the past two days at the team hotel. It has led too many to the conclusion that he’s a man of few words.

Not true.

“He talks – all the time,” said Sherman Smith, the Seahawks’ original running back who now coaches the position on Pete Carroll’s staff. “Marshawn doesn’t dislike the media. He just doesn’t like doing this stuff. I’ve talked to him about it a couple of times. He just said, ‘Sherm, I just don’t enjoy it.’ And he doesn’t like it if he feels he’s being forced to do it.”

Lynch also doesn’t like talking about himself, or to reporters he doesn’t know.

So for the Seahawks’ final media session before Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium, a compromise was reached. Lynch answered questions from a selected group of reporters, and the questions could be football-related only. Lynch also was accompanied by Michael Robinson, his lead-blocking fullback. As the pair slid behind a table in an alcove outside a banquet room at The Westin Jersey City, Robinson cracked, “I’m like a prop.”

I asked the first question, and fudged a bit: How nice is it to have this be your last media session and then be able to get on to nothing but football?

“It’s going to be good to get back to football,” he said.

Other “highlights” from his session:

Q: When did you know that second-year quarterback Russell Wilson was going to be good?

A: “Probably during the preseason (his rookie season). He started showing flashes of it and then his work ethic just took over. That was probably something he knew a long time ago. But to me, just watching him progress, he can still get better.”

Q: How does your stiff-arm help you in the open field?

A: “I would just say it’s another weapon.”

Q: Is your stiff-arm a conscious effort or just a natural reflect?

A: “Everything I do on the field is just reaction.”

Q: When you look at the Broncos’ defense, what’s good about it?

A: “ ‘Pot Roast.’ (335-pound nose tackle Terrance Knighton). He’s a big boy. They get to the ball. They rally to the ball. They’re a good defense. That’s what I’ve seen.”

Q: How do you get to where you need to be for a game?

A: “I stay ready, so there isn’t any ‘getting there.’ ”

There was even a question for Robinson, which brought a smile to Lynch’s face and even a laugh.

Q: When you see other defenders around the league, what do they tell about what it’s like try and tackle Marshawn?

A: “What I hear is he’s the best in the league. He’s the hardest to bring down. There are a lot of good backs out here. But just from a straight physical standpoint, the guy’s I talk to don’t believe there’s another guy in the league doing it like that.”

YOU DON'T SAY

“I do throw ducks. I've thrown a lot of yards and touchdown ducks, so I'm actually quite proud of it.”

Broncos QB Peyton Manning, responding to an observation from Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman

Lynch’s teammates have been able to find some humor in his ongoing struggle with this media session, but also are displaying compassion for his situation.

“Marshawn is a great person,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said from his podium in the banquet room. “He talks a lot more than to us than the media. But I think it’s just a thing where he’s not that type of person to open up to people he’s never met. So when you force someone like that to talk, he’s going to shut down even more.

“But honestly, he’s a great person. I’ve never had anything bad to say about him. But if he doesn’t want to talk, you can’t force a man to talk. You’re not going to get anything out of it but frustrated, and that’s not the type of person you want to frustrate.”

BRINGING BROWNER INTO THE CONVERSATION

STAT DU JOUR: SUPER-SEASON SCORING DRIVES

The 2013 Seahawks are about to do something only the 2005 Seahawks were able to accomplish in franchise history – play in the Super Bowl. To honor both offenses, here’s a comparison of the teams’ scoring drives that covered at least 80 yards:

Category 2005 2013
Number 21 16
Longest drive, yards 96 98
Most plays 14 14
Fewest plays 1 2
Games with drives 14 10
Consecutive games 9 3
Most in a game 3 2
TD runs 11 6
TD passes 10 8
Field goals 0 1

Most TD scores: 9 by Shaun Alexander in 2005; 6 by Marshawn Lynch in 2013

Cornerback Brandon Browner has been a big part of the Seahawks’ success the past three seasons, but he’s not with the team after being suspended by the league last month. But he is on the minds of his teammates

“It’s sad, because B.B. is such a big part of our team,” defensive lineman Michael Bennett said. “He put a lot of work in. He ran the gassers with us. He lifted weights with us. He did everything with us. He just made one mistake. So it’s sad not to see him play. I know it hurts him not to be out here, but we definitely point to him when we’re out there playing.”

UP NEXT: A PETE PRESSER IN THE A.M., FOLLOWED BY A FINAL PRACTICE

Carroll will address the media in a more formal setting on Friday morning, when he and Broncos coach John Fox will have a Q&A session at the Rose Theater across the Hudson River in Manhattan.

The players will then hold their final full practice at the Giants’ facility on “No Repeat Friday.”

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