Marshawn Lynch ready to run for Seattle
RENTON, Wash. -- In college at California, Marshawn Lynch couldn't stand Pete Carroll, wishing somehow he could lay a hit on the USC coach.
"He was one of the only coaches you would see running up and down the field like he was playing in the game," Lynch said Wednesday after his first practice with the Seattle Seahawks. "Running up, jumping and having fun with his players. They were over there dogging us and you just sit there watching them have all this fun [thinking], 'Man, what is he doing? Run me to that sideline so I can hit him one time.' "
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Now Lynch can't wait to see all of Carroll's theatrics, considering he's providing Lynch a fresh start in his NFL career.
After months of debate over Lynch's future in Buffalo, the former first-round pick was finally dealt to Seattle in exchange for a pair of future draft picks.
And true to Carroll's word, the Seahawks didn't waste any time in getting Lynch on the field and trying to fix a floundering run game.
After arriving in Seattle around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, Lynch was at Seahawks headquarters around 6 a.m. Wednesday and on the practice field a few hours later.
"I feel this change is a great opportunity for me, not only in football, but in life as well," Lynch said. "Everything that happened with me I feel is an opportunity, the things that come out of it, the way I handle it. This is another one and I plan to handle this situation just as good as I handled the rest. I say that because I'm still here standing."
Lynch's past includes issues such as a June 2008 traffic violation where he struck a female pedestrian with his car and a guilty plea for a March 2009 misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles, after police discovered a semiautomatic handgun in a backpack in the trunk of a parked car Lynch was sitting in. The gun charge resulted in a three-game league suspension last year.
"That was a thing of the past. I feel if you often revisit your past you get stuck there and that's not what I'm about," Lynch said. "I'm moving forward."
And Seattle is hoping Lynch can move a lagging run game forward. The Seahawks enter their bye week 27th in the NFL in running behind a makeshift offensive line that might finally have all its expected starters playing when Seattle travels to Chicago on Oct. 17.
The lack of a run game has put more pressure on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
"We've been talking about getting the running game going and this makes it a lot tougher for people to defend us," Hasselbeck said. "It gives us a huge opportunity in play-action, it gives us huge opportunities with the naked bootleg and just all kinds of things."
Seattle believes Lynch's rugged running style will be the answer for an offense that's gone nearly five seasons without a running back approaching 1,000 yards. The 24-year-old Lynch rumbled for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. He'll also be playing in an offense with a similar blocking scheme to what Buffalo used.
Considering the past debate and previous talks with Bills management, Lynch thought it was a joke being pulled by one of his Bills teammates when he first got word of the trade.
"It was a big surprise," Lynch said. "But at the same time, (it's) a little excitement as well."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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