Marshawn Lynch, who has carried Seattle to its second Super Bowl with his ferocious running this season, has been getting some flack by members of the press for abruptly ending his press conference after six minutes on Tuesday and Wednesday during Super Bowl media access. My advice is this: Deal with it.
Lynch is a running back that is like no other, and does not need to speak or brag that he is a top 10 running back in the NFL. Nor does he need to grant every reporter access to his inner circle and ask questions if he is uncomfortable. Lynch is a man of few words, and lets his game do the talking.
Case in point: Lynch’s spectacular 2013 season, in which he finished in the top 10 in rushing yards (1,257). He’s had 12 touchdowns and 301 carries while playing all 16 games, a rarity for running backs in the hard-hitting NFL. Then Lynch really turned it on in the playoffs.
Against New Orleans in the NFC Divisional round, Lynch steamrolled the Saints, rushing for 140 yards (a playoff career high and Seahawks record) and two touchdowns on 28 carries in Seattle’s 23-15 victory.
Then, against the hated NFC West division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, in the NFC Championship Game, Lynch thumped San Francisco with 109 rushing yards, one thunderous 40-yard touchdown run, on 22 carries, leading Seattle to a 23-17 victory and the NFC crown.
The 109 rushing yards Lynch racked up was the first time that a running back gained over 100 yards against San Francisco all season.
Lynch’s dominance in the regular season and postseason (with the help of a punishing and hard-nosed defense) were clearly the talk of the NFC and football world when Seattle touched down in New York Sunday.
For Seattle to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy Sunday night after what should be an excellent game against the AFC Champions, Denver Broncos, Lynch will have to turn in a career performance on the biggest of stages. The Super Bowl has a way of humbling you in a New York minute and if you are not focused and prepared, the Super Bowl can be unforgiving.
We know that Lynch oozes confidence, but what Lynch must continue to do is run with that “beast mode” mentality that makes opposing defensive backs cringe when linebackers miss tackling the 5’11, 215-pound bulldozer from Oakland, California.
It is no secret that Lynch will have all 11 members of Denver’s defense (along with the millions of fans on Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday) watching his every move. If you are a defense, you will be OK with allowing two to three yards a carry by Lynch; it’s the 10 to 15-yard runs that you need to be concerned about.
If Lynch gets through Denver’s front seven on a consistent basis Sunday, it’s almost certain that Seattle will have a fighting chance at delivering the Pacific Northwest, its first major world championship since the Seattle SuperSonics took home the NBA title in 1979.
Sixty minutes in the Big Game with Lynch carrying a city and a region on his back toward a championship? That is enough said.
By Joseph Hawkes-Beamon