Despite the rise of quarterback Russell Wilson, anyone involved with the Seattle Seahawks will tell you that the team's offense goes through running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch's toughness and on-field resilience has come to define head coach Pete Carroll's team, and that's why he's been one of the NFL's most valuable players since general manager John Schneider authored a nice trade with Buffalo in October 2010. For Lynch's services, the Seahawks gave up late draft picks and got the man who's rushed for 4,624 yards and 41 touchdowns in his four seasons with the team.
For local media, Lynch is even more elusive than when dealing with opposing defenders. Frequent inquiries to the Seahawks' public relations staff as to Lynch's availability are met with the same answer over and over: "Not today." Lynch refused to speak with the media on the record throughout the 2013 season.
And according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the cumulative effect of all those "not todays" will cost Lynch a $50,000 fine by the league.
This would explain the surprise press conference held by Lynch on Jan. 3. Lynch spoke for about two minutes, and was rather monotone in his responses. Here's the whole transcript, provided by the team:
(On how he is feeling…) “Smooth.”
(On his thoughts on how the season has gone…) “We’re doing pretty well.”
(On if it helps to have the extra week before they play to get the body back fresh…) “Yeah, rest helps.”
(On what can it do to revitalize you when you get time off…) “It helps refresh your body.”
(On how does it feel going into the playoffs…) “I feel good. I like our chances.”
(On getting the running game going last week and if there was something different…) “It’s just all of us coming together playing the game.”
(On what is it like working through practice this week not knowing who they have to play yet…) “We just took approach of not knowing just by playing against ourselves this week, just giving that kind of effort against the best defense.”
(On what can you benefit by doing that, what can you learn by doing that…) “When you get to practice against the best it brings the best out of you.”
(On his historical run the last time the Seahawks had a home playoff game and what does he have in store for next weekend…) “I just hope to win, boss.”
Gripping stuff. Lynch no doubt thought this to be a needless distraction as he and the Seahawks prepare for their divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints next weekend, but you'd think he'd at least want to talk about his 67-yard touchdown run against the Saints in the 2010 postseason -- the one that caused a seismic event in the Emerald City.
Lynch has been somewhat eloquent in the past, though. Here he is a few days after that "Beastquake" run, explaining the ins and outs of earthquake safety.