Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger defended teammate Marshawn Lynch against the flurry of media criticism Lynch has received in recent days, saying the running back is aware of how he is perceived, according to John Boyle of the Everett Herald.
Unger's comments came during Super Bowl XLIX media day, during which Lynch had made clear his displeasure with the proceedings. Lynch repeatedly said a variation of "I'm here so I don't get fined" in response to questions from reporters.
According to Unger, Lynch understands how his actions are viewed but is not interested in changing how he conducts himself.
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"It comes with the territory," Unger said of the media attention. "Marshawn's extremely intelligent. A lot of people say a lot of bad stuff, but Marshawn is perfectly capable of conducting himself how he wants to."
"This is his show, and he understands what he's doing. He's aware of everybody's perception of him, but I just don't think he cares."
Unger, a sixth-year player and two-time pro bowler, went on to describe the relationships Lynch has forged with teammates, and the positive contributions he has made to the locker room.
"He just cares about everybody," Unger said. "He could sit down with every single dude in the locker room and have a conversation with him, and it would be genuine."
Other Seahawks personnel, including offensive line coach Tom Cable and receiver Doug Baldwin, praised Lynch's performance and knowledge of the game. Lynch, 28, gained 1,306 yards during the regular season, scoring 13 touchdowns and losing just two fumbles in 280 carries.
- Christopher Woody