Dozens of Marines — the original Legion of Boom — leaped into Lake Washington from low-flying helicopters and staged an amphibious assault on the VMAC headquarters of the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.
But they weren’t the most surprising arrival.
Hold-out running back Marshawn Lynch returned to the facility and presumably will return to practice with the team after missing the first week of training camp and incurring fines in the neighborhood of half a million dollars.
Lynch had been trying to upgrade his contract two years after signing a four-year, $31 million deal. Seahawks officials had no comment on Lynch’s return, or whether financial concessions had been made.
Lynch, reluctant to meet with the media in recent seasons, was not available for comment.
“Marshawn is one of those guys who has a knack for playing the game,” quarterback Russell Wilson said when Lynch’s return was still a rumor. “Obviously, his running ability is unique and one of a kind.”
Lynch, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, has scored 52 rushing and receiving touchdowns in the past four seasons and playoffs for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks had held a strong position on the matter, saying that they needed to adhere to the master plan they’d constructed that would allow them to retain their own standout free agents, such as Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman.
Wilson’s contract is also open to extension at the end of this season.
FLAGS ARE A FLYING
The Marines were not the only force conducting a police action at training camp, as NFL officials were at camp and throwing flags with abandon.
The practice looked sloppy at times because of the spate of penalties. Coach Pete Carroll said it was important for the Hawks to adapt to officials’ areas of emphasis and interpretations.
“I asked them to be active and they certainly answered the call,” Carroll said. “It’s good to see their interpretations. We have to clean things up; we have to play by their rules. It’s an important indication that we need some work in this area on both sides of the football.”
The flags were for all manners of infraction, including illegal contact by the secondary and a number of procedural penalties. After a number of the flags, Carroll questioned the official who threw the flag.
“I was practicing how I interact with the officials,” Carroll joked. “I want to make sure my demeanor was on point.”
He added, seriously, that “this is a big deal for us, we need to really latch on to how they interpret things.”
The Seahawks had a number of players sitting out because of injury or as a rest day.
Guard James Carpenter (calf), tackle Michael Bowie (shoulder), receiver Paul Richardson (shoulder), receiver Kevin Norwood (foot), defensive end Cassius Marsh (groin) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (hamstring) were out with injuries. Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett and Zach Miller were given the day off to rest.
This was the first time Carroll could comment on the injury to tight end Anthony McCoy (Achilles tendon), who was placed on injured reserve after losing last season to an Achilles tendon injury last season.
“It’s a heartbreaking injury,” Carroll said. “He worked so hard to get back and he looked so good; he was the hardest working guy in the program to get back to shape where he could play and his other Achilles goes.”
Carroll said no contact was involved, as the tendon ruptured just as he was running a route. He said that as disheartening as it was to McCoy, he still plans on trying to rehab it in hopes of returning next season.
Depth at tight end becomes an issue, but Carroll cited strong play this camp from backup Cooper Helfet. “He’s done everything we asked of him. He’s got great hands … this is a tremendous opportunity for him.”
With an open roster spot, the Seahawks signed Ronald Johnson, a third-year receiver out of USC.
Carroll was able to add only slightly to the extent of the knee injury to defensive tackle Jesse Williams. Carroll called it serious and possibly requiring surgery.