Great news for those who think too much Marshawn Lynch is not enough in the Seahawks' offense: the play caller says he wants to get the ball to the plowing running back in every way possible.
Asked following Wednesday's practice about the increase in Lynch catching screens and swing passes in recent games -- a product of how fleeting or non-existent Russell Wilson's pass protection has been -- offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell answered with this:
"Well, we want to use our good players. And he's definitely, probably, THE best player on our offense. And we want to get him the ball as many ways as we can."
Bevell has been seemingly been searching for a sweet spot of runs and touches for Lynch in each game since last month's stunning trade of Percy Harvin, the wide receiver to whom
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Bevell spent the first games of this season getting the ball in as many ways as he could.
Now he's saying 20-25 carries for Lynch might not necessarily be the best route for Seattle's offense -- because of Lynch's skill in catching the ball and then bulldozing defenders in the open field outside.
"It'd be easy to turn around and hand it to him. But we know he is a phenomenal receiver. He runs really good routes," Bevell said. "We just have to kind of understand how important he is to us in the passing game, as well. He caught a huge third down for us early in the game to extend the drive for us (last weekend against Oakland), and we want to see more of that.
"Anytime we can get the ball to Marshawn we want to ... just opportunities to get the ball in his hands, because we know he is going to make people miss, the opportunity for second-level runs (against overmatched linebackers and defensive backs). He's going to run people over. Then the yards are going to come and we can keep the (first-down) sticks moving."
Sounds like a good idea to me.
You can listen to all of what Bevell had to say yesterday, plus offensive line coach Tom Cable on what great fun he had hey-you-ing guys to fill in up front (which I wrote about in today;s News Tribune in that link). Cable is the first 1:20; Bevell is after that.
Here is the transcript the team disseminated of Bevell. It didn't contain the comments about Lynch:
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell
November 5, 2014
(On if last Sunday will be something he writes about in his book with the amount of players injured on the offensive line) Yeah it was quite fun. You just do the best you can, really that was the type of game where you had to adjust on the fly because a couple of guys went down and we had to shuffle some offensive linemen. There was some good communication going on during that game for us.
(On QB Russell Wilson admitting it wasn’t one of his best games and what he saw out of him) I think there’s a combination of factors you know, and it’s always going to be that way I think as an offense. He thought that he struggled a little bit. There’s some where he missed throws. There’s some where protection issues caused him to move or caused throws to happen like that. Guys being in the right place at the right time for him. So it’s never just one thing that you can put your finger on it’s usually a combination of factors.
(On increasing the role of rookie receivers – Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood – and what he sees now from game to game) Yeah just like what I see I like the growth that I see from them. When we’ve called upon them and they’ve had opportunities to make the plays, they’ve made them. I think I’ve said last week or the week before that the catching part was something that we felt was there. They’re both great solid catchers and they can make phenomenal plays catching the ball it’s just being at the right place at the right time, knowing the assignment, making adjustments that they have to make and they’ve been able to do that so far.
(On if that is a challenge for rookies) Yeah it can be because you try at the beginning to let them just learn their spot but because there’s not that many guys you have to start to learn other positions. So they’re starting to learn two and three positions and if something happens and a guy goes down they have to make an adjustment. It can start to get pretty involved for them. But they’ve done a nice job with it.
(On the mechanics of last week’s Raiders game) Yeah there’s got to be some great communication going on. Sometimes it might have been after the fact, but we hadn’t been able to rep every one of those guys at the positions that they were at. We had to fall back on Tom [Cable] a lot and say what do they know, what can they run and where can we put them to make them successful and that’s something we talk about all the time is being able to put our guys in positions to make ourselves successful. That’s something we talk about all the time, whether its linemen, tight end, receivers, doing the right thing with quarterbacks, running backs and the line’s really no different in that case. They have to have had the reps and kind of know their assignments before you can expect them to do a nice job for you.
(On doing that on a drive-by-drive basis or something different) Well the adjustments were happening a little bit quicker. And some of them at the beginning it was in the drive because it happened during the drive so there was a little bit of communication with Tom [Cable] and then once the series was over then there was a little bit better communication and said ok here’s what I feel like that they can really handle from there.