The initial thought was that Marshawn Lynch would be with the Seahawks for today's practice, but there was no concrete word on it when I left the headquarters yesterday. The bye week makes it a great time to bring him in, but it also makes scheduling a little iffy. The schedule is for the Hawks to practice this morning and then have the rest of the week and weekend off. Does Lynch come in from Buffalo for one day of practice? If he's here today, it will be interesting to see if he will stay here so he can be tutored on the offense ... even if he can't get more practice reps with the team.
Carroll said that Lynch has played in a variety of offenses over the years, behind zone and power blocking, etc., and should not have a problem getting up to speed quickly. As he said, they didn't bring him over so he could sit and watch. I suspect Forsett will continue to play a role in the offense, but it certainly will be reduced. However, if they have success running it, there will be more carries available. And, of course, a running game will make all other phases more effective. Passing lanes should open, third downs should be shorter, and the defense should be on the field less.
Here's a link to a story about Lynch thanking the Buffalo fans. It mentions his style of running and some of the legal issues he's faced. Here's a video highlight from his Pro Bowl 2008 season. Everybody looks good in highlights. A couple things jump out, though. On a number of these runs, it's Lynch getting a lot of yards on his own, irrespective of the kind of blocking he's getting. He runs with power and with a burst, and it looks as if he can cut without having to gather and collect himself, a nice attribute for a back operating in the zone scheme.
Another thing that bodes well is how often the term "Beast" is used. Carroll called him a "monster" to defend yesterday. Guys in the NFL don't get called "Beast" without being pretty tough. It would be comforting to assume that the influence of his friend and former Cal teammate, Justin Forsett, will be positive for Lynch. It's up to the Hawks and staff to keep Lynch out of the kind of situations that led him to get a three-game suspension in '09 for violating league personal conduct rules.
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Despite discussions on Monday how this week would be a great opportunity for backups to get a lot of snaps, Tuesday looked like a pretty normal practice. Some linemen got more looks as Hamilton and Locklear were rested. Lemuel Jeanpierre saw some work as backup center, and is definitely still on the learning curve. (He spent extra time out there after practice with coaches). I didn't think anybody was eye-catching, other than the fact that Breno Giacomini is an extremely large and surprisingly lean individual. But you can't play tackle without good feet and technique, so I'm sure they're still gathering evidence on him.
Kelly Jennings had a really nice interception off a Mike Robinson tipped reception. That's good for Jennings, but not for Robinson, who dropped a crucial pass at St. Louis. Kentwan Balmer also made a surprisingly deft interception of a short pass. Tackle Russell Okung seemed to be moving well.
Practice today is at 11 with locker room afterward. It all will be a lot more interesting if Lynch is in town and in uniform.