October 15, 2010 in Sports

Release the ‘Beast’

Seattle needs Lynch to revive offense
Associated Press photo

New Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch spent the week learning the Seahawks’ schemes.
(Full-size photo)

RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks are ready to unleash “Beast Mode.”

Marshawn Lynch and his self-given moniker will take to the field for the first time with his new team when the Seahawks travel to take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

“It’s a real exciting time for me – almost feel like a rookie all over again,” Lynch said. “Everybody’s excited to see what I’m going to do and I’m also excited to see what I’m going to do myself.”

Lynch developed the nickname while he blossomed at California into an eventual first-round pick by the Buffalo Bills. His hard-nosed running style became his trademark as he posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Bills in his first two years in the league.

“It came about back in Pop Warner but it was called, ‘Man-Child,’ ” Lynch said in describing his alias. “…As I got to college, it kind of transformed as I kind of took it to another level.

“It’s just a state of mind that I follow, that basically I won’t be denied and I’m just relentless at what I do and that’s running that ball.”

Seattle acquired Lynch a week ago in a trade with the Bills that sent a pair of future picks to Buffalo for the former 12th-overall pick in the 2007 draft.

The Seahawks haven’t had a running back with Lynch’s combination of size and speed since Chris Warren in the mid-1990s. They have struggled to find consistency in the running game since the end of the Shaun Alexander era. This season, Seattle ranks 29th in the league in yards per game and 31st in yards per carry.

Through four games, the Seahawks have just two rushing touchdowns, both coming from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Pete Carroll is hoping Lynch can be the spark that helps the offense begin to find its rhythm.

“I think he really has the full range of ability to do whatever we want to do,” Carroll said. “Now we’re anxious to see how it fits together. And he’s going to get a lot of work in this game. He’s doing really well picking things up.”

It helps having former college teammate Justin Forsett in the backfield with him. The two have been close friends since their days at California, and Lynch served as a groomsman in Forsett’s wedding in June.

“They’re great friends,” Carroll said. “He (Lynch) is looking over his shoulder now and then for assignments or reminders and Justin is quick to help him. Those guys have been close friends for a long time.”

Lynch is familiar with the zone blocking scheme the Seahawks employ but is still learning the terminology and blocking assignments in pass protection.

“Justin has been a real big help,” Lynch said. “Him along with Leon (Washington) and Mike (Robinson). They kind of catch me up on the fly as I go. I am feeling pretty comfortable of what they’re going to ask of me.”

Guard Chester Pitts (knee) did not practice Thursday. … Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was limited with a calf injury.

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