JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The overwrought drama of the Seattle Seahawks’ reluctant running back and his media tormentors came to an end Thursday, with a compromise brokered by the NFL and the Pro Football Writers Association in which Lynch would answer “football only” questions only from selected reporters.
Another short exchange ensued – more than 7 minutes this time – but, naturally, it produced the most volatile quote of the week.
Lynch had been lauded profusely by Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable in an earlier media session, the former Oakland Raiders (and University of Idaho) head coach saying the punishing back “has the highest I.Q. I’ve been around at that position.”
When asked what his initial thoughts were of Cable when the coach came to the Seahawks in 2011, Lynch was more than candid.
“Well, being from Oakland,” Lynch said, “all I knew about him was that he punched people. That’s my type of person.”
It was a reference to the allegation by former Raiders (and Eastern Washington University) assistant Randy Hanson that Cable had broken his jaw in a training camp dust-up. An NFL investigation ended with no punishment and criminal charges were never filed.
But Cable had also been accused of domestic violence by an ex-wife and ex-girlfriend. Another ex-wife denied Cable had been abusive, and his current wife insisted the former girlfriend’s account had been fabricated.
Former Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones is expected to head the 2014 class for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame that will be announced Saturday night.
Current left tackle Russell Okung was the man drafted to replace Jones, who tried to rehabilitate a substantial knee injury before retiring in April 2010.
“Talk about some shoes to fill,” said Okung, who has been in and out of the lineup with injuries himself for four years. “Definitely a Hall of Famer. You’re coming in expecting to be just like him. He did great for Seattle the years he played, and he’ll go down as one of the best.”
Though their crossover was brief, Okung said Jones made an impression.
“We all have our own skill sets and our own types of games,” he said. “He just taught me to try to be the best me. It’s about your preparation and it’s about what you do best.”
Peyton Manning can certainly disarm a trumped-up controversy.
Even before he became a household lightning rod for his postgame remarks after Seattle’s NFC championship game win, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had a throwaway line in an SI.com column earlier this season tailor made for Super Bowl-week controversy.
He said as great as the Denver quarterback is, Manning still throws “ducks” on occasion.
He amplified on that remark Wednesday, noting that, “He is a great quarterback. He does a great job. At the same time, when he catches the ball, he doesn’t necessarily catch the laces all the time.”
And guess what? Manning agreed.
“I believe it to be true,” he said as reporters laughed. “They say he’s a smart player and I don’t think that’s a real reach what he’s saying there. I do throw ducks. I’ve thrown a lot of yards and touchdown ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.”
Think Manning doesn’t know his Super Bowl history? Think again.
As he tries to become the first quarterback to win Super Bowls as a starter for two different teams, Manning knows exactly who’s tried it before.
“I can name them,” he said. “Do you want me to help with the answer? (Kurt) Warner and Craig Morton were the two.”
Morton made it to Super Bowls with the Broncos and Cowboys, Warner with the Rams and Cardinals.
“I know how hard it’s been for me to transition to a new organization,” he said. “To try to get comfortable with the new culture you are playing in and (the) surroundings, just to get comfortable, is hard enough. To actually turn it into some production and help your team get back to this game, it’s hard to do.”