RENTON, Wash. – Seahawks offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, says running back Marshawn Lynch having team highs of five catches and 76 yards last weekend in the win over Oakland was not an accident.
Lynch has been catching more screens and swing passes in recent games, a product of how fleeting or nonexistent quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass protection has been.
“Well, we want to use our good players. And he’s definitely, probably, the best player on our offense,” Bevell said after a practice this week before Seattle (5-3) hosts the New York Giants (3-5) on Sunday. “And we want to get him the ball as many ways as we can.
“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.”
Lynch missed his second consecutive practice day Thursday with a newly listed calf injury but doesn’t seem likely to miss Sunday’s game.
The scene most will remember Lynch doing last Sunday was his bullish, 5-yard touchdown run. He dragged just about every Raider across the goal line.
But the play that was the most impacting in that game was the screen pass.
Even when fully healthy at the start of the season, Seattle’s offensive line was not consistently giving Wilson time to drop back and find receivers down the field.
With center Max Unger and left tackle Russell Okung out injured and then left guard James Carpenter spraining his ankle during last weekend’s game, screens to Lynch were about the only thing Bevell had Wilson throw in the second half against the Raiders.
Unger fully practiced Thursday for the first time since he sprained his foot Oct. 6 at Washington. Okung returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis.
Still, Bevell is now 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.
Bevell has also lined Lynch up outside as a fourth or fifth wide receiver in formations.
Lynch’s 76 yards receiving last week were the second-most of his career, 2 yards behind what he had last season in a win over Tennessee.
That day included a 55-yard catch and run on a wheel route and throw back across the field from Wilson.
“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.”
Safety Kam Chancellor (groin) missed another practice day. He seems iffy to play Sunday. … Defensive end Michael Bennett has now sat out the last three Thursdays with a listed toe injury. He played in the last two games after doing that. … Okung, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and cornerback Byron Maxwell being back in practice after missing Wednesday is a good sign all three will play Sunday. … Carpenter missed another practice with that sprained ankle. … Newly acquired defensive end Demarcus Dobbs could be ready to play Sunday.
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