RENTON – What a difference a year – and $6.5 million more guaranteed – make for Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks’ star running back continued to be a happy camper during the team’s 10th practice of training camp Tuesday. And a happy Lynch is exactly what Seattle’s offense that is centered on him wants most.
Lynch’s morning on the field began when he strode out of the locker room and smiled at a group of young, quiet (as if awed) fans behind a metal barrier to his right. He then found teammate Brandon Mebane. Lynch gave his fellow former California Golden Bear playful slaps on the front and back of his shoulder pads.
During practice the NFL’s busiest and most productive runner since 2011 continued to look fast – and content. He is getting far more carries and passes thrown his way already in this camp than he did in 2014’s.
Then again, this time last year he had just ended an eight-day holdout. He ended up pocketing $1.5 million up front in guarantees that had been future-year money. Then came March’s two-year extension through 2017 that gave the 29-year-old Lynch $5 million more guaranteed this year.
Tuesday exemplified how happy Lynch is now. On his way back to the huddle following one play he danced to the blaring rap music the hired DJ was mixing on the sidelines. On the first play of a team scrimmage he took blitz pickup literally. Lynch bear-hugged and lifted up nickel back Marcus Burley, who was rushing in off the right edge. Lynch playfully carried the defensive back that weighs 30 pounds less than he does 10 yards back through the line of teammates watching. He carried Burley all the way through the offense’s huddle area.
Lynch is unlikely to carry the ball that much if at all in any of Seattle’s four exhibition games that begin Friday against Denver. So we’ll have to wait until the Sept. 13 opener at St. Louis to begin finding out if the only NFL player with 1,000 yards rushing and at least 10 rushing touchdowns in each of the last four seasons will have another standout fall and winter.
But it’s obvious he’s having a fun summer.
Top rookies zoom, shine
Top rookie draft pick Frank Clark had his best day of camp. The defensive end, rushing from the outside, sped past fellow rookie and guard Mark Glowinski and others repeatedly during a one-on-one pass rush drill.
Once Glowinski got desperate and blatantly grabbed Clark by both ends of his shoulder pads. Clark responded by blatantly going after Glowinski following the whistle. Teammates had to separate them.
Rookie third-round pick Tyler Lockett continues to show why he’s likely to be more than just Seattle’s new kickoff and punt returner. Lined up as a wide receiver outside right and head up on All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, Lockett got off the line past Sherman’s jam then ran past him by three yards on a deep post route.
Russell Wilson’s pass was just a tad too long off Lockett’s outstretched hands.
Seisay makes a point
Cornerback Mohammed Seisay, acquired from Detroit last week in a trade for a sixth-round draft choice, intercepted a pass intended for tight end Jimmy Graham on an out-and-up route.
But later Seisay got frustrated with wide receiver Chris Matthews. After Matthews made a catch on him on the sideline, Seisay ripped Matthews’ helmet off and to the turf.
Matthews went at Seisay before teammates intervened. Rookie strong safety Keenan Lambert being the first peacekeeper. Richard Sherman then had a talk with Seisay.
“I can’t let that get the best of me,” said Seisay, who at 6-2 and 202 pounds looks the part of a big Seahawks defensive back.
But he also said: “I’m trying to come out here and make a name for myself.”
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