PHOENIX – Marshawn Lynch speaks!
Just not to the Super Bowl press corps.
Yes, technically the Seattle Seahawks’ recalcitrant running back has fulfilled his media obligations with 5-minute appearances at the two sessions so far this week, during which he’s mostly repeated a single phrase. On Wednesday, it was “You know why I’m here” – a variation on the “I’m here so I won’t get fined” theme he trotted out Tuesday.
But Lynch was downright expansive in a Q-and-A with Maxim.com, the online arm of the men’s lifestyle magazine – at least after it was agreed football talk was off-limits and the conversation would only touch on his Beast Mode clothing line.
Still, there were a couple of nuggets – including how he had “Beast Mode” defined for him by a Starbucks barista.
“He saw me and he was like ‘Beast Mode, this is for you! I’m going into Beast Mode!’ ” Lynch recalled. “This guy was mixing up whatever coffee drinks he makes. I was just like, ‘Damn, this is a guy who’s taking his job and maximizing it to the best of his potential.’ And I realized that’s exactly what Beast Mode is.”
And there was an essential style tip:
“I wouldn’t put on women’s pants, like skinny pants. But, you know, whatever you feel comfortable in. That’s my thing.”
Meanwhile, even though he’s had NFL approval for his abbreviated media sessions, Lynch may still be in hot water for not wearing NFL-approved gear to those appearances – in this case, a Beast Mode cap. The $33 lid sold out within hours of Lynch wearing it at Media Day.
Brian Urlacher was hit with a $100,000 fine in 2007 for wearing a Vitaminwater cap while on the podium, a conflict with the NFL’s sponsorship deal with Pepsi and Gatorade. Lynch’s hat, however, is made by New Era, which is an NFL partner.
“It’s childish,” Seahawks teammate Kam Chancellor said. “They’re (they NFL) focusing on the wrong thing.”
In actual football matters …
Yes, there is football going on in here. The Seahawks went through their usual “Competition Wednesday” practice at Arizona State University, with a couple of positive signs.
Guard J.R. Sweezy, who has been bothered by a bad ankle, took snaps with the No. 1 offensive line without a limp, according to a pool report. And cornerback Richard Sherman’s hyperextended elbow appears to be coming around – he made a leaping interception with both hands.
“We’re really fortunate to be this healthy,” coach Pete Carroll said. “If we can make it through practice (Thursday), we’ll be in great shape.”
As it was last offseason, the Seahawks’ roster is bound to take some hits as players due big contracts – in particular, quarterback Russell Wilson – make it impossible to keep the entire roster intact.
One Seahawk who figures to take advantage of free-agent bidding is cornerback Byron Maxwell, whose solid play as teams targeted him to avoid throwing in Sherman’s direction will make him a popular figure.
“I’m the prettiest girl at the dance right now,” Maxwell said. “I’m excited about it. I would love to be here, but I’m ready to see what’s out there.”
Fab Four, plus one
Fans worried about the Sports Illustrated cover jinx won’t be comforted to find the Legion of Boom – Seattle’s heralded secondary – posed out front this week. Nickel back Jeremy Lane got to join Sherman, Chancellor, Maxwell and Earl Thomas in the photo, which shows them in their street best.
Even receiver Doug Baldwin gave it a thumbs up. Sort of.
“Yeah,” he said, “I can’t wait for their first album to drop.”
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