I do not remember my exact feelings at the moment that the Seahawks acquired Marshawn Lynch, other than it was exciting to get a talented skill player that was once a high draft pick and 1,000-yard rusher with the Bills. I did not know much about the man on the level of what his personality was like, or what would exactly cause him to fall out of favor in Buffalo after three seasons, but for that team at that time, it was well worth the risk.
Holy shit, I can't believe it would ever be considered "a risk."
Though coming at a relatively low cost, there was still the chance that Marshawn was just a draft bust. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry in 2009, had off-field troubles, and lost carries to Fred Jackson while the team spent another high draft pick on C.J. Spiller. John Schneider was determined to get him, and so he did. And so I love John Schneider.
Perhaps no longer would Lynch have to look up at the scoreboard and wonder, "What went wrong?"
Perhaps it would be party time. Here he is at the 2011 Oscars with Bruno Mars.
No part of that last sentence was true.
But Lynch's career in Seattle did not start out well. It took time for him to gel in the offense and see where he was going.
Lynch never topped 100 yards in his first 12 games with the Seahawks. He ran the ball nines times for seven yards against the Oakland Raiders. He was regularly under four-yards-per-carry. After all, there really was risk that Lynch would just not build on the momentum that he had to his start his career, and there was a reason that he was available to begin with.
But all along, Lynch kept going. Kept waiting and biding his time to show the Northwest what Schneider had seen in him.
"It's cool, man. It's cool. Just wait."
One day the thick, 5'11" running back from Oakland would walk into a stadium and change everything. Would make a life-altering, game-changing play that busted bust labels everywhere. He'd keep the peace.
Because you see... Marshawn Lynch has so. much. determination. doh.
"Get off me. Little. Boy. Get off me."
In an instant, this player who was exiled from the Bills and had been labeled a possible bust, who had not even played on this roster until Week 5, had not practiced with them, had not gone to mini-camps with them, had now just put together the greatest run, perhaps the greatest play, in franchise history.
The determination of Lynch, indeed the talent as well, had won over the hearts of the city and his teammates could trust him to do anything he wanted to do. To be the best back in the league perhaps, given the health of Adrian Peterson.
By the end of the 2011 season, Lynch was one of the most consistent backs in the league, known for his "Beast Mode," for becoming the toughest back in the NFL.
You better start to get ahold on Lynch three yards behind the line of the scrimmage, because it's the only way you can hope to hold him to a 1-yard gain.
It's no different in 2012, the greatest season of his career, still only 26. Here's what I call "Modern Day Determination" or "Modetermination":
Watch as Ryan Pickett, well over 300 pounds, seems to be the one in pain even though he is the only squeezing Lynch like he's Pickett's favorite teddy bear.
Or Justin Smith regretting taking a hit from Lynch.
Over and over and over again...
Just like it was before
So it still be today
To the point where determination became such a commonplace mode for Lynch that he even composed together "Hold Ma Dick: Casual"
Though Marshawn can smile and catch up with old friends
Shake hands like a gentleman
Enjoy a laugh in a blowout
(Or doing his best Stevie Wonder?)
It's the focus
And the attitude
That makes Seahawks fans so happy that Schneider and Pete Carroll took that "risk" and acquired Mr. Determination. I don't know where this train is headed, but I've certainly enjoyed the ride. There's nothing better than the moments that you'll never forget or the pure joy of when all the hard work pays off.
Thanks, Marshawn Lynch. I did not know what exactly to think of you when you got here, but I've enjoyed watching your determination.