Every week, Marshall Faulk tweets out a question to SB Nation for the GMC Playbook. Here is what he had to say this week:
On #GMCPlaybook we ask @SBNation Who’s hiding something? Let’s talk crafty veterans and what gives them the edge. http://t.co/Fm84ekOka0— Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) November 26, 2014
What Marshall said: To be GMC Professional Grade you must know your craft inside and out. On every team, there must be an established veteran presence, that with the work that he does, it doesn’t really show up in the stat sheet. It could be a veteran DB who give that jersey pull or a nice arm lock, so the receiver can’t catch the ball. Or an offensive lineman who’s crafty enough to get the hold real tightly to where the refs won’t call it, but the back, he’s off for a big run. Now, look at your team and analyze. Tell me, who’s that crafty veteran on your team. And if you’re really paying attention, what’s the signature move that he uses?
When I read that question, the first key word I identify is "veteran," which is something that Pete Carroll hasn't really used a lot of in his five years of rebuilding and constant reformation of this team. They like good players, hard workers, but also, they like getting wins while staying under the salary cap and guys on rookie contracts are just a whole hell of a lot cheaper than everyone else. We saw that truth in plain sight when dudes like Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Golden Tate, and Clint McDonald were let go last year, or at least didn't get many texts from the Schneidz when their free agency hit.
This is of course a significant topic of interest in Seattle, because perhaps the biggest star on the team might see his contract discontinued next year too: Marshawn Lynch.
I sort of forget he's a veteran because Lynch has been such a staple of this city dating back to "BeastQuake" nigh on five years ago (my how time flies) but this is a guy that's been in the league since 2007. Hell, in his rookie season with the Bills he was playing with Peerless Price! He's carried the ball nearly 2,000 times in his career but seems to be doing it as well now as he ever has before. It's a damn shame to even think that the Seahawks could let him go, but the truth of the matter is that running backs don't roll down hills, they fall off cliffs.
As much as it pains me to consider it, this really could be Lynch's last great season. Or maybe not, because damn this dude has built a Hall of Fame case by being so "crafty."
While some get by on speed, or size, or playing behind a phenomenal offensive line, Lynch gets by on sheer will. There isn't another player in the NFL that seems to work harder on every play than Lynch does. I recently joked that we should just start calling him "Non Alexander." No offense to Shaun (congrats on being a Hall of Fame semi-finalist) but what I remember is how he dipped out-of-bounds near the sideline. You're never going to see Lynch dip anywhere but into the defense. When a defender has his arms around him, or two defenders, or threes, watch Lynch's legs.
They never stop moving.
He's got a lot of juke in him and he can make zigs and zags in traffic like none other, but Lynch is really just crafty by turning three-yard gains into five-yard gains, and sometimes a loss of three into a gain of 20. He never stops moving.
I don't know if he's the craftiest running back in the league -- he might be -- but he's definitely the craftiest among the present greats because he uses every fiber of his being and every horsepower in his motor to gain every yard that he possibly can.
From one running back named "Marsh" to another, you know this is the right answer.