Marshawn Lynch silent about facing Bills

Dec 13, 2012, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:01 am

Bill Swartz

What’s harder than tackling the Seahawks’ rugged running back, Marshawn Lynch? Getting the man
nicknamed “Beast Mode” to do an interview.

You would think Lynch would have a few thoughts to share about facing his former Buffalo Bills team
on Sunday in Toronto. Try as we might before Wednesday’s practice, Lynch declined to answer our questions.

So we sought out a few men who might know him best, like former Cal teammate Brandon Mebane.

How would Mebane describe Lynch as a person?

“Funny, you know he likes to clown,” Mebane said. “We have our serious conversations, too. Mostly we like to clown around. He’s not shy. If he acts shy, it’s a front. He ain’t shy at all.”

What’s it like trying to tackle one of the NFL’s most ferocious runners? Mebane recalls one of their college spring drills.

“I tried to beat him into the hole, and he shook me. Then I tried to run and jump on his back, and he shook me off his back. Man, I had to go watch that on film. Good thing it wasn’t a real game,” Mebane joked.

Coach Pete Carroll needed a powerful ball-carrier to personify the physical offensive style he wanted to establish in Seattle. Remembering what Lynch did to his USC defenses, Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider hounded the Bills to send Lynch to the Pacific Northwest.

It helped Seattle’s recruiting process to already have Lynch’s best friend, Justin Forsett, on the roster. Mebane was elated when Seattle completed a trade bringing Lynch to Seattle early in the 2010 season.

“I was excited to be a teammate with him again, to see those exciting runs he did at Cal,” Mebane said. “I knew he could do it again in the NFL.”

The men who block for Lynch are equally ecstatic to see him juke and run over opposing defenders.

“I think it makes us play harder knowing he’s going to break a couple of tackles on a run,” center Max Unger told me. “If we can get a couple people up there and get people off him, he’s going to go for extra yards, definitely.”

While Lynch rarely talks with the media, he has plenty of lively banter with his Seattle teammates, including hard-tackling safety Kam Chancellor.

“Me and Marshawn always talk about how I hit the crap out of him, and how he’ll run me over,” Chancellor said with a smile. “That’s just because we both have a competitive nature.”

We all know “Beast Mode” is fueled by eating his favorite candy, Skittles. Does Lynch have any weaknesses opponents could exploit?

“Hmm, weaknesses, hmm,” Mebane pondered out loud. “Yeah, he does. I better keep that to myself.”

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