Seahawks’ Carroll ‘welled up’ during Marshawn Lynch’s ‘magical’ return
The Seahawks nearly had a storybook moment for Marshawn Lynch in his first game with the team in four years. And while they weren’t able to get him the ball to deliver a NFC West-clinching win over the 49ers on Sunday night, Lynch’s return to Seattle was still a special moment for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
“I thought the whole thing was pretty magical,” he said Monday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Pete Carroll Show.
The crowd at CenturyLink Field was given a chance right out of the gate to show its appreciation for Lynch, the star running back who helped take the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowls earlier in the decade. Though the team alternates between the offense or defense being introduced for home games and Sunday was the defense’s turn, Seattle opted to have the offensive players get their names called due to this special circumstance.
Lynch rejoined the Seahawks just six days prior to the game after Seattle lost running backs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise all to season-ending injuries over a three-game stretch. He was saved for last in Sunday’s introductions, and he ran out alongside fellow RBs Travis Homer, a rookie picked in the sixth round of last spring’s NFL Draft, and Robert Turbin, another back from Seattle’s Super Bowl era that returned last week, to a thunderous ovation.
“We did that just for the fans and for everybody to get a chance to enjoy it because it was a real occurrence. It was a real thing,” Carroll said.
But how did Lynch do in his return from his second retirement, over a year since his last game in the NFL? He ran for a respectable 34 yards on 12 carries, including a 15-yard rush that roused the 12s in the third quarter and set up Seattle’s first touchdown of the night.
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 30, 2019
“I thought he did really well. He hit the line of scrimmage tough,” Carroll said. “We wanted to get him four or five carries in the first half and see what happens, and that happened, and then we went with him in the second half more so. He did fine, he felt fine, made it through it and had a couple of nice runs.”
Oh, and then there was the 1-yard touchdown run – or leap, if you will – that helped the Seahawks climb back from a two-score deficit as they made a late run.
“He did everything. When he scored his touchdown, I thought that was a real moment,” Carroll said. “… (It was great) for everybody – for the fans and for all of us. Shoot, I was all welled up too. I was fired up about it. It was such a cool thing that happened.”
🗣 There he goes! @MoneyLynch flies over the top for the touchdown!
Q4: SEA 14, SF 19 pic.twitter.com/42YGzHY3gr
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 30, 2019
The only thing missing from the night was a Seahawks win. They reached the 1-yard line in the final minute needing a touchdown to move ahead of San Francisco, but after Russell Wilson spiked the ball on first down to stop the clock, Seattle didn’t get its personnel on the field in time for the next play and was flagged for delay of game. That forced the Seahawks to take three shots at the end zone from the 6 instead of the 1, preventing Lynch from getting an opportunity to run in a touchdown that would have likely sealed the NFC West championship and a first-round playoff game at home for Seattle.
A potential defensive pass interference call also loomed large on that final drive that cost Seattle a down, and San Francisco escaped with a 26-21 victory, the NFC West title and a first-round bye as the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
“It was part of the story that we had a chance to write,” Carroll said of the Lynch carry from the 1 that never came to fruition. “That’s why it was going to be a magical finish. With all that time, to us it seemed like we had all the time that we needed in the world. We were going to win the game. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t get the chance to give it to everybody.”
You can hear the full Pete Carroll Show in the second half of the podcast embedded in the player below or at this link.
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