Lynch gives the silent treatment after six minutes

The Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, who has already been fined $50,000 for avoiding public comments, stood against a wall during Tuesday's media day and remained silent for all but six minutes of his availability.
The Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, who has already been fined $50,000 for avoiding public comments, stood against a wall during Tuesday's media day and remained silent for all but six minutes of his availability. (MATT SLOCUM / Associated Press)
Posted: January 30, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. - Marshawn Lynch spent nearly 54 of the 60 minutes he was scheduled to speak at Super Bowl media day Tuesday standing against a curtain with a hood over his head and sunglasses covering his eyes in an indoor arena.

Cameras remained focused on Lynch. Reporters occasionally tried to test his silence with questions. Lynch, the Seahawks' star running back, did not flinch. He was already fined $50,000 this season for avoiding public comments - that fine was put on hold when he later spoke - and he risked another fine if he did not participate Tuesday. So Lynch took about six minutes of questions and then waited for the clock to run out on the Seahawks session.

"I'm just about action," Lynch said. "You say 'hut' and there's action. All the unnecessary talk, it don't do nothing for me. I appreciate that people want to hear from me, but I just go to work and do my thing. You feel me?"

Lynch said his fans love him regardless of whether he speaks. They just want to see him perform, which Lynch has done since arriving in Seattle. He rushed for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns this season and is the star of the Seahawks offense entering the Super Bowl on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

"I heard he did six great minutes," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "Some comedians make a career out of that."

Two former players who are now members of the media went beyond the rope to talk to Lynch. Deion Sanders conducted an interview for NFL Network. Lynch told him that talking does not accomplish much.

Randy Moss, now a Fox Sports analyst, huddled for a private discussion with Lynch. "Don't let nobody steal your joy," Moss told Lynch, as Moss recounted the conversation later.

The NFL fined Moss for not speaking publicly during his career. The former wide receiver said he understood Lynch's reclusiveness. Moss said that his comments used to be scrutinized and dissected, and that whatever came out of his mouth went to the microphone.

"I used to be camera- shy," Moss said. "When I first got into the league, I didn't want to be in front of no camera. Get it out of my face. I don't want to talk about it. Because I don't know what to say, I don't know how it's going to come out, and I don't want to sound stupid when saying it."

While Lynch stood idle, fans who paid admission at the Prudential Center ran toward the seats behind Lynch and threw items for him to autograph. Lynch obliged for a few minutes, then returned to waiting out the clock.

"They came to watch people get interviewed?" Lynch said earlier. "This is amazing right here, man."

In the Seahawks locker room, Lynch often sits unbothered by visitors. Veteran fullback Michael Robinson, a former Penn State star, has a locker next to Lynch's. He said Lynch does not talk because he does not want his words misconstrued. He added that Lynch has matured throughout his career.

"As long as he runs inside-outside zone on Sunday," Robinson said, "I'm happy with that."

Lynch, an Oakland native, had just turned 21 when the Buffalo Bills made him a first-round pick in 2007. He excelled early in his career, although he found trouble off the field. He was suspended three games in 2009 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge. His driver's license was revoked after a 2008 hit-and-run. The Bills traded Lynch for two mid-round draft picks in 2010.

Lynch has since proved to be one of the NFL's top rushers. He has been among the top 10 in rushing yards in each of the last three seasons.

"In my eyes, he's a great," Moss said. "I've seen Walter Payton. I've seen Eric Dickerson. I've seen Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Adrian Peterson. Put Marshawn Lynch in there, too."

The highlight of Lynch's life to date is winning the "Silver Bowl" - Oakland's high school city championship - in 2003. The deepest reflections he made Tuesday were about his youth in Oakland.

"That's pretty big time for me," he said.

Sunday will be bigger. Lynch will be one of the game's primary characters. He'll also be one of the quietest - at least in public. Lynch's six minutes on Tuesday became media day's biggest story, but the Seahawks are far more concerned with his 60 minutes on Sunday. That's why Lynch exited stage right when asked if he has been able to enjoy the moment.

"I won't be satisfied with this until it's all over," Lynch said. "When we win, that's when I'll be satisfied. Until then, I've got work, but I appreciate all this. You all have a good day."


zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm

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