JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Running back Marshawn Lynch didn’t duck the assembled Super Bowl media Wednesday, again fulfilling — if only for a brief time — his NFL-mandated obligation to attend a pre-practice interview session.
Lynch took questions for five minutes or so, though often in tandem with fullback and good friend Michael Robinson, who several times stepped in to answer for Lynch, a give-and-take that provided some needed levity.
Lynch, though, also didn’t shy away from why he was there.
“I’m just here so I won’t get fined, boss,’’ Lynch said. “That’s the only reason I’m here.’’
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Lynch did avoid a fine, though he didn’t stay for all of the scheduled time. Players were scheduled to be available for 45 minutes.
Before Wednesday’s session, The Pro Football Writers of America released a statement saying it was “extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access’’ to Lynch.
Many of the questions aimed at Lynch concerned his reticence to talk to the media. He did not talk to local reporters during the regular season until it was announced that he would be fined $50,000 for not cooperating. He appealed, and it was ruled that the fine would be stayed if he cooperated for the rest of the season, but would be doubled if he did not.
Asked what he thought of the media attention, he said: “I really don’t have too much to say, boss. I really don’t. I appreciate it, but I don’t get it.’’
Lynch, asked if he’d stopped talking because he’d been misquoted, said simply “false.” Asked if it’s hard balancing being a football star with being a private person, he said the only issue is if the media makes it one by trying to have him fined.
“The 12s (Seattle fans) don’t have a problem with it,’’ he said of his silence. “The people I play for on Sunday don’t have a problem with it. The media has a problem with it. It’s a problem if they choose to take something away from me for not doing it.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll, asked if he was worried that Lynch not cooperating fully would set a precedent for other players to think they also could get out of their media responsibilities, said no and noted that players such as Richard Sherman show no hesitancy to talk.
“You know, we have obligations that we try to fulfill the best we can,” he said. “I don’t know how we can look at this any other way — not everybody is the same. In our program we understand that, to a point that we made the statement that we celebrate the individuality and the uniqueness of our guys. I think that we would like to comply and do everything that we can to the best of our abilities, but we are who we are.
“On this football team, and all teams, there are people that are more available than others, because they’re comfortable with that, and they feel good about that. So, I think that’s what we’re talking about right here. We would love to help you out as much as possible and we’ll do everything we can to do that.”
Expect more of the same Thursday as all Seattle players, including Lynch, will be required to meet with the media one last time before Sunday’s game.
Carroll defends Seahawks reputation
Carroll, during his 20 or so minutes with the media, said he wasn’t worried that the Seahawks are developing a bad reputation given some of their issues with drug suspensions and the controversy surrounding Sherman’s statements following the NFC title game.
He also said, in regard to some of the drug suspensions, that players who remain have learned from the mistakes of others.
“When we’ve had anybody who has strayed, or had an issue, or whatever, it came to the point where we really felt compassion for the guys that couldn’t hang with us in the commitment that we made,’’’ he said. “So, I think it’s become very strong from inside-out, from inside right in the middle of the locker room on out, and I think that we’re on a really good path. I think it’s a good illustration of what it takes to get everybody committed and everybody on the same page, and I think the commitment to our football and the commitment to the Seahawks is pretty clear right now.”
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @bcondotta