When the Oakland Raiders landed Marshawn Lynch this offseason, many of us wondered which version would be showing up. Would we see Beast Mode return in all his glory, or would he resemble the battered and bruised iteration we witnessed throughout the 2015 season?
Based on his jersey sales, it seems more fans are optimistic than pessimistic on this front. Additionally, based on everything we’ve heard and seen coming out of Raiders offseason workouts there is reason for staying optimistic.
It all started when head coach Jack Del Rio posted a video from Raiders practice that featured Lynch displaying some serious burst, not to mention his signature enthusiasm for the game.
— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) June 6, 2017
Then, during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing threw some gasoline on this fire. Essentially admitting he also had some doubts about whether Lynch would be a dominant back, he said he’s been “pleasantly surprised” by what he’s seen. With a caveat.
“This is being as genuine as I can be,” Downing said. “He has pleasantly surprised me at every turn. It’s been really neat to be around him. … So everything that we’ve seen on him thus far — and, of course, we’ve only been in pajamas out there practicing — but what we’ve seen has been fantastic. And I’m as excited as the rest of Raider Nation to see what he’s got.”
The biggest thing that Raiders fans should be excited about, in this scribe’s humble opinion, is just how enthusiastic Lynch is right now about football. He’s absolutely, 100-percent sold out to being the best football player he can be right now. And when Lynch is dedicated to something, he sees it through.
Given the offensive firepower Oakland features in the passing game, and based on the team’s phenomenal run-blocking offensive line, Lynch could be in for a huge season if he can stay healthy.