The Oakland Raiders are a team on the brink of big-time success, and Marshawn Lynch could be the player that gets them over the top.
Team general manager Reggie McKenzie certainly sees it that way. He opened up about how he sees Lynch impacting the Raiders, despite the fact he’s 31 years of age.
“We think he has more than enough left to be a highly productive running back in this league — even back to his latter couple years when he was playing,” McKenzie said in an appearance with SiriusXM NFL Radio (h/t East Bay Times). “So we think he’s going to be highly productive and we’re excited to have him and he is extremely excited to be here, playing for the Oakland Raiders.”
The last time Lynch was a “highly productive running back” was during the 2014 season when he rushed for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 2015 campaign was marked by a downturn in production and injury.
However, a year off has likely done a lot to recharge his batteries and rest up his oft-used legs, which is what Oakland is counting on for the 2017 season.
“Once it was word that he may come out of retirement and Oakland was a place to land, I was really excited,” McKenzie said. “So when that team took off, we stayed in pursuit and I was happy that it worked out.”
If Lynch does have a lot left in his tank, the Raiders certainly have the pieces offensively to make a deep run in the playoffs. Defense was the biggest weakness last year, and in a sense Lynch might be able to help there, too, if the Raiders use him to dominate the time of possession battle and limit their defense from exposure.
It’s going to be fascinating to track this story throughout the season to see just how much of an impact Lynch has overall on Oakland’s success.