Sure, the retirement of running back Marshawn Lynch makes quarterback Russell Wilson the focal point of the Seattle offense. But Wilson, who always says all the right things, can’t say that. Instead, Wilson needs to project the notion that not having Lynch is a bad thing.
Which is what Wilson did on Thursday.
“Well, obviously, losing Marshawn is one of the hardest things that can happen because he was one of the most talented players in the National Football League when he was playing,” Wilson told reporters on Thursday.
So how will the team respond to Lynch leaving?
“I think the biggest thing is everybody stepping up, everybody leading, very similar to when we couldn’t have Marshawn last year when he was battling through his injuries,” Wilson said. “Guys stepped up and were leaders. Guys like Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, Kam Chancellor, all the way down the line – Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett. There’s so many guys I could name – [Richard Sherman], Earl [Thomas]. So we’re going to have to have that collective group of leadership. That’s going to be a great thing. I think it makes the team really focus on each other and really get stronger too in that way.”
Apparently, it’s working. So far.
“The energy out there is unbelievable,” Wilson said regarding the team’s OTA sessions. “It feels like we’re in midseason [form], just how we’re practicing. All the receivers, the tight ends making plays. And the running back group, even though they’re young, they’re really catching on quickly and the offensive line too. And then the defense, they just bring so much energy too. So it’s really competitive out there in a good way and that’s what we’re loving about it.”
Some think the window is closing on the Seahawks, but they continue to be one of the best teams in the league. Although Lynch helped make them better, they were better than fine without him for much of 2015, and they’ll be better than fine without him in 2016.