It’s likely not a coincidence that the ascension of Russell Wilson to true franchise-quarterback status has happened with running back Marshawn Lynch out of the picture. And it’s now becoming more clear that, whenever Marshawn returns to the team, he may not recognize it.
“We’re counting on him to get healthy whenever that is and then once that happens, it’s for him to come back in and be able to adapt to this football team and the way it acts and the way it’s moving right now collectively,” offensive line coach Tom Cable said Wednesday, via Curtis Crabtree of KJR and PFT. “That will be his challenge, but right now his number one thing is getting healthy.”
So how is the offense different than it was before Lynch exited for hernia surgery?
“I see us being a little more detailed,” Cable said. “I see us playing at a very high tempo, accepting challenges, overcoming issues when they show up whether it’s in a game or practice. I think we’re growing up in a big way and so I think maturity is probably the thing that stands out to me more than anything and that’s across the board.”
Lynch’s adjustment to the new offense doesn’t become relevant until he returns to the team. And it’s still not clear when he will. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn’t know if Lynch will be back bext week, and that “[t]here’s a chance” he’ll be back for the playoffs.
“This is something that it’s possible for him to return,” Carroll said. “It’s possible for him to return. Fortunately, we’re going to get to play longer, and the more we do that, the better off his chances to get back.”
Carroll added that Lynch currently is following his offseason workout regimen.
“This is how he gets ready and gets in shape, and I think this is what’s best for him,” Carroll said. “I think this is a good choice for him to be where he is.”
Regardless of whether Lynch returns this season, it’s becoming more and more clear that the place he won’t be next season is in Seattle. The Seahawks can spend the $9 million Lynch is due to earn in 2016 elsewhere and rely on Thomas Rawls at tailback. Or pretty much anyone at the position.
As long as Wilson is playing the way that he has over the last five weeks, it won’t matter.