Earlier this season, Bill Belichick made famous the phrase, “We’re on to Cincinnati.”
Well, Marshawn Lynch may have one-upped the New England head coach Tuesday, answering every question at Super Bowl media day with some variation of, “I’m here so I won’t get fined.” The Seattle running back answered 29 questions in less than five minutes before standing up and walking away from his microphone.
Lynch, who was threatened with a $500,000 fine if he refused to make himself available, is notorious for not talking to the media, but that wasn’t always the case.
“You know what?” KOMO-TV Seattle sports director Mike Ferreri said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “This is from the local standpoint when it comes to Marshawn: When he first arrived, I remember distinctly after the trade to get him, he stood on the field and did some drills with Matt Hasselbeck. They were getting together. He came off the field and met with a group of about 10 of us or so. Very engaging, very funny. Actually told us how he preferred to use a beeper over a smart phone. Just some really funny things. And he really didn’t have this whole aura about him not wanting to talk as much. I don’t know. At some point, something changed. Somebody took things in a wrong direction as far as the media is concerned.”
That said, when Lynch was doing a fundraiser for his charity, he said he would talk to anyone with a camera.
“When he wants to do it, he will do it,” Ferreri said. “But this whole thing is turning into a fiasco.”
Ferreri was asked what Lynch is like in the locker room when there are no cameras or microphones in sight.
“I think all the guys will say – even Max Unger said yesterday – he’s a great teammate,” Ferreri said. “I know his roommate is Cooper Helfet, who is a tight end who is also a part-time model. And you wouldn’t really think those two would be roomies. (Lynch) doesn’t watch a lot of TV. He really likes to play cards. He is a big fan of fruity candies, as everybody knows, and he plays really loud music when the media’s in the locker room to get people away from him.
“But he’s a smart guy,” Ferreri continued. “He knows what he’s doing. And the basis of why he’s not doing these interviews is because somebody is telling him you have to – and he doesn’t want to be told what to do. So, he wants to play the game for which he’s paid for in that element, but obviously there’s other aspects of being an NFL player that he’s not embracing. So that’s why he’s being fined.
“But if you look at just kind of the person he is and the unique individual he is, he doesn’t want to get caught up in that. He wants to go play football and he doesn’t want to talk about it – because someone tells him to.”
Either way, Ferreri has not given up on getting Lynch to engage.
“What if he does have a revelation and then he starts talking and he says some funny things?” Ferreri explained. “From a local standpoint, we know that when we had spoken with him in the past, the guy’s funny – and you don’t want to miss it.”