Del Rio: Marshawn Lynch showing ‘authentic passion’

4 May

Forgive Oakland Raider fans who are perhaps the least bit curious if their new star running back, who retired on a whim two years ago via Instagram during Super Bowl 50, is 100 percent on board with his latest foray in the NFL.

Worry not, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio says. Marshawn Lynch is going to do this thing right.

“Authentic passion is what I see,” Del Rio said, via ESPN.com. “He is a homegrown guy. He’s extremely excited about joining this football team, being part of the Raider Nation, and we’re excited to have him.

“You know, there are going to be questions about how much is left in his tank and we’re going to find out. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anybody else be more excited and more pleased to be joining a team. My team. Our team.”

Out of the Big Three veteran running backs who changed teams this offseason — Lynch, Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles — the most eyes are on the former Seahawk, who, before a core muscle injury in his final season, posted three straight years of at least 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns. It’s not fair to assume he’ll be able to do it again at age 31, though Lynch seemed to always have a superhero-like quality to him.

Del Rio said he told Lynch how fortunate the running back was. There are few players in the NFL who can have the type of comeback/rewritten retirement opportunity that Lynch has, which is one of the reasons the hopes are so high. Lynch seems like an introvert on the field, but may be one of the most emotional players in the game.

Can that emotion sustain itself throughout the long slog of the preseason and into the regular season? Can it propel Lynch to be the player he was three years ago?

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