Organized Training Activities are voluntary. That means established veterans are often afforded the right to skip them. Some choose to train elsewhere, usually some place close to where they live. For Marshawn Lynch, not only does he want to train with his new teammates, he IS home.
“He’s coming along,” said Jack Del Rio. “He’s doing great. We’ve got no issues there. Here’s been here like he said he would be here. Really come in and said ‘Coach, this is home for me, so it’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here. He’s committed to being here, he’s excited to be a Raider and we’re excited to have him.”
Lynch is being brought along slowly, in part because he is new to the team, and in part because he hasn’t played football for a over a year. Therefore he wasn’t suited up with a helmet on Tuesday, which means he wasn’t working full go.
We can’t really expect his full impact on the field to be felt until training camp. Even still, his impact on the team is felt in a great many other ways since he first took the field with the team for offseason workouts two weeks ago.
The idea of teaming up with Lynch is a bit of a dream come true to for many players on this team. That includes left tackle Donald Penn who, like Lynch, may be entering his final NFL season.
“Me and Marshawn were always talking about playing with each other all time and now it’s finally happened,” said Penn. “He’s always having fun out there, joking around, having fun. I don’t know if y’all know Marshawn, when he does talk, he’s a pretty funny guy, he’s a fool. We’re all having fun, getting stuff started.”
Even the media, with whom Lynch typically freezes out, knows the kind of character he can be with his teammates and in his personal life.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper has felt the energy that Lynch has brought to the team, which he sees translating to the field come the season.
Just walking in the building and going about his business offers an example for other Raiders players such as Cooper, who is ever the student of how the veterans prepare themselves.
“Guys like that, you just watch them,” said Cooper. “You see how they go about their day. Like with Charles [Woodson], I used to watch him a lot. He was a really hard worker. He was always in the weight room, always getting treatment. Marshawn, he’s the same way, I just watch him because there’s a reason why those two guys are so successful in this game.”
Del Rio may have understated things a bit when he said Lynch was doing a great job fitting in. His teammates are drawn to him and his addition brings a level of confidence this team hadn’t felt before.