“You know, I’ve never met Marshawn Lynch,” Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said in his introductory press conference Tuesday. “ Even as a broadcaster, I asked for Marshawn Lynch in production meetings and I never got to meet him. So I’m anxious to sit down with Marshawn and meet him. We’ll talk about his future and the Raiders. I can’t wait. He came back to the Raiders for similar, I think, reasons that I did. I think he loves Oakland. I think he loves the Raiders and guys like him interest me, so I’m looking forward to talking to him.”
Of course Gruden would want a member of the 10,000-yard club with the way he loves to run the ball. The Raiders were No. 3 in the NFL in rushing in 1999 and No. 1 in 2000 under Gruden with Charlie Garner and Tyrone Wheatley. So imagine what he does with Lynch, who’s much better than Garner and Wheatley put together.
But does Lynch want to be a part of a Raiders team led by Gruden?
“I don’t think Marshawn Lynch will be back.” Raiders insider J.T. the Brick said on a podcast on the Raiders’ official website. “I don’t think he’s going to buy into how intense Gruden is.”
To that, I say Lynch would be a fool for not wanting to come back to play for Gruden. “Pound the rock” has always been a mantra of his as he likes a physical running game. And Lynch is as physical as they come, running over defensive backs, linebackers and defensive linemen.
The 31-year-old was one of two RB’s in the NFL this past year to gain more than 70 percent of his yards after contact according to Pro Football Focus. And as far as the all-important pass blocking goes, Lynch was one of three RB’s with 30-plus pass-block snaps to not allow a single pressure in 2017.
There’s nothing in his game for Gruden not to like so he would make full use of him. And more importantly, he would give him the ball on a critical 4th-and-1, unlike last year’s genius. Lynch should want to take one more ride with his hometown.