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Jon Gruden seeing no signs Marshawn Lynch is slowing down as Raiders feature back

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NFL: Oakland Raiders-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the news broke that Marshawn Lynch was coming out of retirement to play for the Raiders, Raiders fans throughout the world rejoiced at the opportunity to see Beast Mode punish defenders in the Silver & Black.

It was a homecoming for Lynch who had long desired to play for his hometown team and seized the opportunity to try and win a championship with them before they leave for Las Vegas. It didn’t take long to see that Lynch was incredibly happy to play for the Oakland Raiders.

Among the excitement there were legitimate concerns regarding Lynch’s ability to produce considering his punishing running style and age (31) after year away from football. As they say there is a key difference between being in shape and being in football shape.

This difference may have been one of the reasons why Lynch averaged a pedestrian 3.7 yards per attempt over the initial 5 games of the 2017 season. Then he averaged 4.63 yards per attempt over the last 8 games and finished seventh in yards after contact and third in broken tackles. That production had him in Jon Gruden’s plans when he took over as head coach.

Gruden has gushed about Lynch since the first day of training camp

“I love him. I love being around him,” Gruden said of Lynch. “If you get to know him, you understand what I’m talking about. He’s a little misunderstood to some people but he’s a football player. A lot of people consider that cliché but he’s all football. He loves it. He competes. I’m excited to see him with his pads on.”

Specifically, Gruden lauded Lynch’s new physique commenting that he had slimmed down to a prime playing weight of about 232 pounds which is “as light as he’s been in a while”.

On day four, with two days in pads, Levi Damien asked about which players looked as good in pads as they did in shorts and the first thing Gruden said was “Marshawn Lynch is what is advertised, he’s pretty good in pads.”

Gruden is not alone in his excitement at getting to see more of Beastmode throughout the 2018 NFL season.

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