<
>

Bears will be ready for Lynch's debut

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- He's just another guy to hand off the ball to.

That's how the Bears view the potential debut of Seahawks acquisition Marshawn Lynch.

"It's a different guy back there, but the same running scheme," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "They may try to do some things with him, but there aren't a whole lot of runs we haven't seen. Our coaches drill us every day on every run we could possibility get. So we'll fit up the runs, and whoever gets the ball, we'll try to tackle him."

Having joined the Seahawks less than two weeks ago, Lynch should play a significant role against the Bears. Lynch spent the first three years of his career with Buffalo, in addition to participating in four games this season for the Bills before being traded to Seattle for a pair of draft picks (fourth-round pick in 2011, and a conditional pick in 2012).

Asked what the club expected out of Lynch on Sunday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said "everything."

"He's a terrific all-around back. He can run inside and outside. He's got power and burst," Carroll added. "He can make you miss, break tackles. He's a good catcher, a willing blocker. I've known him since he was coming out of high school, and have watched him then, and played against him from year to year and watched him all those years in college [while Carroll coached USC and Lynch starred at Cal]. I have great respect for him, and have been endeavoring in finding a way to get to him for some time now, so when it finally came about, I was thrilled to bring him to our club. He's pumped about the opportunity. We need to crank it up, and he can be a big factor in that."

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. thinks Lynch can be a factor, too. In a post authored by ESPN NFC West blogger Mike Sando, Williamson goes in depth about Lynch's prospects for the Seahawks.

Here's an excerpt from Sando's post, which outlines Williamson's thoughts:

On how Lynch will be used: "I tend to think Pete Carroll is always going to want the competition, and keep a lot of running backs involved. He did it at USC even when he had Reggie Bush. I tend to think he is going to use all those guys, and I think Justin Forsett deserves reps. He is a good running back."

On the acquisition of Lynch: "Lynch, if you were to ask me about him before the season, I would have told you I was not a fan. He has run rather poorly for two years in a row, more gingerly than he had when he was at his best. He also had some off-field problems. But considering what the Seahawks gave up, and the type of runners they had on the roster, I think it was a really good move. He can sustain offense with them. He can drag a defender or two. ... This is a long-term project in Seattle, and they eliminated one offseason need. There is now no reason to get a back this offseason."

On Lynch being rejuvenated: "There is a lot to be said for getting out of a dismal situation. Buffalo is a dismal place. I was in Cleveland during bad times for that organization. If any player could have gone to a different facility that year, they would have played better football. That helps Lynch. Buffalo is a wasteland, and the Seattle offensive line has to be better than in Buffalo, even though it is not great. I think it is good for the player and the team and for Buffalo, too. They get a pick."

On what Lynch offers: "Your body gets beat up quick at that position. Lynch is not as talented as when he came out of Cal. Running backs deteriorate quickly. He is a do-it-all type of guy. He is certainly powerful. No one batted an eye when he was picked 12th overall, and he looked like a stud for two years in Buffalo. I don't know if he'll ever be a Pro Bowler, though."

So there you have it: everything you need to know about Lynch headed into Sunday's contest between the Bears and Seahawks.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.