Seahawks defend Marshawn Lynch

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
8:00
AM ET
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The Seahawks have heard all they can handle about teammate Marshawn Lynch. They defended their star running back Thursday, the final day of the players' availability to the media.

[+] EnlargeMarshawn Lynch
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesTeammates came to the defense of media-shy Marshawn Lynch and described him as talkative with those close to him.
"The fact that the league threatened Marshawn with suspensions and fines and forcing him to speak is absurd," receiver Doug Baldwin said. "It's ridiculous. The guy doesn't want to speak to the media and you're forcing him to. It's frustrating for me to even speak about.

"But at the same time, it's frustrating for the fans. He has no problem with connecting with the fans. He does a lot of community service and social media. This is what the NFL wanted. They wanted to make a story. Any publicity for the NFL is good publicity."

Richard Sherman admits he loves the media attention, but said Lynch shouldn't be criticized for disliking it.

"I'm comfortable in front of a crowd and public speaking," Sherman said. "It's fun for me. I enjoy it. Obviously, not everybody in the world is comfortable with it. Sometimes people get anxiety and shouldn't be forced to do it, because it's not for everyone."

Defensive end Chris Clemons rarely talks to the media, too, so he understands Lynch not wanting to participate.

"I don't think he has to sell himself because of the people around that want to talk to him," Clemons said. "He didn't get the name Beast Mode by talking to the media. That's just who he is. He doesn't have to talk. He does it with his pads. That's who he is."

Defensive linemen Michael Bennett said reporters don't understand Lynch.

"I don't think the media understands anybody," Bennett said. "If they did, they wouldn't be mediating. Marshawn is a great guy, though. He goes out there and puts the team on his back.

"I don't think the media really understands what it takes to be an NFL running back. I don't care if he ever really talks to the media as long as he does his job for us. I will always be there for him."

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner says Lynch is talkative to the people closest to him.

"He's a great person," Wagner said. "He talks a lot more to us than media. I think it's just a thing where he's not that type of person to open up to people [he doesn't know]. When you force somebody like that to talk to you, he's just going to shut down even more.

"Honestly, he's been nothing but great to me. I've never had anything bad to say about him. If a guy is quiet, let him be quiet. If he doesn't want to talk, you can't force a man to talk. You all aren't going to get anything out of him but frustrating him. That's not the type of person you want to frustrate."

Backup running Robert Turbin said Lynch has made him a much better football player.

"I've learned a lot from him," Turbin said. "I don't want to get too specific, but I can tell you he sets a great example on Sundays, as far as just how to get it done. He's smart, more than people know, and he knows defenses. I try to take what I can from him and incorporate it in my game."

Baldwin said Lynch always will have his support.

"He's a loving, caring teammate and he's a teddy bear," Baldwin said. "He will do anything for his teammates. He's a selfless player. Why wouldn't you want to come to his aid when he's being forced into something he doesn't want to do?"

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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