No, the Seahawks aren’t trading Marshawn Lynch.
No, we don’t hate him or think he’s useless.
No, you can’t believe everything you read and hear.
Yes, that is what Pete Carroll has to say about the latest round of apparently fabricated fun being debated across the country about the Super Bowl champions. This unsubstantiated one is saying the Seahawks want to either A.) trade their four-time Pro Bowl running back before Tuesday’s 1 p.m. Pacific Time league deadline, or B.) get rid of him as they did Percy Harvin after this season ends.
“I have nothing say about that, because there is nothing to that,” Carroll said this afternoon here at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, one day after Seattle improved to 4-3 with a 13-9 win at Carolina. “I have no idea where that came from. We have nothing to say about that.
“At this point, I don’t think it behooves us to try and respond to all these kinds of things in the locker room. Our players have told you how they feel. Our coaches have told you how we feel about it. We are in a really good place right now. … It’s just not worth it. There’s nothing to that. I don’t know where that came from.”
Asked if he talks to the marches-to-his-own-(booming-rap)-beat Lynch “regularly or semi-regularly,” Carroll interjected: “Whenever I need to.
“Look, what do you want me do … you asking me about my personal relationships with my players now?” the coach said, clearly and unusually perturbed. “We are doing great.”
Reminded by Art Thiel of Sportspress Northwest that the media doesn’t get the opportunity to get Lynch’s feelings directly on this — or any — matter, Carroll said: “He’s doing fine. He’s works his tail off. I’ve been reporting on him all the time because he’s done a great job. Since the day he got back here (from his brief contract holdout that increased his guaranteed money from $5 million to $6 million and added another $500,000 in guaranteed cash up front) he’s looked terrific. He returned in great shape and he’s busted his tail and done everything we’ve asked from him.”
Lynch has 483 yards rushing with three touchdowns on the ground and another three touchdowns receiving, the last statistic tying his career high for a season.
“You watch, we have a whole process of how we bring him back (giving him practices off each Wednesday to rest). Our trainers do a great job with him. He’s always ready to play, and he’s played his tail off. He’s doing great.”
Asked if it’s safe to presume Lynch will be a Seahawk past Tuesday’s trade deadline and Seattle will not be dealing him to San Diego, Oakland, Beijing or another city of rumor in the last hour, Carroll said with a chuckle: “Yeah. You are strong. Go ahead, you go with that.”
–On to what is real:
Carroll says middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has missed the last two games with turf toe, and tight end Zach Miller, who has missed the last three following ankle surgery, are still “going to be a while.” Both got looked at by a specialist over the weekend when the team was in Charlotte, N.C., and neither player got a timeline on a possible return. That means usual outside linebacker K.J. Wright will again be in the middle and Luke Willson will be the fill-in tight end against Sunday against Oakland — and indefinitely beyond that.
The coach said cornerback Byron Maxwell and center Max Unger each have a chance to play against the Raiders this weekend. Maxwell missed his second consecutive game at Carolina because of a strained calf; Tharold Simon started for him in Simon’s second NFL game. Carroll joked today with a thumb up that Simon “made it through the game.” That was a reference to him spraining his ankle two games ago at St. Louis and then getting thrown out of the exhibition opener at Denver in August for fighting — before he then had knee surgery that sideline him for all of September and half of October.
Safety Jeron Johnson got a concussion on the kickoff following the Seahawks’ go-ahead touchdown at Carolina with 47 seconds remaining in the game.
Carroll said linebacker Malcolm Smith has a mild groin strain.
–Sounds to me like two rookies have earned more chances off their play at Carolina: wide receiver and kickoff returner Paul Richardson and outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis.
Carroll wouldn’t commit to Richardson again returning kickoffs as he did against the Panthers while Bryan Walters was out with a concussion. Walters may be back to play Sunday against Oakland, and my sense is Walters will return punts and Richardson kickoffs. Carroll said he wanted to start Richardson out on kickoff returns first rather than points because there is far more for a punt returner to handle. The team trusts Walters to be sure-handed and make good decisions returning punts. Kickoffs are relatively — and literally — more straightforward and Richardson can show off his blazing speed there, as he did running back Carolina’s kickoff 47 yards in the first quarter to set up Seattle’s only score of the first half, a field goal.
Carroll liked how Pierre-Louis blitzed and ran to the ball in pass coverage and run support at Carolina in his first extended playing time (20 snaps) at outside linebacker after Smith got hurt.
Here are the snap counts from yesterday’s game: