JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY – Beast Mode was Least Mode again.
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch abruptly ended his media availability — again — walking away from a throng of reporters while escorted by a member of the New Jersey State Police on Wednesday after about 7 uncomfortable minutes in which he answered just a few questions.
The elusive Lynch, who created a stir at media day Tuesday by talking for only 6½ minutes, writhed in his seat and leaned his head back at times. A few dozen reporters, lined up as much as five deep, tried to ask questions during the players’ 45-minute availability at the team hotel.
“I really don’t have too much to say, boss,” Lynch said in a tone barely above a whisper. “I really don’t. I appreciate it, but I don’t get it. I’m just here so I won’t get fined, boss. That’s the only reason I’m here.”
Earlier this month, Lynch was fined $50,000 for not cooperating with the Seattle media. The NFL put that fine on hold, saying it would be rescinded if he complied with media obligations. During media day, Lynch spoke for 6½ minutes before leaving, then returning to speak to Deion Sanders for NFL Network, to the Seahawks website, and to Armed Forces Network — and acknowledged he was trying to avoid being fined by the league for not meeting his media requirements.
It didn’t appear Lynch would be fined, for either Tuesday or Wednesday.
“Players are required to participate and he participated,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press. “His comments of the past two days have been widely circulated.”
Fullback Michael Robinson, one of Lynch’s buddies who was seated to his left, even poked fun at the situation by asking Lynch a question of his own.
“What do you think of your fullback?” Robinson said, laughing. “Is he a pretty cool brother?”
“No,” Lynch responded.
“What?” Robinson asked incredulously.
“No,” Lynch repeated.
“That’s messed up,” a smiling Robinson said. “We went to dinner last night and everything, man.”
After Lynch was short with his answers to a few questions, Robinson moved the microphone in front of himself and began answering questions for Lynch.
“I’m going to slide up in this thing,” Robinson said with a smile, “and break up the monotony a little bit. Uhh, Marshawn ain’t going to try to say nothing to you guys, so you can direct your questions toward me.”
Robinson used the running back’s “boss” figure of speech to end each sentence.
One reporter asked how Lynch was feeling.
“He just wants to play ball, boss,” Robinson said.