Marshawn Lynch's grandfather expects him to have a big game Sunday

Marshawn Lynch's grandfather expects him to have a big game Sunday
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, right, talks to cornerback Richard Sherman during practice at Arizona State University on Thursday. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Marshawn Lynch hasn't said much of anything this week, but by Sunday night, when the confetti has settled on Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle running back will have made a significant statement.

That's what his grandfather thinks, at least.


"I think he's going to have a great game," Leron Lynch, 73, told The Times by phone Thursday. "He may even be the MVP, especially now with the hype. With the media pushing and stuff, now he's fixing to show you what he's all about. He didn't talk, so now he's going to prove something to himself. He's probably getting into that mind-set right now, because there's no more microphones in his face. The media stuff is all over. No more interviews. No more nothing.

"Now watch him Sunday. I can guarantee you he's going to go off."

Marshawn Lynch ranks first in the NFL with 24 100-yard games since 2011 and figures to be a key factor when the Seahawks play the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The elder Lynch will be watching from his home in Oakland, while the rest of Marshawn's extended family will be at the game. Leron, who goes by "Papa" to his grandchildren, suffered multiple injuries in a four-car accident in 2013, including breaks to his leg, foot and nine ribs. He still has a steel rod in his leg.

Leron almost never missed a game when his son, Lorenzo — Marshawn's uncle — was an NFL safety and played for the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders.

"I was younger and I was in better shape then," Leron said. "Now, I can't hardly walk up the stairs, I'm out of gas, I've got to hustle through the airports and all this stuff, and I ain't comfortable driving a long way."

So he likes to stay in the comfort of his living room while watching his grandson play.

At media day Tuesday, Marshawn set the timer on his phone so he'd stay for five minutes, the minimum time he was required, and answered virtually every question with, "I'm here so I won't get fined." The next day, he again stayed for five minutes, and answered questions with, "You know why I'm here."

Lynch was slightly more expansive in his comments Thursday, making a roughly two-minute statement and staying at his dais for three more minutes … but didn't answer any questions.

"I don't know what image y'all are trying to portray of me," he told reporters. "But it don't matter what y'all think, what y'all say about me. Because when I go home at night, the same people I look in the face — my family — that I love, that's all that really matters to me. So y'all can go and make up whatever y'all want to make up because I don't say enough to put anything out on me. But I'll come to y'all's event and you can shove cameras and microphones down my throat."

The more Lynch is pushed, his grandfather said, the more he pushes back.

"It's like, 'They're going to try to make me talk. Then they're going to fine me if I don't talk,'" Leron said. "He's showing them, he's just stubborn. Why do they think they're going to make him talk the second day? He didn't talk the first day. He's only doing that stuff because they said they're going to fine him $500,000 if he don't talk.

"You see a guy scared to talk, OK? People are scared of heights, people are scared of dogs, people are scared to ride on the freeways, people are afraid of water. Well, he's afraid of the media. Why do they keep pushing him? They should just leave him alone. If I was a reporter, I wouldn't even want to talk to him. It's just a waste of time. You could be getting other stories."

In the NFC championship game against Green Bay, Lynch rushed for 30 yards in the first half before exploding for 127 in the second half.


His grandfather expects to see the same type of pattern Sunday against New England.

"When he's in high school I used to say, 'Keep it close, then come out in the second half and run over them,'" Leron said. "With them big guys, the hitting gets lighter. They get all fired up for the first half. Boy, they're going to tear your head off. But it's like a boxer. Just survive those first few rounds, then in the latter rounds, get him. He's still a big guy, but now his punches don't have that much steam on them, see? That's when you can get him. That's what Marshawn do."