Since running back Marshawn Lynch decided to come out of retirement to join the Raiders, some analysts have questioned how much can be expected of the former Seahawks star.
At age 31 and after sitting out of football for a year, can he really be an impact player again? As Chris Chase of Fox Sports wrote recently, “running backs get old quickly,” and Lynch – a powerful runner who’s never been afraid to hit or be hit – could be slower when he steps on the field in 2017.
Yet Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has no doubts.
McKenzie, in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, said he expects big things from Lynch this season.
“We think he has more than enough left to be a highly productive running back in this league – even back to his latter couple of years when he was playing,” McKenzie said. “So we think he’s going to be highly productive and we’re excited to have him and he is extremely excited to be here.”
Lynch had an injury-shortened 2015 season – the last time he played – but averaged 1,300 yards rushing per season from 2011-2014. At the time, he was the force behind Seattle’s powerful running attack.
Now, says McKenzie, the Raiders will benefit from his presence in the backfield, running behind one of the league’s top offensive lines.
McKenzie said he was excited when he first learned “Beast Mode” wanted to come out of retirement to play for his hometown team.
“We stayed in pursuit and I was happy that it worked out,” he said.