December 26, 2005

How good is Marshawn Lynch?

Everyone saw Marshawn Lynch coming in 2005, a sophomore running back at the University of California-Berkeley who showed not only the talent but also a nice balance of humility and bravado in 2004 that often portends stardom.

Last year, senior JJ Arrington racked up 2000 yards, and Lynch ably spelled the star, averaging nine yards a carry and scoring ten TDs - perfect recipe for a hype machine, no?

So where were Lynch’s big numbers this year?

I ask because Lynch tore up BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl with 194 yards and three touchdowns, giving viewers a glimpse of all that promise that truly wasn’t delivered in 2005. Sure, Lynch broke 1000 yards in the regular season, but Lynch missed two games with a broken figure and parts of others due to fumbling issues.

My point is do not be so hard on Lynch - if not for the injuries, his season could have been special. Should we really be disappointed in a 196 carry, 1246 yard and ten TD season? This is easily a case of outrageous expectations.

Stay tuned, especially you fantasy gamers…Cal’s 2005 team was super young, and learned a lot this year on the fly. Remember, Joseph Ayoob’s OJT hampered the offensive maturity - he was billed as the white Mike Vick, and in my mind that is no compliment and Ayoob lived up to it. Imagine Lynch (and his mate Justin Forsett) with a steady QB and the continued emergence of now soph WR DeSean Jackson - this Cal team should be a top ten team in 2006.

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