NEWARK, N.J. -- You have to admire what Marshawn Lynch pulled off on Media Day.
The man who said the least mattered the most during Super Bowl week's grand circus, held this year in the cramped confines of the Prudential Center.
Lynch had left open the possibility he'd duck the event altogether, a move that would've come at a steep price. He emerged at the beginning of the Seahawks' availability in a pair of shades, answering questions for six minutes and 21 seconds before slipping out of view.
The end of Beast Mode? Not quite. Lynch rejoined his Seattle teammates a short time later, sunglasses still on and a hoodie pulled over the top of his dome. He was now in the role of a silent and very conspicuous bystander. His lips remained sealed with the exception of an entertaining 1-on-1 chat with NFL Media's Deion Sanders.
"I'm just about that action, boss," Lynch said.
Beast Mode entered Media Day as a mystery and ended it as a rock star. Here's what else we learned:
» Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan is using the Super Bowl as his springboard to national recognition. "You gotta be an animal out there," Trevathan told Around The League, "especially at linebacker."
» Peyton Manning works harder than anybody. That's what we took away from conversations with several of his playmakers on offense. We asked tight end Julius Thomas about that well-shared photo of No. 18 from earlier this season. "Nobody in our facility would find that strange," Thomas said. "That's the passion and the preparation he brings to every day every Sunday."
» Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie backpedaled on his retirement talk as fast as possible. It was clear that his agent spoke to him, and he said he will gladly "take off" the minute he gets a long-term contract offer. (DRC helpfully made a motion of an airplane taking off for me as he said this.)
» Broncos kicker Matt Prater wears a large diamond earring stud. Thought you should know that. Also, we planned to ask him how he's feeling (Prater was ill last week), but he was too busy talking on his phone. Let's hope it wasn't an emergency.
» There was notably less wackiness at Media Day than year's past. This is a good thing overall, but we were happy to see Joe Piscopo.
» Notable exception: Three old ladies asked Julius Thomas for a kiss. The tight end complied. No tongue. "I've never kissed someone with a beard before," one granny gushed.
» "I gotta find Beast Mode!" -- Randy Moss, who was not successful.
» Adam Gase on why he pulled out of the running for the Browns coaching gig: "I guess I didn't really think about it until it came up this year, and it just wasn't the right time, as far as the timing with us coming here and the focus I wanted on this game."
» Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn told us that he's never worked for anyone who "coached the coaches" like Pete Carroll. Instead of operating as some distant figure, Carroll actively works with his aides to develop and grow them, with an eye toward the day they'll become head coaches themselves.
» There was a 21% increase in accredited journalists at Super Bowl XLXIII compared to last year. (The final total was 6,329, a record number.) You could feel the extra media presence Tuesday.
» A year ago this week, deer antler spray was a thing.
"Hey Peyton," Dameshek yelled. "I'm the one who wrote the narrative!"
Dameshek's voice cuts through the clutter. Manning stopped and turned at the top step.
"Oh, that was you?" the Broncos quarterback asked.
"Yes, I'm sorry," Dameshek answered. "Can I take it out now?"
"No," Manning said with a smile. "Keep it there."The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.