Lynch feels 'like a rookie again' before Seahawks debut

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks are ready to unleash "Beast Mode."

Marshawn Lynch and his self-given moniker will take to the field for the first time with his new team Sunday when the Seahawks take on the Chicago Bears in a road game.

"It's a real exciting time for me -- almost feel like a rookie all over again," Lynch said. "Everybody's excited to see what I'm going to do, and I'm also excited to see what I'm going to do myself."

Lynch developed the nickname while he blossomed at the University of California into a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills. His hard-nosed running style became his trademark as he posted back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons with the Bills in his first two years in the NFL.

"It came about back in Pop Warner, but it was called, 'Man-Child,'" Lynch said in describing his alias. "As I got to college, it kind of transformed as I kind of took it to another level. ...

"It's just a state of mind that I follow, that, basically, I won't be denied, and I'm just relentless at what I do, and that's running that ball."

Seattle acquired Lynch, the 12th overall pick in the 2007 draft, a week ago for two draft choices in a trade with Buffalo.

The Seahawks haven't had a running back with Lynch's combination of size and speed since Chris Warren in the mid-1990s and have struggled to find consistency in the running game since the end of the Shaun Alexander era. This season, Seattle ranks 29th in the league in yards per game and 31st in yards per carry.

Through four games, the Seahawks have just two rushing touchdowns, both by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

First-year Seattle coach Pete Carroll hopes Lynch can be the spark that helps the offense begin to find its rhythm.

"I think he really has the full range of ability to do whatever we want to do," Carroll said. "Now we're anxious to see how it fits together. And he's going to get a lot of work in this game; he's doing really well picking things up."

It helps having former college teammate Justin Forsett in the backfield with him. The two have been close friends since their days in Berkeley, and Lynch served as a groomsman in Forsett's wedding in June.

"They're great friends," Carroll said. "(Lynch) is looking over his shoulder now and then for assignments or reminders, and Justin is quick to help him. Those guys have been close friends for a long time."

Lynch is familiar with the zone-blocking scheme the Seahawks employ but is still learning the terminology and blocking assignments in pass protection.

"Justin has been a real big help," Lynch said. "Him, along with Leon (Washington) and Mike (Robinson). They kind of catch me up on the fly as I go. I am feeling pretty comfortable of what they're going to ask of me."

Carroll wouldn't commit to Lynch starting Sunday against the Bears, but there won't be any shortage of "Beast Mode" sightings.

"Right now, Marshawn is going to play a lot in this game," Carroll said. "Justin will get a lot of work as well, but we'll see how the thing blends."

Notes: G Chester Pitts (knee) didn't practice Thursday. ... DT Brandon Mebane was limited with a calf injury.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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