When the Oakland Raiders managed to lure Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, the team had the look of a potent offensive juggernaut. However, Lynch largely struggled during the first half of the 2017 NFL season as he worked his way back into game shape.
The running back eventually closed the year out on a high note, but the Raiders still missed the 2017 NFL playoffs. According to S.L. Price of Sports Illustrated, Jon Gruden is looking to bring out Beast Mode:
We’re not going to have that,” Gruden says. “No. I said to him: ‘I need Marshawn Lynch. I don’t need this part-time Lynch. I need full-time Lynch.”
“We need the real deal,” Gruden says. “If you’re going to put those letters on the back of your jersey, man, you’ve got to back it up, Marshawn—right? We don’t need another back, we need a feature back.”
Gruden and Lynch have reportedly met multiple times and getting on the same page early on will only help. Despite his age, Lynch is still one of the league’s best backs after contact and has shown he still has the ability to break off chunk plays.
Under Gruden, the silver and black should much different on both sides of the ball and Lynch will once again be called upon to establish the team’s ground attack. It will be interesting to see if he can return to form during the 2018 NFL season.