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27.09.2018 12:37
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RENTON, Wash. -- When Marshawn Lynch posted that photo of his cleats hanging from a wire, the Seattle Seahawks task became about more than finding a replacement for the yards and touchdowns he provided over the course of six seasons.Along with Lynchs retirement came the challenge of trying to replace what he meant to the Seahawks in terms of style and attitude.Were not going to be able to replace him. Point blank, wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. Not his personality, his attitude, his leadership in the locker room and on the field. Were not going to be able to replace that.Lynch was not an ordinary running back. He was attitude in green cleats. The Seattle swagger that led to two Super Bowl trips was amplified by the likes of Richard Sherman and Baldwin, but it was first created by Lynch when he arrived via trade early in the 2010 season.Now the Seahawks go into a season for the first time during their rise to prominence without Lynch on the roster. It may seem a minuscule worry with all the other challenges the Seahawks face, but there is a lingering question about whether Seattle needs to replace the personality Lynch provided.Who he was in the locker room, its people like him that gel the team together. He was glue. He didnt speak out, he wasnt the guy to get in front and do rah-rah speeches but the few times he did, everyone shut ... up and listened because it was Marshawn Lynch, Baldwin said. To that degree it is what it is. He wasnt the rah-rah leader, he wasnt always saying stuff but when he spoke it meant volumes. We dont really have a guy like that who commands the respect and attention at that level. There are only a handful of guys in the league who do anyway. We have the leaders like Richard Sherman, like Russell Wilson that can still carry that weight across the team.The process of finding Lynchs replacement begins Saturday when the Seahawks face Kansas City in their preseason opener. The expectation is that Thomas Rawls will be Lynchs heir based on his performance last season as Lynchs backup.Rawls rushed for 830 yards and four touchdowns, and averaged 5.6 yards per carry last season, but suffered a serious ankle injury in December against Baltimore that required surgery and a lengthy rehab. Rawls was only activated from the physically unable to perform list earlier this week and may not even see the field during the preseason.So while Rawls seems the likely replacement, there are questions surrounding his health, leaving the likes of Alex Collins, Christine Michael, Zac Brooks and others to spend the next four weeks trying to take advantage of the opportunity.They all seem to know what being a running back for Seattle entails.Id say definitely toughness. Our (running backs) coach (Sherman Smith) likes to look at it as we set the tone and the tempo for the team. Everyone feeds off the running backs, Collins said. Weve got to run down the field and get the defense chasing. You know, we set the tone so I embrace that and our group embraces that. Thats just what we try to do every day.Seattle got a taste of life without Lynch last season when he missed nine games due to hamstring and abdominal injuries. He rehabilitated away from the team for the latter of the two injuries, spending the final weeks of the regular season mostly absent from the teams facility.During that period, the Seattle offense became even more about Wilson. That evolution will continue this season because no one can completely replace Lynch.Our style is who we are. Marshawn just took that to a whole other level, offensive line coach Tom Cable said. What you hope is Thomas (Rawls) and Christine (Michael) and C.J. (Prosise) and Alex (Collins), all these kids can find their niche in it or their role in it or their style in it if you will. But our style is what we have here, what coach has laid out, and finding the runner that can lift that up. Thats certainly what Marshawn did.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Roger Clemens Red Sox Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Brock Holt Red Sox Jersey . Wilson hit Schenn from behind during Tuesday nights game in Philadelphia, earning a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. He has a phone hearing with the department of player safety, which limits any potential suspension to five or fewer games. http://www.redsoxapparelsshop.com/rick-porcello-jersey-c-28/ . "We have always prided ourselves on the way we play defence. Having two big pieces back is going to be a key for us moving forward for years to come," said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. Carl Yastrzemski Red Sox Jersey . "Four now," Carl Gunnarsson told the Leaf Report proudly following a 5-2 victory over New York on Tuesday night, the clubs fifth straight at home. Ted Williams Red Sox Jersey . Thats not a comment on the suspension that banished the Portland Winterhawks general manager and coach from his Western Hockey League teams bench for most of the 2012-13 season. When youre a top-five team with national title aspirations and NBA talent, and you score .82 points per possession and lose by 17 to an unranked opponent in your second game of the season, well, silver linings are hard to come by.Yet?Oregon?had one baked in before it took the court at Baylor on Tuesday, the same one it has had for much of the offseason: Its star player, junior preseason All-American guard Dillon Brooks -- a broad 6-foot-7 wing who led the team in usage, shot rate and assist rate last season -- would not be on the floor. Ergo, whatever happened in Waco, Texas, it would stay in Waco, Texas. Why freak out? The difference between Brooks-less and Brooks-led is the difference between spaghetti and noodles with ketchup. Besides, at some point in the near future, and possibly as early as next week, Brooks would end his recovery from offseason knee surgery. He would return to the lineup. Oregon would be fine.Lets just say Oregon coach Dana Altman -- who, according to The Oregonian, had a hoarse voice on Wednesday and began his media session by saying hes had better days -- did not find this premise to his liking.Im not going to let the guys off that easily, he said. Dillon is a guy that will help. He meant a great deal to our team last year and is a great player with a great passion for the game and that can rub off on his teammates. But thats really easy to let the guys off the hook that way. This team is a lot better, even without him, than what it showed yesterday, and thats what disappoints me.Two days later, Altmans theory prevailed, as did his team, in a 76-54 thrashing of Valparaiso. Its not just motivational coach speak: Oregon really can be fine -- which is to say, really good -- even with its best player on the bench.Or, rather, its most important player -- a distinction that may prove progressively more crucial throughout the 2016-17 season. It is difficult to imagine a situation in which Brooks is not only the teams fiery emotional leader but also its most central, most relied-upon piece.Brooks usage and shot shares a season ago werent crazy; he didnt gobble possessions like, say, Cals?Jaylen Brown.?What Brooks did do, though, was, well, everything. Synergy scouting data breaks down plays into types: spot up, isolation, cut, stuff like that. For the 2015-16 Ducks, Brooks had at least a top-three share of every type of play Synergy tracks. Post-ups, isos, hand-offs, offensive rebounds, setting the screen in the pick and roll, receiving the screen in the pick and roll, miscellaneous -- Brooks had a hand in every single slice of Altmans offense. This is not surprising, given Brooks matchup-problem mix of size and skill, but still. Oh, and he guards, too. Hes super important.And yet. If you saw what Chris Boucher did to Valparaiso Thursday night, you saw what sure looked like Oregons best player -- in the making, if not at the moment.Bouchers line is impressive enough on its own: 25 points, 9-of-12 shooting, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal. It barely touches on how good hhe really looked, though.ddddddddddddTake that steal. You see it in the box score. Do you even notice it? Does it even register? One steal. Whatever.Now look at it.That is a 6-foot-10 dude who began playing organized basketball at age 19, a guy whose path to Eugene is as unusual and unremarkable as any player in recent college basketball memory. That is a player who a year ago, in his first Division I season, sometimes looked lost ... and still, per SIs Luke Winn, became just the third major-conference player of this decade to average at least 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks per 40 minutes, with an offensive efficiency rating of at least 120 -- the others being Kentuckys former No. 1 draft picks?Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis.That video shows a center who might be the best shot-blocker in the country jumping a passing lane 30 feet from the rim, probably getting away with a travel (who cares!), going from midcourt to the rim in three dribbles, stepping and ripping through two defenders at full speed, and finishing with a dunk. Thats ... nuts.Boucher was already good a season ago, and he was efficient, if not assertive, in Oregons first two games. But it is moments like that which strike up that old?Joel Embiid?feeling -- the rush of watching a born savant learn the game at a frightening science-fiction pace.Boucher isnt the only reason to to be optimistic for the Brooks-less Ducks, however long they remain that way. Save some ongoing turnover woes, forward Jordan Bell is off to a really encouraging start; he finished with 15 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-13 from the field. Dylan Ennis has yet to play the kind of offensive hoop that made him a key piece of a No. 1-seeded Villanova squad in 2014-15 (hes just 2-of-13 from 3 thus far and has one more total turnover than assist), but he is already guarding the ball every bit as well, if not better, than he did during his tenure in Philly.The defense was impressive overall Thursday night. Valpo is a good team, the Horizon League favorite, with arguably the nations best mid-major player, Alec Peters, leading the way. A year ago, in Eugene, the Ducks trailed (an admittedly more experienced team not led by a first-year coach, but still) in the second half. They only narrowly escaped with a 73-67 win. Within the first few minutes of Thursdays second half, any chance of a tense repeat performance was gone.Now the Ducks will go to Maui. On Monday, theyll tip off against a struggling Georgetown team. Wisconsin, UConn, and/or North Carolina could await them in the later rounds. There is a chance Brooks will be able to play by the time the teams presumably neon-colored charter jet touches down. There is a chance hell play in part of the tournament, and a chance he doesnt play at all.Make no mistake: Oregon will be better when he comes back. But until then -- whenever then is -- the Ducks will be just fine. 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