Tafur: Marshawn Lynch MVP Of Raiders Training Camp

The most impressive player in Raiders training camp this year?

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur says that award goes to Marshawn Lynch, who has turned over a new leaf since Jon Gruden showed up on his doorstep in January.

“Marshawn has come in in great shape this year. He’s probably lost, no one has given me a number, but I’m guessing 10 pounds,” Tafur said on his Friday State of the Nation podcast. “He looks a lot quicker and he definitely has been focused. He and Gruden are on the same page.”

Actually, Gruden did give a number for Lynch’s weight back in July, saying the 32 year-running back was down to 232 pounds at the time and that it was the lightest Beast Mode had been in a while. Lynch certainly looked the part of a lighter running back on the 60-yard scamper that had everyone talking in the preseason opener.

But Marshawn also seems to be taking on a greater leadership role this year under the new coaching staff.

“You see him always talking, he’s always in Chris Warren’s ear, and also Jalen and DeAndre, just trying to help those guys get better, just kind of taking on a silent leadership role,” Tafur added about Lynch. “He’s not very outwardly vocal, but he’s been great. I just think he’s going to have a good year. I don’t exactly know what the split will be with him and Doug Martin… but the running game should be good.”

One of the trademarks of Gruden’s better offenses in the past has been an effective running game. His teams didn’t necessarily run more, but did run more effectively – something the Raiders struggled to do consistently a year ago.

If Beast Mode is in the kind of shape it sounds like he is and Gruden’s ready to give him the ball, maybe don’t let Marshawn slip to far in your fantasy draft this year.

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