Marshawn Lynch gives new meaning to ‘crash course’

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, acquired in an Oct. 5 trade, took a crash course his new offense — with an emphasis on crash.

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The 215-pound running back even took aim at Seattle coach Pete Carroll last week when, in a spirited practice session, Carroll lined up at middle linebacker during a goal-line drill.

“I ran him over,” the former Cal star said. “I gave him a stiff arm he’ll remember for a while.”

Lynch and his coach were just goofing around, but it will be all business Sunday when the Seahawks face the 49ers at Candlestick Park. Seattle can eliminate the 49ers from the NFC West race with a victory.

Unlike veteran running back Brian Westbrook, who eased into action with the 49ers, Lynch jumped into action in Seattle. Acquired from Buffalo, Lynch was in the starting lineup 12 days later on Oct. 17.

49ers coaches expressed repeated reservations about Westbrook being ready to handle pass-protection assignments.

Seattle had no such concerns with Lynch.

“It has not been a difficulty at all,” Carroll said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “He’s a very bright player, gets it, studies really hard. That really hasn’t been an issue at all.

He added: “Marshawn has never had any problem with anything. Obviously, the first week we were careful with him, and the second week were kind of growing with him. But from that point on, we haven’t hesitated at all.”

The 12th overall selection in 2007,


Lynch played 45 games with Buffalo and left as the No. 10 rusher on the Bills’ all-time list (2,765 yards).

On a call with Bay Area writers, he said feels rejuvenated in Seattle. On Sunday, he became the first Seahawks back to have three rushing touchdowns in a game since Shaun Alexander in 2005.

Lynch said learning the system on the fly has not been an issue. “Running back is one of those positions where you can come in and make an impact almost immediately,” he said.

Coach Mike Singletary declined to elaborate on the departure of Johnnie Lynn, a special assistant to the head coach who also assisted with the secondary. Lynn resigned this week for undisclosed reasons. “It was a personal issue that came up,” Singletary said. “Johnnie, he’s going to have to handle it in the best way possible. I wish him all the luck in the world. And, you know, Johnnie and I remain friends.”

Vance Joseph will continue to handle the day-to-day duties as secondary coach.

There was no update on kicker Joe Nedney, who continues to go through medical tests on his injured right knee and might be finished for the season. Several other players did not practice Wednesday: defensive lineman Aubrayo Franklin (groin), linebacker Takeo Spikes (ankle), tight end Delanie Walker (ankle), running back Brian Westbrook (scheduled rest) and running back DeShawn Wynn (ankle).

With a victory, Matt Hasselbeck would tie the Seattle record for most victories by a starting quarterback. Dave Krieg, the current record holder, won 70 games from 1981-90.