Ranking Super Bowl champs' offseasons: Is Patriots' 2017 best ever? | Forum

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lucky Jun 15
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch's impact on a youthful Oakland Raiders running back room this offseason? Exactly what the Raiders hoped for, and expected. Go ahead and pick up what Oakland's Mighty Mites are putting down. "He's an 'O.G.' in this league," said DeAndre Washington, "been around for a long time, got a lot of experience." Jalen Richard concurred. "It's been Braylon Edwards Jersey really cool to sit back and learn from him," Richard said. "Obviously, me being as young as I am and him being as seasoned as he is, I've had chances to watch his highlights and stuff as I was trying to perfect my craft. To actually have him here in person and have that physicality there, talk to him after each run and see what his thoughts were, is really helpful." The skill sets of Washington and Richard, who are 5-foot-8 and were rookies last season, are remarkably different from that of the violent-running Lynch, who came into the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2007. Yes, Washington and Richard are more change-of-pace backs to a lead back like Lynch. But if all goes according to the Raiders' plan, they will play off each other Authentic Brian Dawkins Youth Jersey well and improve upon Oakland's No. 6-ranked total offense of a year ago. And that's not counting seventh-round draft pick Elijah Hood, whose body type and running style echo Lynch's. "He's been telling us that, me and all the other guys in the room like DeAndre and Elijah [Hood], the young guys, giving us his take on what works for him," Richard said. "Everybody's body is different, so keeping your body fresh might be different, but the little tricks and things that he uses on the field as a running back, he explains to us how we could implement it into our running style. He's been very helpful to everyone in the room." Last year, Latavius Murray, who was allowed to leave in free agency for the Minnesota Vikings, had 12 rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.0 yards per carry in rushing for 788 yards in 14 games. He missed two games with turf toe. Richard, who broke off a 75-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints on his first NFL carry, rushed for 491 yards and the TD on 83 carries as an undrafted rookie. "I still have that chip on my shoulder," Richard said. "I feel like I still have to go out and perform like I'm trying to make the team, which I am. Nothing is guaranteed every year. "I like feeling that need to continue to prove myself and prove my spot here. That's what I've been doing this offseason and I look forward to training camp." Washington, a fifth-round pick last spring, had 467 rushing yards and two TDs on 87 attempts. "I think I came on a little bit stronger toward the end of the year," Washington said. "That just came with repetition, getting more reps, game play and just being in this offense and getting used to the terminology and things. So now I have a better feeling with what the guys are going to do, what everybody's on the field instead of just what I'm doing. So it definitely can help me going into this season." The last time Lynch, 31, played a full season, in 2014, he led the NFL with 13 rushing TDs while rushing for 1,306 yards Authentic Bryan Anger Womens Jersey and averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Injuries limited him to seven games and 3.8 yards per carry average in 2015 for the Seattle Seahawks. A few big years in his native Oakland, and Lynch could potentially be on his way to Canton. So yeah, he has a lot to give before he exits ... again. "Just being in the room with him," Washington said, "dissecting film, picking up pointers and different things that can [help] us take our game to the next level has definitely been huge the few weeks that he's been here." We have, for some time now, been praising the New England Patriots for a stunningly impressive offseason. Super Bowl champions don't always have great offseasons, but the Patriots' 2017 so far has seen them aggressively reshape their roster in the hopes of returning to the top of the NFL mountain. So with the help of ESPN Stats & Information, we got to thinking: Is this the best offseason ever for a defending Super Bowl champ? The proof tends to be in the pudding, and we have yet to see how all of New England's offseason moves work out. But as of now, the Patriots have added key pieces, kept their losses to a minimum and avoided any crippling injuries or off-field fiascoes. As you'll see below, not every Super Bowl champ can say the same. For the sake of fair comparison, we are limiting our study to Super Bowl champions in the salary-cap era, which means we go back as far as the last Jimmy Johnson Cowboys team -- the Super Bowl XXVIII champion Dallas Cowboys of 1993.