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Golden Nuggets: Marshawn Lynch and his value to the Seahawks, Cal Football looks forward from 2013

Golden Bears, both past and present, look to 2014 for bigger and better things.

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One of the top stories in the NFL offseason this past week has been Marshawn Lynch holding out of Seahawks training camp.

Marshawn Lynch took a little longer on his way to becoming every other running back, but this weekend, he finally got there. Friday afternoon, Lynch stated his intention to hold out from training camp by calling a former teammate turned TV analyst and having him announce it on-air. Like so many other things with Lynch - his candy, his fury, and being all about that action - he did it his own way. Over the past few years, if Lynch has been anything, he's been different.

The thing is, no matter how unique Lynch is as a player and personality, he, like most running backs, is replaceable. At least that seems to be the theory driving the reaction.

Grantland's Robert Mays looks at the conventional wisdom against overpaying for aging running backs and then breaks down why Lynch isn't just another running back.

Running backs do have diminished value, and Lynch is getting older. What's hard to understand is how Seattle's success has somehow diminished Lynch's value, despite his role in it. One of the main points being used in the argument against paying Lynch is that the Seahawks are a team fresh off a championship - a championship won with defense. That's true for the most part. The Seahawks trotted out one of the best defenses ever last year. That defense dominated in the Super Bowl when Lynch didn't. He had only 39 yards on his 15 carries, his worst game of the season. But here's the thing: Seattle had to win two playoff games to get to the Super Bowl, and there Lynch was fantastic, with a combined 249 rushing yards on 50 carries.

Berkeley News

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National Football League

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NCAA Football

BERKELEY, Calif. - Sonny Dykes allowed himself the month of December to wallow in 1-11. He watched all the film he could, and soaked up every mistake.

But when the calendar flipped and a new year began, the California football coach turned his attention away from the past. He started to come up with some answers to the questions he'd raised to himself.

"A big part of getting some place rolling is: What are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? What do we have to make up for?" Dykes says. "When you win and everything goes your way on the front end, sometimes you don't make difficult decisions that need to be made for the long-term growth of your program. When you lose, you're constantly tinkering with things, you're making those adjustments. I think in the long run you end up in a better place. It's certainly painful to get there."

He pauses.

"Last season for us was tough. It was tough for me; I'd never been through anything like that as a coach."

The defense seems destined to improve, as players return from injuries and youth turns into experience. Offensively, sophomore quarterback Jared Goff is expected to put up big numbers once again (he threw for 3,508 yards last year) - which should come as no surprise for a quarterback in Dykes' system - but, ideally, he'll play more consistently as he continues to develop chemistry with his receivers and linemen.

​The schedule this fall is again among the toughest in the nation. But those around the Cal program hope and insist the Bears will be better. If they're healthy and more experienced, and playing with what they expect to be a more serviceable defense, don't they have to be?​