The hard part is over for Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks running back finished his final media obligation of Super Bowl week on Thursday, sitting with a select group of reporters for seven minutes worth of football-related questions only in a compromise arranged with the Pro Football Writers of America. He gave brief answers, some of them funny, all of them straight-forward, before leaving the media session.
Lynch's reluctance to take part in the media gauntlet that all Super Bowl participants are required to has become a story throughout the week. He spoke briefly on Tuesday at Media Day before engaging in an odd staring contest with the media. On Wednesday he again spoke for about six minutes -- or at least had fullback Michael Robinson speak for him several times -- before leaving the area.
Now, Lynch can concentrate on the reason he came here in the first place.
"It's going to be good to get back to football," he said. "Very good."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that instead of complaining about Lynch's silence, perhaps reporters should listen to it.
"I think there's a lot of information coming your way," Carroll said. "He's telling a lot about who he is and what he represents and stands for, sometimes in the silence, not always with his words that he says."
Carroll, who spoke before Lynch's appearance, said he was relieved that Lynch's obligations were coming to an end.
"He's going to do Marshawn the best he can," Carroll said. "He'll go through it."
Lynch's teammates said his resistance is not a distraction to them, even though they are often put in the position to answer questions about him.
"Obviously not everyone in the world is comfortable [with public speaking]," said Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. "Sometimes people get anxiety. I really don't think everybody should be forced to do it because it's not for everyone. Just because you are a great football player doesn't mean you are going to be great in front of crowds and great in front of a large audience. I think he shouldn't have to do everything that he doesn't feel comfortable with."
Among the questions and answers Lynch was part of Thursday were:
How much does having a strong stiff-arm help? "I would just say that's another weapon."
Is the stiff arm conscious or a natural reflex? "Everything I do on the field is a reaction."
What makes Denver's defense so good? "What's his name? 'Pot Roast' [the nickname of DT Terrance Knighton.] Big boy."
And his thoughts on offensive line coach Tom Cable, the former Raiders head coach who allegedly got into a fight with an assistant during his tenure there. "Well, being from Oakland, all I knew about him was that he punched people. That's my type of person."
Lynch may not say a lot, but he's hoping to make a loud sound on Sunday. His teammates are counting on that, too.
"I think his game speaks for itself," Sherman said. "It says enough for everybody to talk about for weeks and weeks."