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Originally published Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 10:02 PM

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Steve Kelley

Seattle Seahawks continue making deals

The Seahawks' front office never seems to rest. They made another move Tuesday, acquiring Marshawn Lynch from Buffalo.

Seattle Times staff columnist

This front office never rests.

That might be the best news — better than the opening-day rout of the San Francisco 49ers or the do-you-believe-in-miracles win over San Diego from this thrill-ride beginning to the Seahawks' season.

The front office isn't content with waiting until next year. It isn't ready to agree that just winning the rotten NFC West with a record of, say, 8-8 would be a grand accomplishment for this first season of the new administration.

These Seahawks are willing to be revolutionary, willing to tear down and build up the roster as many times as they think are necessary. Ready to accept any criticisms of their moves.

When coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider came to Seattle last winter, they knew the goo they were stepping into. They identified the problem areas that were as frighteningly obvious as the sinister shadows on X-rays.

There were no secrets. The offensive line couldn't block. The defensive line couldn't rush the passer. The secondary was porous. The running game was weak. And the receivers were incapable of stretching the field.

Carroll and Schneider came to change the culture. And they've been changing on the fly since the day they were teamed together.

Neither Carroll nor Schneider has accepted the notion that rebuilding takes time. They've made changes and changes and changes. They flipped the roster again and again, like speculators flipping houses.

It's a dangerous game they've been playing, but they've been willing to take the kind of risks few front offices ever dare attempt.

They've turned the locker room at VMAC into a pigskin version of Ellis Island, with new players coming in almost daily from all over the NFL.

The turnover has been unprecedented.

To that point, on Tuesday, they pulled the deal of the season. They got something the Seahawks have been seeking since forever.

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The Hawks acquired leather-tough running back Marshawn Lynch from the Buffalo Bills, and the price tag was minimal — a fourth-round pick in 2011 and either a fifth- or sixth-round pick in 2012.

It was a steal of a deal for a team that is 27th in the league in rushing and hasn't been able to move the ball on the ground since Shaun Alexander's MVP season in 2005.

Lynch is a bit of a gamble, because he has had problems in the past with the law. But Justin Forsett, his former teammate at Cal, his new teammate with the Seahawks and one of the most genuine people in the league, vouches for Lynch.

They are best friends. Last summer Lynch was in Forsett's wedding party. That's a good enough character reference for me.

On the field, Lynch is what the Seahawks hoped Julius Jones would be, but wasn't. He was what they hoped LenDale White would be, but wasn't.

He is a workhorse back. He breaks tackles and he's only 24. Already he has had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and he made the 2008 Pro Bowl.

With his past legal problems, it was obvious that Lynch wasn't wanted in Buffalo. The Bills sent that message last April when they drafted running back C.J. Spiller.

Lynch needed a change of scenery, and the Seahawks are the perfect place for his fresh start.

He can be a difference-maker in the weak, weak West. This one move can make the Hawks the division's favorite.

Yes, the offensive line remains a mess, but rookie left tackle Russell Okung has two weeks to get his bum ankle ready for Chicago.

And if (it's a big if) guard Chester Pitts, who returned to the team Tuesday, can get healthy and stay healthy, and if Carroll can settle on a starting five on the offensive line and give them two weeks' worth of reps together, maybe the Hawks will be able to run the ball and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will have time to find his receivers.

Make no mistake, the Seahawks are rebuilding, but they are getting better this season while they build for the great beyond.

Trading for Lynch is a huge Seahawks coup and another indication of just how restless and ever-ready to deal this new-look front office is.

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or skelley@seattletimes.com

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About Steve Kelley

Steve Kelley covers all sports, putting his spin on matters involving both the home team and the nation.
skelley@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2176

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