Bills running back Marshawn Lynch talked to the media shortly after his first practice of the offseason on Tuesday. He said he's happy to be back and he missed playing football and being around his teammates.
Asked why it took so long for him to report, he replied, "I was just enjoying, what they call it, the offseason. Kicked back at home, but still getting in the necessary work for me to come back and be able to produce.''
Lynch finally met with head coach Chan Gailey on Monday and expressed that he was ready to get to work.
The perception is Lynch stayed away because he wants to be traded. His role is in question after the Bills drafted C.J. Spiller in the first round. Lynch lost his starting job to Fred Jackson last season.
Lynch said he never expressed a desire to be traded this offseason. "But with the way things were looking, it looked like a possibility,'' he added. "If it would have happened, it would have happened. If it didn't, I'm back and here to practice.''
Lynch didn't say he wants to leave the Bills. He didn't say he wants to stay either.
"I like to play football, whether it's here or if it's somewhere else,'' he said. "As long as I get to play football, I'm feeling great.''
A big part of Lynch's frustration stems from the negative image he has attained due to his off-the-field problems. He indicated that he's no longer concerned about the public not viewing him in a positive light.
"I would like for it to be that way, but we live in a world where people are going to make up their mind and have their opinions,'' he said. "Take your opinion, take it how you want to. But I'm going to be me whether you like it or not. You can say you don't like me from a distance. Most people who interact with me have a different feel. I take it with a grain of salt.''
I'm still not convinced Lynch will be on the roster this fall, but at least now Gailey and his staff can get a closer look at him to see what he has to offer. Being at practice also will help his chances of being traded, if the Bills choose to do so.