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Lynch might have prevented longer suspension following Goodell meeting

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Posted March 18, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Word is that Marshawn Lynch did well in talking to commissioner Roger Goodell in their little powwow and likely will avoid a four-game suspension and probably only get a game or two.

This is good news for the Bills, but something to consider: The Bills could earn themselves a primetime game against a top opponent -- I am thinking maybe the Patriot or Colts -- in either Week One or Two with the T.O addition. Let's face it, ESPN would be all over a T.O.-Patriots Monday night matchup, wouldn't they?

Here's part of what Lynch said today to the Buffalo media:

On yesterday’s meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:
It was, for me, a productive meeting. I got a lot of insight out of it from Commissioner Goodell, and something that he stressed throughout that meeting was that he will not tolerate any more screw-ups by me, so I think that’s sinking in to me.

On if he anticipates being disciplined by the league:
Well, I’ll find out that in about 10 days, but just from the situations that happened with me before, and people kind of felt that I skated off with not being suspended, I do, for me, I honestly see a suspension coming. But that comes with the consequences.

On why Commissioner Goodell, the Buffalo Bills, and the fans should believe he’s changed:
Well, I can only show you. It won’t be anything that I can say in words that’ll make you a believer, so you’re just going to have to see for yourself. I feel with the incident that I had, I’m young, but I’ve grown through those situations. What I’ve learned is that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And I’ve seen what those situations put me, my family, and the organization through, and that’s not what I’m about. When I got drafted to Buffalo, like I told you all before, I wanted to come here to play ball. I never had the intentions of getting in trouble or anything like that, but along the way, my road got rocky, and now it’s time to get the pavement straight.

On why he didn’t heed Commissioner Goodell’s message last year:
Like I said, I made a mistake. Poor judgment. It’s hard when you have a target on your back. He said he wouldn’t tolerate it. The first time was like a slap on the wrist, but this time he got to that ‘but.’ This time, I feel it really will stick. That’s not what I came into the league, to jeopardize my chance of playing, to do something that I love more than anything is to strap up my pads all through the week leading up to Sunday, and that’s one thing that I’m not ready to give up.

On what he means by ‘having a target on his back’:
They say that about athletes all of the time, that we’re under a microscope and that everything we do will be magnified. So that magnifying I feel is on my back, and that target is getting bigger with the two situations that I had. It will be like I’m a target and I need to know pretty much that there will be some people looking forward to me messing up again. I’m going to just let them know they shouldn’t hold their breath.

On why he and his agent were proactive about meeting with Commissioner Goodell:
With the first incident, I’m going to say honestly, we didn’t play that out in a smart way. And with this situation, I felt that there was going to come a point where something was going to have to change. My agent said we got proactive in knowing that this incident was serious, not saying that the last one wasn’t, but it’s time to make that change and step up to the plate and confess up to what I’ve done.

On if he needs to make significant changes in his life, or just make better decisions:
I say make some changes and basically make better decisions as well. Something that I’ve stressed is that I’m young, I’m still growing, and I know that’s probably not the last mistake that I’ll make, but I know no mistake will ever have me in this position where I’m talking to you guys again in a situation like this.

On if this has been a humbling experience for him:
Oh, no. I’ve always been humble, but just to the fact that I have made those mistakes and I’m paying the consequences for them.

On the tone of the meeting with Commissioner Goodell:
I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen the Commissioner in action before, so I wouldn’t say like a principal, more like a Commissioner coming down on a player. The message that he gave to me came through. I can still feel some of the words running through my body right now as he said them in the meeting.

On why he chose to speak today:
A lot of media would think I shy away from them, but that’s not the case. I’ve never been a real big vocal guy to come out and speak on the things I do positively or negatively, but like I said, it’s time for a change for me. So after the meeting with the Commissioner, like I said, it kind of sunk in to me and I felt this was the next step to letting you guys know that there will be a change.

On if he believes he can improve his image in the eyes of the fans:
Well, some people are going to stay with the perception of me, but like I told the Commissioner, a lot of people well get judgmental about me until they meet me and actually talk to me and find out what kind of person I am. But like I told you, there won’t be any words to describe how that’s going to happen. So you’re going to see a change on my persona through actions.

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