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Rivalries increase in NFL; Lynch's silence results in writers organization's response

NEW YORK -- Lopsided as it may be, a rivalry has developed between Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

"Yeah, I've gone against Janoris most of the time I'm out there (against the Rams)," Tate said Wednesday. "We're both very competitive. We both think we can beat each other. And I guess the last few times I've gotten the better of him, and I plan to do that every time we play a game.

"But it's a fun rivalry, and I have a lot of respect for him. I go say 'good game' to him. But you know, it is what it is."

What it was in 2013 was a pair of long touchdown catches by Tate, the first proving to be a game-winning score Oct. 28 in a 14-9 Seattle victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

Tate drew what could've been a costly taunting penalty for waving "bye-bye" to the Rams' secondary en route to the end zone.

"I learned that's it OK to have passion, it's OK to have emotion, but it's a problem when you put your team in a bad situation by being penalized," Tate said. "I kind of brought negative energy to our team. ... And we were going against a great returner and we were kicking the ball backed up. That could've been bad."

The second Tate TD turned what had been a fairly close game into a full-fledged rout in the Dec. 29 regular-season finale won by the Seahawks 27-9 at CenturyLink Field.

Other than the fact that he mistimed his leap and stumbled a bit, Jenkins wasn't at fault for Tate's 80-yard TD catch and run in St. Louis. The Rams were in zone coverage and Jenkins had underneath responsibility. When he realized he had no help behind him, Jenkins hustled back and almost made a huge interception.

On Tate's 47-yard TD reception in Seattle two months later, Jenkins was in press coverage and Tate got off the line clean and behind Jenkins for the score.

When asked if Jenkins talked a lot during games, Tate replied: "Yeah, we both do some talking. But talk is cheap until you make the play. I had that advantage over him a little bit this year."

LYNCH DISAPPEARS AGAIN

After Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch left a scheduled 60-minute interview session Tuesday after just 61/2 minutes, the Pro Football Writers of America issued a statement criticizing not only Lynch but the NFL's response to Lynch's early exit:

"The Pro Football Writers of America, the official voice of pro football writers fighting and promoting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public, is extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access to Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch at the Super Bowl XLVIII media day on Tuesday.

"Several of our long-standing and high-profile members were appalled by Mr. Lynch's conduct and refusal to answer any questions. We find the statement by the league that 'players are required to participate and he participated' to be an affront to our membership. However, we are encouraged that the league will continue to closely monitor this situation."

Lynch did it again Wednesday, leaving another scheduled 60-minute session after about seven minutes. Language in the standard player contracts requires players to cooperate with the media.

INJURY REPORT

The first injury report of Super Bowl week came out Wednesday and it was light for both Denver and Seattle. In fact, all players were full participation except for the Seahawks' Lynch and Broncos DT Sione Fua (calf), neither of whom practiced.

Lynch had no injury issue: he routinely gets Wednesday off during a game week.

"This is the day we rest Marshawn," Seattle coach Pete Carroll told a pool reporter. "Wednesday is always a rest day for him. We've been doing that for years, and it's always worked out great."

(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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