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Lynch pledges fresh start

Posted Mar 18, 2009

In his most genuine comments since his most recent run-in with the law in California, Bills running back Marshawn Lynch assured that he will no longer be making poor decisions that put him in compromising positions.

"I can only show you," said Lynch who said his future conduct will speak for him. "There won't be anything that I can say in words that will make you a believer. You'll just have to see for yourself. I feel with the incidents that I've had, I'm young, but I've grown from them. I've learned that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And I see what those situations have put me, the organization and my family in."

Lynch met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, on the heels of his most recent off the field trangression in which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun possession charge and was sentenced to community service and probation.

"It was a real productive meeting," said Lynch. "I got a lot of insight out of it. And something that he stressed throughout that meeting was that he will not tolerate any more screw ups by me. So that's sinking in with me."

Lynch believes he'll be hearing from the Commissioner's office in about 10 days when Roger Goodell makes a decision as to whether Lynch will face a suspension. The Bills feature back is expecting to be punished.

"For me I honestly see a suspension coming," he said. "But that comes with the consequences."

Having already met with Commissioner Goodell last summer after his first off the field transgression, Lynch was asked why he put himself in another difficult situation last month.
 
"I made a mistake, poor judgment," said Lynch in reference to his most recent incident. "It's hard when you kind of have a target on your back, but like (Goodell) said, he wouldn't tolerate it. The first time was a slap on the wrist, but this time I feel it really will stick."

Even though the Pro Bowl running back used bad judgment a second time, he took a much different approach in addressing it. Last summer Lynch's attorney kept him out of the public eye as they refrained from talking to police about his hit-and-run incident.

Following his latest brush with the law however, Lynch and his agent made sure there was a quick resolution to his case and Lynch contacted the Commissioner's office to request to meet with Goodell rather than wait to be called in for a displinary meeting.

"With the first incident I'm going to say that we didn't play that out in a smart way," he said. "With this situation I felt that there was going to come a point in time where something was going to have to change. We got proactive knowing that this incident was serious. That's not to say that the last one wasn't (serious), but it was time to make that change and step up to the plate and fess up to what I've done."

Looking back on his first two seasons in the NFL, and what has happened off the field, Lynch admitted he's disappointed in himself.

"When I got drafted by Buffalo I wanted to come here to play ball," said Lynch. "I never had any intentions of getting in trouble, to jeopardize my chance of not playing. Something that I love to do more than anything is strap up my pads all through the week leading up to Sunday. That's one thing that I'm not ready to give up."

So Lynch has pledged to make changes in his life and better decisions moving forward. He realizes changing the perception that people have of him will take some time, and that some will never change their approach as to what kind of person they think he is.

"There will be some people looking forward to me messing up again," said Lynch. "But I'm going to let them know that they shouldn't hold their breath."

Lynch also tried to make amends with the Western New York media, as he declined to comment for most of the 2008 season in the wake of his first off the field incident. He simply stated again that it's time for a change knowing he hasn't been very vocal in the past.

And while Lynch understands he likely will be facing league discipline in the near future, he's committed to having a clean slate from this point forward.

"Along the way my road got rocky," he said. "Now it's time to set my pavement straight."