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Defense Wants Multiple Guys On Marshawn Lynch

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has built up quite the reputation.

Now in his eighth season in the NFL, the running back known as "Beast Mode" serves weekly reminders to opposing defenses that if you forget about his abilities, you'll regret it.

Heading into Monday night's game, though, the Washington Redskins aren't taking him lightly.

"You have to go about (bringing him down) by bringing your whole body of work with you," said head coach Jay Gruden. "Your pads – you've got to lower your pad level with him, you've got to bring your arms with you.

Gruden said "if you try to tackle [Lynch] on the side, he'll run right through you."

"He is a dynamic running back and he is an angry running back and a forced to be reckoned with," the first-year head coach said. "And to me, obviously Russell [Wilson] is very good with managing the game, but he is the heartbeat of that offense."

During a Wild Card round playoff game against the New Orleans Saints following the 2010 regular season, Lynch broke nine tackles on one play for an incredible 67-yard touchdown run.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said the Redskins must make sure they are gang tackling him and not allowing him to go one-on-one against any defender.

"I don't think one guy's going to tackle him," he said. "You've got to get off blocks and get to the ball, and it's going to be like a population problem. You've got to have four or five guys tackle him. One or two guys don't bring him down."

Haslett said the Redskins must be aware of Lynch's array of power moves.

"He's got a great stiff arm in space," he said. "You've got to watch the stiff arm, you got to knock the stiff arm down. He runs hard. He can jump-cut. He can do everything. He doesn't just run violent.

"He can jump-cut, he can stop, he can twist, turn and if he wants to, look out when he wants to run you over. It's a heck of a challenge for us. This'll be fun to watch, us and them. I think we're pretty good in the run and I think they're pretty good in the run game."

Defensive end Jason Hatcher hopes that his defensive linemates and he can quickly get a hand on Lynch to slow him down, thus allowing others to help get him down before he really gets going.

"Hopefully we can get him stopped before he gets to the line of scrimmage," Hatcher said. "We don't want to let him up on the second level to the defensive backs, because we already saw that time after time, it's a lose-lose situation. We've just got to stop him before he gets started."

In 107 career regular season games, Lynch has racked up 7,623 rushing yards and 61 touchdowns. In each of the last three seasons, he's earned Pro Bowl berths for his efforts.

Inside linebacker Keenan Robinson – who is in his first season as a full-time starter – said the Redskins' defense must remain committed to sound fundamentals.  

"They're able to do a lot of misdirection stuff which can hurt the defense because it gets your eyes going different places and it comes right down hill," he said. "I think we really just have to key on our fundamentals, our techniques and things that we did back in training camp. Gang tackle and make sure everybody's in the right spot to have the best chance at stopping him."

Thirteen-year veteran Ryan Clark has said the defense must be prepared for a 60-minute battle, as Lynch has the ability to wear down defenses late in games.

"Maybe he's not getting the big runs in the first quarter, but as the game goes on and as he continues to pound on defenses, he starts to break more tackles and starts to break more runs," Clark said. "So for us, it's a game of attrition, it's also a game that we have to continue to be tough.

Clark said "one guy can't just hit [Lynch] and you can't let him get going."

"You've got to do your best to keep him under wraps," the safety said. "He's a momentum guy, too. Once he gets rolling, that's hard to stop."

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