In an article I wrote for SBNation.com which examines five NFL veterans with a ton to prove entering the 2010 season, I felt compelled to put fourth-year Bills running back Marshawn Lynch's name on the list. In writing the article, I did not consider quarterbacks, so please note that I'm not arguing that Lynch is one of the five players under the most pressure this year; that's obviously not true.
Lynch's story is well-known in these parts. Talented on the field and troubled off of it, Lynch followed up a Pro Bowl season in 2008 (albeit a berth as an injury replacement) with a three-game suspension and the loss of his starting job last year. Add in the presence of first-round pickand the fact that Lynch openly sought a trade for the bulk of the off-season, and Lynch enters 2010 a decided third in the pecking order at running back, with a lot of ground to make up.
Still, Lynch is just 24 years old, and remains one of the most talented players on Buffalo's roster. Bills head coach Chan Gailey has been emphatic in stating that the best players will see the field, so if Lynch returns to his 2008 form, he'll definitely get opportunities to earn back some of the respect he's lost since February 2009. On a roster full of unproven talent, however, it's Lynch - who's proven quite a bit at the NFL level - that I argue has the most to prove of any Bill this season.
If you feel so compelled, take a gander at the SBNation.com article to see who else was mentioned alongside Lynch. With that, I end my shameless self-promotion.