Tyler Lockett, at least in this reporter’s opinion, provided the quote of the week on Wednesday when discussing Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and the new offense being implemented in Seattle.
Not only is Waldron drawing rave reviews from everyone who has spoken about him, a contingent that includes Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf, but Lockett explained that the first-time OC has been given free reign as the architect and teacher of the system.
“I think we've given him the freedom to be who he has always been, and we've allowed ourselves to learn, to be able to sit down and say, ‘You teach us what is it that we're missing what is it that we need to know, how can we get better,’” Lockett shared, “and being able to give him that free range to really be able to bring what he wants to bring in order to make us great instead of us acting like we’ve got it together, instead of us acting like, you know, we've been here before, we've always been to the playoffs this many times, instead of acting like you need to follow our lead. I think we've done a really great job in being humble and learning how to follow his lead.”
Some fans will surely scoff at that given Pete Carroll’s history of meddling with the offense. Carroll pulled the plug on the “Let Russ Cook” movement midway through the 2020 season after Wilson went on a three-week turnover spree.
Carroll tightened the reins and pivoted back to his comfort zone: a run-first attack that protects the football. The Seahawks head coach also admitted to interfering with a critical fourth-down play call in the Wild Card Round against the Rams that led to a delay of game and a punt rather than an attempt to keep the football.
After the season, Seattle parted ways with Brian Schottenheimer due to philosophical reasons. Waldron was hired shortly thereafter, and the honeymoon phase is still in full swing.
“I have not gotten in his way because he has such command of what he's doing,” Carroll said on Thursday. “He knows how it fits together, and he's been able to orchestrate the teaching process in a way that's allowed us to do quite a few things for this for this offseason. You can hear from the players, they're impressed with him.
“He's just left them with a really good impression of his command, his verbiage that, that the style of teaching has been-- these guys are really moved moving far. They're impressed, I'm impressed and like I like said, we're ahead of where we thought we'd be right now, so it's really a tribute. He's done a nice job with this.”
That should be music to the ears of Seahawks fans, though many will remain skeptical given it’s still June. A couple weeks of a sputtering offense during the regular season could still lead to Carroll taking a bit more ownership on that side of the football.
I’d advise against going the cynical route. It’s the summer, and if there’s ever a time for unbridled optimism, it’s when the sun is shining in the Pacific Northwest and meaningful football is nearly two months away.
Will Dissly called the offense “smart.” Metcalf classified it as “intricate.” Lockett went as far as to call Waldron “brilliant.” Carroll seems to be most impressed by how Waldron has been able to make all of the concepts digestible for players. Being the smartest guy in the room means nothing if nobody understands what you’re saying.
“There are a lot of systems that are within the format that's in advance of where we've been in year’s past, and the reason we're able to do it is because he knows it so well,” Carroll said. “He can teach it really well to the guys, and of some of the guys say this seems easier than it was in the past and we're doing more.”
Carroll said the tempo of the offense will be the most noticeable change. That’s something Dissly discussed earlier in the week as a way to dictate how defenses are able to play. Carroll explained that most NFL defenses, especially the good ones, are able to make the necessary pre-snap checks and adjustments if given enough time. Tempo helps mitigate that.
“We're trying to take that edge off as best we can in all of the ways that are available,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks concluded mandatory minicamp on Thursday afternoon, thus ending their offseason program. Players will now enjoy a six-week summer vacation prior to reporting for training camp at the end of June. Like them, you should enjoy you summer as well. While you’re at it, take some optimism with you that this Seahawks offense, one equipped with Wilson, Metcalf, Lockett, Dissly, Gerald Everett, Colby Parkinson, Dee Eskridge and Chris Carson with Waldron pulling the strings, might be the best we’ve ever seen.