After a stellar rookie campaign in which DK Metcalf had 58 receptions and 900 receiving yards in his first season, the Seahawks phenom walked into 2020 with lofty expectations and meaningful goals.
But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the sports world turned upside down. It impacted NFL players in all ways of life, from the daily tests and socially distanced meetings to self-discipline off the field.
For the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, his second year was much different than ever before, in part to the fact NFL stadiums were empty on Sundays.
“I would say the fans are pretty much the biggest difference, especially in Seattle,” Metcalf said on the "I am athlete" podcast with Brandon Marshall and Chad Ochocinco. “My first year, it was crazy just running out the tunnel, everybody yelling, Marshawn there throwing Skittles on the field. All that is just crazy to me.
"But this year, like, going to Miami having fans there and then the other 15 games there ain’t no fans, you got to find your own motive, you’ve got to find your own will to why you play the game. It was hard sometimes, sometimes it was boring out there because you don’t got no juice. That was pretty much the only difference...
But that didn’t stop Metcalf from becoming fully unleashed in his sophomore season. As Wilson’s top target, the 23-year-old finished with 83 receptions (129 targets) for 1,303 yards -- seventh in the league -- and 10 touchdowns. Metcalf broke Steve Largent's 35-year single-season franchise record of 1,287 receiving yards.
Metcalf has since emerged as one of the NFL’s top wide receivers. With two NFL seasons now under his belt, he has no plans of slowing down. When sharing a little bit of advice for future pros, the All-Pro wideout made it clear he desires more in his career than honors and distinguishments. He wants to one day wear a custom-tailored Hall of Fame gold jacket.
“Don’t ever let making it be the mountain top,” Metcalf said. “I know a lot of people, once they make it to the league, that’s it. I’ve made it, and I’m fighting for a gold jacket, that’s my goal.”