Tyler Lockett called his third contract a “blessing” on Tuesday afternoon when he met with Seattle media via Zoom. The conversation largely surrounded his brand new four-year, $69 million extension.
But Lockett also offered notable insight into what went wrong with the Seahawks offense in the second half of last season as well as what his expectations are of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. The veteran wideout spoke at length about how Seattle failed to make proper adjustments in the back half of 2020.
Lockett made a basketball comparison in which a defense makes a point to run a dead-eye shooter off the three-point line. If that shooter doesn’t have a counterpunch, then it makes it pretty easy for the defense to neutralize him. That’s essentially what Lockett said happened to Seattle’s offense: The deep ball was unstoppable early and when defenses adjusted to take that away, the Seahawks didn’t have an answer (at least not one that could be relied upon consistently).
“Going into this season, we’re going to have to learn to adapt to anything and whatever is thrown our way,” Lockett said. “It’s not about being like, ‘They can’t stop the pass and we’re going to keep passing.’ It’s about, if a team makes us have to run the ball, we as a team have to execute. If a team is giving us all the short throws, it’s being able to execute that. If they’re going to give us the deep balls, we’re going to take that. Whatever a team gives us, we’ve got to be able to take it rather than trying to go out there and do whatever we want to do. That’s what I’ve learned.”
Shane Waldron will be the man tasked with finding those solutions and getting the offense humming once again. Lockett shared that he’s eager to work with the team’s new offensive coordinator, as should everybody within the organization.
“There’s a lot of things that we can learn, and there’s a lot of things he brings to the table,” Lockett said. “It may be new to not only us, but maybe to coaches and other people who have coached throughout the years or even players who have played throughout the years. So for us, we have to go into it with a mind that’s able to accept and listen and understand and not act like we know everything. Obviously for me, I’m looking forward to it.”
Lockett noted Waldron’s ability to utilize personnel in various ways, and said he expects to move around the formation more frequently in 2021. Lockett began his career as primarily an outside receiver under Darrell Bevell and moved to the slot under Brian Schottenheimer.
New offensive coordinator every three years. Hope that Waldron can stick in Seattle.
“That’s the beauty of it. A lot of people say I’m just a slot guy,” said Lockett, who could also be integrated into the running game more frequently than in previous seasons.
Lockett has heard nothing but great things about Waldron, and he’s excited to see that ingenuity at work.
“Now you’re bringing in someone who is very creative and strategic, so now I’ve got to learn to adapt to whatever Shane decides to do,” Lockett said. “That’s why I’m looking forward to it.”
Lockett set a Seahawks single-season franchise record with 100 receptions in 2020. He also racked up 1,054 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. The downside is that most of that production came during a pair of three-touchdown games against the Cowboys and Cardinals.
Getting Lockett involved and producing more consistently will be one of his top tasks.