Seattle Seahawks

Explaining the importance of Tyler Lockett’s 10-catch game in Week 2

Explaining the importance of Tyler Lockett’s 10-catch game in Week 2

Tyler Lockett is one of the better deep threats in the NFL. We’ve known this for years now, and his downfield ability is illustrated by his 16.9 yards per reception in 2018. But in Week 2, he showcased another element of his game that had yet to be seen – his ability to do all the dirty work underneath.

Lockett caught a career high 10 passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers for 79 yards. All of that production came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Lockett was Russell Wilson’s go-to guy as the Seattle Seahawks deployed a quick passing game to negate Pittsburgh’s heavy blitz packages. Wilson identified where pressure was coming from at the line of scrimmage and made checks accordingly. Lockett caught 10-of-12 targets (should have been 11 as he had one drop) as the primary beneficiary of those checks.

“Tyler can do everything,” Pete Carroll said on Wednesday. “He can run every route, and he has great feel and sense on everything. He’ll do whatever he’s asked of. It fit the game plan really well and really, Russ and Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) and Tyler worked together really well to make it come to life.”

Lockett became the first Seahawks wide receiver to catch double digit passes in a game since Doug Baldwin in Week 3 of 2017 against the Tennessee Titans. For comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at both player’s charts from their respective 10-catch performances.

There’s an obvious difference in the routes. Baldwin’s game was so notable because he had Allen Iverson-like creativity whereas Lockett is a master in efficiency. And that’s OK. Nobody is expecting Lockett to be Baldwin, he just needs to be as productive.

Apart from the one explosive for Baldwin down the left sideline, the other 19 receptions in the charts above came within 10 yards. That wasn’t necessarily the norm for Baldwin and it won’t be for Lockett, either. Seattle will continue to utilize Lockett’s ability to take the top off of a defense. But in games like last Sunday, when pass protection was porous against a blitz-happy defense, it was important to see that Lockett can carry the quick passing game.

On a random but significant note, Lockett swapped jerseys postgame with Steelers star wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster. The pair of up-and-coming receivers each wrote a message on their own jersey to give to the other.

Smith-Schuster kept his message straight to the point: "Keep Ballin! Be Great! Stay Litty!"

Trevor Moawad discusses Russell Wilson’s viral, ‘cringeworthy’ mic’d up video

Trevor Moawad discusses Russell Wilson’s viral, ‘cringeworthy’ mic’d up video

There aren’t many people who know Russell Wilson better than Trevor Moawad.

Moawad has been Wilson’s mental conditioning coach for the last six years, but the two have developed a friendship that supersedes their professional endeavors. On the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast, Moawad discusses the history of their relationship, their start-up “Limitless Minds” and what sets Wilson apart from other athletes he’s worked with.

During the conversation, I asked Moawad for his thoughts on the tweet that went viral a few weeks back. The post featured a clip of Wilson’s mic’d up against the Vikings on Monday Night Football and referred to it as “cringeworthy.”

“One play at a time. Locked in. Let’s go do this thing together,” were some of the quotes from Wilson in the video.

I asked why Wilson’s approach is so hard for many to relate to, which is why some choose to view it as cringeworthy. Moawad referenced human nature.

“The hard-wiring that we went through physiologically 10,000 years ago never changed. We were wired for fight or flight: to assume negative so we don’t get eaten by a dinosaur,” Moawad said. “Our culture is wired 40 to 70 times more negatively than positively.”

Moawad was keen to note that Wilson is being far more neutral than positive in the video. “Neutral thinking” is one of the foundations of Limitless Minds. It’s the idea that the past isn’t predictive. When bad things happen, it’s real, but it’s not an indication of what’s to come in the future. What happens going forward is based on behaviors and actions over feelings.

Wilson has mastered the practical approach of understanding what it takes to get where he wants to go.

“Consider the alternative,” Moawad said. “What do you want a quarterback to be saying? What do you want your leader to be saying? I think what he’s saying is neutral. ‘Hey stay the course.’ He’s talking about things to do, not outcomes. If you watch Tom Brady mic’d up, he’d have a little bit of a different edge, but he’s equally neutral.

“Russell is an easy target in some senses, but this is who he is. I’ve never judged it because this is who I’ve seen (since I’ve known him). Go back and watch him mic’d up, go back and watch an interview when he was 17 years old talking about the state championship in Virginia. This is who he is.”

What’s most impressive about Wilson, Moawad says, is his ability to not be bothered by the perceptions of others. From fans, to media, to former teammates – Wilson doesn’t concern himself with his detractors.

“The great thing is that Russell has this gene that allows him not to judge the way other people look at him,” Moawad said. “He doesn’t worry about – even all those years with the Legion of Boom and whatever the noise was, he never talked to me about that one time, and we talk every day. I never heard him talk about Richard Sherman, ever, not once.

“What you hear is who is, and what you see is what he’s willed himself into being. This is the way he chooses to live, and if you’re going to judge him for it and say it’s cringeworthy, that’s OK. But if you look at the outcomes, the outcomes say that through eight years, he’s won the most games that anybody’s ever won through eight years.”

The results are indeed hard to argue with as Wilson recently became the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to a winning record in each of his first eight seasons.

Listen to the full podcast with Trevor Moawad below: