There was another rookie who had a pretty good game, too.
While Seattle running back Thomas Rawls was gouging San Francisco on the ground, rookie receiver/returner Tyler Lockett contributed two touchdown catches in the Seahawks’ 29-13 win over the 49ers on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Those two scoring receptions were among Lockett’s four catches for 48 yards. And while he was enthusiastic in his praise for Rawls, he also noted the receivers’ role in the running game.
“For us receivers, we don’t want to be one dimensional,” Lockett said. “It’s not just all about running routes and catching the ball. We always emphasize being able to make those key blocks. We envision it every single week; we talk about it every week. The coaches day in and day out say, ‘That’s a touchdown block, make that block.’ We take pride in that.”
If there’s one thing Lockett isn’t, it’s one dimensional. He was drafted in the third round out of Kansas State with the assumption that he could make an immediate impact returning punts and kickoffs. And he has, already returning a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. However, he quickly played his way onto the field as a receiver, as well. And to hear the guy one locker over tell it, Lockett is only getting better as the season rolls along.
“When he came in we told him right away that there’s a different standard here,” fifth-year receiver Doug Baldwin said. “You have to live up to the standard. It doesn’t matter what round you’re drafted in, you will get cut if you don’t live up to that standard. He took it to heart, he applied it to his game, and he understood this is not about how many passes you get, it’s about making the most of your opportunities.”
Lockett did that Sunday. He was targeted five times, caught four and turned two into scores.
The first was a 24-yard reception that moved the Seahawks ahead, 7-0. The second was an 11-yard catch in the second quarter that stretched the lead to 20-0.
Yet in the locker room after the game, some of the details had slipped from his memory.
“The first play — what was the first play? — the first play we just kind of saw what defense they were in,” Lockett said after a pause. “It was straight man-to-man and I had a go route, so I just had to take advantage of it. … I was able to catch it and hold it in, just in case I got hit. The second one, I just ran a little slant route. (Quarterback Russell Wilson) put it on me real fast, and I was able to just catch today. I was trying to make the most of every opportunity. I don’t really know how I did it or what happened.”
Through 11 games in his pro career, Lockett is up to 26 catches, good for fourth on the team and third among wide receivers.
“You really build trust through the way you practice,” Wilson said. “The best thing about Tyler Lockett and Thomas Rawls — those two rookies — the way they practice allows you to trust them completely on the field. … They love the game, they get there early, they’re dedicated to their craft. To see Tyler Lockett make those plays, it’s exciting, you’re happy for him.”