Tyler Lockett impressing Seahawks with receiving potential
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Rookie Tyler Lockett is turning heads in the Seattle Seahawks training camp with his quickness and route-running ability, and given his family history, it's really no surprise.
His father and uncle are Kevin and Aaron Lockett, who like Tyler also had distinguished careers at Kansas State and played professionally.
''I think it's helped me just because my dad taught me the mental part of the game,'' Lockett said. ''Just being able to understand coverages, being able to understand how to get open. It's all about getting open at the end of the day regardless of what routes you have.''
Doug Baldwin managed to make the college-to-pro transition quickly despite being an undrafted rookie out of Stanford in 2011. Baldwin caught 51 passes for 788 yards and led the team in receiving.
However, Baldwin says Lockett is more advanced at this stage than he was as a rookie.
''He's a lot more polished than I was as a rookie,'' Baldwin said. ''He's doing a fantastic job out here. Really good chemistry with Russell (Wilson) and other quarterbacks and just making plays when he has the opportunity to do so.''
Coach Pete Carroll practically gave the kick returning duties to Lockett on the night the Seahawks selected him in the third round of the draft. Seattle struggled in the return game a year ago after Golden Tate left for Detroit in free agency and Percy Harvin was dealt to the New York Jets.
''We've all been impressed with his attention to detail and how he wants to get it right,'' Carroll said. ''He spends extra time and all that. He's an unbelievably quick, fast guy, very confident catcher, really good route runner. He's doing great. We're not going to hold him back, he's going to push it for as much playing time as he can get at receiver and then we're giving him a great shot to be returner in both kicks and punts.''
Lockett seems poised to contribute on offense.
''We talked about him so much as a returner that you just kind of put him over there in that category,'' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. ''Really from day one when he jumped in here it was like `OK, wait a minute. This guy can be a wide receiver (too).' I think that says a lot about him.''
The Seahawks are deeper at receiver this year than they were when Baldwin was a rookie in 2011, so there may not be as many opportunities for Lockett. But Baldwin expects Lockett to make the most of his chances.
''He has the explosiveness, he's got the speed, he's got the savvy, and he has the work ethic,'' Baldwin said. ''Naturally, you just want to be close to someone like that because you know they can do anything they put their mind to.''
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