What Tyler Lockett means by saying Seahawks need to be more adaptable
After starting the 2020 season on a torrid pace offensively, the Seahawks slowed down on that side of the ball dramatically over the second half of the season, something that played a key role in multiple losses, including the team’s first-round playoff exit.
After that red-hot start on offense, opposing defenses were able to stop Seattle’s deep aerial attack, dramatically slowing down the offense as that group was unable to make adjustments both in-game and week-to-week to put up points on a consistent basis.
Star receiver Tyler Lockett, who recently signed a long-term contract extension, had a press conference Tuesday and shared his thoughts on what the offense needs to do to be more “adaptable” going forward.
Here’s what Lockett told reporters:
“It’s not about being able to be like, ‘They can’t stop the pass and we’re going to keep passing it.’ It’s about if a team makes us have to run the ball, we as a team have to be able to execute it,” Lockett said. “If a team is giving us all the short throws, (we need to be) able to execute that. If they’re giving us the deep balls, we’re going to take that. Whatever a team gives us, we’ve got to take it rather than trying to go out there and do whatever we obviously want to do.
“That’s what I’ve learned and that’s what we as players have learned, is let’s get more comfortable with knowledge and understanding of what teams are trying to throw at us early on. And that’s one of the things that we started learning towards the middle and end of the season last year.”
So what exactly does that mean for the Seahawks’ offense going forward? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Wednesday and shared his thoughts on Lockett’s comments.
“He’s saying that you go back to fundamental football,” Bumpus said. “You are who you are offensively, you have your plays and your concepts that you go to, but at the end of the day, if you see something in the defense (that’s clearly) a weakness, you attack the weakness.”
Bumpus said Seattle’s offense last season seemed to try and execute its initial game plan regardless of what the defense presented. And once defenses found out how to slow down the Seahawks’ high-flying offense, it was all downhill from there.
“Once the cat is out of the bag, it’s a copycat league, so the next week they’re going to do the same thing and then the next team is going to do the same thing,” Bumpus said. “So all he’s saying is ‘we’ve got to be able to counter. We have to be counter-punchers.’ And I think they’re going to be that in this Shane Waldron offense, I really believe that.”
Shane Waldron, of course, is Seattle’s new offensive coordinator, taking over for Brian Schottenheimer, who left the Seahawks after three seasons as OC due to “philosophical differences.” Waldron comes to the Seahawks after spending four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where he served as passing game coordinator for the last three years.
What will Waldron bring to the table that will help Seattle’s offense going forward?
“I think they’re going to be zone-heavy, allow these linemen to get downhill and they’re going to (use bootlegs with quarterback Russell Wilson) off of that zone,” Bumpus said.
But most important, Bumpus said, is that Waldron will likely employ a quick passing attack that was missing from the Seahawks’ offense in 2020.
“I think what hindered this offense is there was no quick game,” he said. “I rarely saw Russell get a pre-snap read where you’ve got a corner who’s off (the line of scrimmage) so (they have a receiver run a quick hitch route). I didn’t see any of that. I saw some of it, but not as much as I should have seen. So all Lockett is saying is, look, we’ve got to take what the defense is giving us. Every offense should have a quick game.”
Listen to the full conversation from the daily Blue 42 segment at this link or in the player below.