BRADY HENDERSON

Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin says Tyler Lockett is ‘taking his craft to the next level’

Jun 13, 2016, 11:19 AM | Updated: 11:36 am
In addition to being an All-Pro kick returner, Tyler Lockett caught 51 passes and six touchdowns as...
In addition to being an All-Pro kick returner, Tyler Lockett caught 51 passes and six touchdowns as a rookie. (AP)
(AP)

Doug Baldwin is as qualified as anyone to talk about releases off the line of scrimmage, which may be what he does best as a wide receiver. So when Baldwin identified that skill when asked last week about the growth he’s seen this offseason in Seahawks teammate Tyler Lockett, his assessment carried plenty of weight.

“He’s continuously improving his game, and one of the things that we talked about in the offseason was working on his releases,” Baldwin said after the Seahawks’ Organized Team Activity on Thursday. “He’s so quick and he’s so fast that there’s no reason for guys to be able to put their hands on him at the line of scrimmage.

“So we’ve been working on that and he’s taken that to heart and he’s done an excellent of taking his craft to the next level. I’m really excited to see guys line up against him, other teams line up against him, to see what he has in store for them because he’s I think he’s ready to take it off.”

It’s not as though that was a weakness in Lockett’s game as a rookie last season, when he caught 51 passes (second on the team) for 664 yards (third) and six touchdowns (second) while also earning All-Pro honors as a kick returner. Brock Huard detailed in a Chalk Talk video how a key to one of Lockett’s touchdowns – a 24-yard score against San Francisco in Week 11 – was how he beat press coverage by getting off the line untouched.

Baldwin said last year that Lockett was a more polished receiver coming out of college than he was in 2011. He reiterated as much last week. His point about Lockett’s releases was that in a run-first offense like Seattle’s, fewer passes means less margin for error among the receivers.

“It wasn’t a huge issue,” Baldwin said. “But like we continuously say, as a receiver here, every opportunity matters so much. So if you get jammed at the line one time, that’s one time you don’t get an opportunity to catch the ball. So we just can’t have those at all.”

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