Tyler Lockett on playing with Seahawks under Geno Smith, where offense must grow
For the first time since entering the league in 2015, star Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett will be catching passes from a different starting quarterback than Russell Wilson.
Wilson, who entered the NFL in 2012, will miss his first NFL game due to a finger injury he suffered in Seattle’s 26-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday.
Now, Lockett and the rest of the Seahawks’ offense will be playing with backup quarterback Geno Smith, who entered the NFL in 2013 and has started 31 career games, mostly with the New York Jets. This is Smith’s third season with the Seahawks, yet Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be just the third time Smith will actually take the field for Seattle during the regular season.
Lockett joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Huddle on Thursday, which is hosted by Jake and Stacy hosts Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost as well as Dave Wyman of Wyman and Bob, and shared his thoughts on Smith and more.
First off, he admitted it will be different playing without Wilson.
“Obviously throughout my whole career I’ve been able to play with Russ and he’s played every single game and every single snap I think, as well,” Lockett said. “Just not being able to have him, I mean it’s weird I think for everybody.”
While any team would love for Wilson to be starting at quarterback, Lockett said the Seahawks are in capable hands with Smith.
“But for us, we also know that Geno is ready,” Lockett said. “Geno has been doing a fantastic job. Everybody was able to see Geno and what he can bring to the table and produce.”
In relief of Wilson last week, Smith completed 10 of 17 passes for a touchdown and led two scoring drives, including one that covered 98 yards.
Lockett said Smith has been doing “a great job” in practice and in preparing for Sunday’s matchup with the Steelers. He also said Wilson is continuing to stay involved with leading and being the captain of the offense.
“We’re just going to keep on playing and we don’t plan to miss a beat,” he said.
“He did a great job when he was out there and being able to play QB and run the whole team,” Lockett later said of Smith. “Even though he hasn’t had the same opportunities to be able to play as much as he did in previous seasons, he still has that same ability and that same presence to command an offense and to be able to lead us to a victory and lead us downfield. For the most part, we’re excited to be able to get this going. We know this is going to be different but we also now that we have somebody who is able to lead a room as well and it just so happens to be Geno.”
Lockett was also asked about first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and the job he’s done.
Lockett used the words “great” and “fantastic,” and explained where the team can improve on that side of the ball going forward.
“Yeah, we’re 2-3 so when you look at our record and when you look at what we’ve done as an offense, it doesn’t necessarily (stand out), but at the same time it’s like we’ve been up (in the games we’ve lost),” Lockett said. “… For the most part, we’ve always been in the game, we’ve been in front … it’s just now we have to be able to learn what it is like to play ahead.”
Lockett said that the team playing ahead is different than in his previous seasons where the Seahawks have traditionally played from behind or in very close ballgames.
“During these first five games we’ve been up, so we’ve got to learn how to play while we are up rather than learning how to play while we’re down,” he said.
Listen to the full interview with Lockett at this link or in the player below.