‘Just another day at the office’ for Seahawks utility man Lockette
Before Ricardo Lockette turned in one of the most notable plays of Seattle’s win over Denver, he turned into a defender.
It happened during a second-quarter possession that began with a short gain and then nearly ended in disaster one play later. The only reason it didn’t was Lockette, who broke up what likely would have been an interception – and perhaps worse – to keep alive a drive that ended with his 39-yard touchdown reception.
“That might have been a touchdown for them because he had a really great break on the ball,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of cornerback Aqib Talib’s near pick. “It was really a heads up play by Ricardo.”
For a guy who has already found a few different ways to help his team win during what is becoming a breakout season, Lockette found another one on Sunday.
Who knows how this game would have played out had it not been for Lockette’s brief role reversal. His pass breakup prevented what could have been a pick-six for Denver, and even though he was flagged for offensive pass-interference on the play, it might have been enough for honorary membership in Seattle’s secondary.
“LOB!,” he joked afterward.
That play was just the start of productive day for Lockette. Three plays later he gave Seattle a 10-7 lead, catching a 39-yard touchdown pass down the sideline from Russell Wilson. Lockette made a leaping grab over Talib, who was one of Denver’s blockbuster offseason acquisitions and is considered to be among the top cornerbacks in the NFL.
“What a great play. What a great throw and catch,” Carroll said. That was just a chance to go for it with ‘Rocket’ and he ran a great route on a great DB and made a great catch with a perfect throw.”
Lockette punctuated his score with a celebration that seems pretty fitting when you hear him explain it.
“I wipe my sleeves off, I fix my tie and I leave the field with my briefcase just like you leave the office,” he said, detailing what has become his post-touchdown routine. “Just another day at the office.”
Lockette’s days at the office are becoming busier thanks to a growing job description. He did it all on Sunday, and it wasn’t just the way he bookended that second-quarter possession with the pass breakup and then the touchdown.
He was a factor once again on special teams, where he continued to make life awfully hard on opponents’ punt returners. Just ask Denver’s Isaiah Burse, who was on the business end of a perfectly-timed clothesline from Lockette that ended a third-quarter punt return before it really began.
That type of play was nothing new for Lockette, who is not only fully embracing his role on special teams – something he may not have done during his first stint with Seattle – but he’s also thriving in it.
“He’s been incredibly significant. He’s really shown up. He had great coverage all day long,” Carroll said. “… I don’t know anybody that’s doing it any better than he is right now. He’s incredibly effective and he is so fast and his intensity and the attitude he has, that he brings to the coverage teams is phenomenal.”
Lockette is football’s version of a utility man, someone who isn’t necessarily a starter but can impact a game like one.
He certainly did that Sunday.
“I am just trying to be the best player I can possibly be,” Lockette said. “When I am out there I don’t think about making a play. I think about doing everything I have been taught. When you do that – offense, defense or special teams – it puts you in a pretty good position.”