Ricardo Lockette is what happens when speed grows up.
Three years ago he was an undrafted rookie free agent from Division-II Fort Valley State whom the Seahawks couldn't get to line up correctly in formations.
Now he's now the unlikely leader in touchdown receptions for the Super Bowl champions through this season's first month.
In today's News Tribune I detailed how Lockette is earning the trust of quarterback Russell Wilson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who says Lockette isn't remotely close to the same player he was as a fast but otherwise lost rookie in 2011.
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And if you were curious Lockette describes whatever that was he did Sunday for a touchdown celebration against Denver; it has to do with "just another day at the office."
Also in the story I took a look into Bevell's play-calling trend this month and compared it to the first three games of the 2013 and '12 seasons. The Seahawks (2-1 and on their bye this week) have run the ball 81 times and passed it 94 times in the first three games. Last season it was 109 run and 89 pass through three games, all wins. That number, though, got skewed by the second game of 2013 when Seattle took an early lead and then boat-raced the 49ers at home. The Hawks ran it 47 times and passed 23 time while running out the clock for almost all the second half in a 29-3 win that night.
In 2012, when the Seahawks began 2-1, Bevell had called 103 runs and 81 passes up to this point.
So there is a definite trending toward more passing so far this season. That's a reflection of wide receiver Percy Harvin finally being healthy, with Bevell using him all over the field to affect how defenses scheme against the passing game, against Wilson, against Marshawn Lynch and thus the entire Seahawks offense. It's also at least partly indicative of Lockette's increased role in game plans.
Heck, Bevell even had Lockette run a Harvin-esque fly sweep two weeks ago in San Diego. Yes, that play gained just 2 yards but is indicative of how much more responsibility Bevell is giving Lockette now that he's proven to be a reliable playmaker.
(Curiously, I went back and looked at Bevell's first season as Pete Carroll's coordinator in Seattle, 2011. In the first three games of that season, with Tarvaris Jackson as the Seahawks' quarterback, Bevell had called just 65 running plays versus 111 passes through three games. The first two games of '11 were blowout losses by 16 at San Francisco and by 24 at Pittsburgh, when Seattle had to throw while playing catch-up for most of the game. Seems like a lifetime ago now, doesn't it?)
--TNT columnist Dave Boling (who kindly did the blog for me yesterday -- but a 3:42 a.m. posting Dave? Setting a bad precedent!) wrote in today's paper a flip side to all our talk about the NFL's new emphasis on defensive-contact fouls in pass coverage: Wilson is thriving. He enters this week's league play as the NFL's top-rated, full-time starting starting quarterback. Wilson's 108.9 rating is ahead of Peyton Manning's 108.5. The only QB above Wilson is Derek Anderson, Carolina's fill-in for recently injured Cam Newton. And Anderson has less than half as many passes attempted than Wilson's 87 through three games.
Wilson's completion rate of 69 percent is far above his career completion rate of 63.6 percent entering this season.
--I was disappointed to see that the New York Giants yesterday released from their practice squad wide receiver L'Damaian Washington, a close friend and former teammate of Seahawks rookie right tackle Justin Britt when both played for Missouri through last year. As I wrote in a story last week this past January 31, while working out at the personalized performance training center Athletes’ Performance Institute in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Britt married Alicia Bratten. It was a small, private ceremony; the wedding party consisted of only the bride, Britt and Washington.
It'd be neat for Britt and a fine story for Seattle if the Seahawks someday found a place for Washington on their practice squad. Here's why.
--The Seahawks are in day three of their six-day hiatus from practicing. They will return Monday to team headquarters in Renton for practice and to begin preparing for the Oct. 6 game at Washington, which hosts the Giants tonight in the Thursday night game.