RENTON It’s one thing when Tyler Lockett sprints past a backup cornerback down the sidelines for a touchdown catch. Happens almost every practice day.
It’s absolutely another when the Seahawks’ precocious wide receiver blows the doors off Richard Sherman. That happened on Thursday.
The second-year blazer continued in Seattle’s final minicamp practice to show why you should expect offensive play caller Darrell Bevell and coach Pete Carroll to feature Lockett in all kinds of ways this season. He was a blur on a go route down the right sidelines that beat Sherman for a score from Russell Wilson. It left the three-time All Pro cornerback with his hands on his hips on a most startling play on the Seahawks’ final on-field day before training camp late next month.
“We’ve been trying to work on ‘go’ balls ever since last year,” Lockett said on his way off the practice field. “(Thursday) we finally got it down. Even in during OTAs, and we are even going to work on it more during this six-week break.
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“I’ve been going against Richard about 95 percent of the camp. He’s made me a better player. Of course against Richard I’ve got to move him and get him off the line, and I can’t come up with the same stuff every time because he’s a smart defender. So I’ve got to come up, switch some things up. And if things don’t work, that’s just in practice against him.”
Lockett said when his moves don’t work off the line, Sherman let’s him know why they failed. And when they do, like the wowing one past him Thursday, Sherman let’s him know, “Hey, that was a good release. That really does work.”
“It just makes it easier to go against everybody else, especially against other teams, after I’ve gone against the best DB in the league.”
What else I saw on the final practice day of the three-day mandatory minicamp, the last team workout on the field until training camp begins on or about July 31:
▪ Brandon Browner, who got work with the second team as a safety as offseason workouts went on, ran well from the middle of the field to the sideline to break up Trevone Boykin’s long pass down the right sideline to Doug Baldwin near the goal line. Sherman and Earl Thomas came off the sidelines to celebrate with Browner for that play.
▪ The starting offensive line remained the same it was for most of OTAs and the minicamp: Justin Britt at center, Bradley Sowell at left tackle (with Garry Gilliam two weeks past having a cyst removed from his knee), Mark Glowinski at left guard, Germain Ifedi at right guard, J’Marcus Webb at right tackle.
▪ Not practicing but watching without helmets because of various injuries or rest: TE Jimmy Graham, RB Thomas Rawls, WR Paul Richardson (for the second day in a row after his hamstring tightened), DE Michael Bennett, DE Cliff Avril, Gilliam, WR Kenny Lawler, WR CB Tye Smith, DE Montese Overton and LB Khairi Fortt.
This was Carroll joking with Graham before practice:
▪ One of my biggest surprises of OTAs and minicamps was how well Alex Collins ran pass routes and caught the ball in stride down the field. He did it again Thursday, beating strongside outside-linebacker candidate Cassius Marsh down the sideline on a wheel route on a pefectly thrown ball by Wilson for a score.
Collins, 5 feet 10 and 217 pounds, was known as a bullish runner inside at Arkansas when he joined Darren McFadden and Herschel Walker as the only guys in Southeastern Conference history to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. But the fifth-round draft choice seems like he’s going to do more than just run inside as a situational backup to Rawls this season.
▪ Boykin, the undrafted rookie from Texas Christian, for now heads into training camp as the No. 2 QB. The Seahawks have been negotiating with Tarvaris Jackson’s agent trying to bring back the veteran backup for another year. But if they can’t do that, Boykin showed plenty of arm, savvy and knowledge of the playbook could perhaps be a viable option as Wilson’s backup.
Boykin danced to Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” -- which has to be the Seahawks’ favorite tune for how much it bumps in practices and team meetings. As the rap song boomed over the speakers on the sidelines early in scrimmaging Thursday, Boykin showed off some side-hop moves.
▪ The minicamp ended when Jake Heaps threw his second interception of the practice to undrafted rookie Kyle Coleman. Coleman sprinted the length of the field the other way. Heaps, the former star at Skyline High School in the Seattle suburb of Sammamish, was the third of the three QBs in the offseason.
▪ Carroll said his team is exactly where he wants it to be at this point in the offseason, even said he wishes training camp could start right now so he could ensure the players could sustain this momentum, progress and level of conditioning: