Seattle Seahawks

Lockett wins NFC special teams player of the month

Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) celebrates with teammates after returning a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown on Sunday against Chicago. Lockett leads the NFL in kickoff return average (34.3 yards), is sixth in punt return average (13.4), and is the only player to score a touchdown in both phases.
Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) celebrates with teammates after returning a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown on Sunday against Chicago. Lockett leads the NFL in kickoff return average (34.3 yards), is sixth in punt return average (13.4), and is the only player to score a touchdown in both phases. The Associated Press

Tyler Lockett isn’t so young that he doesn’t remember Joey Galloway.

Lockett said when he used to play rag-tag football in his living room with his grandfather, he would often portray the former Seattle Seahawks’ speedy wide receiver.

The two wideouts now share something as the only rookies in Seahawks history to capture NFL special teams player of the month honors — which Lockett did Wednesday for the NFC.

The first-year player out of Kansas State leads the NFL in kickoff return average (34.3 yards), is sixth in punt return average (13.4) — and is the only player to score a touchdown in both phases.

He returned a punt 57 yards for a score in the season-opening loss at St. Louis, and set a team record by taking back a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown to open the second half in a victory over Chicago on Sunday.

Locket is just second rookie in NFL history to have return scores of both kinds in his first three games. Tony Green did the same thing for Washington during the 1978 season.

“It’s a great honor,” Lockett said before practice Thursday at the Seahawks training facility. “I never knew they (the NFL) actually did anything like that.

“The first person who told me was Doug Baldwin. He said, ‘Congratulations, rook.’ 

Lockett’s 334 combined return yards leads the NFL.

“He’s a very smart returner,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I really trust him and his decision-making, and there’s a lot of stuff that goes into that.”

One aspect that Carroll said makes Lockett so effective, especially in the Seahawks’ special-teams blocking schemes, is making sure he is moving forward while catching the football.

“That’s a big factor for us,” Carroll said.

Lockett said he had never done that in college — but it was a concept Carroll introduced him to the very first day of training camp.

“The way our return style is set up, you kind of want to be able to catch it on the run,” Lockett said. “If you can catch going forward, your momentum is already pushing you forward.”

Galloway won that honor in the AFC in November of 1995 after he returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants.

“I honestly think it’s a great feeling being mentioned with the greats kind of like that,” Lockett said. “It is a great honor, and I will always cherish it.”

EXTRA POINTS

Six players, including running back Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) and defensive linemen Demarcus Dobbs (shoulder) and Brandon Mebane (groin), did not practice Wednesday. Lynch rarely practices in the middle of the week anyway. In any case, Carroll said all three could be game-day decisions Monday against Detroit. … Carroll was not optimistic that cornerback Tharold Simon (toe) and safety Steven Terrell (hip) would be ready this week. … Starting linebackers Bobby Wagner (ankle) and K.J. Wright (hip) got in a full practices.

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