Rookie wideout Tyler Lockett set a Seahawks' single-game record with 139 yards on four punt returns in Sunday's 36-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals, topping the mark set in 1999 by Charlie Rogers, who had 106 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lockett recorded 182 all-purpose yards in Week 17, adding 36 yards receiving and seven yards rushing, to finish his first NFL season with 1,915 all-purpose yards, a rookie franchise-record that tops the 1,774 Curt Warner had in 1983.
"I just go out there and everybody does their jobs," Lockett, who was voted to the 2016 Pro Bowl as a return specialist, said postgame. "They make the blocks that they're supposed to do and then that just leaves me the opportunity to be able to try to get what I can get for the offense."
Lockett's latest performance has him up for Rookie of the Week at NFL.com, where he's battling fellow first-year players in Carolina Panthers wideout Devin Funchess, Washington Redskins wideout Jamison Crowder, Miami Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker, and Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Tarpley for the award. Fans can vote for Rookie of the Week through Thursday, Jan. 7 at 12 p.m. PT, after which time the winner will be announced on NFL Network and at NFL.com.
Asked about Lockett's 2015 campaign during his postgame press conference at Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said Lockett would earn his vote for rookie of the year.
"You watch Tyler and the different things that he can do - the explosiveness in the passing game, he's great on third down, he's made some big-time red zone catches and big-time catches for us, the punt returns, the kick returns, so you think about what a special player he is," Wilson said. "He's one of a kind, so I think he deserves it. That's just my opinion. He's going to be exciting.
"Any time you can shift the field the way he does, it's tough on a defense," Wilson added of Lockett's return ability. "Any time he has the ball in his hands, he may score. That's a good feeling. He's an exciting guy to watch. He's had a great year, he's been deserving. His professionalism, too, I think that's where it starts. His professionalism is definitely there, that's where it starts."
Lockett, a third round pick out of Kansas State, finishes his first season in the NFL with 51 catches for 664 yards and six touchdowns and also brought back a kickoff and punt for scores. Despite the impressive statistics, the rookie said he still sees plenty of room for improvement moving forward.
"I think I did a decent job," Lockett assessed of his play this past year. "Of course there's a lot of things that I need to learn, just the way I saw myself in college and coming here, the transition wasn't bad, but there's still some things that I did well in college that I know I could be able to do at this level, it's just going to take some time for me to get there.
"But for the most part, I couldn't have done anything without God and without everybody on the team being able to help me, bring me in. Just to be able to know that they trust me out there - the coaches as well as the players, that's what helps keep me on going."