While Seattle’s defense has almost entirely transformed over the last couple of years, the offense is also entering a season of change and two players are believed to be leading the charge.
The Super Bowl 48 champions are hoping Tyler Lockett and second-year running back Rashaad Penny can work alongside quarterback Russell Wilson to continue to be the offense’s top producers.
Lockett was a big part of the Seahawks’ offense last season and Penny is looking to join him as a more consistent playmaker this year.
The second-year rusher said he’s leaned out and feels great after a “frustrating” rookie season.
“It is frustrating, and it was frustrating for me as a rookie,” Penny said, via the Seahawks’ official website. “I didn’t know how to take it. I’ve never been hurt playing football in my life, so when that happened, I just hit a wall. I’m glad that I’ve grown up.”
Penny was selected 27th overall in the 2018 draft.
During his rookie campaign, Penny broke his finger in training camp and missed Seattle’s final three preseason games. He was able to come back and he averaged 4.9 yards per carry over 14 games — the highest average among the Seahawks’ backfield, which has struggled to find its identity.
He finished last season with 419 yards and two touchdowns on 85 carries.
“Over these past months and this offseason, I’ve just started taking everything seriously by treating my body right and doing the little things,” he added. “Also I think what helped me was losing all that extra weight. Now I feel better. I don’t have all those nagging injuries. I’m at my best.”
Potentially, a big year ahead for RB Rashaad Penny, the #Seahawks 1st round pick last season. He’s lost weight, feels great and has been getting mentored by hall of famer & fellow San Diego State Aztec, Marshall Faulk. More on that👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/Dnk38Vjsy0
— Omar Ruiz (@OmarDRuiz) June 7, 2019
Lockett will again be Wilson’s top target, especially after Seattle-staple Doug Baldwin retired this offseason. He is entering his fifth season with the team, and is already playing more of a leadership role as the most veteran player in his position group.
“He senses it, I’m sure,” coach Pete Carroll said during OTAs, via the team’s website. “His background, experience, success that he’s had, he’s naturally in that position right now. I’ve seen a number of instances already where it’s obvious that he gets it. You kind of grow into it, and he’s doing that.”
Lockett said: “I have to be able to understand who I am as a leader and what I bring to the team as a leader. The things that (Baldwin) brought, I was able to learn from that and I was able to see that. But he also taught me how to be myself, because if I can’t be myself, everybody else won’t be able to accept the message that I’m trying to allow them to be able to receive. So I have to be able to speak from a willing heart.”
Lockett finished 2018 with 57 catches for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns to lead all Seahawks receivers.