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Seahawks players continue to fuel the Shane Waldron hype

Wild Card Round - Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

All eyes are on first-year Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, who has a huge task on his shoulders given Seattle’s collapse to end 2020 and subsequent departure of Brian Schottenheimer. Waldron comes from the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay’s system, which is something I think even non-Seahawks fans are intrigued by just based on the assumption that we will see Russell Wilson and company incorporate at least some of what the Rams have run for years.

Early minicamp reviews of Waldron among the top Seahawks players have been overwhelmingly positive. You take that with a grain of salt because upbeat opinions are to be expected, but you try and find signs of substance to what is said and what’s been revealed. Tyler Lockett spoke about the new offensive system on Wednesday’s minicamp media session.

“I think with the offense Shane brings in, it gives us more freedom. More freedom to be able to be the receivers that we can be. We got free range to do a lot of stuff,” Lockett said (via The Seattle Times). “Not saying that we can just go out and do whatever we want, but the more sophisticated that you become in this offense, the more you’re able to understand how to switch your feet, how not to switch your feet, how to add an extra step, how not to add an extra step, rather than always just having to get to a certain point in a certain amount of time, you kind of have free range to play with it a little bit.”

This, more than anything, caught my eye.

Now it seems like wanting to have better tempo has been a promise from the Seahawks and a point of contention among fans for at least four years. Seattle was among the slowest offenses in the league in terms of getting the snap off in 2020, meanwhile the Rams worked in extremes with either snapping it quickly or snapping it late. For years the Seahawks have been an offense heavy on pre-snap data, which often lends itself to making the right reads and adjustments by using up a lot of the play clock. A faster huddle seems desired (at least among fans) due to the many instances where Seattle has had to burn a timeout or haul ass to run a play because they weren’t even lined up with 10 seconds left.

The yards after catch emphasis is a real positive to me. Seattle was one of the worst YAC teams in the NFL under Brian Schottenheimer, whereas the Rams were consistently near the top. Some of this is personnel but I think a lot of it is scheme, and you can scheme yards after catch plays. These are hidden yards that can extend a drive, save a game, or even turn 3rd and long into a short enough distance to go for it on 4th down.

Of course, this is all just minicamp talk and we won’t get even a halfway decent idea of how the offense will look and operate until the preseason, which starts in less than two months.