PHOENIX — The young man is a walking lottery ticket. That’s not to take anything away from Richard Lockette’s athletic ability, drive or passion. But there’s something to be said about good fortune. He a No. 4 receiver and a special teams player for Seattle and he’s about to go to his third Super Bowl with a chance to win his second ring.
Dan Marino, the greatest quarterback to never win a Super Bowl, went to the title game in his second season, lost and never made it back there. Barry Sanders, among the greatest running backs to ever play, never came close to a Super Bowl appearance, with one playoff win in 10 seasons.
Marino and Sanders must envy a certain 28-year-old from Albany, Georgia.
“It’s a blessing. It’s unreal. Are you crazy?” Lockette said Wednesday. “Fairy tale. Georgia kid. Three Super Bowls in a row?”
“Undrafted, Fort Valley State. I didn’t even go to a D-1 school. Three Super Bowls? It’s a blessing. It’s an honor. It’s somewhat of a miracle.”
Lockette wasn’t drafted in 2011 but he had training camp invitations from all 32 teams because of the speed he showed at the scouting combine as a former sprinter at Fort Valley State. He signed with Seattle but played in only two games and was released. San Francisco picked him up in 2012 and went to the Super Bowl that season but Lockette spent the year on the practice squad and was released the following summer.
Then came two months on Chicago’s practice squad last season and a return to Seattle for the Seahawks’ run to the championship. The difference this time: Lockette played eight games (one start), impressed coaches and was brought back this season. He has played in every game, mostly on special teams, but also had 11 catches and two touchdowns in the regular season. He has three receptions in the playoffs, including two in the NFC championship against Green Bay, and is 5-0 in playoff appearances.
“Everybody on this team plays a part, whether you’re a starter or play on special teams or you’re on the practice squad – we all did it together,” Lockette said. “I feel like I had a role in us being here.”
Last year, Lockette became a YouTube star when he destroyed St. Louis punt returner Justin Veltung. Here’s the video evidence:
Lockette will have 12 family members at Sunday’s Super Bowl against New England, including his parents.
“They’re excited but I’m trying not to talk to them too much,” he said. “They watch a lot of TV and listen to a lot of media and they’re like, ‘The Super Bowl is so big.’ But I say, ‘That’s not what we do. It’s just a game.’ I don’t want them to tell me that because I need to get my mind right.”
He believes he is a better player now and has stuck with the Seahawks because of his mental approach to the game.
“People just made their New Year’s resolutions, but how many people are sticking to that? Probably not half,” said Lockette, who regularly watches motivational speeches on YouTube. “It’s all about focus. I’m locked into more about what I can do for this team instead of what car am I driving, or am I on TV, or am I the one catching the ball?”
Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. He’s playing, he’s winning and he’s driving the karma train.• A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Dan Quinn says he’s ready for next challenge (with Falcons) — AJC: Lynch goes into interview Beast Mode again (surprise!) — MyAJC: Great or not, Patriots’ legacy is forever tarnished — AJC: Seattle players say Quinn will be ‘great head coach’ for Falcons — AJC: Brady says ‘feelings got hurt’ by accusations (really?) — MyAJC: Hawks are closest team to rare Atlanta sports title — AJC: Matt Ryan doesn’t believe deflating footballs is the norm — MyAJC: Al Horford finally past injuries and frustration with Hawks — AJC: Stall, lie, cheat — it’s the Patriots’ way, and perfectly timed — AJC: DeflateGate: It’s time for NFL to forfeit games for cheaters — MyAJC: Walsh-Montana still top Belichick-Brady on coach-QB mountain — AJC: Seattle’s Super Bowl only delays Falcons’ hiring of Dan Quinn — AJC: Oddsmaker says Braves’ win total will be ‘low 70s’ (with reader poll) — MyAJC: Braves’ moves carry Coppolella’s fingerprints — AJC: There goes Evan Gattis as Braves take another big hit — AJC: Quinn was tabbed as ‘Next Great Coach’ but can Falcons get him? — AJC: UPDATE: Bowles goes to Jets but if Falcons get Quinn it won’t matter — AJC: Falcons should talk to John Fox before making decision on Quinn, Bowles — AJC: Rex Ryan going to Buffalo — and that’s not bad news for Falcons — AJC: Nick Saban, the mercenary, takes on ex-Bulldog Jonathan Taylor