RENTON, Wash. -- When the NFL relaxed its celebration rules before the 2017 season, it was so players could have the type of fun the Seattle Seahawks' receivers are having this season.
They've acted out scenes from the movies "Drumline" and "Life." They've orchestrated a dance called "The Five Heartbeats," and they've gone "Swag Surfin'" for another. They've reenacted Allen Iverson's signature moment, Richard Sherman's most memorable play and a baseball brawl.
Rarely will a touchdown by a Seahawks receiver go without a celebration these days. And when you're scoring them as often as the Seahawks are, you have to have a celebration at the ready at all times, even if it's deep in the queue.
Shortly before halftime of the Seahawks' blowout win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13, the television broadcast showed Seattle's receivers congregated on the sideline. Doug Baldwin, fresh off his touchdown, was seated at the end of the bench talking with practice squad member Keenan Reynolds, who was standing near Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown.
David Moore was sitting next to Baldwin with their next celebration on his mind.
"At the beginning of the year, we all told ourselves what we wanted our room to be about, and I was like, having fun," Moore said. "Celebrate with your brothers when they do something good."
That is why Moore was caught on camera in a candid moment, casually practicing the Macarena by himself.
"We were trying to figure out what other celebrations we had so we could do it the next time we scored," he said.
No team tries to run the ball as often or for more yards than the Seahawks, yet their 24 touchdowns by receivers are the most in the league and two more than that of the Kansas City Chiefs, their opponent in Sunday night's showdown at CenturyLink Field.
It's a big part of why Russell Wilson is having one of his best seasons and the Seahawks (8-6) are in all likelihood on their way to an unexpected postseason appearance.
"It's fun seeing those guys celebrate every game and those guys making so many great plays," Wilson said. "Those guys, they make me look halfway decent out there. They're just making play after play after play."
🥁 🥁 🥁 🥁 pic.twitter.com/611ANOd8V3— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 15, 2018
Every now and again, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will be reviewing practice film, and something on the screen's periphery will catch his eye. It's the receivers working on their next celebration off to the side. They'll trade suggestions throughout the week, pick three or four of them and then get to rehearsing during their time off in practice.
"They haven't really consulted with me yet, but they look like they might be running out of ideas," Carroll joked last month. "I do have a couple, as a matter of fact. I won't share them with you. I won't tell you that I did until after we see how they look, in case they do it."
The receivers haven't had to resort to asking their 67-year-old coach for suggestions. Between the five receivers on the active roster, three more on the practice squad and other position groups that might chime in, there is no shortage of ideas.
Not all of them are winners. Some duds get thrown out and then, well, thrown out.
"Tyler does that all the time," Moore said with a laugh. "... He does so many, man, and then he comes up with a good one, and it's like we forget all about the bad ones. I think one was sitting there reading. We sit there, and we act like we're all reading in class. We didn't know where we was going with that one."
Lockett got the idea for one of his celebrations from his real estate agent, who texted him after watching the Showtime documentary "Shut Up and Dribble" with a suggestion to recreate Iverson's famous step-over from the 2001 NBA Finals.
It took a while, but the Seahawks pulled it off in Week 12 at Carolina. Lockett scored the touchdown, so he was Iverson to Moore's Tyronn Lue.
The Tip: Part II pic.twitter.com/Kd1OAMFfjI— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 2, 2018
Moore got a more desirable role the next week against San Francisco, when the receivers used Sherman's return to CenturyLink Field to re-enact his famous tip against the 49ers. It was a tribute, not a troll job. After Brown scored the first of four touchdowns by Seattle's receivers in a blowout win, Baldwin played his good friend Sherman, tipping the ball to Moore just like Sherman tipped it to Malcolm Smith in the same side of the same end zone in the NFC Championship Game five years earlier.
The Macarena came later in the afternoon.
"As much as we keep on scoring at receiver, we've gotta figure out some more," Lockett said postgame while wearing a black Iverson Sixers jersey. Moore was supposed to wear one too, but his mom couldn't send it from home in time, according to Lockett.
The Seahawks had the Iverson celebration queued up in Week 10 against the Rams in Los Angeles. But after Lockett scored the seventh of his team-high nine TDs, he went rogue and handed the ball to boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was standing nearby in one of the Coliseum's end zone suites.
"We was ready to do it," Lockett said. "I just forgot about it."
Baldwin joked: "I just told him we're gonna fine his ass for that."
It's a wide receiver thing, but others are welcome.
The World Series was in full swing when the Seahawks played at Detroit in Week 8. That gave them the idea of a baseball brawl. It had Lockett firing a football at Baldwin from a windup, Baldwin charging the mound and Moore popping out of his umpire's stance to break things up only to get leveled by an overhand right from Wilson.
"I came out of the bullpen for that one," said Wilson, who has taken part in spring training with the Rangers and Yankees.
Surfing into Blue Friday like 🏄.. pic.twitter.com/U1dcidRRmP— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) November 16, 2018
The idea for the "Swag Surfin'" celebration in Week 11 against Green Bay came from tight end Nick Vannett.
"Whenever the defense is out there and the scout O is out in practice, we're always back, and they're always trying to rehearse different celebrations, trying to figure out what they want to do for the game," Vannett said. "Sometimes I go over there and just kinda see what they have up their sleeve. I'll throw out some suggestions out there. I just kinda threw that out there, and they liked it, so that's why they made me a part of it this week."
The receivers enlisted Vannett's help for their re-enactment of the "I da pappy" scene from the 1999 comedy "Life" starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. After one of their four touchdowns in the first 49ers game, Vannett went down the row of receivers, holding the football next to each of their faces as if it were a newborn baby and one of them was the father.
"We needed a white guy," Baldwin said. "He was the closest one there."
Statistically speaking, no receiver corps has been more efficient this season than Seattle's. It has been racking up all those touchdowns despite only 202 targets, the fewest of any team's receivers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. For context, Pittsburgh's wideouts have scored 21 touchdowns on a league-high 383 targets. The Seahawks' receivers have the league's lowest drop rate at a hair over 1 percent. Lockett ranks third among receivers, with receptions on 83.6 percent of his targets, while Baldwin is 13th, at 73.2 percent.
It appears that the Seahawks' receivers are leading the league in fun, too.
"I like that I have teammates that are a lot of fun to play with and that we spend a lot of quality time off the field with, so our chemistry, our rapport, our relationships have been built off something greater than just football," Baldwin said. "So when we go out there, we're going to have fun together. That's what we do. We have fun together."