RENTON – Center Max Unger turned to one of the officials and barked at him for missing an offsides call. Linebacker Bobby Wagner turned to the same official and mocked Unger by pretending to wipe away tears.
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett jawed with the offensive line, and cornerback Richard Sherman yelled at the quarterback.
All of that happened not during a game but during Tuesday’s Organized Team Activity (OTA), the official term for non-mandatory offseason practices. The Seahawks will attempt to defend their Super Bowl title this season, and the session showed they will do so trying to replicate the formula that got them there a year ago: an aggressive defense, opportune offense and competitive atmosphere that includes Seahawk-on-Seahawk trash talk.
In fact, receiver Percy Harvin said to really get a feel for the intensity of the first day of OTAs, you had to go inside the locker room.
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“As soon as we stepped in the building there were a couple of defensive backs — Richard Sherman and a few others — who walked up to Russell Wilson and told him they weren’t going to have it,” Harvin said. “We hadn’t been in the building for more than 20 minutes, and after we came out of the meetings, Russell came out and started chirping back at them. That’s what makes this place fun.”
When asked if such tactics are attempts at intimidation, safety Earl Thomas said no.
“That’s just who we are,” he said. “I think we always attack first. We really don’t wait. I think we just try to keep the pressure on people.”
That will be one of the Seahawks’ greatest challenges this season: To keep the same intensity, the same pressure, on themselves after reaching their goal. A team hasn’t repeated as Super Bowl champions since the Patriots did it in the mid-2000s.
At one point last year, when a visiting reporter from a national outlet asked about Seattle’s aggressive style, Thomas said to really understand it the reporter had to come watch practice. If he saw how fast and intense practices were, he’d understand why it carried over to games.
On the first day of OTAs, still months away from the season, it was clear the Seahawks are trying to maintain that competitiveness.
“I know a lot of the guys, Richard Sherman and those guys, are looking to come and show you why they got what they got,” Harvin said. “Those guys have been locked jaw and they have been ready to go. So I feel this team should be even better.”
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