The Seahawks' organized team activities starting Monday are the third phase of the team's official offseason training program and last for the next three weeks.
The off-season for the Seahawks shifts to a slightly higher gear Monday when Seattle begins what the NFL gloriously terms Organized Team Activities (or OTAs).
OTAs are the third phase of the official offseason training program and lasts for the next three weeks.
In OTAs teams can conduct 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills, though no live contact is permitted. The last few weeks the Seahawks have also been on the field but have only been permitted to do individual drills, or team drills on a “separates’’ basis (meaning, the offense could work together as a unit but could not go against the defense).
Seattle’s first OTA is Monday, and the Seahawks are scheduled for a total of nine, concluding on June 9.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Russell Wilson's cooking days are over, as long as Pete Carroll remains the Seahawks' coach
- The 2022 PGA Championship will no longer be played at Trump National Golf Club. Could it come to Sahalee Country Club instead?
- How Marshawn Lynch's 'Beast Quake,' which just turned 10, helped prepare scientists for actual earthquakes WATCH
- Report: Seahawks speak with ex-Chargers coach Anthony Lynn about offensive-coordinator job
- Seahawks free agent Josh Gordon returns to suspended list, and his NFL future seems cloudier than ever
Three of the OTAs will be open to the media, the first one on Thursday.
Here’s a look at five things we’ll be keeping an eye on when we get a chance to see the Seahawks work out as one again this week.
1. The injuries: The Seahawks appear to be in good shape, with no surprise injuries anticipated (though I guess if we knew ahead of time if there were going to be surprises, they wouldn’t be surprises would they?). In general, the Seahawks are healthier at this time this year than they were last season, when each member of the Legion of Boom was recovering from an injury.
Seattle has two particularly significant injury issues worth watching this offseason – running back Thomas Rawls (broken ankle suffered Dec.13) and tight end Jimmy Graham (torn patellar tendon suffered Nov. 29). Both are said to be recovering well, and neither is expected to participate fully — if at all — at this point (Graham, in particular). But OTAs will at least allow for another progress report on their status. Another player coming off injury is receiver Paul Richardson, who is said to be fully recovered from the hamstring injury that sidelined him after one game following his return from a knee injury. Another young vet coming off an injury is cornerback Tharold Simon, for whom this season looms pivotal.
2. The backup QB situation: Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle’s backup the past three seasons, remains unsigned and is a free agent. It’s thought Seattle’s offer to him remains standing, and it’s worth remembering that Jackson was also unsigned at this time last year and missed OTAs before re-signing in early June.
But unlike last year, when Seattle’s only other full-time QB on the roster at this point aside from Russell Wilson was R.J. Archer (with B.J. Daniels transitioning to receiver), the Seahawks this year have rookie Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps behind Wilson. Boykin looms as particularly intriguing after signing a contract that included a $15,000 bonus, on the high side for undrafted free agents. If Boykin plays well in the OTAs, the Seahawks could feel more comfortable with the idea of moving on from Jackson.
3. The offensive line: This will be our first look at the new-look offensive line, with Garry Gilliam at left tackle, Mark Glowinski and rookie Rees Odhiambo at left guard, Justin Britt and Patrick Lewis at center, Germain Ifedi at right guard and free-agent signee J’Marcus Webb at right tackle. The non-contact nature of OTAs means only so much can be learned about the progress of the line. But from a media/fan standpoint it will be interesting to see the rotations, and from the team’s standpoint these are obviously important weeks for the new pieces and old players in new roles to continue to get work as a group.
4. The rookies: The buzz continues to grow about Seattle’s 2016 draft class, which debuted at the rookie minicamp two weeks ago, with players then taking part in the workouts the past two weeks. The general feeling is that this could be Seattle’s best rookie class since 2012 (a group that with Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, among others, will be hard to top for both immediate and lasting impact). Though coaches have been getting a good look at the rookies the past few weeks, they’ll get their best look yet over the next three weeks, the first time they’ll get to see the rookies in 11-on-11 action against veterans. Again, there’s no contact, which especially for the linemen means assessments have to be tempered somewhat. But in terms of how quickly the rookies are picking up the playbook and fitting in athletically, a lot can be learned the next few weeks.
5. The surprises: There tends to always be someone off the radar who emerges during OTAs to at least put themselves in a better position entering training camp. Last year, it was defensive end Ryan Robinson, who took advantage of the absence of Bruce Irvin to spend significant time working with the No. 1 defense as a rush end in passing downs. But Robinson suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury and was lost for the season, before he got a chance to take his OTA momentum into training camp (which serves as a reminder that Robinson will be one to watch to see where he might fit in this year). One player who might fit that bill this season? How about second-year defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, who was on and off the practice squad the past two months of last season as a rookie, then signed to a futures contract once the season ended and seemed to be pretty active during the rookie minicamp (and recall that the defensive line could look a little different during OTAs with Michael Bennett not expected to be around).