Here are five things learned during the Seahawks' first week of OTAs.

Share story

The Seahawks return to the field Monday for their second and final week of OTAs (Organized Team Activities).

That workout is closed to the media, but two of the three other OTAs this week will be open — Tuesday and Friday.

What meaning OTAs have comes largely from the fact that they represent the first chance for the entire team to work on the field as once since the end of the previous season. In previous phases of the offseason program players could work only as offensive or defensive units or in position groups. Still, players are not in pads (helmets are worn but otherwise just jerseys, shorts, sweats, etc.) and there is no contact, making overall assessments challenging.

But we were able to learn a few things last week.

Here are five that stood out:

1, The Seahawks aren’t signing Colin Kaepernick, for now and maybe forever.

Coach Pete Carroll talked at length after Friday’s practice about the team deciding for now to stick with its current trio of QBs — Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps — and not bring in Kaepernick. The key quote seemed to be Carroll saying that Kaepernick is a starter and that the Seahawks already have a starter. Exactly what that meant, though, was open to a little interpretation.

Did that mean Kaepernick didn’t want to settle yet for a backup role and backup money, meaning probably not much more than the veteran minimum (in his case, $775,000)?

Or as Pro Football Talk speculated Monday, did that mean the Seahawks didn’t want to bring in a player who could legitimately compete with Wilson, referencing the ESPN article of two weeks and stating that if its thesis that there is a “belief (among players) that the Seahawks don’t hold Wilson accountable is accurate, the Seahawks have every reason to resist adding a player behind whom certain players could rally.’’

PFT stated that money is not a factor. Carroll wouldn’t say what the Seahawks have offered, but also didn’t indicate that was a specific reason no deal had been reached (which the team sometimes does).

As is often the case, there could be bits of truth in everything.

Whatever the reasons, for now Kaepernick won’t be a Seahawk. And while Carroll left the door somewhat open, it seems more likely at this point the Seahawks will either just keep the three QBs they have or look elsewhere (such as Austin Davis, who has also visited) if they decide to add a veteran backup.

2, The Seahawks predictably downplayed the ESPN article.

The other big story Friday was the first significant reaction by Carroll and QB Russell Wilson to the aforementioned ESPN article.

As would be expected, both denied anything is seriously amiss in the Seahawks’ locker room.

Wilson, though, made a somewhat interesting, if subtle, point in noting that the Seahawks have continued to win the past few years, which proves the locker room is just fine.

In other words, he wasn’t necessarily denying there have been issues, just that they haven’t mattered enough to impact the team’s play on the field.

That’s ultimately the key question here — does any locker room unrest during the week affect the team’s play on Sunday?

The Seahawks are saying it hasn’t in the past — injuries to the likes of Earl Thomas and Wilson and others are why the team faded down the stretch last year, in their eyes — and won’t in the future.

Not that that storyline will go away quite that easily, if nothing else only adding to the drama.

3, Speaking of injuries, the news appears better than it might have been.

Again, it’s worth stressing there is no contact and no full pads in OTAs, so it’s hardly like real football.

Still, some of the key players coming off significant injuries appear to be doing more than the team might have thought, notably Thomas, of whom Carroll said Friday will undoubtedly be ready for the start of the 2017 season. The team also sounds increasingly optimistic about the readiness of offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, who is coming off ACL surgery last October.

And so far, there have been no real surprise injuries to key players, either.

4, Germain Ifedi is indeed working at right tackle.

It won’t be until training camp for the makeup of the offensive line to truly be revealed. The real key figures to be where the team sees Joeckel fitting best — left guard or left tackle? With Joeckel still limited, even if getting some significant work in walkthroughs, that likely won’t be really settled until August.

But one move the team had said it would make has been made — moving Ifedi, last year’s first-round pick, from right guard to right tackle.

Carroll said Ifedi appears to be making a smooth return to the spot he played much of his college career at Texas A&M. A real judgment has to wait until pads go on. But for now, the move of Ifedi to RT brings the potential alignment of the line in to clearer focus.

5, Carroll is really fired up about the overall talent level of the team.

Maybe lost on Friday in the news on Kaepernick and reaction to the ESPN article was Carroll’s overall assessment of the team’s current 90-man roster.

“I think this should be the most competitive camp we’ve had, depth wise, and that’s just attributed to what happened in the draft, guys coming back off of injuries and the guys we’ve been able to acquire,” Carroll said. “It should be a really hard-nosed, tough camp for us.”

This is the time of year, of course, when optimism reigns and everybody’s draft class looks flawless. October will give us a truer reckoning.

But Carroll at least gave us a good quote to circle back to down the road.