Due to restrictions in place because of the novel coronavirus, the Seahawks this week began an offseason program unlike any other.
Instead of players gathering for meetings at the VMAC in Renton, the Seahawks are conducting their meetings the same way seemingly everyone else is in the world is, via video chat on Zoom.
“We are looking for all of the edges that we can find and the nuances that we can create that will make this a really special and unique time that will be meaningful,’’ coach Pete Carroll said last week of the challenge of handling meetings remotely.
Carroll on Thursday found a way to liven things up, calling in an old friend — Will Ferrell — to make a special appearance, as the team revealed Thursday night on its Twitter account.
But Ferrell wasn’t playing himself (and probably thankfully, he also wasn’t bearing a cowbell).
Instead, he played the part of veteran tight end Greg Olsen, a free agent signed in February who was getting his “official” introduction to the team.
Players caught on quickly, some heard laughing as Olsen/Ferrell began telling some of his new coaches and teammates what they could expect from their new player.
Showing he’d done his homework, Olsen/Ferrell told offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer he likes to draw up his own plays.
“So I’m going to be adding a lot to the playbook,” he said.
Olsen/Ferrell told special-teams coach Brian Schneider that “I don’t do special teams, ever,” even if the other 52 players are hurt.
He told well-coiffed tight end Luke Willson he should cut his hair.
Like any smart pass-catcher, he smartly told his quarterback how great he is.
And then, in what ranks as nowhere near the best unveiling of a shirt in a meeting of Seahawks coaches and players over the past few years (we’d put this one ahead of it), Olsen/Ferrell showed off the results of an offseason of nothing but yoga.
“Looks like it could use a little work,” Carroll said.
Ferrell is a USC alum, graduating with a degree in Sports Information in 1990 when he thought he might want to go into broadcasting, and has been tight with Carroll since Carroll’s days reviving the program there from 2001-09.
NFL teams are allowed to conduct virtual meetings and workouts with players four days a week, for no more than four hours a day, during what is officially Phase 1 of the workout program. This was the Seahawks’ first week of their three weeks of Phase 1 of the offseason program.
“It’s going to be different,” Carroll said.
A new way of doing things that on this day still felt a little Old School.