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Offseason program moves into Phase 2
At first glance, Phase 2 of the Seahawks’ offseason program looked an awful lot like Phase 1.
The players ran through drills in the indoor practice facility at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Monday and then shifted to the weight room – just as they had the past two weeks.
But the sly grin that washed across Kam Chancellor’s face suggests that a closer look was needed.
“It was very different,” the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl strong safety said. “The tempo was up and it was more competitive.”
That’s because, unlike the eight sessions that comprised Phase 1, the coaches are allowed to work with the players during the three-week Phase 2 portion of the offseason program.
“This is Phase 2 right here,” Chancellor said. “It’s building blocks, and we’re building up.”
For coordinator Darrell Bevell and the other offensive assistant coaches, they got something Monday that they never had last offseason because of the 136-day lockout – meeting time to teach the offense to the players.
“This whole thing right now for us is teaching,” Bevell said. “That’s our main focus, to break it down as basic and as simple as we can.”
And yes, that includes going back to Square One in the play-action passing game Bevell brought with him last year from the Minnesota Vikings and the zone-blocking running game that assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable brought with him last year from the Oakland Raiders.
It might be repetitive for Tarvaris Jackson, the incumbent starter at quarterback who also played under Bevell with the Vikings; and Zach Miller, the Pro Bowl tight end who followed Cable from Oakland to Seattle and also was signed in free agency last year. But the extra attention will be beneficial to the new players – especially Matt Flynn, the former backup QB for the Green Bay Packers who was signed in free agency to compete with Jackson for the starting job.
“Last year, it was all done on the fly,” Bevell said, referring to the lockout ending and training camp beginning in the same week. “So we’re doing tons and tons of teaching, to make sure that we’re getting it installed the way we want.
“We can talk them through our drills. We can talk them through each and every play. All the techniques we’re looking for. So today was great.”
It was a similar situation for the defensive players, who were on the field and in the weight room while the offensive players were meeting.
“This gave us a chance to see the guys that were banged up at the end of the year,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “Just see their skills, to see where they’re at as far as coming back from those injuries.
“We’re also continuing to see great attitude and work ethic in all the drills.”
Still, drills are drills.
“We’re getting closer to football,” Bradley said with a smile. “We’re still a ways away, but it’s getting closer.”
That football phase – Phase 3 – begins May 21 when the OTA sessions begin as the team moves toward its only mandatory minicamp of the offseason in mid-June.
But for the next two weeks, the players and coaches will make the most of what is allowed during Phase 2 under the new CBA.
“It was good. It felt good,” Chancellor said. “And we needed it.”