Pete Carroll was smiling as he walked off the practice field.
And why not? Thursday delivered another gorgeous day along the shores of Lake Washington, and the Seahawks’ coach had just watched his defensive and offensive players go through crisp workouts – the final on-field sessions in Phase 2 of the team’s offseason program.
Phase 2 ends Friday, when the players will have meetings and a team run. They’ll return Monday to begin Phase 3, which will feature 10 OTAs (organized team activities) over a three-week period and conclude with a mandatory minicamp June 11-13.
BRING ON PHASE 3
Dates to remember as the Seahawks move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 in their offseason program:
May 20: The first of 10 OTA sessions, where the offense and defense are allowed to practice against each other
May 21 and 23: OTA sessions to complete Week 1 of Phase 3
May 28, 29 and 31: OTA sessions in Week 2 of Phase 3
June 3-6: Final four OTA sessions in Phase 3
June 11-13: Mandatory minicamp
June 14: Veteran break begins
June 17-18, 20-21, 24-26: Rookie workouts
If Thursday’s “against air” efforts were any indication, the players not only are ready for their initial offense vs. defense drills, they’re prepared.
“It’s been great,” Carroll said. “It’s been just first class the whole way, as far as the effort and the attention to detail. The work ethic has been great.”
So bring on Phase 3?
“We’re prepared for OTAs. We’re ready to go,” Carroll said. “I don’t have any issue at all with what we needed to accomplish to get ready to go out next week. We’ll function beautifully, I think, in OTAs. And that’s what we wanted, to take each one of these phases and be great at it. So far, we’ve been able to do just that.”
The Phase 2 workouts this week were different from those of the previous two weeks because the rookie class was allowed to participate – the 11 players selected in last month’s NFL Draft; seven players who were signed as free agents after the draft; and tight end
“The rookies have fit in real well at this point,” Carroll said. “Now it will be a lot harder for them when they’re going against people, but it’s been good so far.”
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell referred to the on-field work during Phase 2 as “almost football.” Phase 3 is the next step – “almost football-plus,” if you will – in preparing for the opening of training camp in late July, the four preseason games in August and, of course, the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Panthers in Carolina.
“It’s looking good,” Carroll said. “And that’s all we can ask.”