Phase 3 of the Seahawks’ offseason program kicked off this morning, and looked a lot like the workouts in Phase 2: Offense on one end of the indoor practice field at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, defense on the other during the 45-minute session.
That will change on Tuesday, when the players will participate in the first of 10 OTA workouts. The session will be longer and, for the first time this offseason, veteran quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn will be working against a defense.
“It has taken a little time, but this is the point we’ve been building for – seeing the defense over there and competing against those guys and just trying to get better,” Jackson said.
The players will have three OTA sessions this week and three more next week, with the final four being conducted the following week. The only full-squad minicamp will take place June 12-14.
Today, the offense worked on its red-zone passing game, but with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell standing in the end zone and calling out the defensive alignment just prior to each snap. Talk about visualization.
“We’ve been trying to make the most of the opportunities that we have out here, with the rules dictating what we can do,” Bevell said. “So we’re real excited for tomorrow, to be able to get in OTA form and see them react to defenses and make the adjustments they’re supposed to make.”
As Bevell mentioned, this offseason has been an adjustment for everyone because of the guidelines in the new CBA that ended last year’s 136-day lockout. In Phase 1, the coaches couldn’t even be on the field with the players. Coaches were included in Phase 2, but not offense vs. defense drills.
So the emphasis for the coaches and players to this point has been on teaching.
“It’s been outstanding for teaching,” Bevell said. “We can make corrections and the pace is a little different. So there’s a lot of great teaching that’s going on in the classroom and then being able to take it out here.
“We’ll just add one more layer to it when we get to see them react against a defense.”
It will be especially beneficial for Flynn, who was added in free agency in March; and rookie QB Russell Wilson, who was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft on April 27. Wilson worked against a defense in the recent three-day minicamp, but it wasn’t the Seahawks’ unit that ranked ninth in the league last season and features three Pro Bowl players in the secondary.
But even Jackson, who learned Bevell’s offense when both were with the Vikings, has been making the most of this extended period that has been heavy on teaching.
“You can find different stuff that you can learn – like what everybody else is doing, the linemen’s calls and things like that,” Jackson said. “So even though I’ve been in the offense a long time, there’s always something to learn.”