Seahawks begin abbreviated minicamp after 2014 violations
Tuesday marks the start of a three-day minicamp that is mandatory for the Seahawks’ veteran players. It’ll be a scaled-back version of what several other NFL teams are holding, however, the result of discipline handed to Seattle last summer for what was deemed a violation of rules governing physical contact during offseason workouts.
In August, the league fined the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll individually while also docking the team two of the three days it would have otherwise been allowed to hold on-field practices.
There were likely multiple instances that the NFL took into account when it determined that Seattle had violated offseason contact rules, but one incident in particular caught the league’s attention: a minicamp scuffle between cornerback Richard Sherman and wide receiver Phil Bates, who has since moved on. Carroll pointed to that incident while discussing the punishment after it was announced.
So whereas other teams are permitted three days of on-field work during their minicamps, the Seahawks will only have a single 1-hour, 45-minute practice on Thursday. Players are still required to be at team headquarters Tuesday and Wednesday and will still be paid for the forfeited practices.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable was asked last week if Seattle loses anything by not being allowed to practice for the first two days.
“I think any time you don’t get to practice, you probably lose something,” he said. “But you all see how we work and we get a lot more done than most.”
The Seahawks have actually changed the way they work to some degree, at least during OTAs. During the three sessions that were open to the media, players wore helmets during the individual and positional drills then took them off for the 11-on-11 portion of practice. Carroll said after the first OTA in May that the team “made a big effort” to make sure it remained in compliance with the contact rules, even bringing in a member of the league office to make sure Seattle’s coaches fully understood what was allowable.
“I thought we did a great job today and we’re off to a great start. That’s just one day, but we want to do this exactly the way it’s supposed to be done,” Carroll said. “We push sometimes and we practice so hard here that we missed the tempo a couple times so I’m glad that we’ve got off to that kind of start. Guys have really took to the lessons of it.”