RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seahawks have become notorious for the way they practice, from the music thumping throughout the workouts to the fast-paced intensity of players bouncing between drills.
Turns out, though, the Seahawks went a little too hard last offseason. And they’re about to pay for it during the team’s mandatory minicamp this week.
While all NFL teams are allowed three days of on-field work during mandatory minicamps this time of year, the Seahawks will be on the field for just one day later this week. The loss of two days was a punishment by the NFL for excessive physical contact last offseason.
There was no specific event that led to this, although a fight between All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and then-Seattle wide receiver Phil Bates was caught by television cameras and became must-see on every network. After the punishment was announced last summer, head coach Pete Carroll confirmed that fight helped prompt the increased focus by the league that led to the penalties.
“We want to do things right. I’d like to show exactly how to do it,” Carroll said last season after the penalties were announced. “When you’re competing like we do, we’re trying to do things the best you can possibly do it. Unfortunately, this incident makes it look otherwise.”
When Seattle gathers to start minicamp on Tuesday, players will be getting paid for all three days. They’ll be able to take part in meetings and be required to be at the facility for the first two days. But it won’t be until Thursday that they’ll be allowed on the field for one 2 ½-hour practice, their final gathering until the start of training camp.
“I think any time you don’t get to practice you probably lose something,” Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “But at the same time, you all see how we work and we get a lot more done than most.”
Seattle made changes to how it went through organized team activities this offseason, with the help of the NFL, in an effort to avoid any future sanctions. The Seahawks went as far as to have Jon Ferrari, the NFL’s manager of labor operations in the management council department, visit the team headquarters to meet with the coaching staff prior to the start of OTAs and go over instructional film to make sure the team was in compliance.
This year, the Seahawks would start the OTA sessions in helmets but typically ditch the lids for baseball caps early in the workouts. Practices were still high-tempo, but the drills themselves had a more deliberate pace to make sure there was no excessive contact.
“We want to do this exactly the way it’s supposed to be done,” Carroll said. “You know, 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.”