OTAs are just the beginning of a long, grueling football season for the Seattle Seahawks. Obviously there is a lot of time between now and the beginning of the season. However, the time will fly by quickly.
The work starts now.
Some players are going to get their work in, but not necessarily stand out at OTAs. Others are fighting for jobs, and OTAs represent a sort of extended tryout since many roster spots are still not determined.
There are those players who will stand out because they are fighting for their football lives. Others will stand out because they are really starting to understand the game or because they are determined to be a leader on the team.
Regardless of why specific players stand out, Here are some of the latest player reports and analysis from the Seattle Seahawks’ OTAs.
K.J. Wright has quickly developed into a dynamic part of a Seattle defense that has built quite a reputation around the NFL. To be an aggressive defense, you need fast and physical linebackers who can provide support against the run but also guard against passes in the middle of the field.
You expect Wright to be an impact player, but according to Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com, he is apparently making plays at OTAs that are causing people to wonder how much higher this player can go. That is good news for a Seahawks team that is arguably still built on the play of its dominant defense.
Wright and Bobby Wagner could quickly turn into the best linebacker tandem in the NFL. Per Farnsworth, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was quoted as saying, "On top of the physical skills, K.J. is totally in tune mentally."
The NFL is certainly a game of physical prowess, but players also need to be smart. It sounds like Wright will continue to provide in both areas for the ‘Hawks this season.
The Seahawks traded for Percy Harvin because they wanted another dynamic playmaker and weapon for quarterback Russell Wilson. According to a report by Farnsworth, Harvin is not taking his position for granted:
On one play, Harvin put a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moves on Byron Maxwell that left the third-year cornerback shaking his head. On another snap, Harvin simply blew past Jeron Johnson, prompting a what-was-that smile from the third-year strong safety.
Seattle knew what it was getting when the team traded away a first-round pick for the electric receiver. The only questions will be how fast Harvin can get comfortable with Russell Wilson and whether he can stay healthy and productive.
Harvin represents a potentially exciting part of the offense this year. He is impressing early, and fans can only hope he is equally impressive in January.
Beast Mode is making news at OTAs because...wait for it...he isn’t there.
"'This is voluntary. That’s what the rules and guidelines are all set up to be,' head coach Pete Carroll said after Monday’s workout. 'We miss him and we’d like him to be here. This is a lot of fun and there is a lot of good stuff happening here.'"
Obviously, Marshawn Lynch is a key part of the Seattle offense, which is why Carroll and the team want him there. Are some of the OTAs optional? Technically, yes. However, just about everyone shows up anyway.
This is one of those situations where you can have a mix of opinions. Some are going to argue that he should be there to support the team, build camaraderie and prepare for a season where the team has high hopes of a winning a Super Bowl.
Others are going to side with Lynch and not worry about a guy who obviously works and stays in shape. Some fans won’t care that he skips OTAs, as long as he is ready to go in the summer.
The first major injury of the season belongs to Anthony McCoy, as Seattle probably lost one of it’s tight ends for at least six months, according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for a torn Achilles tendon to heal.
McCoy is not the prime target at tight end, but he is a veteran presence and he will need to be replaced.
This means that McCoy is briefly big news, but the bigger focus will be on the players who could possibly replace him. There are second-year players like Sean McGrath and Cooper Helfet. Then there is fifth-round pick Luke Willson, who may turn out to be a key contributor.
Add in Darren Fells (the basketball player) and Victor Marshall (rookie minicamp signee) and you have an interesting mix of players. It is perhaps fair to suggest that this could be one of the more interesting battles of the spring and summer.
The Seattle Seahawks as a entire squad are making news during OTAs because apparently they are the “smartest” team in the NFL. This is according to Cold, Hard Football Facts.com, which scored the ‘Hawks high on its particular metrics.
It isn’t just because Richard Sherman went to Stanford.
According to the site, the Seahawks scored high on “Bendability” and “Scoreability,” which in general terms measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the team on offense and defense. The implication is that teams scoring high in these metrics are well-coached and essentially smarter than other franchises.
This is certainly a positive metric for a team that is just getting started with OTAs, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are very early in the season. There are high expectations for this team, but key players will need to stay healthy and ultimately the Seahawks will need to perform once the season begins.
OTAs are just the beginning. There are many more stories to come.