5 Things We Learned from Seattle Seahawks' OTAs
As of now, much of the roster is arguably set in terms of starters and key positions. However, winning in the NFL is about having quality depth, which means that every position is going to be scrutinized carefully.
There are still many position battles to be fought as the summer rolls on.
You could suggest that the real drama will start once training camp opens, but even during OTAs there are guys who are fighting for their jobs and their dreams of a career in the NFL. Unfortunately, this is also where injuries start to occur and teams must make key adjustments.
So long, Anthony McCoy. Best wishes.
There are lessons to be learned at every stage of the NFL process, and here are five things that we discovered from the Seattle Seahawks' OTAs.
An Intriguing Rookie Class
Rookies. How in the world do you evaluate how these players are going to perform once they hit the field in September?
Honestly, you don’t. These athletes have been scouted, scrutinized and analyzed. Throughout the summer they will be taught plays, slotted into schemes and drilled on the team philosophy. Soon it will time to see whether they are able to live up to their scouting reports.
Will there be more gems in this particular rookie class? Did Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider again find some hidden talent in the later rounds?
There are some interesting players in this rookie class. Running back Christine Michael could give the Seahawks yet another weapon on the ground. Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill could infuse some youthful energy into the defensive line. Luke Willson might pair with Zach Miller to be a great one-two punch at tight end. Chris Harper is an intriguing receiver that, if he can earn playing time, could be another physical pass-catcher for the ‘Hawks.
If only we could project how these players will do. For now, the OTAs have taught us that there are some intriguing rookies who could have an impact on this team.
Time will tell.
Beast Mode Is Better Late Than Never
Technically, OTAs are voluntary, so it wasn’t a big crisis that Marshawn Lynch did not show up right away. However, that word “voluntary” is sort of a funny idea. As much as OTAs are voluntary, just about everyone shows up anyway.
The good thing is that Lynch is not using OTAs as a means for negotiating a new contract.
Yes, Lynch finally arrived at OTAs, and he was photographed along with Doug Baldwin’s sweet socks:
There Is an Exciting New Talent in Town
Welcome to the party, Percy Harvin.
What did we learn at OTAs? Percy Harvin is really talented. Of course, we already knew that. What is different is that Harvin is now our really talented wide receiver.
Will Harvin be a game-changer? Will the Seahawks ride his immense talent right into the Super Bowl this season?
Fans can dream.
You expect people like Russell Wilson to say nice things about Harvin, but in this case it feels true (via cbssports.com):
He brings an explosive mentality to the game, which a lot of our guys already have. But to have him is truly tremendous. He's a guy that's been one of the best football players in the National Football League for the past several years.
If Harvin can stay healthy and focused, he could be the catalyst for success this year. Solid OTAs may be only the beginning.
The Veterans Are Setting the Tone
Do the Seahawks have a drug problem? Unfortunately, the suspension of Bruce Irvin was one of the negative stories during OTAs, and as ESPN Mike Sando reported, Irvin's incident is the latest in a troubling trend.
The veterans have had enough.
Kam Chancellor and other veterans are spreading the word and trying to get the team on the same page: “The vets, we put a meeting together to talk to the guys about not making the same mistakes over and over.”
Granted, this all sounds good, but fans and media members are going to reserve judgment until the Seahawks can get through a season without any drug suspensions. From OTAs, we learned that the Seahawks are saying the right things.
Now, actions need to match the words.
Some Interesting Position Battles Ahead
Again, many of the key starting positions are already filled for the Seahawks. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone’s job is safe.
Pete Carroll loves competition. It is fair to suggest that Carroll goes into training camp with a fairly open mind. He is willing to let guys fight it out, even when there is an “established” player in the mix.
OTAs left us with a number of questions. For example:
Will Tharold Simon win a job with the Seahawks? The same can be asked about Spencer Ware and Chris Harper.
Will Jordan Hill or Jesse Williams find their way into the starting rotation?
Who will fill Anthony McCoy’s role at tight end? Could Darren Fells actually make the team?
How will the Seahawks use Christine Michael?
Questions, questions and more questions. Stay tuned as the Seahawks seek to answer them in the summer.