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Seattle Seahawks

It’s been a long offseason for every team. Most are now done.

The Seahawks, like the Broncos, are done a day early, ending things after Wednesday’s practice by canceling Thursday’s scheduled minicamp session.

Seattle now is on a six-week break, getting an extra day of vacation as a reward from coach Mike Macdonald for their hard work.

Couldn’t be happier with the effort,” Macdonald told reporters, via Corbin Smith of “That’s what I was just telling them. The effort, the intent, the energy, the attitude, all of the things we’re asking them to do, they responded every day, and I’m just really excited about where we’re at. We’ve been going at it . We had the extra week [teams get for having a new head coach], so I felt like it was an opportunity to get out of here healthy and have a great offseason.”

The Seahawks canceled their final organized team activity last week to attend a team event. The team visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a major Army installation located near Lakewood, Washington.

Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf had played for only one head coach during his NFL career until this offseason, when Pete Carroll was fired and replaced by Mike Macdonald.

Metcalf says he’s happy playing for Macdonald, but he misses Carroll, and was disappointed to see the Seahawks fire him.

I love Pete,” Metcalf said, via the News-Tribune. “He’s the one. He’s the reason that I’m standing right here in front of y’all, along with John [Schneider]. He was a great coach for me. Can’t dismiss what he did for me and this organization, you know, before I got here and when I got here. He’s a great coach, a Hall of Fame-caliber coach, in my opinion. But, just sad to see somebody lose their job like that.”

Metcalf continues to talk to Carroll.

“I’ve had conversations with him since then. He’s doing good,” Metcalf said. “That’s all I can do, is keep in contact with him, because he gave me an opportunity to play in this league.”

This year represents a big change for the many Seahawks veterans who have never played for anyone but Carroll.

Two of the NFL’s first-year head coaches will prepare for their debut seasons by practicing with each other.

The Seahawks and Titans announced that they will hold joint practices ahead of a preseason game in Nashville this summer. The teams will work out together on August 14 and 15 before playing on August 17.

It is the 12th time that the Titans have hosted joint practices since 1999, but the first time that head coach Brian Callahan will be running the team for the sessions. He’ll be joined by fellow neophyte Mike Macdonald, who is succeeding Pete Carroll as the head coach in Seattle.

The Seahawks also visited the Titans in Week 16 last year and got a 20-17 win over a Ryan Tannehill-led Titans offense.

The Seahawks have gone through the offseason with only two quarterbacks on their roster, but they’re bringing in a third passer before their mandatory minicamp.

Quarterback P.J. Walker officially signed with the Seahawks today, putting him on the roster for minicamp this week.

Teams typically have at least three quarterbacks on the roster at this time of year, as it’s hard to conduct practice sessions for all their wide receivers, tight ends and running backs if they don’t have at least three quarterbacks. Geno Smith is the Seahawks’ starter, Sam Howell is their backup, and now Walker is No. 3.

To make room on the 90-player roster, the Seahawks cut nose tackle Buddha Jones, who goes on waivers with an injured designation.

Walker started two games for the Browns last year but did not play well, throwing one touchdown pass and five interceptions and completing just 48.6 percent of his passes.

The Seahawks will wrap up their offseason work with a minicamp this week and they will also be taking a look at a potential addition to their offense.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that wide receiver Robbie Chosen will be taking part in their minicamp on a tryout basis. The minicamp begins on Tuesday and runs through Thursday.

Chosen bounced between the active roster and the practice squad with the Dolphins last season. He appeared in nine games and caught four passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. He split the 2022 season between the Panthers and Cardinals and also played for the Jets earlier in his career.

DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxson Smith-Njigba are the top three wideouts in Seattle. Jake Bobo, Laviska Shenault, Dee Eskridge and Dareke Young are among the wideouts vying for roles behind them.

The Seahawks are adding a quarterback to the roster ahead of next week’s mandatory minicamp.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that they will sign P.J. Walker to their 90-man roster. Geno Smith and Sam Howell are the only quarterbacks currently under contract in Seattle and Walker’s signing suggests they want to, at the very least, spread out the workload next week.

Walker appeared in six games and made two starts for the Browns last season. Walker’s starts came in place of Deshaun Watson around the middle of the season, but the Browns ultimately opted to go with Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Joe Flacco once Watson’s season came to an end.

Walker also made seven starts for the Panthers over the previous three seasons, so he brings some experience to the back end of the depth chart.

Ryan Grubb is in his first year as an NFL offensive coordinator and his success in his Seahawks debut will have a lot to do with quarterback Geno Smith.

Smith will be under center and running the offense that Grubb has been installing over the last couple of months. Grubb said on Monday that the team is “right on schedule” in terms of that installation and that he has found Smith to be an ideal fit for what the team wants to do with the ball.

Smith shared similar views last month when he said “a drop-back passer” like himself is a natural to run Grubb’s offense, but the coordinator thinks things run even deeper than that.

“I think that there is a really good marriage there where some of the skill set that Geno has. I think that we ask our quarterbacks to do a lot,” Grubb said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “Luckily for us Geno is really athletic, as well. I think for us we don’t have to limit it to just drop back. I think he is really good in the play-action game as well, which will be a big part of our offense. I think for us it’s not just five-step all the time. But I do think Geno is really good at getting the ball out on time and very efficient with the football, which he obviously showed in ’22 when he led the league in completion percentage.”

Smith wasn’t quite as sharp last season, which contributed to the Seahawks falling short of the playoffs in a finish that helped spur the offseason coaching changes. A quick transition to the new offense will be vital to hopes of a better finish in 2024.

Seahawks special teams coach Jay Harbaugh was going to have an adjustment to the NFL after spending the past nine seasons at
the University of Michigan. The good news is: The rest of the NFL’s special teams coordinators also have a big adjustment.

The NFL overhauled its kickoff rules this offseason, which should make for more excitement in the return game.

“It’s totally new for everybody, and it’s just cool to see the different ideas people have and being able to take what we know from the old world of kickoff and kick return, and see what’s still true and what’s not true,” Harbaugh said Monday, via a team transcript. “It’s just a fun process as you go, just trying different things and realizing, ‘Hey, this might not be what we thought.’ It’s organized trial and error.”

Some experimentation will take place in the preseason, but it seems likely that the trail and error will continue into the regular season. Harbaugh expects special teams coaches to study each other. It is, after all, a copy-cat league.

“What works; what doesn’t work,” Harbaugh said. “So, I think you’ll see probably for five, six, seven eight weeks, pretty rapid changes. And anyone that has an advantage early will probably be able to keep that advantage for a little while until people catch up.”

Harbaugh expects to use two returners, because of the difficulty of one returner covering the entire landing zone.

There are a lot of differences from the traditional kickoff, but not everything is different.

“One of the things we’ve talked about in this building is, instead of focusing on what’s different, let’s focus on what’s stayed the same,” Harbaugh said. “The block destruction, the awareness of how far am I from the ball, what decisions should I make as a coverage guy? The same fundamentals in the return game of great feet, great hand placement, great eyes, leverage, all those things are still true. So it’s easy to get carried away with what’s different, but we think you’ll be able to make a lot of hay just understanding and banking on the things that have stayed the same.”

Seahawks quarterback Sam Howell is taking a back seat, for now, to starter Geno Smith, despite starting seventeen games for Washington in 2023.

In a recent press conference, Howell addressed his new status, where he’s expected to be the backup.

If he’s definitely going to be the backup, he hasn’t been told that. He hasn’t been told, as he tells it, much of anything.

“Honestly, not much,” Howell said in response to the question of what he has been told about his role. “They just tell me to keep working and just keep trying to get better every single day and I’m taking it one day at a time and I really don’t worry too much about the future or what plans they might have for me just because nobody really knows. I think you just got to take it one day at a time and do the best you can and see what happens.”

Whatever his role, he’s happy with the Seattle offense.

“It’s definitely a quarterback-friendly offense, and Eric Bieniemy’s offense was kind of similar in that way that it was a quarterback-friendly offense and both of those guys like to throw the ball a lot, so it’s definitely a lot of fun to play in,” Howell said regarding the Ryan Grubb attack.

What makes it quarterback-friendly?

“I think just how aggressive he is and just how much he wants to push the ball down the field, and that’s kind of similar to what I’ve done in the past and it’s definitely the offense that I feel like I want to play in,” Howell said.

Whatever his role, he’s happy in Seattle.

“Once I got the idea that me being traded was a possibility, Seattle was one of those places that I wanted to come be a part of,” Howell said. “I’m just super-excited to be here and I think Coach Mike [Macdonald has] done a great job of starting to build this thing, so this is definitely one of those places that even coming out of the draft I wanted to come to. I just love being in this city. I love being a part of this team and I’m just excited to get to work.”

He hadn’t been there before last year’s game, which the Commanders nearly won.

“I remember we should have won, but it was a good battle,” Howell said. “I just remember we got the ball down seven in the fourth quarter and I’ve never heard a stadium that loud. I think we might’ve had to use two timeouts on that drive just because it was hard for us to communicate. So it’ll definitely be fun to be on the other side of that. But yeah, just a cool experience playing here in Seattle. Obviously, as a kid, this is one of those places where you want to come and play and the atmosphere was awesome. So, it’ll be fun to experience that a lot this year.”

It’ll be even more fun if he ends up playing. Which remains very possible. Yes, Geno has been the starter for two years. But with a new coaching staff in place, the Seahawks presumably will make decisions based on who they think will give the team the best chance to win — like they did in 2012 when a rookie third-round pick ended up starting over the guy who got an eight-figure guarantee in free agency.

The Seahawks have been installing their new defense at OTAs without having linebacker Jerome Baker on the field.

Baker had wrist surgery before he signed with the team in March and head coach Mike Macdonald said on Thursday that Baker also has “lower body stuff he’s working through” this spring. As a result, the team doesn’t expect to have him on the field until they get to training camp.

“He’s working through some things right now,” Macdonald said, via the team’s website. “We probably won’t see him until training camp. He’s going to be fine, but right now we won’t see him out in OTAs.”

Macdonald said the team is “trying to be creative in the building to make sure” Baker gets all that he can out of the offseason program despite the lack of time on the field and will be “ready to roll” for his first season in Seattle.