The Seattle Seahawks began their virtual offseason program last week; however, all in-person on-field workouts remain canceled until the 32 team facilities can be opened again.
Coach Pete Carroll said this while he has some NFL scheduling concerns due the coronavirus pandemic, his team is moving forward with the offseason training program, at least remotely for now.
“The process is under way,” Carroll told reporters following the NFL Draft. “We are just going to keep thinking it’s happening and keep our head down about that and find out more later.”
“Nobody knows what’s going to happen, really, so we’ll just wait and see. But meanwhile, we’re going for it.”
There’s a very real possibility that the players won’t get an opportunity to suit up and take the field for offseason workouts. They could return to the Seahawks practice facility in late July, approximately six weeks before the start of the NFL season. But even that timeline isn’t guaranteed.
Carroll says his players need around a month and a half of camp to properly prepare and be ready for the grind of the NFL season, which is still penciled to begin on September 10.
“That’s going to be a very big issue,” Carroll said. “I know that our guys need 6 weeks of work to get rolling, and that’s what the league has always allowed us. A couple weeks, then 4 games, it takes a full 5-6 weeks in camp."
Without an intense offseason, with competition and guys working against each other and all of that, I don’t know. We’re going to have to just figure it out. We won’t know until after we see the results of what happens. Maybe we’ll start to see things happen, I don’t know. -- Pete Carroll
He also expressed concerns about his players getting enough practice time to adequately prepare for the rigorous NFL season.
“There is a certain level of competition and stress you need to be under, to get your body to adapt and be ready for the kind of level of play that the league demands. I don’t know how that’s going to go,” Carroll said. “I do think it takes you 5-6 weeks anyway. And that’s coming off weeks and weeks of an entire offseason. It’s one of my greatest fears in this whole format of the NFL, how it sets up, is the six weeks that players take off before we start camp."
It’s frightening to me to think that guys go off on their own and we can’t help them stay fit as they prepare for this most rigorous of events, going through a football season. I’m hoping it’s not going to be let’s get two weeks of work and then let’s start playing NFL games. I hope it’s not like that because that’s going to be really challenging on their bodies and it will be almost impossible to figure that you could do it. -- Pete Carroll
Under normal circumstances, the Seahawks and the rest of the league would begin the offseason program with rookie minicamp and then OTAs along with the veterans.
For now, Carroll has stated the Seahawks will do the best to adapt to the unideal situation and control what they can.
"I would imagine in the next couple of weeks we will get a lot more information about that,” Carroll said. “But who knows. We don’t know. As somebody said, this is pandemic time, so we’re in a whole new ball game right now, so we have to wait and see.”
Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with Joe Fann below: