Pete Carroll has raved about the Seahawks virtual offseason program. He did so on a Zoom call with local reporters a month ago and again this week in an interview with Doug Farrar.
“We killed it during the offseason in a way I couldn’t envision it going as well as it did,” Carroll told Farrar. “It went great, and we accomplished a lot, and we’re smarter than we’ve ever been. The transition we make now will be huge. Who would have thought that we could come out of the offseason and say that this was an extraordinary offseason – learning and teaching and concepts, and then all of the social stuff and personal stuff we dealt with has been so challenging, but necessary. Hopefully, we’re really going to make a turn here that’s extraordinary. There’s so much happening, even though we’ve been sitting at home! It’s just amazing.”
Nickel corner Ugo Amadi, as a guest on the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast, was kind enough to pull back the curtain and shed some light on what the team accomplished over the course of the spring. He explained that the coaching staff did a fantastic job maintaining a strong level of productivity in the meetings despite not being able to have everyone in person.
There were full team meetings and separate positional meetings each day via Zoom.
“The talks were the same. The meeting was the same,” Amadi said. “The coaches spoke to us the same way. I felt like they tried to keep it as real as possible, and I feel like they did a really good job at that.”
While there will be some catching up to do physically, it sounds like Seattle accomplished everything from an install standpoint.
“We’ll definitely be ready to hit the ground running,” Amadi said. “We’ll be ready to go.”
Each player was given the same workout regimen from the Seahawks strength and conditioning coaches, but they were allowed to accomplish each task at their own leisure. Everything was on the honor system outside of a minor fitness test, according to Amadi.
As you’d expect, Carroll found ways to create lighter moments and competition to keep everyone engaged. Will Ferrell joined one meeting to roast newly signed tight end Greg Olsen and Steve Kerr was a special guest one day while “The Last Dance” was airing.
There were a few trivia challenges as the rookies were tested on Seahawks franchise history as well as Carroll’s famed three rules.
“He finds any little way to find competition, whether it’s offense vs. defense or between position groups,” Amadi said. “We find ways to compete at all times, and it makes it fun.”
Amadi’s favorite part of the offseason program was a Madden tournament that Carroll organized. The second-year corner made it to the championship by blowing out David Moore 56-0. Amadi said he used the Seahawks and Moore used the Ravens. In that game, Amadi used his own player to intercept Lamar Jackson.
His title run fell short as he lost to Shaquem Griffin, 35-29, in the championship game.
There’s no doubt that all 31 other teams would tell you they had an equally productive virtual offseason program. However, there’s reason to believe that the Seahawks could have an edge in that regard. The stability and creativity of Carroll combined with Seattle’s tenured veterans should allow the Seahawks (the rookies especially) to feel as prepared as possible for when camp opens on July 28.