The Seahawks become the first team in the NFL to be docked OTA practice time for what the NFL and NFLPA deemed to be violations of the new CBA and its curtailing of contact in the offseason. Pete Carroll, in typical fashion, explained it in his terms, saying "It [was] really simply that we were practicing in too physical of a nature. We were getting after it in a way that they thought was more than expected and we had a visit from one of the official guys from the Players Association. He watched our practice and thought it was a good practice, but they went back and looked at some tapes of other practices that they thought were over the top, so we've asked these guys to compete and bust their tales to get everything that we can these days and in their eyes we took it to a physical nature that was too high of a level of intensity."
Now, because we haven't seen any official word from the NFL on this in terms of the exact nature of the violations, one can wonder what, exactly, the tipping point would be. What exactly constitutes a 'no-contact' violation? Carroll complained that the Seahawks hadn't received much information on it, nor had they received specific examples of their transgressions. They didn't even know which day of practice violations occurred.
This type of thing isn't new - it happened to Dennis Green and the Cardinals back in 2004, where Arizona lost a week of their strength and conditioning program because the violations weren't discovered until OTAs had wrapped up. With so little information or explicit instructions on how to avoid breaking the rules, one might wonder how a coach approaches practices at this point. Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt addressed that recently.
"I think our guys have a good understanding of the tempo. They go hard but they know when to pull off. You get competitive situations, like line stunts, when you are trying to get timing, but they know they have to pull off and no one has gotten in a position where it has gone over the top. They understand how to practice. It's not pads, so you can't really turn it loose like in training camp."
Still sounds fairly vague to me, but they feel confident in their tempo and intensity. Still, it wouldn't surprise me to see a few other teams face sanctions from the league as offseason OTAs continue.
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