In case you missed it earlier, the Seahawks started their official offseason programs this last Monday, and today Seahawks.com brings us a brief status report. First, some quick background: the Seahawks offseason workouts are split into a ten-week, three-phase program. The first phase involves getting the players back in the weight room and getting them back in shape - strength, agility, power, explosiveness. There's a saying that Championships are won in the offseason, and the Hawks' strength coaches have been putting together a program that will attempt to give the players a competitive advantage over the opposition. In this phase, strength coaches are allowed to work with the players, but positional coaches and coordinators are absent.
Seahawks' strength coach Chris Carlisle on the progress, via Seahawks.com:
"I am very, very, very happy with the way things are going, the way they came in with the desire to work," Carlisle said. "That's evident. Our leadership is in place, with the players who are leading the effort, and the younger guys are learning from those older guys on how we do things here."
Which is up-tempo. It's how coach Pete Carroll practices. It's how Carlisle and his staff - Jamie Yanchar and Mondray Gee - are conducting the weight-training and other conditioning drills that comprise the Phase 1 workouts.
"If you talk to some of the new guys, the biggest thing they mention is that the tempo is much different than they're used to," Carlisle said. "The tempo we run here is much quicker, and the reason why is our practice tempo is much quicker than most programs."
Carlisle has been with Carroll for quite a while, coming up to the Northwest from USC when Pete took the job with the Seahawks. His story is an interesting one - as Eric Williams illustrated in a recent column, and Carlisle is one of the most important and underrated members of the coaching staff for the Seahawks.
Continuity and harmony among the coaching staff is important in the NFL, and a congruent message and projected identity much be present at all levels. Carlisle has been with Pete for over a decade, and brings the Win Forever and Competition mentality to the doldrums of the offseason, energizing players and motivating them for improvement when player-head coach contact is very limited. As I said, it's an underrated aspect of the Seahawks system.
"In order to get us ready to play at the highest level, we've got to prepare at the highest level. You prepare at the highest level, to practice at the highest level, so you can play at the highest level. That's something Pete told me back when we first got together in 2001 (at USC)."
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