The next phase of the Seahawks’ offseason program is about to commence, with veteran minicamp taking place Tuesday through Thursday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.
The past three weeks the Seahawks have gathered for organized team activities (OTAs). Veteran minicamp is similar, but there’s two primary differences:
1) Veteran minicamp is mandatory. OTAs are technically voluntary for players, though the players are no doubt strongly encouraged to attend. The Seahawks had near 100-percent turnout for OTAs. The only two players who elected not to attend all nine of Seattle’s OTAs were defensive ends Michael Bennett and Chris Clemons. Those two should be present this week. If a player doesn’t attend it constitutes a holdout. There’s some sentiment that Bennett, who has voiced his displeasure with his contract, could hold out of minicamp to emphasize his discontent. However, he is expected to attend.
2) Contact is allowed. During OTAs live contact is not allowed, and that rule is reinforced by pads not being allowed outside of helmets, elbow and knee pads. Seattle’s coaches emphasized throughout OTAs that there’s a limited amount of information they can gather, particularly on newcomers, because of the limitations on contact. Therefore, this week the Seahawks should be able to get a better read on where things stand with players and units, particularly with the rookies.
Minicamp should also give us more information on the status of Seattle’s injured players. Tackle J’Marcus Webb sat out most of OTAs with a calf injury, but he did participate in a limited fashion in last Thursday’s final OTA, so we’ll see if he has recovered enough to take full part. We’ll also see if tackle Garry Gilliam, who missed OTAs after undergoing surgery to have a cyst removed from his knee, is ready to get involved, and whether we finally get our first look at rookie running back C.J. Prosise (hip flexor). Tight end Jimmy Graham (knee) and running back Thomas Rawls (ankle) are not expected to be ready.