The Seahawks found themselves on the wrong side of the NFL’s offseason workout rules in 2014. They made changes to their OTAs in order to keep it from happening again.
One change included removing a common piece of football equipment. But it didn’t work.
“We took helmets off our guys, we didn’t practice in helmets the entire OTA season and learned a lot about how to do that,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday. “We had a really good offseason, no issues at all. We practiced eight or nine weeks last year without helmets on because we had learned how to do that well. We went into this year with all of the alerts to do it well again.”
Not wearing helmets, of course, can lead to injuries. And one specific injury apparently got the Seahawks in trouble, according to Carroll.
“We had an unfortunate day, guys banged heads, and that brought an issue,” Carroll said. “The league came and checked it out and they felt like we were in violation. We’re trying to do this really well and trying to be great at it. I was really disappointed that it came to this, but they got to do what they go to do. We’re going to continue to work really hard to do this well. We practice hard around here and we always have, and we have to do it right. We’ve made strong efforts to do that but we’re still working that out.”
Overall, Carroll sounded extremely contrite. Getting fined $200,000 individually tends to do that.
“I just have to make sure I do a better job,” Carroll said. “We have to work harder to understand what everybody else is doing and really just stay within the lines of what they think is right. We had the league come in and talk to our players, we showed them what we were doing and all that stuff in the offseason again this year, and we just have to do a better job.”
Indeed they do. Whatever they have been doing hasn’t solved the problem. Next year, they’ll have less offseason practice time and one fewer draft pick because of it.