Pete Carroll says he backs players' decision to not attend OTAs

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Pete Carroll says he backs players' decision to not attend OTAs originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Each year, in the month of May, players around the league take the field for organized team activities, but this season isn’t the same as years past.

The Seahawks are one of 21 teams that announced through the NFLPA that they would not take part in the voluntary offseason workouts due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The team said in a statement that it believes a “virtual offseason is best for everyone’s protection.”

Following Thursday's session of OTAs, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made it clear he supports his veterans' decisions to not attend the team's ongoing offseason team activities.

“I support these guys," Carroll said. "I support the decision they have made.”

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Still, around 40 players, mostly rookies, took the field at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center this week, while others spent time rehabbing or participating in offseason training at other locations.

"We've been here before with what we can get done in virtual and again, it's going great,” Carroll said. “Our guys are dedicated and working their butts off everywhere, all over the place.”

Like each offseason, Russell Wilson has been coordinating offseason workouts with his teammates down in Southern California. He recently shared photos on social media of a visit with legendary Saints quarterback Drew Brees. His teammate, tight end, Will Dissly also took part in the workouts. 

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Geno Smith was also not in attendance at OTAs, leaving the Seahawks with Danny Etling and Alex McGough for in-person workouts.  

“Russ has had a number of guys come work out down where he is in San Diego,” Carroll said. “The quarterback position for us is very competitive. This is a really cool time for these guys to learn the offense, learning Shane [Waldron], and picking up on the stuff we have adapted. It’s a fun challenge for these guys and they’re taking it to heart.”

Considering OTAs are voluntary, many of the Seahawks veteran leaders like Wilson and Bobby Wagner will not likely rejoin the team until mandatory minicamp from June 15-17. Carroll said he expects the team to have "pretty darn good attendance."