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Seahawks Players Organizing Mini-Camp

With the lockout a virtual guarantee to run into mid-June, scrapping any hope NFL teams had of holding any OTAs and mini-camp sessions, players are stepping up efforts to conduct informal, voluntary workouts.

At least 30 players turned out for Rams workouts on Monday, with similar-sized turnouts taking place in Buffalo, Baltimore, and for Raiders workouts, which are taking place in Duluth, Georgia. The Raiders workouts were organized and funded by defensive tackle Richard Seymour, with quarterback/co-organizer Jason Campbell running the offense’s workouts.

Issues like the contract statuses of team leaders and where players make their off-season residence will affect the attendance of these voluntary, unpaid, player-run workouts. No team may be as affected by both than the Seahawks.

Seattle is the NFL’s most remote outpost, with most players choosing to make their off-season homes in other parts of the country. No team featured as much roster turnover as the 2010 Seahawks, who made nearly 300 roster transactions last season. Seattle’s elected player representative, Chester Pitts, is unsigned for 2011, as are co-alternates Matthew Hasselbeck and Lawyer Milloy, both of whom do live in the Seattle area during the off-season.

Hasselbeck has been working out in the area with several teammates, including tight end John Carlson. More Seahawks may be headed to the area next week for a two-day mini-camp, wide receiver Mike Williams said during a Tuesday morning appearance on “The Brock & Salk Show” on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“I got a text message this week–I’m not going to reveal who it’s from–but we got a guy up here trying to organize a two-day mini-camp next week in Seattle,” said Williams, who noted how difficult the extended time away from football has been for a roster with players spread out all over the country.

“I’m really looking forward to this week coming up. I’m really looking forward to see what kind of turnout we’ll have with this mini-camp that’s trying to be organized right now. I think that will be a testament of what our core group of guys, what direction we’re in moving forward this year.”

After two years out of football, during which Williams ballooned up to 270 pounds, Williams led the Seahawks with 65 receptions and 751 yards with a pair of touchdowns in 14 games last season. Williams added an NFL-high three touchdown receptions during the 2010 playoffs. The Seahawks signed Williams to a three-year, $11.25 million contract extension in January, a deal that includes $150,000 in annual weight incentive clauses.

With his weight an issue, Williams has incorporated plenty of cardio into his off-season workout regimen.

“As far as staying in shape, and the routine and working out, that’s the easy part,” Williams said. “I average about 5 1/2, 6 hours of cardio a day, just between field work, and in the gym work, and I try to get my basketball in every day.”

In disbelief of the amount of cardio Williams does per day, co-host Mike Salk cut him off. But Williams provided an honest, self-aware explanation.

“Listen, when you have the issues that you previously mentioned, you have to go a little above and beyond.”


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