Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Hasselbeck: Hawks trust Leiweke

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Former coach Mike Holmgren has called Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke the best thing to happen to the organization.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck expressed confidence in Leiweke during a recent radio interview with 710ESPN Seattle. Leiweke has been the most continuously influential member of the front office since his hiring in 2003.

"Everyone in the building would say, 'I trust Tod Leiweke,' " Hasselbeck told the radio station, "and that says a lot, knowing that he is in charge. I go back to in '04, there was no GM in place (actually early 2005, after the 2004 season). Tim Ruskell wasn't here yet. Mike (Holmgren) wasn't in charge. They had gotten rid of the GM. There was no one was in charge. And we had like 23 unrestricted free agents (actually 16). That was the year Walt (Walter Jones) signed back, I signed back, we were able to keep a bunch of guys. But no one was in charge. It seemed like this ship was not being steered by anybody. And Tod Leiweke was there. He was the guy. He had called me and said, 'It might seem there is no plan, but there is a plan. ... I trusted that. Walt trusted that. A lot of us trusted that. It is a similar situation right now where we don't know the direction, we don't know the new GM, we don't need to know. What we have got to say is, 'We trust Tod and the group and that is enough.' "

The situation in early 2005 was similar to the current time in some ways and different in others. The Seahawks were without a team president from Jan. 14 until Feb. 23 of 2005. Two of the top football people in the organization, Ted Thompson and Scot McCloughan, had recently left for jobs elsewhere. A year earlier, vice president Mike Reinfeldt had left the organization amid front-office upheaval.

One big difference in early 2005 was that the organization had brought back Reinfeldt, now the Titans' general manager, to help steer the football side of operations through a time of transition. Reinfeldt, a longtime Holmgren associate, returned to the team as a consultant Feb. 3, 2004. He worked out long-term contracts with Hasselbeck and Jones within three weeks, averting potential disaster. The Seahawks then named Reinfeldt their vice president of football administration March 21, 2004.

The current Seahawks still have contract negotiator John Idzik. It's still only mid-January, not mid-February. There is time to get things settled. The current Seahawks also have fewer key players they need to re-sign. They need to settle on a new GM, figure out their front-office structure and make sure they're in position to navigate what could be an uncapped year.