Monday, April 18, 2011
Checking in with Seahawks GM Schneider
By Mike Sando
RENTON, Wash. -- Highlights and interpretations from Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider's session Monday with reporters covering the team:
The Seahawks would rather trade back than up in the first round. Schneider said moving up is easier, however. Not having a third-round choice bothers him. Schneider: "Personally, I would like to move back because I have confidence in our ability in the middle rounds to do a good stuff and we have a coaching staff that has good teachers and they are excited to have these guys."
General manager John Schneider would rather see the Seahawks move back than move up.
Seattle would like to add at least one offensive lineman and one defensive lineman in the draft. The team wants to add at least one quarterback every year as a matter of philosophy. Quarterbacks become valuable commodities even if a team already has a viable starter.
Schneider wants the team to get younger in the mold of the Green Bay teams he helped put together. He said the Seahawks patched their roster with older players out of necessity last season, producing positive short-term results. Winning a playoff game was hugely helpful for Pete Carroll as a first-year coach in Seattle, but the focus this offseason will be on adding enough young talent to avoid patching so much.
The wide variety of quarterback styles in the draft will make the position less predictable. Schneider called it a "unique" year that way. He sees nine to 12 teams needing quarterbacks. He noted that Tampa Bay Bucs GM Mark Domenik said as many as six quarterbacks could become first-round choices. Schneider: "Mark is a good friend of mine and if he was sitting right here, I would say, 'He's got a quarterback, so he wants a lot of guys to be taken. He wants the offensive linemen to fall.' "
Schneider stressed the importance of remaining disciplined and not going after a quarterback just because the team remains unsettled at the position. He said the Packers were not "hellbent" on landing Aaron Rodgers and weren't going to move up for him. Of course, they didn't know just how good Rodgers would become, either.
Charlie Whitehurst is in the mix to start next season after playing well enough to beat St. Louis in Week 17. Whitehurst is also the only Seattle quarterback with a contract for next season. Schneider said he valued the game against St. Louis in particular because it was the one time Seattle built its game plan for Whitehurst.
Schneider thought long and hard, choosing his words carefully when I asked him to what extent Carroll, as a defensive head coach, has a vision for what he wants in a quarterback. I wanted to know how that vision might differ from the visions an offensive-minded head coach might have for a quarterback.
Schneider apparently thought I was asking whether the slow-footed Ryan Mallett would fit in Seattle's offense, but I had no one in mind. Schneider: "From a pure, uh, I'm reading your mind with this, I'm going to be really careful how I answer this. Pete and (quarterbacks coach) Carl (Smith) coached Drew Bledsoe, who is not a big movement guy, and he had his best season. I don't know if Pete has ever had a guy that is a big-time runner, huge movement guy. I wouldn't slam any of the guys he has had. But everybody likes a guy that can move, but a lot of these guys have compensating factors. So the guy that you're thinking about would be one of those guys that has compensating factors."
Picking at 25th overall, Seattle can probably pare down a short list to 10 players the team is most likely to select. This year could be less predictable, however, because the absence of free agency could lead teams to favor need a little more strongly. He said Seattle would not take that tack.
Those were a few highlights. I'll be taking a day trip to visit the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday as they prepare for their first draft with head coach Jim Harbaugh.