I like what the Seattle Seahawks have done to their organization over the past couple of weeks.
I will get to the Pete Carroll hire in a moment, but I was reminded today that this franchise is heading in the right direction after the abysmal 2009 season when reports surfaced that Seattle hired Packers director of football operations John Schneider to become the club’s new General Manager.
I was with Schneider when I played in Green Bay, and when you talk to people around the league about the move, it comes with a vote of confidence.
Schneider is a scout by nature. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to evaluating talent and he is very meticulous in his organizational skills. He’s a perfect match for Carroll, who now has talent in the front office who knows NFL personnel. Schneider also has an established network around the league, and he’s a guy who has very professional relationships with the league’s most experienced decision makers.
Schneider will be the perfect complement to Carroll, who will have a true personnel man in his corner to help him with the Combine, free agency and the draft. And, the Seahawks can begin to move forward and begin to rebuild this roster that isn’t set up to compete with the rest of the NFL as of now.
But, getting back to Carroll — where this all started. The Seahawks have something positive going on here. They are building a winning staff that’s obviously highlighted by the former USC coach, but is also strengthened by the hiring of offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates — a coach that was desperately wanted by Jay Cutler, Lovie Smith and the city of Chicago.
On defense, Carroll has retained defensive coordinator Gus Bradley — a smart move to keep a sense of structure to the defensive side of the football — and hired Jerry Gray to coach the secondary. Gray was hired by Gregg Williams in Washington and was an added bonus to that staff, according to my former teammates in D.C.
The new staff is comprised of good talent, along with the reported hire of Minnesota Golden Gophers offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch to coach the quarterbacks — a position that will need to be thought out, evaluated and decided on in the near future this offseason.
And the offseason is when we will get to see the new front office and the new coaching staff in Seattle go to work. What do they do with veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck? With two first-round picks (No. 6, No. 14) in this April’s draft, is it time to at least explore the quarterback position and look for Hasselbeck’s eventual replacement? A rookie like Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen could be on the horizon, but that is all part of the discussion we will have as this offseason unwinds — just as the talk will increase when it comes to the defensive side of the football for the Seahawks.
With coaching and management changes comes multiple changes to the roster itself, and those moves can now start to be formulated and discussed at the Seahawks facility.
However, for now, the Seahawks are starting to build a foundation of good coaching and good management. And that, to me, is the perfect start to winning games once again in Seattle.
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