My thoughts on John Schneider’s press conference and latest thoughts on the coaching search

It was an unusual sight to see John Schneider alone at the podium, with no Pete Carroll flanking him. Prior to the introduction of a pre-draft weekly radio show on Seattle Sports a year ago, Schneider’s media appearances have been rare over the last 14 years.

This felt like the official beginning of a new era — and Schneider delivered some intriguing nuggets about the past, present and future. A huge, franchise-changing decisions has been made. It’s only right the man now in charge faces the media. I thought this was an impressive and necessary press conference.

The word ‘stagnant’ was used quite early on. A journalist picked up on this and followed it up. Schneider was careful to say he wasn’t referring to Carroll’s team but it felt like a Freudian slip, especially given he went on talk about Marty Schottenheimer telling him a coach can’t stay somewhere longer than 10 years.

Even though Schneider and Carroll were clearly close and enjoyed a healthy working relationship, you get the impression he was ready for this opportunity. ‘Stagnant’ is exactly the word I’d use to describe recent seasons. The Seahawks weren’t going anywhere. It was time for change.

Schneider was honest about the team, admitting they perhaps overachieved in 2022 but underachieved in 2023. He stated he’d had no say in any coaching appointments since 2010 — an encouraging comment if you’re worried the next Head Coach is going to be an encore to the Ken Norton, Clint Hurtt and other underwhelming coordinator hires under Carroll.

Schneider offered the pitch he’ll be making to prospective coaches as he competes for their services — this is a young team with a great core, filled with talent. He said he feels they are ready to compete now. That’s something many other teams in the hiring cycle cannot say.

He revealed he’s had a list of prospective coaches for some time, admitting he’d been on guard for Carroll retiring. Schneider told a story about how Carroll had once said he was ‘going to change the world’ and he interpreted that as he might call it a day. It speaks to the recent reports from Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo that the idea of Carroll quitting has lingered for some time. After all, Jay Glazer reported in 2017 he was considering it — and that’s why we’ve always been open-minded about the possibility.

Schneider’s comments on Geno Smith were fascinating. He was asked to review his 2023 performance. He noted it was a reverse of last year, where he started well and faded. This year he had a difficult start and improved. It was a short and to the point answer. Certainly there was no commitment to Smith or any effusive praise. He could’ve easily said something like, ‘he’s our guy’ like Carroll occasionally did. It suggests Schneider might be plotting a new direction at quarterback as soon as this year. If nothing else, this answer felt like it confirmed Smith’s ‘bridge’ status at best.

He noted Ron Wolf as being a mentor. We’ve all known for a while that the two were close and Schneider said he’d spent a lot of time speaking to Wolf on Friday. We highlighted Wolf’s coaching appointment record last week — Mike Holmgren, a year of Ray Rhodes and then Mike Sherman. Rhodes was a defensive coach who was fired after one underwhelming 8-8 season. I’m going to dig into Wolf as a decision maker this week.

I thought the comment about needing to compete with other teams was a highlight. I don’t think this was just some buzz word used to describe the situation. I think this means the Seahawks have their eye on key targets they know are interesting other teams and they want to make sure they don’t miss out. That was encouraging and I think it was a hint that the most popular names in the cycle are probably the names the Seahawks are most focused on.

Schneider dropped a big hint about his thought-process, noting he was conscious of ‘where the league is’ in 2024 in a clear reference to current trends. We all know what that is — offensive-focused football. He also referred to Alex Smith’s experience coming into the league, where he ended up having to work with three different offensive coordinators in three years, something that Schneider felt impacted his career greatly.

He followed that answer up when talking about the philosophy of going with an offensive, defensive or special teams coach. He spoke very openly about the challenge of losing an offensive coordinator if they succeed. I don’t think Schneider was spelling it out that the Seahawks are going to hire an offensive-minded Head Coach but it suggests he’s conscious of the potential issue if you don’t. Or, that if he does go with a defensive-minded guy, they need to have a proper plan in place.

Mike McCarthy’s name was mentioned a lot but I wouldn’t read too much into that. As Jeff Simmons mentioned on our stream today (watch it below if you missed it, there’s a ton of info), Schneider apparently introduced McCarthy to his wife and the pair are very close. Schneider was heavily involved in McCarthy’s hiring in Green Bay, so it’s unsurprising he would refer back to it. It doesn’t mean McCarthy is destined for Seattle if he loses his job in Dallas.

Meanwhile, it’s been revealed today that the Seahawks have requested interviews with Ben Johnson and Bobby Slowik to go with the other candidates we reviewed in detail yesterday.

I want to share some takeaways from the press conference and thoughts about what I believe the Seahawks are thinking:

— I think Schneider’s preference is to land an offensive-minded Head Coach. I also think he’s itching to draft a quarterback to create a duo for the future. The Seahawks have a cluster of exciting weapons on offense, that is their strength, and I think they will lean into it for their identity. That’s been the Green Bay way of doing things and that’s Schneider’s DNA.

— For that reason, I do think Ben Johnson could be a prime target. As I noted in my piece last week, Johnson has had success with a lot of similar pieces to the ones they currently have in Seattle. He’s highly intelligent, innovative, aggressive and young. He wouldn’t be expecting any big sway in personnel and would give the Seahawks an opportunity to be productive quickly next season, building towards something more than merely competing. This kind of hire would speak to Schneider’s note that they’re conscious of the way the league is going. It would also give them an opportunity to avoid any concern about losing the play-caller/quarterback bond.

— I think Schneider knows that virtually every other team would also love to hire Johnson and that he’s in for a fight — especially with the Commanders. Aside from the reported hook-up between Washington’s new GM Adam Peters and Johnson, it’s believed Johnson’s preference is to live in the North East. The Commanders own the #2 pick which is a prime spot to draft a quarterback. Plus the new owners in Washington are well placed to throw money at a big salary. The Seahawks, if they want Johnson, will need to sell their superior facility, stadium, roster, culture and the beauty of the PNW. The feeling is Johnson is destined for the capital and the Seahawks might already be fighting a losing battle — but they have their interview request in so we’ll see.

— People always mention Detroit’s O-line when Johnson’s name comes up. It’s a fair point. It’s also worth noting how they created it. Taylor Decker was a #16 pick (the Seahawks own the #16 pick this year), Jonah Jackson was a third rounder, Frank Ragnow was a #20 pick, Graham Glasgow was a free agent and earns $2.75m a year (less than Phil Haynes) and Penei Sewell was a #7 pick. The Seahawks have already used a top-10 pick on a tackle. They can create a line like Detroit’s as long as they’re prepared to invest in a center and make wise decisions in the draft and free agency. The Lions’ haven’t done anything that dramatic or challenging. This isn’t impossible.

— If you can’t land Johnson, Bobby Slowik would be a good consolation prize — provided you can put a staff together to work with him. That’ll be the issue for Slowik and Mike Macdonald, two of the less experienced coaches in the cycle. It might be why the likes of Mike Vrabel and Dan Quinn ultimately carry high appeal with their contacts and experience.

— I think all of the candidates the Seahawks are speaking to are well worth interviewing. They’re talented, they’ve been successful and they have diverse backgrounds and skillsets. This is a rare opportunity to pick the brains of numerous individuals coaching for different teams. It’s an information-gathering process as much as anything. Many of us wanted an extensive search, not a mere coronation for one chosen coach. That is what’s happening.

— I do think in the case of Ejiro Eviro, Mike Kafka and Patrick Graham, it could be a double-edged opportunity. Eviro, a very highly rated defensive coordinator, might not stay with the Panthers when they appoint their new Head Coach. Likewise for Graham, another highly respected DC, when the Raiders make their decision. Meanwhile, things are so toxic in New York you wonder if Kafka could be lured away with a pseudo-promotion to ‘assistant Head coach’ if the Seahawks appoint a defensive leader. It’s not unheard of for teams to interview candidates, go in a different direction, then circle back with coordinator offers.

— Schneider’s fears over losing an offensive coordinator don’t necessarily mean he’s definitely going to appoint an offensive-minded Head Coach. He might simply be aware of the need for a plan. For example, if he appoints Mike Vrabel — who Jeff Simmons said in our stream ‘wants’ the Seahawks job — there’s a chance he’ll bring Arthur Smith with him to run the offense. After his stint in Atlanta, Smith is unlikely to be poached by any teams in the coming years. I appreciate nobody will be enthused about Smith as a play-caller. It’s worth remembering, though, that Tennessee had the #5 ranked offense in the league under Smith and that’s why he got the Falcons job in the first place.

— I think Vrabel is a candidate worth considering. His reputation is excellent within the league. He led the Titans to the AFC Championship, then had 23 wins in the next two seasons. Things went south after the former GM Jon Robinson traded away AJ Brown, something Vrabel wasn’t in favour of. Plus there was the unavoidable ageing of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Despite this, the Titans remained competitive and that was emphasised by the gut-punch they gave Jacksonville in week 18, preventing the Jaguars from winning the AFC South when they had nothing to play for. He’s a good situational coach with an aggressive mindset in terms of playcalling. He’s a figurehead similar to Dan Campbell and two of his offensive coordinators — Matt LaFleur and Arthur Smith — were hired away. So he can build a staff.

— A final, very important point to finish. A few people have messaged me saying the Seahawks need to appoint a defensive-minded Head Coach because the defense is the thing that needs fixing. Did you know, per DVOA, that eight of the top thirteen ranked defensive teams don’t have a defensive-minded Head Coach? This isn’t just San Francisco (Bosa), Dallas (Parsons) and Cleveland (Garrett) relying on blue-chip studs either. It’s Kansas City, Minnesota, Jacksonville and Detroit. The Seahawks don’t need a defensive leader to improve their defense from the 28th placed ranking they currently have. DVOA makes that clear. If they can get the defensive coordinator position right, they can enjoy long-lasting success. After all, how many interview requests are Jim Schwartz, Brian Flores and Steve Spagnuolo getting? Because the league is so tilted to offense these days, if you hit a home-run, you’re unlikely to lose your DC. The same cannot be said for your offensive play-caller, which is why many teams now prefer to make that person their Head Coach to avoid losing them.

If you missed today’s stream with Jeff Simmons, I’d highly recommend checking it out. There’s a ton of information and reasoned conversation:

189 Comments

  1. Mr drucker in hooterville

    Rob, Thanks for an unproductive day at work! Love the info

    • Rob Staton

      👍

      • Elmer

        IMO we don’t want to lose Izzy. I hope we will be able to respond to outside interest in him.

        • Elmer

          Izzo.

          Nice job Elmer

  2. TCHawk

    It appears possible/probable/likely that the defensive scheme may go away from the 3-4. If so, it will take some time to get personnel more suited to it. Throw it out – it hasn’t proven to work here yet.

    I can have patience, just give me something to get excited about again. The last two years I have tended to record the games and watch eventually. It’s hard to admit that. Get me enthused again, John!

    • RainInSpain

      How often did they actually run the 3-4? It felt like they were in a 4-2 more than half the time if not 80%.

  3. Sea Mode

    Great summary, I really enjoyed the stream too. Thank you!

    For me, it just feels like there’s life again as a Seahawks fan. Of course, there’s no guarantee they get this right, but at least they are taking their shot and that’s so much better than just settling for “not terrible”. I too am excited to see what things will look like under JS’ lead.

    Do you think not having final say over personnel might be a reason any of these candidates would choose another opening over the Seahawks? Not sure which teams might offer that anyways, but it’s a thought.

    I think the Hawks job is very attractive, and working with an experienced and respected GM might be a big plus for a first-time head coach. And definitely don’t forget the supportive media!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you! Hope you’re well my man 👍

    • Jhams

      It would probably be a deal breaker for Belicheck or Harbaugh, and might give Vrabel pause after the AJ Brown situation. But HCs having full personnel control is a pretty unusual thing that’s generally a reward for a long successful career.

  4. Joseph

    Rob, I just realized the new HC has his work cut out for him as far as the roster:

    We don’t have a 2nd rounder (thanks Pete).

    We do need replace Geno. So unsure if we take a QB with the RD1 pick.

    TE is not too concerning. The problems was (even going back to Jimmy Graham and Zach Miller) we never utilized them the right way. We certainly didn’t use them as much as we should’ve.

    The offensive line needs to be fix. There’s no set player on the line. Cross is showing he’s not the franchise LT and Lewis could be gone. We need to upgrade yet again at center. Bradford needs to develop as a pass blocker (if he’s the incumbent). RT is also a concern. Lucas is our best Lineman but his knee injury is very concerning in the long run.

    The defensive line was also a disappointment. One of the obvious needs was ignored, again. And that was finding run stuffers because once again we got killed. We need premier pass rushers. I like Mafe but I’m not sure he’s a consistent pass rusher.

    LBs an obvious need because we don’t know if Wagner or Brooks will be back. Even if they are we still need to upgrade. We need LBs with great lateral quickness who can swarm, rush, and is good in pass coverage. Also LBs who can understand pass and run concepts.

    Secondary, Witherspoon and Tre Brown are really good corners. Woolen, I have doubts as he regressed badly. He was giving up more catches and yardage than last year and his tackling was worse than last year. Adams and Diggs need to be gone. Love is a good safety but not dominant. So we need what we’ve been lacking since Earl and Kam.

    So it’s gonna be a lot for this new HC. I think we’re fine at the RB and WR position.

    • cha

      But Rob is correct. This roster is in far better shape than most new NFL coaches start with.

      • Joseph

        Oh that’s definitely true. Curious how they are going to address the draft and free agency.

        • Hoang Pham

          I think it has to start with the run game. You have to fix that on both sides of the ball.

          Oline has to be considered in the early rounds. Troy Fautanu or one of the other tackles should be talked about. You can move them inside and be the backup plan to Abe Lucas. Sedrick Van Pran could be considered as a trade back to net another 3rd round pick.

          It might come down to Leonard Williams or Jordyn Brooks as who to prioritize. I’m leaning towards Williams but I can sort of understand why some will pick Brooks. But beef up the Dline. Williams, Reed, and more please. I don’t know if it’s going to be a pick because you already had 2 Dline picks last season.

          Honestly, I know there is plenty to be desired but I don’t know how I can leave this draft without drafting A.J Barner from Michigan in the 4th or middle rounds. He legit is one of the best blocking TEs in the country. He can replace Dissly today and do it at 1/9th or 1/10th of the cost.

          Please…fix the run game on both sides! Some of it is scheme and some of it is personnel.

          • Hoang Pham

            All of this assuming they are ok with Geno for at least 1 more season…

    • Rob Staton

      It’s not as bad as you think. Is there work to do? Sure. It’s do-able.

    • MMjohns195

      Cross is fine, even if he’s not a probowl tackle, he’s a longterm player. If he consistently rates as 8-12 rated tackle that’s good enough. Not everyone is a HOF player. Olu is the replacement center, rob liked him pretty well as i recall. With Lucas you’ll just have to see how his knee holds up, the draft should tells us about this.

      Your fixes can’t be finding HOF level players like earl and kam to fill spots, no one does this consistently. The biggest weakness on the team going forward is LB. I think they only have Rhattigan under contract or bellore. They had plenty of defensive line talent, was it properly coached and schemed? I’d argue no.

      Though we can all see Woolen regressed, pff had him as pretty effective in coverage. The safeties are a question mark, but i will say that quandre seemed way worse in this new scheme under hurtt than he did under norton. So again, it’s coaching.

      • Peter

        Agree that LB is oddly the worst unit. Myself, I wouldn’t retain any of them. I’d assume it’s going to be Brooks. Feels a bit like throwing good money at bad. Or certainly “the Pete way.”

        Coaching may actually have been the biggest issue. Including who to field play to play.

        I think cross is still a little meh and I won’t be totally surprised if he is not retained. Again, coaching? Hope so. Would love a modicum of consistency on the line once in a while.

        • BK26

          Cross might be kept along for years just because he is “fine.” Seems like it’s too hard to find any quality linemen anymore. They might have to settle at one or two spots until an upgrade is available.

          Also might just take one guy to pull the line together. What would a Duane Brown type do? Look at the 9er’s with and without Trent Williams.

          What could happen with this roster is getting exciting.

          • Peter

            I can definitely see that. How about a real center for a change. Someone who does all the Center things like block but also helps the linemen with calls and organization.

            Doesn’t have to be center either.

            • Rob Staton

              Great center draft this year…

              • BK26

                Would be great for a rookie quarterback….

              • Duceyq

                What about Olu? Seems like he was drafted to be the COF.

                • Rob Staton

                  Fifth rounder who couldn’t get a game this year. I hope he’s got something but not that confident

                  • Duceyq

                    He won awards in college. Feels like PC was committed to Browns experience over talent. I really think Olu and Bradford should’ve started right out of the gate but I understand your sentiment.

    • BK26

      There is no such thing as a perfect team. So I wouldn’t be worried about a coach holding out for THAT situation.

      There are some coaches that want situations to be fixed. Is a defensive HC going to shy away from fixing a run defense problem that has been a bane for years? See it as a challenge? Or get scared away from it?

    • Troy D

      Woolen was still 31st in PFF grades. Witherspoon 27th.

      https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-cornerback-rankings-final-sauce-gardner-retains-his-place-as-the-no-1-cornerback-in-the-nfl

    • Johnny utah

      100%.nice take!

  5. Gross MaToast

    I think when JS used the word “stagnant,” he meant stagnant. I’m curious whether he and Pete were arguing against each other’s vision for the future in front of Jody. Did John shiv the old regime?

    Anyway, here’s the rumored new uni:
    https://twitter.com/ColdWunz/status/1747270663830900878

    • TatutuTime

      Those jerseys are dope. Here’s hoping.

      I don’t think JS was just some innocent bystander in Pete getting the cold kiss. I saw some weird reactions to the JS press conference from fans that he was clearly shook up by his friend Pete being fired and laying blame on Jody for the Pete decision. I mean really?

  6. BK26

    Not sure why, but there is just something about Vrabel that isn’t appealing to me.

    I don’t know if he’s going to be innovative enough or bring anything special to the team to compete in the division. Just didn’t see anything when he was in Tennessee other than they were a tough out. I’d rather go for a home run rather than just choke up on the bat to not strike out.

    • Rob Staton

      In terms of innovation, he’s been one of the more analytically minded and aggressive coaches

      • BK26

        I’m thinking more scheming and creativity.

        It’s got me feeling more towards a Quinn hire rather than even a Frank Smith or Raheem Morris hire. Just doesn’t feeling exciting as of right now. I feel good knowing that Peter King is almost as bad as Matt Miller with predictions.

      • geoff u

        I dont have much of an opinion either way on Vrabel, but he did win with some bum quarterbacks and if you give him a good one, he could take it to the next level required to win Super Bowls

    • 12th chuck

      same here, Titans knew exactly what they had, and the let him go. Does have a decent track record though, but that’s not enough for me

      • Mr drucker in Hooterville

        Relationship with GM wasn’t tenable. That wouldn’t be the case here if hired.

        • Group Captain Mandrake

          Therein lies the question. He didn’t have a good relationship with the last two GMs in Tennessee. Would it be different here? I wouldn’t be averse to Vrabel but I think I’d rather they take a shot with Johnson or Slowik.

          • geoff u

            That’s definitely worth a deeper look

      • Peter

        Not sure if the Titans are a gauge of anything. Four GM’s and three head coaches since Bud Adams passed…..ten years ago.

    • TatupuTime

      I was totally unthrilled by Vrabel as well, but I’ve listened to a lot of old interviews the last few days and now I’m all in. Behind only Johnson who is the clear get for me. I’ve got no problem with a clear culture winning head coach (which Vrabel clearly excels at if you listen to any current/former players talk about him as well as how hard that team plays every game) that let’s his coordinators do the playcalling. The man gives a fun interview and that’s not nothing!

      And I don’t put a ton of stock into the fact that the Titan’s fired him. That franchise appears headed in one direction the last couple years, and it ain’t up.

      • Malc from PO

        I have been thrilled by Vrabel ever since the shenanigans he pulled to run down clock on the Patriots in the playoffs. “Ice water in his veins and a small, hard pebble where his heart should be.” I love that kind of stuff.

  7. LouCityHawk

    This is the first time I really have worried about ownership since Paul’s passing. I feel like he would have done what it took to get his man

    • TatupuTime

      I think Paul would have been a real asset in landing their top pick. There is just no getting around that. It’s too bad that he’s not around.

      But I also don’t think we should undersell current ownership too much. Pretty shrewd to my eye in allowing the trade of Russ two years ago and then not being satisfied with the safe easy choice of keeping Pete.

      This is not a meddling in personnel or the team ownership situation (good luck with that Indy) or a team that cheaps out on looking after the players (which is a few places). The next coach is tying themselves to a John Schneider who currently seems to be in a pretty secure spot and should see a prolonged job opportunity as long as the team doesn’t go to shit.

      Washington can offer different things (along with the #2 overall quarterback), but comes with different challenges. There is no other job opening as enticing as Seattle and Washington to my eyes.

    • Peter

      Different approaches different times.

      Paul picked the last three coaches.

      Now we’re doing something different. I think it might also be odd that quinn or mccarthy could be favorites of John, heck one could even get the job, neither are coming into the process looking great.

      I agree Paul would have done whatever to land his guy but Paul also liked a big fish and I don’t think Harbaugh fits and Vrabel….I don’t know….everyone needs an offensive coach now. Beyond that it’s all guesses.

      I’d like to think Paul would have stayed with the times and thought coordinators but part of me wonders if he’d still be on that idea of a big presence veteran experience kick.

  8. Charlie TheUnicorn2187

    It would be a big feather in the JS cap if they could land Ben Johnson as the HC. It would mean the Seahawks have the resources and backing from ownership to swing big and perhaps overpay per year at HC.

    The fit, between the hire and the team as it is currently constructed, is eerily similar to what the Lions have currently with their offense. Dynamic playmakers at WR, RB… just need a TE and solid OL play.

  9. CC

    I’m looking forward to see what JS can do. I’d like to see an OC and I’d also throw in Canales as someone I’d be okay with. He’s handled Mayfield well put him in spots to succeed. It will be interesting to see what kind of QB JS will want this time around – he was all in on Russ and loved Josh Allen from all accounts. Pick 16 you’re not getting one of the best QBs, and we need a few more draft choices – with no 2nd. I throw out trading DK – he’s a very good receiver but his anger issues hurt the team too many times. He doubled down after Pete talked to him – I sort of feel like he wants out. If we believe J – he wasn’t the guy to trade away a second for Williams nor was he the guy to give up a ransom for Adams. We have to dump players – maybe Tyler and Will will restructure to stay around, but draft some young safeties and dump Adams and Diggs – also we probably need 2 LBs – though it also depends on the DC.

    Thanks for the articles Rob – good stuff as always!

    • TatupuTime

      I full heartedly disagree with the DK discourse to the fullest extent possible.

      Like most fans I’ve rolled my eyes at frustration at DK occasionally. He’s done some boneheaded things for sure.

      On the flip side he’s averaged 4 penalties a year across the 5 years he’s been here. Let’s not mountain out of a molehill this thing. He’s also drawn his fair share of taunting penalties and retaliatory DB penalties across those years.

      Removing DK takes a clear team strength and instantly removes it. He draws a ton of safety attention. He’s only missed one game his entire career. He blocks his ass of all game long.

      You want to be a hard team to play against again? I’m sorry but you need a few guys to muck it up and get in your face. You need a few assholes on each side of the ball that are willing to get into it and occasionally let you know about it after they knock you in the face (not before you do anything Jamal, after you do something). I guarantee you opposing teams hate seeing DK’s dark visor in warmups knowing they are playing against him. Tyler? nice guy. JSN? nice guy. K9? nice guy. Charbonneau? nice guy. That’s great in life, but in football you need some “eff you” energy sometimes as well. Get me at least one more totally in your face greasy sparkplug OL to pair with Abe and DK and now you start to establishing a tough in your offenses identity.

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        This. It’s kind of like Richard Sherman or Gary Payton. If they aren’t on your team, you hate them. If they are on your team, you love ‘em. There’s some good talent on the roster but Seattle needs a few more dawgs.

      • Peter

        This was spot on.

        It’s not just AJ Brown. Feel how you want to about Vrabel but it’s hard to be competitive when you start trading away your best players for no reason.

        Let’s put to bed all this on DK. I want a few guys in this team that are going to go after Warner on a shove in the back.

  10. geoff u

    “I think Schneider’s preference is to land an offensive-minded Head Coach. I also think he’s itching to draft a quarterback to create a duo for the future.”

    💯X💯 this please

  11. Chamberlain

    This is my first comment on any post or stream you’ve done but I’ve been watching and reading it all for 10 years. All the content you put out is amazing and truly the best of anyone discussing the Seahawks. The past few seasons have been really rough to sit through but it’s always more fun to read your articles and watch the streams.

    Having said all that I’m super excited for the new direction of the team, and that interview today was a really good sign in my opinion. I watch all these playoff teams that are up and coming like: Texans, Lions, even the Packers and get so jealous. When was the last time we had a fun team to watch? It sure seems like it’s been awhile. Exciting times ahead for sure. Thanks Rob!

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you, that’s really nice of you to say!

    • Sea Mode

      Welcome out of lurking! 🙂

      I share the excitement for the new direction our team is headed. Really curious to see what JS comes up with now that the shackles are off…

  12. Daniel

    Offense is the way to go. With a good offense, the defensive numbers will improve (by default). If your offense has the ball and controls the time of possession, the defense doesn’t have to be on the field. Your defense will be more rested later in the game. If you can get a lead on teams, it forces them to be a little more predictable in their play calling while trying to catch up. Pete wants to talk up how great Bobby Wagner is because of how many tackles he makes. Well here’s a thought Pete..Bobby annually reaches those high tackle numbers because our 3rd down conversion rate (on both offense and defense) have been atrocious for several years now. Two years ago, Bobby and Jordan Brooks were both atop the league for most tackles. To me, that isn’t a reason to celebrate. Rather, it is an indictment on how poor our 3rd down execution has been…they can’t get off the field Nd keep getting more opportunities to pad their tackling stats. I think a respectable offense would reduce those kinds of numbers significantly. Couple that with better discipline, accountability, and a D-coordinator who doesn’t embarass himself, and we will have a very exciting team to root for.

  13. Tom

    Anyone know why Eric Bieniemy is not being considered for head coach? He’s a talented play caller.

    • Jhams

      At this point a lot of people think he’s just terrible at interviewing, and has developed enough of a rep people don’t want to waste their time.

    • Seattle Person

      I think this has been talked about every day it seems?

      He doesn’t have a very good rep among the players and other coaches around the league.

    • cha

      He has a really troubled past and word is he has not interviewed well. He may be topped out at Offensive Coordinator.

      I have not seen his name mentioned once for a job this year. It would appear the league knows more than we do and is not biting.

      • Tom

        Interesting. Thx.

      • KitsapHawk

        And what happened with Byron Leftwich? He went from the OC at TB to just…sitting on the couch?

    • PJ in Seattle

      A buddy of mine is a lifelong Chiefs fan and fairly well connected to the team. When I threw out Bieniemy’s name via text as someone we may want to take a look at it, he had a terse response.

      “Hard pass. Trash human being.”

      Um, ok. Tell me how you really feel…

  14. Denver Hawker

    Y’all can shoot me out of the sky for this take, but got to get it off my chest.

    I find Schneider’s public personality a little obnoxious. I appreciate that he’s more transparent and clear than Pete by a mile, but he comes across arrogant to me. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt that he can be more personable in coaching interviews, but I just get a weird vibe sometimes and I’m the same age as these hot coordinators.

    I’ll elaborate: he tells a lot of old stories and name drops old guys to demonstrate his tenure, experience, and appeal to his older execs who view this as adding credibility to his leadership. He’s probably patterned this after being a younger exec himself for a while surrounded by 70 year old Carroll. I think I’ve seen him say “hey bud” on a few draft night phone calls or ad hoc videos. These aren’t damning traits by any means, but if I’m looking to work for a guy like this, it feels patronizing. Like listen here, back in my day…

    None of this has anything to do with his ability to be a top GM in the league and I’m glad he’s ours. I’m concerned he’s lacking a certain panache to attract a younger coach and will feel more comfortable with and appeal to an older veteran. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Seattle Person

      I don’t get that feeling from him. We can agree to disagree. A lot of long tenured executives tend to sound like John Schneider.

    • Rob Staton

      Just to offer the other side of this, I’m 39 and have never had this impression about JS. To me he seems quite personable, fun and the kind of person who doesn’t grind you down

      • London Seahawk

        Hard agree – same age and he seems like a v. likeable guy to me. Would love to have a few cold ones with him!

        But then I guess at 39 we are old farts compared to the 36 year old wunderkinds

    • Peter

      John said a LOT of the right things in his presser. I came away very happy with how he views things as they are and am extremely excited for the off-season.

      That said. I agree with you. Maybe it’s the industry I’m in but I’ve worked around my fair share of guys that sound exactly like John.

      • Denver Hawker

        It was a good presser. He’s a polished exec and very comfortable in his shoes. Vulcan would want nothing less- I’ve worked with them too.

    • Spectator

      I have met JS a few times in person, casual and business settings, and he was one of the more down to earth and humble guys I have met. Hate to say, but especially compared to PC.

      • Peter

        Why do you hate to say it?

        Pete’s a legend. This is not a dig but people who write books about their philosphies……

      • Denver Hawker

        That’s good to hear and definitely want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve only met Pete several times in small gatherings- and found him exactly the same person he is in the media.

    • Sea Mode

      Interesting take. That’s really surprising to me. I’ve listened to about every interview or press conference he has given over the last several years and never once has he given me that impression in any way.

      To me, he comes across as a no-ego guy who recognizes he too is always learning and searching for the answers to an ever-evolving puzzle that is team building in the NFL.

      And to me it seems he just appreciates the wisdom of where he came from in the league and the guys he worked with, many of whom who have had a lot of success.

  15. JPEC

    Not sure how appealing Seahawks job:
    1) QB – need;
    2) Safety – need;
    3) LB’s – need;
    4) DL need;
    5) TE – need;
    5) OL – need(at least big question mark)
    So many needs and not much money to spend.
    May be middle of the pack in terms of attractivity. They need to replace/find half roster.

    • Rob Staton

      This isn’t how coaches judge whether a job is appealing.

      Facilities — elite
      Place to live — elite
      Rich owners who will spend — elite
      GM with great reputation — Yes
      Roster with enough talent to succeed — definitely on offense

      Do they need to draft a QB? Sure. Do they need to add talent in the trenches? Yes. But every team has needs.

      They’re not going to prefer the other jobs because of perceived needs at linebacker and safety. Because all of the other teams are in that boat.

      • MMjohns195

        I’d say seattle is an elite job becuase of this, but you forgot to add “non-meddling” owner. Paul now Jody were pretty publicly hands off, they aren’t making constant statments, demanding attention, overrulling the staff for specific players. There’s no vibe of the owner being insufferable like Tepper. That is an exceptional draw.

        As Far as the team, you can say things like they have all these needs, but even speaking to that they were a fringe top-10 offense while getting the fewest possesions because of a terrible defense. You get the defense to average, and they’re a real contender. The LBs are the true weakness on the team, second to the TE’s, everywhere else has depth. They are not the carolina panthers here, they’re not san francisco, but they’re close enough a good draft and good schemes could vault them up.

      • Seattle Person

        The Hawks have a lot of players at the premium positions. It’s not as dire as people think it is. LBs, TEs, run stuffing DTs, Safeties aren’t exactly premium positions and hard to find.

    • TatupuTime

      On a neutral field played with a neutral coach this is still probably the most talented rosters of the open coaching spot rosters (hey teams looking for coaches are usually the bad ones).

      From a desirability perspective the lack of future QB (or high draft pick to get one like Washingston) is one definite drawback. But also whatever.

      NFL defensiver performances aren’t very sticky year over year. Could be Julian Love and a whole new Safety, LB room of lesser names than this year. A new D coordinator can definitely still mold that into a much better overall unit in 2023.

  16. London Seahawk

    Great stream with Jeff again last night.

    Am I right in thinking if we interview Vrabel we might not know about it because there’s no formal notice to give with him being out of contract?

    My – without being privy to the interviews themselves – order of pref as it stands:

    1. Ben Johnson
    2. Bobby Slowik
    3. Mike McDonald
    ….
    4. Mike Vrabel

    I think it’s the perfect moment to inject some youth into the building hence the top three being the young guns, with offense preferred over defense.

    MV would be an OK consolation prize, esp. in the Dan Campbell figure head role as Rob described.
    (though we just had one of the best figure head types for 13 years so it just feels more sideways than the others!)

    Really enjoying the refreshing vibes from John S and these being a fascinating few weeks for Hawks fans rather than a funereal / deja vus few weeks had Jody sat on hands instead.

    • TatupuTime

      I think our dearly departed figurehead could have been much more successful if he actually ceded more control to more talented coordinators. Pete could still be here had he done that. A ringleader who gets pros aligned and playing hard is super valuable. The things Pete did well are really really hard to find. He just messed up some of the other stuff unfortunately.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I like the idea of Macdonald more than the reality of it. There’s no getting around his limited football connections outside the Harbaugh trees. And the Harbaugh trees are about to be pruned of all the decent assistants.

      I wonder if he wouldn’t be interested in an assistant head coach title and pay raise to match, similar to what we were contemplating for an OC if the new HC is a defensive guy.

      I’m warming to the idea of Vrabel. Not because I don’t like Vrabel, but more because it almost certainly means Arthur Smith as OC, and after his behavior in Atlanta, I just…. don’t know. I guess if he stays behind Vrabel’s shadow.

    • Group Captain Mandrake

      It’s funny that we are all considering Vrabel old (not one of the young guns) when he’s only 48. That said, Johnson or Slowik are who I would like to see them take a shot at. Not sure about McDonald though, so I would consider Vrabel my third option.

  17. Vincent

    Hi Rob, I am always impressed with your articles. Aside from knowing a lot about football, you are also an excellent writer. I think we are all going to be surprised by how well the Seahawks do this year. I think we are going to see just how much the former coaching staff was holding our team back.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you!

  18. MBrown

    i think the “stagnant,” comment was also a response on behalf of JA for the ‘not football people’

  19. Joseph

    I’m a big fan of Ben Johnson and I think Seattle would be a good match. Hell know how to utilize the RBs and WRs. Come up with nice decisive plays and is very aggressive. He did what Mcvay couldn’t, and that was get Goffs confidence back. Now goff is arguably a top 10 QB again.

    But I’m also very high in slowik.

    Slowiks background is interesting. Part of the shanahan coaching tree.

    Mike shanahan had slowik become a defensive quality control coach in Washington before going to offense.

    Slowik was key in Stroud’s development.

  20. Trevor

    I would rank coaching candidates.

    #1 Varbel – His teams always play hard. Watching them play Jacksonville the final game when they were playing for nothing it amazed me how hard they played. Clearly the guy can motivate and would love to see the Hawks going back to being a tough smash mouth team instead of what we have seen the last couple of years.

    #2 Ben Johnson- Rob laid out the reasons why he is a great option.

    #3 Bob Slowak- Can clearly call plays and develop a young QB. Can he lead men?

    #4 Mike McDonald- If they go with a defensive guy he is a no brainer. The only guy who had been able to scheme effectively against the Shanahan / Mcvay type offenses.

    Exciting times as a Hawks fan and a breath of fresh air.

    • Peter

      Pretty much agree. Not sure about Macdonald. Rob has presented some solid evidence about how hard it might be for him to build a staff. If Jim was staying at Michigan.

      The vent diagram of the Allen/Vulcan wing preferring CEO’s with experience and John apparently being friends with Vrabel coupled with having clear roles….one is the coach the other is the GM and Vrabel having his OC ( most likely) makes it an interesting call.

      I’m very glad they are going to talk to Johnson. Same with Slowik.

    • Joseph

      The problem is the expectations. Lot of Seahawks fans are pissed Pete was let go. So if we don’t have success early on, we’re gonna hear an earful from them and blasting the organization in the comment sections.

      • Rob Staton

        Those people can take a running jump — it was time for change

        The next coach deserves time to get it right and it might never happen. But it was still time for a change

        • Big Mike

          This X 1,000,000

        • Group Captain Mandrake

          To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut: “they can go take a flying f**k at a rolling donut. Go take a flying f**k at the moooooon!!!

      • cha

        And bringing Bobby Wagner back was going to fix the defense.

        And giving Jamal Adams one more year to get healthy was going to justify the trade.

        And Geno Smith can take this team to the Super Bowl.

        And Quandre Diggs is an elite free safety.

        • Sea Mode

          Twitter told me so too

          • cha

            For about 5 minutes there was a thing on Twitter that the Seahawks were so besotted with Dan Quinn, they booted Pete just to assure they could get him.

            • Rob Staton

              And Schefter also reported they might can McCarthy to make sure they keep Quinn.

              That talk has gone very quiet… and the Seahawks should take notice of that

              • cha

                I think it’s time for another dose of sound logic with Puck & Jim

                • Rob Staton

                  Love going on with the guys

    • Cysco

      I think your top-4 is pretty spot on with most people’s, the ordering just being different.

      My only issue with putting Vrabel in the top slot is that I can’t shake the feeling that our new coach needs to be an “X-factor” on one side of the ball. Our division is so tough. Our coach needs to be a true difference maker that can put the 49rs and Rams on their heels.

      I think Vrabel is a great coach and leader, I just don’t know if he provides that cutting edge thinking and play calling on either side of the ball. If we didn’t play McShanahan four times a year (they are true x-factors for their teams) then I’d be thrilled with Vrabel.

      • Peter

        Pretty fair.

        Perhaps the xfactor is fielding a team that wants it more coupled with “on paper,” a lot of talent?

        • Cysco

          I just don’t think so. The modern NFL is all about execution and being tactically superior to your opponent. Just look at the games this past weekend. The Titans, Lions and Packers didn’t “want it more” they simply out coached their opponent.

          You can’t say those teams had more talent. (well maybe except for the Lions) They just had a better gameplan and executed it better. In the case of the Rams, a lesser coached team would have gotten smoked in that game, but the Rams’ elite coaching kept them in it.

          Your coach (especially in this division) needs to be tactically brilliant on one side of the ball. Being a brilliant motivator is irrelevant if your opponent is tactically superior to you.

          • Cysco

            Err Texans

          • Peter

            Right. But the titans have fielded a top 10 scoring defense 2x, a top 15 scoring defense 2x, and a complete dud in Vrabels time.

            In that time Seattle has had a single top 25 scoring defense.

            And multiple duds…19, 22, 25

            So he’s actually able to be good to great on his side of the ball.

            Contrary to popular thought I’m not sure Shannahan is a master tactician. His success to me is game flow and execution. Mcvay I’ll agree is a tactician.

            I’m not going to go to bat too hard for Vrabel. But if you can produce a top ten defense a few times w/o LOB level players and goofy Arthur Smith can produce a top 10 offense w/o top tier talent that’s something.

            Additionally some has been made about CEO types. We all saw the rag tag band of misfits play Seattle hard when their season was over vs how Seattle played against the Rams both times, the steelers in a have to have it game.

            I’d love ben Johnson. But I’ll not hate a coach that can have their team ready to play on Sunday.

            Re: green bay….hard to know if they aren’t a very talented team at this juncture. Could be nothing, could look back a few years and say that team is pretty loaded on offense.

            • Sea Mode

              Contrary to popular thought I’m not sure Shannahan is a master tactician. His success to me is game flow and execution.

              Well that’s certainly a new one for me to hear.

              Just look at what he’s done with the QBs he’s had and what has happened when he left. Making the most of your strengths and masking your weaknesses with creative play calling. I’m not sure game management alone gets you there, and every team depends on execution.

              Anyways, I don’t mind Vrabel, but I want to see who he plans to bring in at coordinator that will be able to innovate and adapt to the game today.

              • Peter

                Well….if me a,lay person can watch the niners and know what they are going to do play after play that speaks to execution.

                Chris simms has spoke at length about how they run the same concepts over and over with settle shifts in alignment and bait and switch teams during the game with the same plays run from different players. I guess that’s sort of tactical. Seems again more execution if you could get JSN to be DK and vice versa.

                Also potatoe/tomatoe but his ability to in game put pressure is to me his strength.

                People point to the qbs….garropolo has always sucked and been overrated. Lance we hardly knew you. What he’s done with purdy and Matt Ryan once was/is awesome. Maybe though part of it is Purdy might be good?

                I have much respect for Shannahan. And think he’d be amazing with our weapons. There’s a bit of house of cards there as well. They did have that 3 game losing streak and people say “injuries,” but they lost to teams with fairly key injuries in that time…..

                • MMjohns195

                  IDK man, he’s won alot of regular season games, but for his mastery they haven’t won any superbowls yet. Despite having the most talented team for a few years now. He was the OC in charge of the 28-3 debacle, Lost to the Chiefs in the Superbowl, and then last year. He also just seems to be a miserable person to be around.

      • BK26

        I agree. Vrabel just seems like it is going to be: line up and best guys win, whoever fights the hardest and wants it more. Not sure what he is going to do himself that is different during game time. Out coach, out scheme?

        Personally, I think that he is the fallback. If Slowik and Johnson are gone, then what is left? Guy who can run the team overall? Or propping someone really really far up? Like Kafka?

        MacDonald to me is next, but Vrabel can come in with guys in place (even if I’m not an Arthur Smith fan, no matter what he’s done).

    • Rob Staton

      Trevor’s four names are also my four but in a different order

    • Sten

      The concern with Vrabel is this: is he capable or interested in developing a young QB? If he wasn’t able to make it work with Derrick Henry and AJ Brown, how will he be able to make it work with Walker and Charbonnet and DK? I know Tannehill is probably worse than Geno, but I’m not sure this team is capable of being that smash mouth punch you in the nose type team with all the finesse offensive weapons they have, which is their biggest strength right now. Even a very good tough running combo probably doesn’t equal Henry in his prime, and Frank Smith, the likely OC, while in Atlanta has produced the least inspiring ugly football the game has seen in a while. They somehow go half a game getting Bijan and Kyle Pitts, two generational talents, the ball 5 times total. Seems like our concerns with Waldron ramped up to 11

  21. LouCityHawk

    Had a long drive from Bloomington down to Louisville last night.

    Listened to the live stream, but found myself really ruminating on Anthony Weaver of the ravens.

    I don’t think we are talking about him enough. I’ll be very interested to see if he ends up being interviewed.

    • Rob Staton

      I think that would be a hard sell. He seems like a great coach, the kind you definitely want on your staff. But I’m not convinced he’s going to build a great staff, that he’s got the plans and ideas to drive this team forwards. To me the offensive guys lap the field with Vrabel alongside them, purely given his reputation and track record at Tennessee before the GM traded away AJ Brown.

      • LouCityHawk

        My top two haven’t changed.

        Johnson is the clear number one

        Slowik is the consolation prize

        Of everyone else, I’m starting to think that Weaver is the best of the rest. Although I would not be upset at Vrabel, Macdonald, Quinn Or Frank Smith

  22. Aaron Bostrom

    I found Schneider mentioning the difficulty of losing O coordinators very telling. He tried to explain the positives and downsides to hiring each type of coach to not necessarily show his hand, but the others felt forced. The way he went on about Alex Smith makes me think he doesn’t want to go down that road if possible.

    • Rob Staton

      💯

    • Cysco

      that, combined with the comment about understanding where the league is going really paints a picture.

      Sure sounds like his preference would be to go with one of the young offensive minds, but is probably hedging his bets incase he can’t land Slowik or Johnson. Vrabel, Quin, McDonald could be the back-up plan.

      • Rob Staton

        I think this is exactly it, Cysco

  23. Blitzy the Clown

    Schneider’s presser is still percolating through my mind. What a fascinating look into someone who up til now has been fairly opaque and in the background.

    So many questions answered about the course of the last 7-8 years. Such a difference in style and personality. Soft spoken, but direct and without any puff n blow.

    So encouraged by the vision he laid out. So excited for the journey.

  24. James Cr.

    Just wanted to say you are killing it with the content Rob…thank you!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks James!

  25. Jeremy

    I always enjoyed John when he did his draft day pressers with Pete.

    One that irked, though, is when he was clearly and publicly annoyed, much more than Pete, that Beast had signed with the Raiders or come out of retirement to play with them. He made fun of his nickname saying “Beast Mode” a couple times in jest.

    So that’s a potential issue. One thing cool about Pete is how many former players came back for various things. I hope John has the same loyalty and that my example is a one-off.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t blame John

      We all love Marshawn but he is/was a massive pain in the arse

  26. cha

    Browns OC Alex Van Pelt has been fired.

    He might be an intriguing add to a Ben Johnson coaching staff.

    Working under Stefanski for 4 years, and this year putting together game plans dealt with half their OL, Nick Chubb and Deshaun Watson being hurt, and making Old Man River a viable NFL QB again, if only for a few games.

    • BK26

      Man…maybe Stefanski is on the out too. Whether his decision or the team’s.

      Dare to dream.

      • cha

        Usually the coach is fired first, then the staff is released or fired.

        I think Stefanski would have to request his freedom or to be traded. The Browns would be nuts to let him go.

        • BK26

          Yeah, I agree. Not fully filled in on the Browns, so I was a little surprised that they let Van Pelt go. But I also don’t keep up to date on them.

          • Peter

            Surprised by the firing. Not sure from a distance what he did or didn’t do to hold them back.

            Stefanski has one more year with the Browns and the fans are pumped to see him extended. I’d play it out. He’s getting paid very little to his worth and while we go on about creative OC’s he seems like a coaches coach.

            Though I doubt in any world he’s that interested in the west coast. He seems all Midwest to me.

  27. Simo

    Is anyone at all concerned about JS as the unquestioned leader of this team now? He seems to get all the credit for the excellent draft picks back in the heyday and more recently but very little of the blame for the horrendous trades (specifically Adams, but add in Jimmy Graham and Percy Harvin from years ago). It also seems like Pete got the blame for keeping some poor/under performing guys around to long with bad contracts (Diggs, Dissly, Adams again).

    No GM is perfect but doesn’t JS need to shoulder some of the blame for these poor personnel decisions? Or are we of the belief that Pete pulled all of these strings while poor John had to just stand by and watch, not even able to express his disagreement?

    I just wish there was more transparency and understanding about how all these personnel decisions went down. I support John moving forward, I’m just curious how the team got into such a rut the past 8-10 years. How much is because of John’s decisions?

    • BK26

      Pete was the boss. In the end, it fell on him. You can tell certain signings and picks were for him, Adams especially. John had to sign him.

      They both get credit for the early picks. As much of the scouting was Pete coming from college. But these last two drafts I am giving all to John.

      He definitely deserves blame. But Pete Carroll was in charge. That was how it was set when Schneider was hired. The rut period was getting caught between getting rid of the Legion or keeping them, and then planning short-term success with Russ.

    • Rob Staton

      I have no concern at all

      Everyone raves about JS in the league

      • bmseattle

        I bet everyone in the Jets organization raves about JS! 😉

        I kid… but, seriously… I hope that the days of desperate trades where we clearly overpay in draft picks is over.

    • Tatupu51

      Either the team should fire JS or show confidence in him going forward. Keeping him as GM, letting him pick the next HC and holding a press conference showing all the times Schneider screwd up in the draft or in trades is illogical.

  28. Gross MaToast

    “In replacing Don Brown, a man twice his age, McDonald had solidified the defense and also refreshed the locker room culture, embracing more collaboration from players.”

    I still think an offensive guy is the way to go, but this was an interesting read on Mike McDonald and his progression through the ranks. My concern with him, more than almost any other candidate, is staff building.

    https://www.themirror.com/sport/american-football/michigan-jim-harbaugh-baltimore-ravens-269840

    • Cysco

      that Slowik vs McDonald matchup this weekend is must see TV. It’s very possible it’s a matchup between two of the top-three HC candidates for the Seahawks. OC vs DC. I can’t wait!

  29. Olyhawksfan

    I like Vrabel and McDonald but I just can’t get past the dilemma of losing a good OC after a successful season. I’m glad JS talked about that. Although the ‘established CEO’ (paraphrasing) cuts against that grain.

    If you hire Vrabel and a hot shot OC, have success, they’re gone and you’re right back to where you started.

  30. Troy

    Anyone else just super reinvigorated in being a Seahawks fan?

    Stale is the perfect word, this franchise has truly had no juice or energy since about 2017. So many of the same problems reared their head (slow starts, worsening defense, terrible coaching decisions and hiring), yesterday was the first day I actually wanted to watch a press conference and enjoyed doing so.

    I’m just pumped up, JS has killed the last 2 drafts, and hearing that he has done a lot of work already on replacement coaches makes me think this could work out well for us.

    Also anyone really hoping that they sort of do a mini 2010 and just totally churn roster? I want Diggs/Adams/Geno/Mone/Dissly, pretty much every veteran that is not at least performing to their contract to be gone. Lockett i think is still performing and is a legend but I would be so happy to see this roster churned, keep the good pieces, flip everything else you can get for picks, and just do a true reset. I’m ready for a year or two of suck if that leads to real positive change.

    • Troy

      Also hoping Dre mont jones picks it up second year otherwise we should probably cut him as well. need to remove all dead weight from this franchise, I hope john will be very aggressive this offseason with underperforming vets

      • Big Mike

        Yes I feel reinvigorated and like you,I’d love to see a major purge of overpaid vets. Keep Geno as a bridge FOR THE RIGHT PRICE, the rest you mentioned….buh bye. I’ll be dancing when the release of the glass peacock is officially announced.
        Dremont will be interesting. I’m not an X and O guy but maybe someone could jump in and let us know if he’d be better in a different scheme?

        • Henry Taylor

          If we do get a hotshot OC in as our HC, I’m totally fine with rolling with Geno for another year. Not that we shouldn’t be looking for the next QB from now until when we find one, but I look at what Ben Johnson has done with Goff and think if we get him there’s much less urgency.

    • Aaron Bostrom

      Totally. This past year, I couldn’t get excited because I knew they victims of the same issues plaguing them for years. I’d watch the games but had zero expectations, knowing they couldn’t do anything in the playoffs. Now, I feel like John is giving us a good reason to buy in and invest in this team again, to believe.

  31. Rob Staton

    Another reason why we can’t hire Dan Quinn:

    https://x.com/benjaminsolak/status/1747360984593735786?s=46&t=uv5_Cfk4hepYHPYUO6WNbQ

    • PJ In Seattle

      I hope you’re right. He does feel like a potential fallback option, but so many writers spilling ink about what a fit he is for the Seahawks, roots with the franchise, brought us our only SB win as DC (nevermind that we had an all-time, HOF-level cupboard of talent on that D that could have won multiple Lombardis), that it’s making me nervous.

      It’s a lazy take, but it seems to be everywhere.

  32. Odium

    Still love the new look of the blog. After using it a bit, the one thing I’d say is that I wish there was a link to the comments at the bottom of each article. Kind of a pain needing to scroll all the way back up. But this is minor.

    • Rob Staton

      Sadly this theme doesn’t allow me to change it

      I’ve spoken to someone about some coding work on it but it’s pricey

      • Peter

        You know….you have a fairly loyal base that I think would love to:

        Pay for whatever you need/want on a website
        Send you to the senior bowl
        Send you to the combine

        I know it’s not in you to ask….cause you literally never do

        • Rob Staton

          And I really appreciate you guys but I think it’s my duty to pay for these things

          • Peter

            If you cut the old fashions budget….

            • cha

              Out of the question.

  33. Brodie

    A couple of OT topics/questions:

    A buddy who moved to ATL says after Arthur Smith, most fans want a proven coach. He said they would love Pete Carroll. He also said that many are hoping for Belichek, but are worried about him not wanting to take the job with their current QB situation. He talked about draft picks and who will be gone by the time they pick at #8, or the cost to try and go after Cousins.

    So my two questions are:

    Would a team have to trade for Pete if they wanted to hire him? Would they need to request permission? I know he’s under contract, but are token positions like advisor given the same treatment as Coaches/Coordinators?

    Second – Is there a world where a team like ATL would trade for Geno to get a top 15ish starter at a bargain rate (due to us eating the dead cap)? If JS really wants to give Lock a shot and draft a QB this year for example, a team with limited cap can get a year of Geno for ~$14M with an easy option or walkaway next year.

    Likely a question for another day, but Rob pointing out JS’s lukewarm commentary on Geno, along with the idea that he is a bridge (why couldn’t Lock do that?) so may not be in the 2025+ plans, and would free up some cash and get us a pick? Matt Ryan was traded for a 3rd and could barely move at the time.

    Lastly, while it’s unlikely that one of John’s first orders of roster business is trading away out starting QB, he is the guy who was thinking of taking Mahomes if he fell in 2017 & trying to trade into position to take Allen in 2018. 4-5 years ahead of when things actually did happen. If he was okay moving on from RW at 29 years old… Geno turns 34 this year.

    Most of us want a QBOTF and assume that John does too. If that’s the case, wouldn’t trading our 34 year old, $31M, bridge QB for $14 M in cap space and a draft pick make some sense?

    We’d still need to sign Lock, so maybe it’s closer to $7-8M in cap gained. There also probably isn’t much of a market for him (ATL, MIN, WAS) so the offer could be a late day 3 pick. Regardless, just throwing it out there as an unlikely, but interesting thought (to me at least).

    • Brodie

      Sorry, didn’t realize that was so long.

      TLDR:

      Does a team have to trade for Pete and request interviews like they do for current coaches/coordinators?

      Any chance JS sees this year we will not be a contender and prefers trying to recoup a pick and some cap by trading Geno and using Lock as the bridge QB?

    • cha

      Would a team have to trade for Pete if they wanted to hire him? Would they need to request permission? I know he’s under contract, but are token positions like advisor given the same treatment as Coaches/Coordinators?

      Yes. Pete’s contract hasn’t changed, even though his role has. He’s still under contract to the Seahawks.

      However, with the Seahawks casting him out I cannot imagine them trying to pry a pick out of Atlanta’s hands for him. They might require Pete to release them from paying him in 2024 and that money can go back into the pool to hire the new coach every single coordinator or staff member he desires.

      Second – Is there a world where a team like ATL would trade for Geno to get a top 15ish starter at a bargain rate (due to us eating the dead cap)? If JS really wants to give Lock a shot and draft a QB this year for example, a team with limited cap can get a year of Geno for ~$14M with an easy option or walkaway next year.

      Possibly but unlikely they would get much of anything of value unless they somehow had their heart set on Geno. (Maybe in a crazy world they want Pete so bad they agree to trade for Geno? But that would say more about Atlanta than Seattle. Personally I’d be kicking up my heels).

      • Brodie

        Thanks Cha and fair points about Pete.

        Apparently the buzz in Atlanta is going after Belichek or Harbaugh. I guess Arther Blank had Bill out on his yacht for an interview. They’re talking about Belichek wanting to get the wins record (needs 26, so probably 3 more years) before he hangs it up and getting a legit QB would be the best chance ATL has at landing him.

        • cha

          I cannot recall if this was just mused or if Blank said it, but he’s not a young man and would like to be successful sooner rather than later. Makes sense that he would go for BB/Harbaugh.

          • Brodie

            Remember the Falcons were the team that was going to get Desean Watson. They had a big trade package and extension all set up and ready to go. It wasn’t until Cleveland (foolishly) offered up three 1’s and a fully guaranteed deal that things changed.

            With London, Pitts, Bijan, etc they have some skill guys in their prime. They need a QB and a coach that can unlock it all or have the connections to an OC who can.

            • cha

              Were also commonly thought a prime destination for Lamar Jackson when that whole contract kerfuffle was happening.

              • Big Mike

                IIRC in large part cuz he’s from the area

            • Brodie

              That’s right, Lamar too.

              I’m not sure how much power their GM actually wields. My buddy said that the Arthur Smith hiring wasn’t done by him and he doesn’t think he’ll have final say in who they hire this year or how much control they potentially give an incoming coach.

              If it is Harbaugh or Bill, you would think roster control will be a mandatory starter.

      • Phil

        I am mildly confused here. Why would they need to trade for Pete. The role has changed to “advisor”. I feel like anyone reasonable would argue that head coach would be a promotion over “advisor”, especially since no one on the Seahawks can explain what that actually means. On that basis, aren’t teams allowed to hire people if it is deemed a promotion?

        • Brodie

          To be honest, I’m not really sure what the rules are.

          Sean Payton left the Saints organization in 2021, but the Saints held his ‘rights’.

          Last year the Broncos traded a 1st and 2nd for Payton and a 3rd.

          I don’t think that is the going to be the case though and Seattle will let Pete go where he wants, but it does show that it maybe isn’t as cut and dry as if you offer a promotion you automatically get your guy.

  34. ShowMeYourHawk

    If we miss out on Johnson and deem Slowik not quite ready, give me McDonald as HC, Van Pelt as OC and Evero as DC/AHC.

    Done. *dusts off hands*

    🙄 Okay, okay. Fine. McDonald can pick his own staff. 😂

  35. RomeoA57

    I beleive that JS would trade Pete for a pack of Big Red if he could. Especially if they could get out of paying him the rest if his contract.

    Might be able to get a Day 3 pick for Geno, but that cap hit is going to suck. I think is is almost a certainty that Geno Smith is the Seahawks Starting QB in 2024. Who are they going to get that is better? I am all in favor of drafting and packaging picks for a QB. I do not expect this imaginary QB to start next season.

    • Brodie

      Yep, the ‘value’ in letting Pete go would seem to be in someone else paying him. I’m curious if there is any interest/demand out there for him. I’ve heard Vrabel and Belicheck mentioned a lot, but haven’t heard a peep about PC.

      I don’t think it’s a case of trying to find someone better, but a cheaper option to be the bridge QB. As it stands, we eat $17.4 M in dead cap this year or $8.7M in dead cap next year.

      I’m of the mind that we fix the cap this year. Eat all of the dead cap, sit out FA and see if we can get any comp picks. Then have a clean cap and plenty of space to start making your key FA signings in 2025.

      Geno didn’t have a bad year, so asking him to take a pay cut AFTER he missed all of his incentives seems unlikely.

      • Peter

        31.2 million cap hit. Maybe Geno didn’t have a bad year but it was pretty unremarkable. Going up 20 million in cap for a guy who doesn’t move the needle on his own….

        I think I’d be fine with it IF they draft an obvious replacement player in this draft.

        • Brodie

          If we go on the assumption that John does plan to draft QBOTF:
          – Want as much capital in this draft as possible to target your guy or OL help for him
          – A bridge is a bridge. He doesn’t need to be a great mentor (Aaron Rogers wasn’t) he just needs to buy time
          – Cap is tight and that is one area where we can save money

          Again, I’m just brainstorming here. I tend to play devil’s advocate in my own head with these out-of-the-box thoughts and based on what we know about John, I think you can make an argument that it would be a consideration with the right offer. I can also argue against it though (locker room, step back, ‘wasting’ rookie contract years, etc.)

  36. Brett

    I’m not sure how in-the-know Dan Graziano is, but here’s his prediction for Seattle in an ESPN+ article from today

    My prediction for the next Seahawks coach: Vrabel. I know, he hasn’t even shown up on the Seahawks’ interview list yet. And sure, Quinn has a connection to Seattle from his time as its defensive coordinator under Carroll. The Vrabel thing is a bit of a hunch, though I do have several sources who share the same hunch and the idea that he could be a sneaky late entry into this pool.

    It’s almost certainly a coincidence that the Carroll news broke the day after the news that the Titans had fired Vrabel. But it’s also possible that the opportunity the current high-level candidate list offers is part of the reason Seattle decided now was the time to make a change.

    • Peter

      Ahhh the media….what would the narrative be today if Quinn had shut down the packers.

      • BK26

        “I predict the guy that the team has said NOTHING to or about!”

        And look at that, a bunch of the head coaches were all fired within a day or two of each other…must mean something….

    • Ralph

      If PC was let go because Vrabel was the guy, why has he not been named the coach yet? I’m sure they have completed all of the mandatory interviews by now.

      • Rob Staton

        Because they’re — quite rightly – going through a proper search

        They may have ideal candidates while remaining open minded

  37. UkAlex6674

    Man I feel invigorated!

    Makes you actually realise how stale it was under PC.

    We are a genuinely attractive proposition for prospecting Head Coaches. The freshness has zipped back into the organisation.

    I’ve no doubt the likes of Johnson and Slowik will be keen to take a proper look.

    So pumped right now!

  38. BrandoK

    Alot of the talk about who’s going to be the Seattle’s next HC might be mostly coming from agents like before it was a sure fire lock that Dan Quinn was gonna be the guy then it went to Vrabel is ahead now. But from all of these information I don’t get the sense that its coming from anyone near JS he keeps his information close and never leaks anything unless he want you to hear about ala liking which QB’s in the draft. John probably knows who he wants and just making the right moves to persuade him to come if the guy he wants is not there he moves to option 2 or further.

  39. HOUSE

    Alex Van Pelt was fired by the Browns today. I’m guessing Stefanski isn’t going anywhere.

    https://www.nbcsports.com/nfl/profootballtalk/rumor-mill/news/alex-van-pelt-proud-of-time-with-browns-on-to-the-next-one

  40. AlaskaHawk

    I think Vrabel and Quinn will be getting a lot of attention from a variety of teams. They seem like leading candidates. Vrabel because he is more cutting edge, and Quinn because he is a proven coach and manager.

    Jim Harbaugh, probably just flexing to get the Michigan to pay him more – and absolve him of all football sins.

  41. CL

    Looks like Abe Lucas is getting surgery today, let’s hope he can get healthy again.

    We can’t know if it’s because of his knee, but I think that’s the most likely scenario

    • bmseattle

      Will be very interested to hear more details about this.
      I really hope that the issue can be resolved with surgery, and that he can come back at full strength (which is possibly better than we’ve ever seen).

      Having a cornerstone set at RT would be a pretty big deal going forward.

      • Peter

        It’s such a bummer. Like Witherspoon he immediately makes the team look better when he’s playing.

    • Whit21

      Hopefully.. retired OL always say they averaged 1 surgery a year..

      I think mark shlereth said he had 14 surgeries total..

  42. Peter

    Rob,

    Do you feel your Horizontal boards have been built with any kind of bias towards the hawks?

    I’m asking because I am very excited to see what thresholds remain and which go under John and a new coach.

    I remember watching cam taylor britt and thinking how awesome witherspoon and him would have looked together.

    • Rob Staton

      The horizontal board is purely built on how I personally would grade players but I like some of the ideas the Seahawks have had on personnel over the last 14 years

  43. Chris

    Rob,

    With Pete moving on, does that adjust how you evaluate players? I know in the past you’ve talked about how the team prefers players with particular traits, so I’m curious if a new coach brings changes to big boards or things like that?

    • Rob Staton

      Maybe — but that’s something I’ll need to reflect on when I’ve studied drafts without Carroll as coach. I’ll definitely do that this summer and beyond

  44. Palatypus

    One cool thing about Mike Vrabel that people may not remember is that he also played tight end. Here he is on the cover of the 2005 NFL Fact & Record book catching a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/YRwAAOSw3upeqVmG/s-l400.jpg

  45. Happy Hawk

    An ESPN article today predicted:
    Atlanta – B Belichick
    Wash – Ben Johnson
    Tenn – Aaron Glenn
    LA Chargers – Jim Harbaugh
    Las Vegas – Antonio Pierce
    Carolina – Brian Callahan
    Seahawks – Mike Vrabel

  46. Whit21

    A little off topic.. but saw this.

    https://uni-watch.com/2024/01/17/how-seriously-should-we-take-these-seahawks-rumors/

    A since deleted reddit post by a paralegal in Nike Oregon office said there were added retro white jersey and 2 others.. the description matched a mockup someone did.

    • Rob Staton

      I wish they’d just make the throwbacks the permanent uniforms — just with the current day logo

      • Whit21

        100% agree.. the brighter blue just looks better than the old blue..

        I always liked the away white jerseys.. they just didnt wear them much because a lot of teams had home white jerseys

  47. Sea Mode

    Oh my… 🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️ That one is going to haunt her for a long, long time! The long build-up just made it so much worse too!

    https://twitter.com/DaveConnellySG/status/1747402989680078901

    Any stories you got that are on or close to this level, Rob? 😀

    • Rob Staton

      I can honestly say… I have never done anything like this!

      However, one time when I went to cover a new patch I ended up commentating on a game for one of the new teams. This included live post-match media interviews live on the radio in the press box. I told the team’s head of media — text me the player you’re bringing up, because I don’t know any of them yet. It’ll be awkward to ask their name on air. He agreed.

      The game comes and goes. I see the other media guy bringing a player up for interview. No text, no name. I had no idea what to do other than to fill on air while furiously pointing at a team sheet, asking the media guy to point at who it was. Very embarrassing, sounded shocking on air and they chucked me under a bus there really.

      No long term harm done though!

      • Sea Mode

        Haha, at least it wasn’t self-inflicted; those are the worst! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Malanch

    The significance of this looming coaching hire pales in comparison to the significance of this looming franchise sale. Whoever ultimately ends out running this team should know that establishing and maintaining a process-oriented organization that stays true to its principles over long time horizons is the key. Coaches and quarterbacks come and go, so it’s on the owner to ensure the franchise itself is the foundation—not any coach or quarterback. I’ve gathered that the majority of NFL owners fail for this very lacking.
    Jody seems to think she gets this, with that “directive” of hers (which would be relevant if she were to buy in one day). Here’s how Brock and Salk framed it this morning:
    B – More than anything, (John) just needs to have a (coach) that will be in unison with him—total … They cannot compromise on what their standard is, and they’ve gotta have that vision simpatico. That’s what makes (the hire) a really tough job.
    S– Well, and what is that vision? Apparently, according to John, it’s a “directive” from above that it needs to continue some of what’s already been here: (John) “We have a clear directive from Jody Allen moving forward as we embark on our new coaching search. It’s clear, concise. We want to keep our positive culture—everything that’s been created here, everything in this building. … There’s a foundation here that’s incredible.”
    B – And I think that foundation, from above, from Jody, is: Keep empowering those players. Make it about the players. That’s been the beautiful thing and the foundation here. It wasn’t even about Pete Carroll. It wasn’t ever about John Schneider. It was about the people and the personnel and the players and the program. Keep it that way.
    So there you go, Hawk fans. Keep empowering those players. This must remain the most important thing going forward, the bedrock of the organization, as clearly specified by the head trustee herself …
    … Well, you’ve seen the fruits of long-term player-centricity, Pete Carroll-style, and you’ve seen how this philosophy has transferred to football fields (and box scores) in recent years. You know the trendlines and the trajectories with the analytics and the advanced stats—and how the team’s competitive will flat-out faltered multiple times this past season. You’re aware of the consistent demonstrations of weak emotional control, low football IQ, sloppy fundamentals, poor discipline, and lack of physicality on Sundays, among other ailments. Surely, you’ve wondered once or thrice whether all this player empowerment has possibly gone overboard at the VMAC? Perhaps you’ve posited that the line between player empowerment and player entitlement has become a bit blurry in Renton? For myself, I can’t not see this new era country club ethos as a clear factor in the team’s near decade-long retreat from contention.
    I do admit the social and political activism that prominent Seahawks personalities have engaged in over the past decade—perfectly expressive of Carroll’s community responsibility culture—present a potential growth area in the business of professional sports, as with elsewhere across the entertainment spectrum. ESG is gaining, not waning, and it’s making its way into many industries. I can’t help but speculate that Jody—or some other next owner (who will most assuredly be similarly guided)—figures she is best off taking the long view here, understanding that NFL franchise success in future decades will demand the ability to adapt to a competitive environment in which off-field winning is increasingly valued alongside on-field winning. If history is any guide, conventional profits should continue to take care of themselves just fine, so long as a given franchise is in good standing with the league. (I mean sheesh, the salary cap: up, up, and away, until the end of time …)

    • Rob Staton

      A word of advice, try and break up the text a bit. This was a challenging read as a wall of text with no para’s

      • Palatypus

        He probably did it on a phone.

        • Malanch

          I’ve considered the possibility Jody could be the answer for Hawk fans, like maybe her spending time with the team could spark something in her—perhaps some sense of obligation (as with her brother) provoking her to get involved and vie for a stake in the franchise. Fanciful thinking, probably.

          An owner who goes to great lengths to ensure the franchise thrives on the field year-in and year-out is ultimately what fans want, and Jody’s insistence on drawing the line with Carroll still a year out from reckoning day does seem to indicate some willingness on her part to grind a bit. Keeping the team on track through the coming Great Transition will take some work, and the Hawks seem to be some kind of priority for her at the least.

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