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How not to rebuild your franchise: Hags version

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  • How not to rebuild your franchise: Hags version

    I love this. Maybe Carroll will be the new Parcells/Holmgren/Shanahan but I doubt it. After several disappointing seasons filled with some all-too-familiar issues like injury plagues,FA flops, aging stars plummeting, FO power struggles, it sounds like The Hags are now entering their own Limpehan era.And this guy Schneider gets a bump up the NFL exec foodchain with a get-out-of-jail-free card if it all goes wrong.

    Schneider: Seahawks GM job 'even more attractive' with Carroll

    Associated Press
    RENTON, Wash. -- John Schneider was already a candidate for the Seattle Seahawks' general manager position when the team bolted from the NFL norm last week and hired college czar Pete Carroll to be its powerful head coach.
    Seattle's new coach is driving the GM and the rest of the organizational train, rather than vice versa. It's not exactly how the 17-year veteran of personnel moves and recent right-hand man of Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson was used to operations working.

    Yet Schneider considered the credentials of Seattle's coach, the fact Carroll would have equal or more authority than the general manager on personnel issues -- and he just shrugged. The boyish-faced, 38-year-old native of rural Wisconsin signed a four-year contract to become a first-time GM anyway.
    "When this thing went down with Coach Carroll I had a moment where I thought, 'OK, that was different.' But that's how they had to do it to get a guy of his caliber," Schneider said of the man who restored a dynasty at USC from 2001 until last week.
    "Then I thought, 'This job is even more attractive right now."'
    The Seahawks introduced Schneider Wednesday to complete the reinventing of their broken operation that has gone 9-23 since Seattle's last playoff appearance in January 2008.
    Schneider was picked from among four finalists. Team CEO Tod Leiweke said the immediate connection between Carroll and Schneider in last week's interview was vital in the final decision.
    "Most compelling for me is the amazing energy I saw between the man to my right and man to my left," Leiweke said, sitting between Carroll and Schneider. "They connected, they saw eye to eye and they had a similar philosophy on how they wanted to do this."

    Schneider replaces Tim Ruskell. The Seahawks forced Ruskell to resign as GM and president last month as Seattle was finishing 5-11 and losing its last four games by a combined 123-37.
    Schneider began his NFL career as a college intern who "basically stalked Ron Wolf" in 1992 before Wolf gave him a job. He has been the Packers' director of football operations since May 2008. He was the top personnel assistant to Green Bay's GM for six years before that. He spent 2000 as Seattle's director of player personnel in the Seahawks regime of Thompson and former Packers coach Mike Holmgren. He was the vice president of player personnel for the Redskins for one year, 2001, before returning to Green Bay.
    His role in Seattle is unique. Unlike most general managers who get say over the coaching staff, Carroll was in place for a week before Schneider's hiring was made official.
    But both Schneider and Carroll said they hit it off from their first meeting. They rambled on during their initial interview so long they kept Leiweke late into the night and from celebrating his 50th birthday.
    The team will be built around Carroll's philosophy and Schneider agrees with that approach, Leiweke said.
    "If someday there is a dispute between these two guys and there's a coin toss, we are going to build the team around this man and his players," Leiweke said, nodding to Carroll. "Pete wins the coin toss.

    "But that's not an issue, because (Schneider) walked in from Day One saying 'We have a special coach, and we're going to build the team around the philosophy of this coach."'
    Leiweke also clarified that salary cap and contract issues, handled by returning administrator John Idzik, will be under Schneider's control. Previously, Leiweke believed he'd have three positions atop Seattle's remodeled football operations: "a cap/contract door" for money and number crunching; a GM door that Schneider will sit behind; "and Pete will have his own, unique door."
    Leiweke said his job will be to ensure collaboration that has worked throughout his business career, including his last several years with Seahawks owner Paul Allen's Vulcan management company and helping Allen run the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders.
    "We wanted to create a team approach where we're unified in our goals," Leiweke said. "It was a heartbreaking couple of years, and in some ways people here deserve better."

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  • Nick
    SEAHAWKS: League insiders say team is in disarray
    by Nick
    League insiders say team is in disarray
    By Greg Bishop
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    KIRKLAND — As the Seahawks' search for a team president stretches into Day 26 this morning, the free-agency clock most certainly is ticking and what the team calls "due diligence" is translating into "past due" in some NFL circles.

    There are 16 Seahawks scheduled to become free agents on March 2 and five restricted free agents scheduled to entertain other teams' offers, which the Seahawks have the right to match.

    There is not, at present, a team president, a vice president of football operations nor a college scouting director — three executive positions vacated in the past month.

    Each problem compounds the other, leaving a front office filled with more uncertainty than people to handle one of the most vital offseasons in the history of the franchise.

    "They are in the worst situation of any team in the league, with that many free agents and their front-office situation," said Sean Salisbury, a former Seahawk and current ESPN analyst. "It's called chaos. And that's what's going on in Seattle."

    The Times posited the Seahawks' situation to a dozen agents, executives and analysts around the league. What emerged was something akin to Chaos Theory Lite.

    The Seahawks are not facing an impossible mission. Not yet, anyway. What they are facing is less than a month to hire a president, a vice president and a college scouting director, evaluate players for free agency, ink as many of their free agents as they deem necessary and prepare for the draft.

    "I couldn't see too many other places putting themselves in this predicament," said Randy Cross, an analyst for CBS. "I imagine it doesn't exactly expedite the process. For the Seahawks, it's safe to say the better part of the foundation of their franchise is sitting there on hold."

    The first three weeks of the Seahawks' presidential search was perceived around the league as an exercise in foot dragging. Late last week, the team brought former cap expert Mike Reinfeldt on as a consultant, a move one NFC general manager called "the second-best thing they've done in a while" — a subtle nod to the firing of former president Bob Whitsitt on Jan. 14 being the first.

    Ted Thompson, then VP of football operations, left the same day to become general manager of the Green Bay Packers. Scot McCloughan, Seattle's former college scouting director, left last week to become VP of player personnel in San Francisco.

    Agents for Seahawks free agents were dealing mainly with Jay Nienkark, director of player administration, before Reinfeldt arrived. But they didn't know who would make the final call or when. Reinfeldt has stabilized some of that anxiety; each agent polled had already received...
    -02-10-2005, 10:56 AM
  • tdog08
    seahawks head coach mora is fired, pete carroll hired?
    by tdog08
    just heard it from the nfc west blogger from espn.
    -01-08-2010, 10:35 AM
  • MauiRam
    Who's really in charge? Stellar power structures boost NFCW
    by MauiRam
    By Albert Breer

    Owner: Bill Bidwill, 52nd year
    General Manager: Steve Keim, 1st year
    Head Coach: Bruce Arians, 1st year
    Other front-office notables: Michael Bidwill, President; Jason Licht, Vice President of Player Personnel; Mike Disner, Director of Football Administration.

    Who's really in charge? The new structure for the Cardinals is marked by the failings of the old structure, where things seemed to go south after Ken Whisenhunt got control over the 53-man roster written into his final contract. That undercut GM Rod Graves' power, and both wound up fired. And so the Cardinals turned to Graves' well-respected right-hand man, Steve Keim, who'd been a strong GM candidate in previous years and was a finalist for the Jacksonville Jaguars job this year.

    Keim has power over all personnel matters and the 53-man roster, and he helped in the process of finding a new head coach. Bruce Arians reports to Keim, but Keim and his staff have made a point of involving the coaches and making sure they're on board with all their decisions, which plays into the GM's background as a football man and on-the-road scout. Keim's surrounded himself with likeminded people, starting with Jason Licht, who was a finalist for the Chicago GM job last year and has worked under Andy Reid and Bill Belichick.

    Graves' departure left a need for a salary-cap manager, and the Cardinals hired Mike Disner away from the NFL's management council to handle that end of the business, and give the club a resource in an official who played a significant role in the labor negotiations.

    Moving up the chain, Keim reports to Michael Bidwill, who is involved in bigger-picture football decisions and has taken over for his father in running the club day to day.

    An outside perspective from an NFC personnel executive: "I respect Arizona, and Keim is very well-respected. They believe in their area scouts, they trust them, and they're all involved in the process. The way I look at it: You're paying them to do a job, you should keep them involved. They've been around the kids for two or three years, their opinions matter. From a talent and character standpoint, the GM has the final say there, but he's keeping his guys involved. They keep an eye on the future there. ... Keim does it the right way: He's out on the road, he does the school calls, and he started on the bottom and worked his way up. He has a good eye for talent. And we'll see where it goes now that he's got the final call. He's a football guy, and he has football people running the show."

    Owner: Jed York, 5th year
    General Manager: Trent Baalke, 3rd Year
    Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh, 3rd Year
    Other front-office notables: Paraag Marathe, Chief Operating Officer; Joel Patten, Director of Player Personnel; Matt Malaspina, Director...
    -07-14-2013, 11:22 AM
  • RamDez
    Seahawks are happening in Seattle
    by RamDez
    Seahawks are happening in Seattle
    By Lori Shontz

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Coach Mike Holmgren (right) has had a steady rebuilding plan, which has ended up paying dividends for QB Matt Hasselbeck (8).
    (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

    It wasn't that long ago that on the entertaining Underground Seattle tours, which take tourists under the city to see the old city, now buried by a series of natural disasters, that guides used the city's professional football team as a punchline.

    Oh, Seattle's had it's share of disasters Earthquakes, fires . . . Seahawks.

    Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who arrived in town for the 2001 season, had no idea such jokes were being told. "That would hurt my feelings," he said. He meant it. The one-liner didn't make him laugh.

    The fact is, Seahawks jokes wouldn't get much of a laugh anymore.

    The Seahawks, who went to the playoffs as a wild card team last season, are returning five Pro Bowl players: Hasselbeck, running back Shaun Alexander, offensive tackle Walter Jones, offensive guard Steve Hutchinson and special teams star Alex Bannister. Their defense, anchored by former Rams lineman Grant Wistrom, is ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

    Although the Rams are the defending NFC West champions, the Seahawks are considered the team to beat, and they are also wearing the label "legitimate Super Bowl contender."

    All this from a team whose road record over the years has been another surefire laugh line, a team that had never quite captured the heart or mind of its city. Rams defensive end Bryce Fisher, who grew up in Seattle, is typical. He and his friends grew up rooting for the Raiders because the Seahawks were so bad.

    But for Sunday's game against the Rams at Quest Field, coach Mike Holmgren is expecting that the sold-out stadium full of screaming fans will be one of his team's advantages.

    "It's kind of like when it first happened in St. Louis," Wistrom said. "How fired up everybody was, how new it was to everybody. And the energy that you can feel. It's very exciting to be a part of something like that again, where everyone's appreciated and fans are fired up about it. All everybody wants to talk about is the 'Hawks right now."

    In this, his sixth season in Seattle after 13 successful seasons at Green Bay, Holmgren has finally put the Seahawks where he always believed they could be.

    "If the organization is willing to stay with you - if they believe in you, first of all . . . and they give you enough time, you should be able to improve," Holmgren said. "And they have done that with us. Now we have pretty good depth, our money situation's in pretty good shape capwise. Hopefully we can keep this thing going and get into the playoffs again."
    -10-10-2004, 01:17 AM
  • Nick
    Holmgren only coaching one more year in Seattle
    by Nick
    Holmgren to coach Seahawks for one more season
    By José Miguel Romero
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    KIRKLAND -- Mike Holmgren is coming back to the Seahawks for one last season.

    He confirmed that this afternoon in a news conference at team headquarters, ending all questions about his immediate future. He said the 2008 season will be his last as coach.

    Holmgren said last today that he needed a few days to discuss his future -- either retiring or returning to fulfill at least the final year on his contract with Seattle -- with his wife Kathy over a short vacation in Arizona. He returned from that trip earlier this week.

    "Kathy and I came to a decision this weekend to finish my contract, and we're very happy about it," Holmgren said. "We're going to go after it hard one more year."

    Holmgren, 59, has coached the Seahawks since 1999, guiding the team to five straight postseason appearances and four consecutive NFC West titles along with a Super Bowl appearance in the 2005 season.

    He came to Seattle from the Green Bay Packers with an eight-year contract, then signed a two-year extension just before the last year of that original deal in 2006. That was just a few months removed from the team's only Super Bowl appearance.

    Holmgren was the Seahawks' general manager along with being coach from 1999 to 2002 before relinquishing the GM position. Tim Ruskell has been Seattle's GM since 2005.

    Holmgren said last week he might consider another contract extension, but his choices came down to either walking away or staying for another season.

    Holmgren's record with Green Bay and Seattle is 170-110, one win behind Joe Gibbs for 10th in NFL history. He is 86-68 in nine seasons with Seattle and passed Chuck Knox this season for most victories by a Seahawks coach in franchise history.

    Leaving town at the end of a season and decompressing before making a decision to return as coach is nothing new to Holmgren, who has mulled his future at this time of the year several times since coming to Seattle.
    -01-22-2008, 04:07 PM