Seahawks new GM John Schneider: 'We're a team'
Seahawks GM John Schneider, introduced at Wednesday news conference, says he's ready to work with Pete Carroll and isn't worried about how that's going to work.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The first meeting with Seattle's new general manager was friendly enough.
John Schneider was funny at times, self deprecating at others, and his enthusiasm for the job at hand was apparent as he was introduced as the Seahawks' new personnel chief.
It's just that Schneider wasn't all that informative. Nothing personal, mind you, he just wasn't interested in getting all that specific when it came to the personnel.
Not when it came to comparing the current state of Seattle's roster to what he saw when he arrived in 2000 for a single season he worked under Mike Holmgren.
"I'd rather not talk about that [comparison]," Schneider said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us, but that doesn't mean the guys that are here can't play."
And Schneider wasn't interested in pinpointing just how often he'll use free agency to augment the talent on hand.
"We're not going to turn our backs on anybody, OK?" Schneider said. "We're going to figure out what we have, and we're going to move forward and try to improve that every day."
And he most certainly didn't want to appear to beat his chest when asked to pinpoint which players he hand-picked for the Packers during the past seven seasons with that franchise.
"We don't go there, brother," Schneider said. "It's all about we. It's all about us as a team."
While Schneider didn't share much about who'll be on the roster, Wednesday's news conference was a chance to get a sense of who Schneider is, which is a self-described cheesehead who looks younger than his age of 38.
Schneider went to college as a Division III halfback and left with a job in the Packers' personnel department that was a product of perseverance.
"I stalked Ron Wolf, basically," Schneider said of the longtime Packers GM.
First, he wrote letters. Then he got his hands on Wolf's office phone, calling during Memorial Day weekend in 1991 planning to leave a message only to have Wolf answer the phone, and just like that he had an interview. The interview led to an internship, which in turn led to a job as Packers personnel assistant from 1993 to 1996, leaving for Kansas City only after Green Bay won the Super Bowl.
In 17 years in the NFL, Schneider has worked for Wolf, Mike Holmgren and with Marty Schottenheimer twice. When it came to his career, Schneider had one of those nonstop motors that football scouts love so much, and now he comes to run the personnel side of an NFL franchise.
He's in charge of giving Pete Carroll the players he wants. Carroll is the coach, and he will have input in any personnel decisions, and should there be a deadlock on a decision, Carroll holds the trump card, according to team CEO Tod Leiweke.
Schneider has worked for four different franchises in this league in arrangements that varied from a coach having total control of the football operations to teams that have a president as well as serving in a traditional general-manager structure.
But there is one thing he said he's never faced.
"Not once have I been in a situation where it was a personnel guy trying to cram a player down a coach's throat," Schneider said. "In my personal opinion, a personnel guy that's going to try to do that is basically, he's killing himself.
"Doing what we do, we're here to build the team that's going to be structured around coach Carroll, his philosophies for every position, what we're going to be doing on offense, what we're going to be doing on defense."
• Pat McPherson has been hired as Seattle's tight-ends coach. Vacancies remain at running-backs coach and an assistant for the offensive line. Sherman Smith, an original Seahawk who played with the team from 1976-1982, is expected to interview as running-backs coach today.
• Carroll confirmed the following staff additions previously reported: Alex Gibbs (offensive line), Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Jedd Fisch (quarterbacks), Jerry Gray (secondary), Ken Norton Jr. (linebackers) and Brian Schneider (special teams). Dan Quinn (defensive line) and Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator) were retained.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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