Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
NFL Coach of the Year – Pete Carroll & NFL Executive of the Year – John Schneider
In case you hadn't heard, the Seahawks made quite a bit of noise this offseason, which carried over into the preseason as well. Controversial decisions, such as dragging on a three-man quarterback competition, investing in high-risk players (Terrell Owens, Bruce Irvin, Kellen Winslow) and "overpaying" Matt Flynn, have thrust both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider into the limelight.
While that noise has generally faded, the many critics (including our own B/R writers) who took turns lambasting both Carroll and Schneider's moves will be watching closely, waiting for their opportunity to scream, "I told you so!"
However, Carroll and Schneider couldn't care less about what the critics say or think—nor should they.
In two years, this unconventional, yet dynamic, duo have rebuilt an aging and soft team into an up-and-coming, young powerhouse. With over 500 transactions in less than three years, Carroll and Schneider have shown they will do whatever it takes to get the best group of players on the roster, even it that means bringing in guys like Terrell Owens only to cut him a few weeks later, or benching a newly signed quarterback making $19.5 million over three years for a rookie third rounder.
That's the beauty of Pete Carroll's "always compete" philosophy. There's no politics involved here, it's an open competition to let the best man win the job. And it appears Schneider believes the same.
Shortly after joining Carroll in 2010, Schneider began an expansive overhaul to rebuild the Seahawks' roster. Of course, there were some misses along the way, but overall Schneider has made some incredible, under-the-radar moves that haven't received enough attention.
Among the most noted transactions under Schneider's tenure thus far have been the acquisitions of Chris Clemons and Marshawn Lynch through trade, as well drafting late-round gems like Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor (both fifth rounders).
This year, Schneider finally gets his just desert for re-signing key free agents, as well as finding the latest crop of gems from this years' draft: Russell Wilson (third round), Robert Turbin (fourth) and J.R. Sweezy (seventh), who projects to be a starting guard even though he played on defense all throughout high school and college.
In terms of evaluating and securing talent, it’s hard to find a GM and coaching combination that have have accomplished more over the past few seasons. This year, Pete Carroll and John Schneider get the last laugh and share in the credit for the Seahawks' successes.
2012 Pro Bowlers:
Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Robinson and Russell Okung.