Should The Hawks Fire GM Tim Ruskell?

Lars HansonCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2009

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 19: President Tim Ruskell of the Seattle Seahawks watches warmups before play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 19, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Since 2000, the Seahawks have had three general managers. Former head coach/GM Mike Holmgren (1999-2002), Bob Ferguson (2002-2005), and Tim Ruskell (2005-present).

All three were respectable GM's. Holmgren built the foundation for the Super Bowl team of 2005 and was responsible for the Seahawks best decade in team history as both coach and GM.

In 2002 the Seahawks fan base was pressuring the Seahawks organization and Mike Holmgren to step down.

Holmgren accepted the step down as GM but said he would remain with the Seattle Seahawks organization as the team’s head coach.

Bob Ferguson stepped in after Holmgren was forced to step down as GM and isn't really known for flash as the Seahawks GM the way Holmgren was and the way Ruskell is.


After the firing of Bob Ferguson, the Seahawks owner Paul Allen and CEO Tod Leiweke went on a in-depth general manager search which included now Chiefs GM Scott Pioli among others.

The Seahawks and Paul Allen landed on Atlanta Falcons GM Tim Ruskell to replace short term GM Bob Whitsitt.

The first year of the Ruskell era kicked off with a bang as the Seahawks went to their first and only Super Bowl in team history. It was led by an outstanding draft which included center Chris Spencer, MLB Lofa Tatupu (now valued as a top-five pick), and the highway robbery of LB Leroy Hill in the third round.

However since that great draft of 2005, Tim Ruskell has consistently dropped the ball and it started in 2006 with CB Kelly Jennings. Then it was CB Josh Wilson in 2007 (second round pick). After that they took DE Lawrence Jackson in 2008 and actually had a great pick in 2009 with LB Aaron Curry.

Lucky for Ruskell he's walked away with some great players outside of the 2005 class. However it seems that the first round is not his strong point.

Look at all the contributors he's taken outside of the first round: DT Brandon Mebane (third round, 2007), LB Will Herring (fifth round, 2007), DE Darryl Tapp (second round, 2006) and TE John Carlson (second round, 2008).

Outside of those players Tim Ruskell has consistently missed the ball or the ball has not grown to its full potential. (Not including the young 2009 class.)

CB Josh Wilson is not the NFC West type of CB that can be successful. The NFC West type of CB is over six feet, has great hands and speed. Wilson does not match up against Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree or any other WR outside of Donny Avrey.

DE Lawrence Jackson is improving this season but still has a lot of work ahead of him and if the Seahawks do want to rebuild I'm not sure I see him sticking around.

Now, yes, there have been injuries the last two years and none of that is Ruskell's fault because I havn't seen him lineup and roll over his own players' ankles.

But some of the players have plain underachieved and underperformed since being drafted, signed, or traded for.

Ruskell's biggest mistake was trading a first round pick to the Pats for WR Deion Branch in 2006.

The most interesting part of this trade was the fact that the Seahawks passed up 5-10 WR Santonio Holmes in the 2006 draft for Kelly Jennings and now look at the scenario.

Branch is a seven million dollar bust and Holmes is a top NFL WR.

Now as we look at the current state of the Seahawks franchise, the team is 2-4 heading into the break and it looks like the Seahawks will have to suffer another dead season.

But the question for the rest of the year will be, can they replicate what they did in 2005 with a new head coach and a new GM?

I would like to say that it's not Ruskell's fault nor is it Mora's for the 2-4 record but you have to fight, even with backups. Hasselbeck is coming back and so are a lot of former injured players, but you have to motivate your team when they are down.

I'm not seeing that and maybe it will change. However Mora is a Ruskell guy, not a Paul Allen guy. So if Ruskell goes and the Seahawks finish 4-12 or 5-11 there might be a few calls coming out of the Renton HQ.

There are a few candidates that could possibly take the possible GM vacancy if Ruskell is fired. Could be...

1. Mike Holmgren: Parcells like and remember that he built the Super Bowl team. He can do it again.

2. Tod Leiweke: Easy in-house fix.

3. Mike Shannahan: Would either become GM/HC, or HC, or GM. Either way he would be a great fit.

I'm sure there are others but those are the three that jump off the page.

It will all depend on where the Seahawks finish this season.

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