We had the opportunity to chat live with the Seahawks GM, John Schneider this evening. What a great time! We hope you enjoy the transcript.
Julie : Welcome to this special live chat event through H2H. We appreciate you all taking time to come by and participate. We especially want to thank Mark and the members of Seahawks.NET for joining us. Zack and I are proud to welcome John Schneider, GM of the Seattle Seahawks! John, thank you for coming to talk with us. We’ve all be very excited. Now, let’s get started!
Julie: A question from Stigmata of H2H: If Hasselbeck is the 2010 starter (which seems will be the case), does that give the team enough time to really evaluate Charlie Whitehurst as a potential starter for 2011 and beyond? He’s only signed to a 2-year deal, and it seems that we’re not going to see what he can do in a real game situation for half of that time unless Hasselbeck gets hurt.
John Schneider: Thanks for having me…hope everyone is getting ready for a great Memorial Day weekend! We have actually been spending a ton of time evaluating Charlie during our OTAs and will see him play a lot during the preseason. We have also been evaluating him for a number of years now.
doodybritches: I’m really intrigued by the Whitehurst trade… What did you see in Charlie that other teams may not have?
JS: We are excited about the trade and adding much needed competition to the qb position. We were actually competing with Arizona in order to acquire him. Saw him play live in college and throw in a driving rain / wind storm, so we loved his arm strength and velocity. He has also been studying under a very talented – preparation qb in Phillip Rivers.
stigmata: People who talk about Pete Carroll’s supposed lack of success in his New England and New York stints often point to the fact that he had very little control over personnel decisions in both of those situations. How much input does Carroll have in the personnel side of things, and if it is a significant amount, are you concerned that as a rookie GM, you may be viewed as little more than a figurehead as a result?
JS: Lets talk about the first question. I’m not concerned about any type of reflection upon myself. We have a team atmosphere here, with a lot of input from scouts and coaches together. Pete and I have a great relationship, but there is no question that he is the face of this organization.
jacob: If this doesn’t give too much away, do you anticipate the Leo package being, more or less, an every —down package?
JS: Regarding the Leo package…it is a full — time part of our defense. It is an actual position, much like the one that Clay Matthews played at USC.
jacob: Was the Darryl Tapp – Chris Clemons + fourth trade predicated on Tapp not being a fit for what coach Carroll intends to do?
JS: The Tapp trade had more to do with Philadelphia’s aggressiveness in trying to acquire Tapp and our wishes to acquire more draft picks. We felt that with the addition of Clemons that it was more than a fair trade.
smgc: Will the potential lockout next year affect your decisions when making long term deals for free agents, rookies and players from the ‘Hawks you are looking to extend?
JS: Great question. Yes it does. We have to try and figure out what the landscape is going to be down the road, but the most important aspect of a team’s success in the NFL is their ability to evaluate their own players first and foremost. Can’t answer the part about extensions. Would not be appropriate. Great question though.
doodybritches: John, thanks again for doing this… How close were the grades on Eric Berry and Earl Thomas? I had the privilege living in Nashville to watch Berry play for three years, and I thought he was the top ‘can’t miss’ prospect. I was surprised to hear the draft gurus who had their grades even.
JS: Another great question! Loved Eric Berry and believe that he is a can’t miss prospect as well. We just felt that Earl was the best corner in the draft as well as a very close comparison to Berry at Safety. Earl would have started at corner in 2010 had he returned to school. Great question, you are on it!
guest: Seems that pass rush could be our biggest weakness, do you see the team upgrading or looking at the defensive end/LEO positions during preseason as some players are let go?
JS: We will be looking to upgrade all positions all the time, that is our job! There is no question that we need to upgrade our pass rush, but nie out of 10 teams would feel the same way right now! Our defensive staff is very good and will do a great job in this area!
RockHawk: Most agree that the team is in a rebuilding state right now. How do you keep the interest of a “win now” fanbase while trying to rebuild the team to compete for a championship in two or three years?
JS: Wow! you all have great questions tonight! I would say to the fan base that they should be excited to see us compete everyday, even away from the football field. We have made 70 some transactions since we arrived and are going to keep “working it”. If I was a fan, I would be jacked to follow this an know that my team was doing everything possible to get better…”what’s next?”
guest : why so many moves at the wide receiver position? seems like every day I look at hawk news, we either let go or signed a WR
JS: Love receivers and we need to improve the size at this position. Branch, Butler, and Tate are impressive players, but most successful teams have one or two taller receivers. We are just trying to find the right mix here.
R_Donut: Sorry, JS, but your draft and many of the ‘lowbrow’ acquisitions are becoming the stuff of legend. Assuming you guys build a competitive base, will you ever pay for a top shelf free agent?
JS: Hey…where did Rdonut go?…Lowbrow is a bit harsh don’t you think? We are going to spend money on the appropriate types of free agents. Free agency can be dangerous, especially when you spend big money! Lots of risk involved.
jacob : Do you like the new overtime rule change?
JS : yes
Zack: H2H Member CP asks: Do the Seahawks employ a staff of statisticians/economists who try to evaluate the relative worth of a potential free agent? Secondly, do the Seahawks have a staff of statisticians who break down tenancies of other teams, and the Seahawks for that matter, in terms of positional and situation play-calling? If not currently, is this something you plan on looking into, or is it something franchises do believe has value added?
JS: Yes and Yes
kf3339: With his renewed work ethic, do you see Mike Williams battling for the #1 WR position on the team?
JS: Mike is doing a great job right now! We are excited his off – season so far. How far he can take it is truly up to him!
dukat156 : I’m sure everyone is happy with the running backs now on the roster but were you looking to draft one at any time?
JS: yes…always looking to upgrade at every position.
guest: when will walter jones be raising the 12th man flag?
JS: Hopefully soon! That would be a great thing to see! Don’t you think?!
RockHawk: What do you think of the VMAC? Do you think it gives the Seahawks an edge in the free agent market?
JS: Great facility. Right on Lake Washington. Are you kidding me? Very impressive facility.
Zack: John, on behalf of Julie, myself, and everyone here at Helmet2Helmet, including our guests, we’d like to deeply thank you for taking time out of what I’m sure is a very busy schedule to stop by and chat with us. You’ve provided excellent insight into the Seahawks and any football fan could appreciate what you’ve ../shared with us tonight.
JS: Thanks for having us! it was a great time! I hope you all have a great Memorial weekend! Go Hawks and continue to be LOUD!