Pete Carroll is the face and voice of the Seahawks franchise these days, but in any sport, there is a great personnel man behind every mouthpiece. General manager John Schneider took his first shot as a major decision-maker with the 2010 Seahawks after almost two decades in the Green Bay Packers front office.
Hes been a relatively anonymous force in the complete redefinition of the franchise, but dont mistake that anonymity for unimportance. In the locker room following the Seahawks wild-card win over the New Orleans Saints, Schneider opened up about the process.
There are so many great stories on this team Pete Carroll, Marshawn Lynch, Mike Williams, Brandon Stokley, Raheem Brock guys who couldnt find their current place in the NFL elsewhere for whatever reasons. Can you talk about what you saw in them what the common denominator has been?
Its really the passion and love they have for the game. The pride they take as professionals. And thats something thats hard to evaluate you just have to look a guy in the eye, and see if he can do it. Pete could compete at any level, because his approach is just about competing and getting better every day. Mixing that with what we do on the personnel side is just special.
Is there a particular intangible you look for?
Its a passion to get back to where they feel they belong. Marshawn Lynch Im sure he feels that hes one of the best backs in the National Football League. Hes looking for a place to prove it, and were trying to provide that home. Michael Robinson, same thing. He came from San Francisco theres younger guys, too. Kentwan Balmer worked out well for us, and Junior (Siavii) got hurt there were a lot of guys. Raheems a pro. We had a specific need, and he was released, and he was able to help us out in his role.
When you and Pete Carroll first talked about putting this team together, what was it about him that resonated with you, and told you it would work out?
We both have that desire to improve ourselves and the team every day. Its a constant, and its always happening. I know it sounds like coach-speak at times, but its the honest-to-God truth. Were both open to learning and taking risks. If we fail at a certain decision, were willing to admit our mistakes and move on, and try to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
You look at the 2001 Patriots, and 2007 Giants, the 2008 Cardinals there are all these teams in the past decade that overcame average regular seasons to play in, and often win, the Super Bowl. Are the 2010 Seahawks one of those teams that gets hot at the right time?
I think these guys have been able to rally around each other in tough times. Its quite an interesting group of players. We werent able to go completely young; we had some veterans, so we had a mix here. There were some guys with playoff experience, like Raheem, Lofa (Tatupu), and Matt (Hasselbeck), so its an interesting mix of guys.