We start with the biggest move of the weekend: The Packers, formally hiring an internal candidate for their open general manager position.
John Schneider is staying in Seattle – we can all breathe a big sigh of relief.
I’m sure some fans have soured on Schneider the last couple years. And I get it: There are a bunch of moves that haven’t worked, from Eddie Lacy to Cary Williams in free agency, to high draft picks like Malik McDowell and a bevy of offensive linemen who haven’t panned out.
But to me at least, the very real possibility of Schneider leaving Seattle this week was a wake-up call. No way would I want the architect of a two-time Super Bowl team abruptly leaving, especially at such a critical time in this franchise’s history.
After all, Pete Carroll might say he’s not retiring any time soon, but I’m pretty sure the last thing he’d want to do is move forward with this very delicate transition with a brand new collaborative partner. Not with such little salary cap space and such big decisions to make with aging stars like Michael Bennett, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman – and not with uncertainty surrounding the futures of Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril.
To me, Schneider is still one of the best talent evaluators in the league. The Packers’ interest confirmed as much.
And fortunately, whoever denied Green Bay permission to interview Schneider, whether it’s Paul Allen or Carroll or both, feels that way too.
“Always compete:” Even in the offseason, from the locker room to the front office.
But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be other changes in regard to the coaching staff. Carroll refused to address potential coaching changes, but it shouldn’t prevent them from a critical evaluation of their position coaches, many of whom have had multiple seasons to prove their worth.
Case-in-point: Take a look at the Seahawks’ rushing numbers the past two seasons, compared to the previous four years:
2017 - 1629 yards (23rd)
2016 - 1591 yards (25th)
2015 - 2268 yards (3rd)
2014 - 2762 yards (1st)
2013 - 2188 yards (4th)
2012 - 2579 yards (3rd)
They’ve gone from a perennial powerhouse in the run game to the bottom third in the league. A one-year outlier has now turned into two.
Then take a look at the amount of quarterback hits the Seahawks have allowed the past six years: A notable spike the last three seasons, including Russell Wilson getting hit 121 times this season – the third most in the league.
2017 - 121 QB hits allowed (3rd most)
2016 - 111 QB hits allowed (4th most)
2015 - 114 QB hits allowed (3rd most)
2014 - 91 QB hits allowed (12th most)
2013 - 94 QB hits allowed (11th most)
2012 - 64 QB hits allowed (28th most)
I’m not an expert, but it doesn’t take one to look at those numbers and say that your 24-million-dollar-a-year quarterback shouldn’t be getting hit at that kind of rate!
And as Carroll said multiple times this week and will say in our interview later tonight, there is a clear formula for success, and a strong run game is a big part of it.
If that’s the case, a change or two should be made. Or the history we just showed has a good chance of being repeated again.