Seahawks Insider

Take of the week: How I’d fix the Seahawks

Post by Doug Conarroe on Dec. 19, 2009 at 8:57 am with 80 Comments »
December 19, 2009 3:01 pm
Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Seahawks/ AP Photo Ralph Radford
Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Seahawks/ AP Photo Ralph Radford

Editor’s note: This is the first in a weekly series where frequent contributors to the comments section of the Seahawks Insider blog are offered a forum to voice their opinion on a specific topic of choice involving the Seahawks. Submissions are read and edited beforehand.

By Duke Snyder (Dukeshire)

The Seattle Seahawks are broken. Not in the same way the 2008, have-no-hope-to-win Detroit Lions were. Nor are they on a path to competitiveness and respectability in the way that the 2009 Detroit Lions are.

This is a club stuck in transition, whose roster is an amalgam of aging, overpriced veterans, underachieving young draft picks and players with fringe NFL talent, all pressed to service by a highly energized and emotional coach.

As the 2009 season nears its conclusion, much less seems certain about this franchise’s direction than was believed when the campaign began. Team president and general manager Tim Ruskell has stepped away and savior-in-waiting Mike Holmgren is (not so) patiently awaiting the nod. This week alone has seen Coach Mora call out the team’s starting center and the club’s starting left guard shot back. Not good.

So, where do they go from here? Let’s presume for a moment that Spencer Stuart introduces me to Tod Leiweke and he brought me aboard transitioning from “them” to “us.” Here’s what I do:

Greg Knapp, Seahawks offensive coordinator
Greg Knapp, Seahawks offensive coordinator

1. On January 4th, the day after the Seahawks final game I call Jim Mora into my office. I inform him that changes to his staff will be made, including offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and special teams coach Bruce DeHaven. I would not dismiss Mora himself, unless of course he is entirely resistant to these changes (in which case I invite Jon Gruden out to lunch that afternoon).

He should see this coming. Knapp has not had an offense in the top 10 since ‘03 and not ranked higher than 23rd in any of the last, three years. DeHaven has been given high-level kicking, great return men (Josh Wilson and Nate Burleson) and an undervalued punter all to produce mediocre and very sloppy units. Jim Zorn and Alan Lowry would be contacted. Mora would be given another opportunity to succeed.

I seriously question whether Mora is the long-range answer as this team’s head coach. But I don’t believe either, that one season is a reasonable measure of what he might become here. My rational self wins out over the emotional. It’s a photo finish

2. Deion Branch, Deon Grant and Patrick Kerney are cut (and Craig Terrill on general principal). I realize there are financial ramifications in eating the bonus money due to them. I don’t pretend to be an expert in cap management, but the uncapped year, should it remain that way, seems like the ideal time to purge these bloated contracts. I re-sign Darryl Tapp, Rob Sims, Ben Obomanu, Cory Redding, Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan and I make a play at Nate Burleson before he hits the market if he decides to exercise the player option in his contract at season’s end.

Jahri Evans
Jahri Evans

3. Sign one of the top, FA O-linemen (Jahri Evans or Donald Penn naming two, even Deuce Lutui for the “dirt bag” factor). I understand the uncapped year also draws out a player’s four seasons to six, allowing them to become an unrestricted FA, and therefore will cost draft picks to sign one. But with two, first round picks, it allows flexibility to address the team’s greatest need.

Short of that, make a play at Elvis Dumervil, who also becomes a free agent at the end of the season. He too will be expensive, but if Seattle is to compete again, the pass rush must be fixed.

4.The draft. Simply said, there are not enough picks to address all of their needs but OL, DE (unless otherwise addressed in FA) S and RB must be addressed. This team is in desperate need of an explosive playmaker, CJ Spiller? Matt Hasselbeck’s replacement too must be taken into consideration. It’s a risk, but I’m willing to wait another year and see how Mike Teel progresses.

5.Bring back Mike Holmgren

There are many ways to go about rebuilding a team. I believe you start on the lines and work backward. But without strong direction from the top it’s all moot and this team is currently in dire need of that. This is not a one year, patchwork project. This is a near-total house cleaning. But I believe these steps begin to right the ship back toward respectability, competitiveness and championships.

Categories:
Take of the week
Leave a comment Comments → 80
  1. stigmata says:

    With the exception of bringing Holmgren back, I’m with you on the bulk of your suggestions, especially the Evans and Penn FA calls.

  2. Bernie42 says:

    You lost me at “Deon Grant [is] cut…”

  3. snydro22 says:

    Duke, great thoughts and great, great, writing.. Thoroughly enjoyed it..

    That said, I disagree about some personnel decisions, and I am not in favor of bringing back Holmgren..

    I don’t think Cory Redding fits into our plans for the future – and in general I think a bigger “shake up” is necessary for this team.. I think that goes along the same lines as wanting a new GM (a fresh set of eyes and a sharp ax) rather than bringing in Holmgren..

    A lot of our underperforming veterans are still Holmgren guys (whether he drafted them or not, they have a connection) and I am not sure he would be able to make the tough decisions that are necessary.. I love him, because he is classy, but he is also nothing if he isn’t stubborn.. Both he and Ruskell were notorious for clinging to their bad decisions for too long.. It’s time to change that mentality..

    Imagine if the Mariners had passed on Jack Z because Pat Gillick was available.. Think about it..

  4. “Imagine if the Mariners had passed on Jack Z because Pat Gillick was available.. Think about it.”

    Gillick won a WS for Toronto and Philly, and even brought the lowly M’s to be a playoff contender. How many WS has Z won yet? Just sayin’…

    If Holmy brought us world championships…I think I’d be pretty happy. Bottom line is winning. And some of what Holmgren brings has nothing to do with his GM skills. Some of it is based on reputation—you can bring in better players. I think he’s the right man for the job.

  5. PS- Well done Duke.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    What is happening with the Mariners should be a inspiration to the Seahawks. I too agree that Holmgren can be too stubborn but part of the appeal he has for me is the youth of the staff. I really feel they need an experienced hand now. And if I’m being totally candid, I’m not in the Holmgren or nothing camp. I could do an entire piece on Ruskell’s replacement, so choosing Holmgren here is a bit of sentiment, cop out and “safe”. And this was a broad brush piece, too. Dismantling the roster could have been it’s own piece but I went with a broader topic.

    As for Grant, purely financial. That contract has got to go.

  7. snydro22 says:

    Pat Gillick destroys organizations in the process of bringing home the trophy.. He leaves the cupboards bare, so to speak.. There is a bigger picture.. But the sentiment is that you HAVE to look and see what options are out there, because there may be something better..

  8. Been out of town for a week – and it looks like the M’s have made most of the news.

    Excellent call on Dumervil, Duke, I didn’t realize he was a FA to be – wouldn’t that be a plum signing? I wouldn’t cut Kerney – he’s still a serviceable DE, and still a significantly better pass rush threat than Tapp or Jackson in my opinion – better to try and re-work his deal. Grant doesn’t stink either – but it would still be one of my top goals to upgrade the Safety position.

    I hope we’re not seeing the Holmgren ship sail away through our inertia.

  9. seahawklovertoo says:

    Dukeshire = Duke Snyder = snydro22(?) =?=?=? It will turn out that half of the people that post here are Duke Snyder !!! Yikes and yuck. What is this world coming to? I was driving home this morning and this man had a T-shirt that said I am Duke 2 . ( I didn’t get it then…) Next thing, when I make out with Pamela Anderson ( in my dreams), as I’ll take her blouse off, she might have hairy chest and ” my name is Duke” tatooed )….. can’t even go to sleep now. AAAAAAAARGH

  10. OutSydeDog says:

    Good read Duke, kudos : )

    I love Holmgren and his place in Seahawks lore is set in stone, but I’m not convinced he’s the guy we need in the job that is open, GM. It’s not the Pres/GM job that TR filled. I think Holmy wants to run the show, not just be a cog in the wheel.

    I like Mora, but he needs to break out of his love for his favorite assistants and favorite players, and clean house. He needs to be the tough guy, the dirtbag, by cutting any player, or firing any assistant that isn’t getting the job done. Or by another name, this teams’ unquestionable leader.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  11. Well done, Duke!!! You’re a terrific sports writer! I can’t wait until you get that blog off the ground.

    I like how you included links all along the way to bios and youtube highlights. That really adds a lot of value to the article while making the most of the limited space you have to work with.

    I’m wondering of those lineman would fit into our zone blocking situation or if you are implying that by dumping Knapp we’re scrapping the zone blocking right along with it.

    Dumping Grant and Kerney makes sense financially bit I’m not sure if its realistic…guess it would depend on who we draft and find in FA. Can we wait until training camp to get rid of those guys?

    How about Spiller? He seems like another smaller sized back. I was hoping more of a bruiser like Dwyer. What pick do you think we’d have to use for Spiller?

    Are we good at WR? Would you consider Golden Tate?

    Elvis Dumervil would fix our DE situation but he’s too small to play DT. Any thoughts there?

    Snydro…thanks man. Great posts!!!

  12. ElPerroGrandeIII says:

    I’d start by beating Tod Lieweke like a rented mule.

  13. Southendzone says:

    The sad thing is how almost each point 1 – 5 is so straight forward and logical yet all of our fears that none of them will occur are totally justified.

    I think on the cap issues related in #2 we’re not in horrible shape, we’ve had all those players around for a while and the hit won’t be that bad.

    Holmgren is probably the most arguable of all the points. I’m not saying he has to be the one but he absolutely has to be in the running. That link from the other day saying he was NOT on the list prepared by the consulting group and/or he isn’t in the running due to issues with FO management is very concerning. Don’t just take Holmgren thinking he’s the savior look at a number of qualified candidates with MH being one of them, then make an informed decision.

    Seahawks.. please do it right. This team is NOT on the right track with the current coaching staff and personnel. I’m going to the game tomorrow and I’m starting to think we would be better served by a loss than a win and I don’t mean anything about draft order. I don’t want a false win to disguise how pathetic this OC and DC and their schemes are.

  14. variable575 says:

    Good thoughts Duke–

    However, seen as how you’re with in our ranks expect to me ripped on more so by some than you might see if Eric had written this post.

    If next yr is not capped, what if they cap the following yr? Seems like no one could really go on a spending spree………….unless the hand out big bonuses upfront?? That’s gambling but it sure would be nice to see a Dumervil, Evans AND a Latui! And yes, don’t waste a pick on a QB this yr……..Protect Mathew and he has 3 to 4 more yrs in which case you can draft a QB the following yr——–Get Mathew some PROTECTION!!!!!!

  15. variable575 says:

    Quick hit————Audible, you’ve been throwing out some darn good posts.

    I have to admit, I was toying with the notion you were still in high school………….J/K :)

  16. Dukeshire says:

    Golden Tate would definitely fill the play maker chasm on this team. He’s legit.

    Thanks for the kind words, fellas.

  17. variable575 says:

    ERIC!,,,,,,,,

    The fellas need to pick out the appropriate day(or perhaps you could) but we need to start voting POSTER OF THE WEEK!

    I would say vote Monday and results on Tuesday, however, given what happens on Sunday usually and the venting process that must ensue, everyone’s posts usually take a dive in quality—So maybe we should vote on Saturday and results by Sunday or Monday? What does everyone think?

  18. Thanks V,

    Way beyond high school but just immature for my age!

    Snydro is kicking ass today…now, if we could get ElPerroGrandeIII to step up and post some serious analysis, this blog is going to be smoking!

  19. variable575 says:

    On Holmgren—

    Maybe you’re in the group that we can/should go in a fresh direction. Maybe you’re in that group that questions Holmgren’s mistakes as GM in the past. Here’s what we know.

    1) To be a HC in the NFL is extremely difficult—to be successful would be extremely improbable.
    2) Holmgren was successful with the Hawks as HC.
    3)He did have to balance two of the most difficult jobs at the same time—All the while implanting the cornerstones of the franchise that would catapult us to the SB.

    Holmgren could be asked to come back as GM and nothing else. He did it once before while the HC and built a successful team(for the most part=talking cornerstones). Now as just the GM, could possibly unleash talent that we’ve yet to know from him. His passed failures with mid-round picks could what turn us around in a year his 2nd time around. And we know he’ll get it done in the first round.

    Holmgren’s 1st go. HC/GM successful and a HOF HC

    Homlgren’s 2nd go. GM with a strong possibility/probability of HOF work as GM! And that is not a stretch. Wherever he ends he’ll do tremendous work–I want the hawks to bear the fruits of his labor.

  20. fountaindale says:

    You don’t need the best players to win in the NFL, you do need the right players. We are six players away from really good. Whether we can acquire those pieces is certainly questionable. The players are Derrick Morgan, Ndamukong Suh, Eric Berry, CJ Spiller, and two dirtbag offensive lineman that can get you three yards on third down. The names will obviously be different but the game is the same. Our quickest path to success is a team resembling the Superbowl XXXV winning Ravens featuring a dominating defense and a “just don’t lose it” offense. Jim Mora can coach that team. What we need is a GM that can unearth those players and an organizational commitment to become that team. The organization needs to be dominated by the head coach. The head coach has the most narrowly focused perspective. You don’t need the best players just the guys who play one style really well… your style.

  21. SpellStitchedHawk says:

    Nice post Duke. I’m really liking this site. A couple of points:
    1. On Sims respons to Mora calling out the line, Sims response of “I’m tough, I’m playing hurt” shows completely that Sims doesn’t get it. He’s got to play with fight, like its his grandmother he’s protecting. Playing hurt isn’t good enough. He’s got to play mean.

    2. I wouldn’t throw out Bruce Dehaven. Good special teams requires good LBs. Our depth is thin there due to the extra DL we have and with Hill having been out and now Tatupu, the good backup LBs are starters. We need an explosive returner to replace Nate as he’s too valuable as a receiver.

    3. Whole-heartedly agree with draft, OL positions. We don’t need a QB and we can make do with the RBs for another year. We must fix the OL or no one on offense will have a chance.

  22. SpellStitchedHawk says:

    Assuming we can get in 1 to 3 new OL in and they start playing well, we’ve got to keep the nickname “Dirtbags” around. Just having the nickname makes them seem tougher. Imagine them getting introduce as the Dirtbags as they run into Qwest. Sometimes the name can create the mentality.

  23. microbeer says:

    Veterans that must be shown the door are

    Branch-Redding-Kerney-Spencer-Terril-J. Jones-Lucas

    Coaches who must be shown the door are

    Mora, Knapp, DeHaven

    It is painfully clear that this team can’t play on the road and is unprepared in most weeks. That’s Coaching. Also, I have no fing clue what Mora is talking about when he says the effort is not the issue and that it’s a given. B.S.

    It seems to me that we have a bunch of other players that aren’t good enough to start or play lots of snaps (Wrotto, Vallos, Jackson, Babineaux, Bryant, Tapp). Some would argue Tapp but what has he done in 5 years that has distinguished himself?

    We also have players playing out of position (Willis and Unger (up to now))

    That list of players is 15 out of a 53 man roster

    Our areas of obvious need are OL, DE, S, CB, and RB

    That said we have the luxury of going anywhere in the draft because of all the holes.

    Jesus what has happened to us. BLOW IT UP!!!!

  24. chuck_easton says:

    Duke,

    I’d agree with everything except Holmgren, but with a caveat. Hire the best GM the team can find. If that happens to be Holmgren, great, but don’t do the panic thing and hand the man the keys to the kingdom without first making sure there is nobody better.

    If MH can’t/won’t wait around for Seattle to do that then so be it.

  25. JohnnyBG says:

    Dukeshire, Sorry for this wet blanket. You are an interesting contributor, but I think it’s important for fans to understand where they really stand. Your analysis was okay as a fan analysis, but here is a much more realistic version. Lets call it how *I* would fix the Seahawks, should they be forced to hire me for the job. Be forewarned. My fix is far more realistic, but far less interesting.

    1) I call Mora into my office and inform him that he and his staff will spend many hours with me. We will discuss what they were trying to do this season, what they think went wrong and right, and where they think the team should go from here. We will watch extensive game film and I will also spend hundreds of hours watching game film on my own, getting caught up with them. Fortunately I am just smart enough to realize that as a fan, I have very little idea of any of where the problems lie compared to them, partly because their overhead game film (of which they have all watched hundreds of hours) shows them all of every player’s play, partly because I have almost no knowledge of what went on in practice and meetings, and partly because without knowing what they had to modify due to players talents and lack thereof, I have no idea how good or bad the coaches are at what they do.

    2) I spend many more hours with the front office and scouting dept. and find out everything they know about where we stand salary cap-wise, what they costs are of cutting players, and who is coming available as FAs and in the draft. If I feel inclined to cut any players, I bring them in to talk about where they think they are, healthwise and mentally, and why they performed like they did.

    3) I contact likely candidates for scouting and management positions around the NFL, ask them to study Seahawk game film and prepare presentations about what they think happened with the Seahawks and what they would do differently if hired. I contrast this with what Seahawk personnel have told me and see which makes more sense.

    4) After forming tentative opinions from all this discussion and analysis, I bring in Mike Holmgren and other GM candidates, ask them for the same presentations and have hard discussions about who seems wise and who seemed whacked and where we should go from here. Meanwhile I talk to Leiweke about Holmgren and his issues and weaknesses, especially the things that went on behind the scenes while he was here.

    5) For the big decisions I lean heavily on the guys who seem the wisest and view my own opinions skeptically for the first year or so, until I’m really caught up.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, I agree with that. I addressed it in part, in a post responding to one of snydro’s comments.

  27. sugashack says:

    Agree with stigmata – all is good except Holmgren. Being a good GM is much harder than being a good coach or player so I’d rather find an executive that knows football than a coach trying to be an executive.

    I would have liked to see your early projections on the draft. I know it’s tough to do so early but at least draft by position would have been nice. That being said, we probably should start a draft thread now :)

  28. Dukeshire says:

    That was intended for Chuck.

    JohnnyBG – I’m not sure that’s a “wet blanket” to my post. I certainly would not call it “more realistic”. I don’t think there is anythin I posted that is much of a stretch. Perhaps taken in whole, but if looked at as pieces, very realistic, from where I sit. As an example; I will be shocked if Knapp is back as OC. I too will be stunned if Branch is a Seahawk in ’10. And so on. I do like the input however.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    sugashack – I was asked to keep it in the 500 word range. My first draft was nearly 1500 with a significant portion devoted to the draft. The draft deserves it’s own separate piece. And I’m sure I’m sure you are right, it won’t be much longer before one is up.

  30. Dukeshire, I just want to give you a shout out for a great post this morning. You generated a lot of interesting chatter in the comments section, which is what a good post should do. As Dukeshire stated, he was limited to around 500 words, which did not allow him to get into greater detail on subjects like the draft. We’ll do an early draft preview just after the season is over to get folks thinking about the draft. Thanks again Dukeshire for getting us started on the right foot. Who’s up next?

  31. Dukeshire – Great article! Thank you for the excellent read & analysis.

    I’m still wondering though, what about your vision of the team?

    What kind of team do you see the Seahawks being, starting in 2010 to, say 2020?

    WCO with strong run game, same as ’05 under Holmgren, but with a re-arranged ZBing OL & another speedier J.Forsett? Use the FB for 3rd downs?

    Etc. And Thanx again for the excellent read!

    WCD (4-3 Over + Tampa 2) or 3-4, or?

  32. Well, I’d like to say to Dukeshire, “Congratulations on being officially published (if this is your first time)”.

    I thought it was well written, concise,… all in all a quality expression of your opinions re. the Seahawks.

    As for the content, well, I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole.

  33. Good read, Duke!

  34. Dukeshire says:

    Good question, Kim. In the near future I really see them getting away from the so called Tampa 2 on defense. I’m not sure we’ve really seen much that would traditionally resemble it anyway. They rarely play man or press coverage and the safety play is no where near competent enough to allow the corners really be aggressive in that way. Moreover, in the short term, they haven’t shown anything close to a consistent pas rush with the front 4, either. Bradley has found the most success when they bring either the SS or a LB with the 4 man. With LBs like Hill that really can be a great pass rusher (along with Curry and Hawthorne who have shown ability there as well) I see him developing a big and fast (yes, you can have that) not small and quick, seek and destroy defense. Mebane, Lofa and Curry are the base of that unit and that’s what they are. Wilson (while smaller) and Hawthorne also play very aggressive and look to hit people. I don’t really see a transition to 3-4 either. With Lofa’s health recently and Bradley’s creativeness, I see him finding ways to keep Heater and Lofa both on the field. Perhaps some type of 4-4 hybrid in the right situations. But I see something closer to the Pitts model (sans the 3-4) than the so called Tampa, despite his backround.

    On offense, it remains to be seen. That unit will be almost completely turned over in just a couple of years. Whoever the next OC will determine the direction. I honestly have no idea what shape that unit is striving for.

    As for 2020. Whatever the shape of the Seahawks have become, lets hope it’s successful enough that teams are employing the “Seattle model” to their franchises’.

  35. variable575 says:

    Duke–

    Did I read a post correctly, you graduated from shorecrest HS? Might i ask what yr? My brother graduated from there quite some time ago and had his 20 yr recently.

  36. Dukeshire says:

    Not me, someone was thinking I was someone else. I’m from Redmond. Sounds like I’m your brothers age though.

  37. coachhawk says:

    On general principle thank goodness NO ONE within the organization will see or have to listen to your uneducated comments. Go manage your fantasy team and go luck with your continued writing for your high school newspaper.

  38. coachhawk – if these comments aren’t worth your while, why are you even here reading them?

    Duke – if you still have your 1,500 word version… you should email it to me. I’d like to read all of what you came up with. Again, good post.

  39. JohnnyBG says:

    Dukeshire,

    Here’s my point in a nutshell. If the Seahawks were forced at gunpoint to hire either you or I based upon what you wrote here and what I wrote here, they would hire me hands down. Why? Because I realize how unequipped and uneducated I am for the job and you don’t.

    Now that leaves you with plenty and me with little of substance to say about the Seahawks, so, carry on!

  40. Dukeshire says:

    I got it. I’ll polish it up a bit and sent it along.

    coachhawk – I’m curious what you took exception with, specifically?

  41. variable575 says:

    Coachhawk–

    The only accomplishment you made with your post was not to undermine a good analysis, but rather, to show all who read yours what a true ding dong you really are. Doubt you could manage much, I’d make a safe assumption that you try your hand at fantasy football, due to your reference, and would make an even safer assumption that you fail at that as well worthwhile posting.

  42. SpellStitchedHawk,

    Nice post…welcome to the Insider! We’re always looking for fresh blood who have something to contribute. I look forward to reading more comments from you!

  43. variable575 says:

    JohnnyBG–

    you’re missing the whole point as to why we have this blog—-creativity. So if you want to offer up a post stating what you’d do with the hawks, to the effect of i’d let everyone else around me handle it, that is fine. If someone has a more creative and entertaining idea that should be fine to. Why get into this “they would hire me hands down” stuff? Unclench you a$$ cheeks dude–you don’t have anything to prove to us–because we don’t care.

  44. wabubba67 says:

    coachhawk,

    When you suck on lemon, is it the lemon make a cringing face? Are you really that jealous or did your parents just drop you one too many times as an infant?

  45. coachhawk,

    If you disagree with commentors get specific and make a rational argument so we can all learn from you/ Nobody thinks these posts are going anywhere….we just like to banter among ourselves and put some of our ideas in writing so we can compare notes and learn from each other.

    Mature men behave with a little more class than what you demonstrated in your last post. Now, if you know something Duke doesn’t…without attacking anyone, let’s here it! We’re all ears and will appreciate your effort. If not, then at least be cool and act like a mature man with a little class.

  46. variable575 says:

    Audible–

    You handled that a little more diplomatically than I.

  47. variable575 says:

    In other news—

    The Mariners traded Silva away for the rights to making board games???

    Hope he’s more productive that Silva–shouldn’t be too difficult.

  48. variable575 says:

    I really need to start proof reading my posts.

    Take care fellas

  49. Dukeshire says:

    JohnnyBG – Trust me when I tell you I realize where I stand regarding my qualifications for being a NFL general manager. I have none. I’m a fan and a passionate one, at that. This was a fan post and the opinions expressed were in that context. I believe everything I said will help this team but in no way do I believe that somehow makes me “equipped” for the job of GM. It’s a little surprising that I have to explain that the entire scenario of me becoming the teams GM is a fantasy and nothing more than a way to introduce the changes I’d like to see take place. Good grief.

  50. JohnnyBG,

    Ditto what I just told coachhawk. C’mon dude…you’re a man so behave like one.

    If you’re a good guy, you would never behave that way toward someone in person…the anonymity of a blog really brings out the cowardice and pettyness in a lot of people…don’t be that kind of person.

    We want your analysis…and, by the way…your point is well taken but lost with the bad mannners you exhibited in your last post. Agree…it’s important to understand your own weaknesses….the thing about Duke is I’m pretty sure he would surround himself with some very successful people, but the whole thing is kinda silly because none of us are going to work for the hawks in that capacity.

    So instead of silly posts…how about we talk football. Now show us what you know…or at least give some thoughtful commentary. But, above all…be cool because most of us around here are pretty cool. I hope you decide to join us.

  51. variable57,

    I don’t want to chase anyone off…just encourage everyone to contribute in a meaningful and polite way. This blog is only as good as the guys who spend time posting. Just because someone acts like a jerk doesn’t mean he doesn’t have something useful to contribute. I really don’t want to see anyone get banned…just want people conduct themselves with a little class and maturity and act like men and not little punks.

  52. variable575,

    I really don’t want to chase anyone off….but rather just encourage some of the young guys to act like mature men and not little punks. Some of those guys can make really solid contributions with the same effort that the use to make stupid comments.

  53. Sorry for the double post…that was weird.

  54. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    i agree with most everything except holmgren and jones, JJ needs to go.
    i love holmy don’t get me wrong, however i think it’s time to go in a new direction with a new GM/Coach. reguardless of 05 i would love Cowher his record speaks for it’self 161/90/1 including playoffs, 8 division titles.
    also Shanahan would be a good choice.

  55. I don’t know about Cowher….it took 17 years to get his team to win a Superbowl…and I didn’t like how he stuck with Kordell Stewart for so long.

  56. Dr. Dukeshire, Kudos on a solid post!

    A couple of comments:

    #1. I would agree Knapp berry likely loses his job, and that Mora (like him or not) probably deserves another year. But I also like the idea of canning the whole coaching crew and convincing Jon Gruden to return to coaching. When you call Gruden for that lunch, call me too. I’ve always wanted to buy Chucky a beer and talk football.

    #2. Cut Deon Grant? He is declining, but this team needs safeties. Plural. We can’t cut the only good safety we have and end up with three good safeties on the roster next season. Milloy needs to retire, and both Grant and Babs need to fight for their jobs and hopefully both can be replaced.

    I would “re-sign Darryl Tapp, Rob Sims, Ben Obomanu, Cory Redding, Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan and make a play at Nate Burleson” I would also keep Brandon Frye to compete at ROT, and seriously consider offering Chris Spencer a reasonable contract on the condition he undergoes a full spinal exam and the doctors give the OK. We need to remember a key lesson of the 2008-09 seasons: Five good staring O linemen is not enough. The team needs a starting caliber OT and starting-caliber OG sitting on the bench in order to avoid what we just went through. Spencer can backup or start while younger guys develop. He just needs to accept a reasonable salary.

    #3 and #4 FA and draft priorities: Right on. This team needs Big Uglies on O and D.

    #5 Hire Mike Holmgren: Well, hire him to do what? GM? VP of Football Ops? Either way, you may as well put that at #1 and cancel the rest of your list.

    If you hire Holmgren, you just gave him the power to write the list of who stays and who goes. He likely keeps Mora, since Holmgren doesn’t believe in firing a coach after one year. And he likely drafts a QB early in the draft so he has a pet project to work on. And he likely pisses off his coaches by meddling in their business. But the decisions would definitely be his.

  57. Stevos,

    Great post….though, I doubt Holmgren would draft a QB early in the draft. If he did so, that would be a first. His MO is to either draft a QB later in the draft or trade for a QB who’s on another team. His ability to spot QB talent is one of his stronger selling points as GM, considering that we need to start thinking beyond Hass.

  58. You made an excellent point that no one else has mentioned (afaik): If 2010-11 is an uncapped year, we’re going to see a ton of deadwood cut by lots of teams. I would have originally thought the opposite, but unless they decide IN ADVANCE to eliminate bonus $’s effecting the next cap when cuts are made, a lot of players will likely get dropped now while those bonus $’s have no cap impact.

  59. yellaman says:

    If I was GM this is how I would do it_

    Starting this off season, find and keep core players.

    Then dump high salary guys like Branch, Kerney and look for replacements via FA.

    Sign a FA guard or Tackle and draft one ( secure 2 new starters to go with Unger C, Willis RG, Locklear LG/RT?) Draft a DT with 1st pick ( use 2nd 1st rd pick on O-Lineman) Draft Safety with 2nd rd pick.

    Bring in a new Offensive coordinator

  60. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo – Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I didn’t really specify what I’d hire Holmgren to do. It would be as GM / President of football Ops. But as I mentioned in another comment, I’m not in the Holmgren or nothing camp. I would like the team to conduct a thorough search for the very best candidate, but my heart wants him to be that candidate. Lol.

  61. princeaden says:

    Duke, That was a very well written post. It made sense to me. Would you be interested in sending me the 1500 word version via e-mail?

  62. Dukeshire – appearance of things I’m still wondering about:

    Hawks FO is massive and complex, especially if you look at the ties into Vucan and PA’s wide distribution of interests. You could call it cumbersome by standards of most NFL franchises. Lotsa people with lotsa job titles, large breadth of interests. Like NE’s Kraft, IND’s Irsay, and PHI’s Lurie, PA is Chairman of the franchise. But unlike these other Owners, PA, like PIT’s Rooney, isn’t the CEO as well. PA’s split that job off to TL. Unike Rooney, PA hasn’t sons to run the organization in his absence. With his large number of varied interests PA couldn’t keep much attention directed at the Seahawks if he tried – no time, especially now. It must be kinda discouraging.

    PA’s sister, Jody Patton doesn’t have much background in football – her interest’s appear to be in the arts and media production. Next is Hawks CEO TL, who maintains himself that he’s not much of a ‘football guy’ (hockey guy?), and who also oversees the Blazers, the Sounders(?), and whatnot. Then there’s 9 VPs, including RW for player personnel who heads a dozen in his scouting dept, plus a head athletic trainer. Below these are about 114 staff members, plus the coaches, the players, the IR’s, the practice squad, sea gals, etc. Noone in this FO is really a football guru who’s totally into the guts of what’s going on with the team.

    Since PA isn’t very involved, and neither is TL – really, this team’s GM could have similar clout as Shannahan did in DEN – except that TL wants someone to join the ‘organization’ that’s already in place. For whatever his faults, TR never wielded his office as a scythe, eliminating anyone who disagreed with him – unless you count Holmgren, his coordinators, assistants, and players when Holmren ‘retired’. It’s like the team is a separate organism, and TL wants the GM to remain outside (and above) the team, and only do the grocery shopping and diaper changing for it.

    The Seahawks head coach is given the task of being the visionary. He’s the party responsible for organizing the coordinators, coaches and players into a team with both short and long term success being his responsibility. Just as TR was not to interfere with Holmgren’s team, the new GM will not be allowed to interfere with Mora’s team. The new GM will do his best to provide the players that the coaches want and negotiate (w/staff) their salaries, and remove those players the coaches dont want. Meanwhile, Mora and his staff can work with their players without the associated contentions contract negotiations give rise to.

    Whatever way the PA & TL go with the GM, in-house with RW or TL’s list of 10, the Hawks GM will not be a Scott Pioli type. It’s just not in the make-up of this team’s FO. Too bad, ’cause that’s exactly what this team needs.

  63. FireRuskellNow says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4757967

    Holmgren out of bid to run Seattle. The irony is that Leiwicke will be fired a few years down the road, the Hawks will still be in the NFC dumpster, and the Browns will be playoff contenders.

    WASTED OPPORTUNITY YOU IDIOTS

  64. BobbyAyala says:

    Did y’all see this?

    “”While that process is ongoing, we also were aware of Mike Holmgren’s recent interview and associated time pressures and met with Mike over the weekend. After a series of respectful discussions, Mike has declined our offer to rejoin the team given the structure we proposed. We hold Mike in high regard and wish the Holmgren family the very best with their new horizons.””

    Hawks dumped a release off on Saturday saying that they offered Holmgren a position.

    It never ceases to amaze just how in tune with the fan base the Seahawks are, but, to think we’re stupid enough to consider this an effort to hire Mike Holmgren is a little insulting.

    The two-faced nature of this organization is really starting to grate on my nerves. Just to give us this pathetic charade of an effort all in the name of saving themselves the humiliation of being sent through the ringer for piss poor football operations decisions, it’s just, so transparent and utterly disappointing.

    By the way, nice piece Duke.

  65. FireRuskellNow says:

    Watch us hire matt millen now…ugh this is absurd, even shanahan is going to DC now. we’re going to hire the next Ruskell

  66. I don’t pretend to know what those discussions were, but I assume Holmgren wouldn’t have had nearly the clout as he’s going to have in Cleveland.

  67. Stevos :If you hire Holmgren, you just gave him the power to write the list of who stays and who goes. He likely keeps Mora, since Holmgren doesn’t believe in firing a coach after one year.

    You think so, do you? I’ll bet you he takes the Cleveland job and fires Mangini before the draft.

  68. seahawklovertoo says:

    Duke,nice work with your post ( my post this morning was just a play,You know that,right?

  69. seahawklovertoo says:

    Kim008, if You are right about the Seahawks organization (sound like You know what are You talking about), than all I can do is just forget about the Seahawks.
    One promise, I will not spend a penny any more on anything about this team as long as TL is its CEO or, has anything to do with this football team.
    I will do much better if I donated my money to any worthy cause then spending it on TLs’ BS.
    This has been very sad time for me….I truly cared about this team.

  70. nighthawk2 says:

    Well, getting Holmgren back is out of the question now, thanks to Leiweke. Personally, I’d start the house cleaning by throwing Leiweke out with the trash too.

    Jim Moron and his entire staff need to fired. This season has been a showcase of why this guy is not ready for prime time and doesn’t deserve another year. Throwing players under the bus, no adjustments at halftime, ill prepared to play games, wrong use of personnel (such as consistently starting Julius Jones over Forsett, and giving carries to Jones when Forsett has clearly outplayed him), total lack of utilization of John Carlson after a great rookie season, immaturatey on the sideline and in press conferences…

    Donald Penn would be a good signing (provided Tampa doesn’t Franchise him). Why in hell would you re-sign Cory Redding? This guy has done nothing here and nothing in Detroit since he got that big contract. Grant, at least, has done something towards earning his money, which is more than can said for Ruskell’s other free agent signings/trades/draft picks. Re-sign Rob Sims? Bleech.

    Elvis Dumervil is Darryl Tapp, he’s a smallish DE who has excelled since being movied to OLB in the 3-4 scheme Mike Nolan installed at Denver. Unless Seattle is going to implement a 3-4, I see no reason for this.

    We do need playmakers on offense, but I don’t think RB has to be addressed early. Forsett has shown talent, and I see our need for playmakers as being at WR more immediately than RB. But the first priority to address above all others is offensive line. Our two 1st round picks should be a left tackle and a guard. Then I’d move Willis to guard, and draft a right tackle in a later round for depth.

    There are what, four or fiveguys of Holmgren’s left on this team? Hasselbeck, Locklear, Trufant, Terrill. Walter Jones pre-dates Holmgren, he was an Erickson/Mueller pick. And Lucas as orginally drafted by Holmgren, if that means anything.

    Players I’d get rid of to start with, in no particular order:

    Julius Jones
    Patrick Kerney
    Mansfield Wrotto
    Chris Spencer
    Kelly Jennings
    Cory Redding
    Lawyer Malloy

  71. Dukeshire says:

    Nighthawk – Thank you too, for your feedback. Redding comes back for another season while this d line is rebuilt around Mebane. Dumervil gets to the QB and rarely drops into coverage. He and Tapp would fill very different roles in Bradley’s “system”. I don’t believe his success is reliant on the 3-4. If Grant can be re-signed to a reasonable contract, I’d be all for bringing him back, cutting him is a bloated contract purge as the uncapped year would allow. They will not spend their first two picks on o-line. In addition, if they sign Penn or another RFA, they’ll lose one of their 1st rounders. Jennings will not get cut. But yes, as far as lower profile players that should go, I agree with Milloy and Wrotto. Again, my cuts were contract driven. Willis is not a quality NFL starting lineman and moreover, he lack the agility and quickness to be a guard in the ZBS. (Please get rid of this scheme). Yes they need a RB but if their game changing playmaker comes in the form of a WR or another position, thats fine. The question mark after Spiller’s name was what that indicated.

    Anyway, just some counter points…

  72. Well…. we all have different opinion, but correct me if im wrong. It is GM choice to do all this changes. So u will be GM and do all this stuff. And at the end u will hire Holmy. As what?! As HC? My guess is he dont want to be that anymore. As Leiweke? U dont have power for that. As GM? U are GM. And if Leiweke want to hire Holmy as GM then he wont hire u. And all u wrote before become garbage because who ever become GM he will do his way.

  73. HawkSoop says:

    Hey Duke, great job with this post!

    Only thing I’d question is tossing Knapp immediately. I think he probably needs to go, but there are aspects of his offense that could work. And I love Zorn, but I am leery of his ability as an offensive play caller. His ‘Skins offense was terrible until they took away his right to call the plays. Of course the situation in Washington has not exactly been a fair shake of the man’s talent.

    Overall I am very excited to see some shake up in the F/O and hopefully a fresh approach to talent selection. I think they ought to search for some players that like to wake up early. Someone has to get this road game problem figured out. Even in ’04 – ’06 we were terrible on the road.

  74. Dukeshire says:

    Marasin – I simply amazes me that people fail to understand the premise of the piece. Okay, I’ll bite: I was hired to a newly created position, Football Czar. My responsibilities were to oversee the one, single off season between ’09 and ’10. I was given the authority to act with absolute autonomy, answering to no one for this brief 4 month period between the end of the season and the beginning of OTAs. Holmgren was brought aboard as GM / President of football operations, taking the reigns as I left VMAC. How’s that? Better? Good lord…

  75. Then I tell u other way. What if Holmy come and say: I want to hire back Branch and cut Donald Penn. U done GM job in 4 month and then hire GM. It is stupidity that no normal team will do. Everyone can cut people. Someone can hire them. But rare are ones that can make them in functional group. So u let GM do his job, not u. I think that GM and HC have at least some talks about people who they hire or cut, because there will be to many non adequate people in team. (and i dont mean with no talent and physic). Or it will end like Oakland.

  76. seahawklovertoo –

    Sorry if I sounded like I know anything about anything – I don’t. I just take pieces of info found online and try to make a shirt from lint. Please don’t let anything I say discourage you from supporting the Hawks. I’ve been a fan since ’76, so I know the highs and lows of being a Seahawks fan too. TL is probably a wonderful guy, who’s heart beats true Seahawks blue. TL’s just not a football guru who knows the total history of football from the inside as well as all the team stuff behind the scenes causing Mora to make the decisions he does. PA doesn’t have anybody like that. Many FOs of successful teams do. Hawks are heavily dependent on their head coach to give the team their vision for the near and long term future and make the necessary adjustments needed to get there. The GM that the Hawks’ll get will do his best to get the best groceries he can to meet the HC’s specifications. Hawks need more and better communications with the fans to keep us informed of what they’re doing. They’ve just gotta make sure what they’re giving us is true.

  77. Dukeshire says:

    Marasin – Hopeless.

  78. BlueTalon says:

    Kim008, I appreciate your thoughtful posts. (I appreciate all the thoughtful posts here — too bad we have to wade through the shallow, vapid, pedantic posts to get to the thoughtful ones.) But I’m not sure your observation that TL is not a football guy is especially meaningful. He knows it. That’s why his job right now is to find and hire a football guy, one that’s willing to work within the structure of the Seahawks FO. People (many, not all) are up in arms about Holmgren not being here, but if we end up with Tony Dungy or someone else with an equivalent pedigree, it would be hard to fault his football acumen. And at that point, I predict the reasonable people here will rejoice, and the pinheads here will continue to grumble.

  79. Then I will tell u in third way. If u try to hire any decent GM after u do all this, he will tell u that if u want to play GM, be free, but dont count him in it. They all have some pride and vanity. With all u do in first four parts, fifth was wrong. Because you could not get any decent GM, not to say one who want to be Tzar and have total control of team.

  80. BlueTalon –

    If TL splits the GM and Pres of Football Ops jobs that TR had, then maybe he’d hire Tony Dungy, or his like, to act as a PR head of the franchise. But TL is not interested in a Bill Parcells type, or what the Browns want Mike Holmgren to be for them, a football czar (I call it a guru) who oversees the entire operation and steers the organization back into more successful waters.

    TL also isn’t that guy himself, he’s a hockey guy who’s CEO of the Blazers, Sounders, and Seahawks, et al. TL barely has time to tie his shoes, let alone have everything that effects the success of the team, including decisions about what goes on on the field, go through him. TL acts like an agent for the team. He’s a buisness guy and a darn good one, just look at the profits he made PA in ’03, even ’08! And he doesn’t want to hire anyone to be that football guru type for him either. He’s trying for a different franchise mgmt model.

    TL’s going for a somewhat subserviant Pres/GM to combo with Mora, in order to let Mora fully develop his vision for the team. Maybe it was promised to Mora when he was first hired, or maybe in vetting Mora – PA identified with Mora’s vision? A “weak” GM combo’d with a “strong” HC is a model for a team’s financial and on-field success provided that the GM & HC can mesh well in the tasks of properly assessing the talent needs for their schemes, properly evaluating prospect’s talents, properly valuing the players contributions to the team’s on-field success, and getting every ounce of available effort out of their players.

    Some successful examples of this model are NYG’s Reese/Coughlin, TEN’s Reinfeldt/Fisher, PIT’s Colbert/Tomlin, SD’s Smith/Turner, and PHI’s Heckert/Reid. In SD’s case Smith may be the more dominant partner, but the scheme still works. Usually each of these tasks is looked at by fans as something that is done by either the HC or GM alone, but in these successful franchises each of these tasks is done by both GM & HC acting together.

    However, there’s something else that’s fairly common to these successful franchises, ownership oversight. Most successful franchises of this type have owner-CEOs who’s net worth is nearly 100% from the value of the franchise. They’re deeply (and daily) atuned to the goings-on of their teams.

    When ownership is less involved, like MIA’s Stephan Ross who owns and runs “Related Companies”, a $15B real estate development company, the owner hires a buisness guy like Mike Dee (or TL) as CEO of the franchise, who in turn hires a football guru type – in MIA’s case Exec VP of Football Ops (Bill Parcells/4 yrs) to oversee the turn-around of the franchise. That’s kinda the way most fans thought Holmgren would be brought back here. That was not what was offered. We’ll see if TL’s way is best, and hope it is.

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