Seahawks Insider

Leiweke: Status quo simply not an option

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm with 51 Comments »
January 11, 2010 4:24 pm

Seahawks CEO Tim Leiweke addressed reporters this afternoon on the recent firing of Jim Mora and today’s announcement that Pete Carroll has been hired as the team’s new head coach.

It was a surreal set up, with reporters asking questions directed at Leiweke in a conference room while on the flat screen TV across from him Carroll, the guy he hired, was formally announcing his resignation at the University of Southern California.

“There’s Pete now,” said Leiweke during an early portion of the interview, as everyone took a break to see what Carroll was saying on the screen.

Leiweke talked about the decision to fire Jim Mora, and whether or not it was linked to the team having an opportunity to hire Carroll.

“We won nine games in the last two years, and with all due respect four of those were to the St. Louis Rams, and that’s not acceptable,” Leiweke said. “It’s not acceptable to our fans. It’s not acceptable to Mr. Allen. And it certainly isn’t acceptable to me.”

“And some have said this isn’t fair. I’m not going to debate that point. But the status quo was simply not an option.”

Listen to a snippet of the interview here.

[wpaudio url="" text=MP3: Leiweke]

And on the decision to pursue and ultimately hire Carroll, Leiweke had this to say:

“He was interesting to us because he was in the NFL. And it’s clear to me that this man has a chip on his shoulder to prove that he can win at the NFL level. He had a .500 record, but he’s been paying for that. But you know this is a guy that then went on and did things in football that no man has ever done. And after the last two seasons, those are things that really resonated with us.”

Leiweke also talked about the management structure, saying that Carroll will serve as head coach/VP of football operations, John Idzik will remain on as VP of Administration, handling contract negotiations and whoever the team hires as general manager will fill that management rung. Leiweke said those three will work arm and arm in a collaborative effort in running the team, with Leiweke overseeing all three and handling any and all disputes.

Leiweke admitted that the relationship between Mike Holmgren and Tim Ruskell in the past was less-than-ideal, and that this new structure focuses each person to stay focused on their individual tasks.

Carroll will sit in on the general manager interviews that take place this week, but Leiweke and owner Paul Allen have final say. He also was given the numbers of each candidate so that he could talk to them before they come in for interviews.

Leiweke did not name the folks coming in for interview, but said the reports on the four candidates who have been named are somewhat accurate, and that the team might cast a wider net if they feel like there’s other candidates they want to bring in.

Ruston Webster also remains a candidate, although if he does not win the job, he likely will be retained in his current position as vice president of personnel.

Leiweke also said he encouraged Carroll to take a look at some of the assistant coaches left over from Mora’s staff in order to create some continuity, but ultimately Carroll has final say on who he hires as assistants.

On who made the final call on letting Mora go, Leiweke said that was on him, and not owner Paul Allen, although Allen does have final say.

Leiweke said there’s no timetable on when the team will hire a new general manager, but he would like it to be sooner rather than later.

Leave a comment Comments → 51
  1. cseahawk says:

    I haven’t posted on here since Sando left for ESPN. Long-time/suffering fan since 1982(Still remember listening to the Steelers game where Krieg came in and became our QB for years). Mr. Leiweke nailed it when you mentioned that 4 of the wins were against the Rams. So truthfully we have won 5 games in 2 years. That is simply not acceptable. I liked Mora……………but Carroll is the first coach to get me excited in a decade and only the 3rd ever. The first 2? Knox when hired in 83 and Holmgren. I LIKEwhere this is going and look forward to many playoff wins in the next 6-7 years.

    Good luck Pete Carroll and go Seahawks!!

  2. Gus Bradley will interview for the defensive job. A friend of mine sat next to him at the Blazers game. She had no idea who he was, only that he was a Seahawks coach who said he just got fired. He then told her he was about to go on vacation to Maui and Pete Carroll called and wanted to speak with him, so he canceled his vacation. I assumed it was Gus Bradley and pulled up a picture of him; sure enough, she said “yup, that’s the guy”. He was at the game because Paul Allen gave him the tickets…. Actually, I believe Todd Leiweke gave him the tickets…

  3. cseahawk – that game you mention was the one in which I became a Seahawks fan for the long run…

    DWalt – that is one great inside scoop. Thanks.

  4. cseahawk says:


    That game cemented my lucky # for life. I remember the game was played at Seattle and Pittsburgh had a big lead(like 24-7 or something). Zorn was pulled, Krieg came in, and led them almost all the way back. In fact, I distinctly remember being SO disappointed. It was 24-21 or something like that. PITT had the ball on their side of the field, the defense caused a fumble, there were 3!!! Seahawks around it, but somehow 1 Steeler came back and got the ball while they were fighting over it. They ultimately lost the game but Krieg was QB from then on. 17 had been a lucky Number of mine but when Dave comes on to be the QB of MY team wearing THAT #, it was kzimet. I knew then 17 was my lucky number for life and the Seahawks were my team for life. Enough about that though. Memeories……..

    I’m just excited about Carroll coming here and only Knox and Holmgren have had me excited like this. No one else. I wish Mora the best but it had to be done, especially with Carroll available. We’ll win………….it may be a year or two, but it WILL happen under Pete.

    Oh yeah ………….I still and always will hate the Steelers. SBs have only made it stronger. PC will win 1 here for us………

  5. Those memories are the best. I still get butterflies thinking of the play-off game against the Dolphins later that season. After the Hawks making it to the Super Bowl, that’s my greatest Seahawk memory of all time.

  6. I hope those who have been calling for Leiweke’s head read this. To me it was refreshing and I am really beginning to feel good about the direction this team is now taking. How toxic were Mora and ultimately Ruskell to this organization? Incredibly. The following two quotes put a smile on my face, moving forward.

    “We won nine games in the last two years, and with all due respect four of those were to the St. Louis Rams, and that’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to our fans. It’s not acceptable to Mr. Allen. And it certainly isn’t acceptable to me.”

    “And some have said this isn’t fair. I’m not going to debate that point. But the status quo was simply not an option.”

  7. I am curious how a 100% new admin team is going to evaluate the roster……..

    Though I do expect Solari to stay & it sounds like webster is staying in some capacity

  8. maddog12 says:

    Read somewhere today that Carroll is bringing his own O line coach.

  9. From everything we’ve seen, I think we’ll be hiring someone who has a history with Carroll and both have a history of working, and working well, together. I don’t think that is cronyism, just something that seems like it will work best for the Seahawks moving forward.

  10. Yeah, and I’d just like to say Good luck to Mora and his family. The interview with softy today pretty much confirmed my opinion of him as truly good day and person overall. I’m sorry he didn’t catch the best of breaks with the Seahawks in ’09. Nonetheless, I can’t believed how stoked I am about the Seahawks off season, it’s like it’s better then the regular season.

    Go Coach Carrol, Go Hawks and let’s Rock this NFC West!

  11. I’m sorry, I meant ‘as a truly good guy and person overall.

    Peace out.

  12. maddog12 says:

    Shefter and Morteson reporting Hawks wanted to talk to Dungy about Presidents job 3-4 weeks ago.

  13. Yeah, it looks like Dungy is a little on egde about something in Seatown, especially with Carrol on board.

  14. freedom_X says:

    That’s interesting if Bradley is going to be interviewed. Unlike most people here, I think he does have promise and potential. While, as a young coach, he made mistakes, I actually didn’t see a huge problem with schemes and defensive playcalling unlike the John Marshall era. The failings were things you can’t expect someone to scheme around (a team with no effective pass rushers.)

    I really think they should bring Solari back, especially if they junk zone blocking. Pro blocking is much more demanding than college blocking. Even though some of Carroll’s prospective coaches have NFL backgrounds, he’d really help himself if he had some NFL lifers in the mix.

  15. hawks4life says:

    just heard carrol’s job title will be HC and VP of operations

  16. Hey, guys…check out this link that quotes Lendale White as wanting Pete Carroll to hire him:

  17. No to LenWhale.

  18. vichawkfan says:

    What are the odds on Julis in a Hawks uni next season?

  19. Yeah, for real, that dude looks like a nfl gangsta rb in the club and street. To each their own but I’d prefer Forsett and a smash mouth FB with some of that JJ seasoning when the games won then that clown. lol…

  20. His pants are falling down, so by the looks of it, maybe he’s lost weight.

  21. If JJ can be effeciently replaced with something better so be it. Honestly, I think with all the big moves happening JJ will be happy to work here in 2010.

  22. It’s the lack of tequila.

  23. Not to state the obvious, but there’s a lot of players who will be gone in the new regime housecleaning, mainly bigger, older contract guys whose production doesn’t reflect what they are being paid. That’s natural, I guess. Julius Jones is just one of those players. Same with Branch. Perhaps Lock (he has a big price tag, even for a RT). Definitely Kerney. And the list can go on… My only hope is that they understand, which I think they will, the importance of keeping a core player like Mebane even though they didn’t bring him in. I suspect the will. Our DL would be equally as terrible as our OL if it weren’t for him. And as we know, that’s bad.

  24. Hey Duke I feel ya about the tequila and word up Bobby lets loosen some of the coins up from this NFL purse and get what we need (with P. Allen money). Carrol aint no clown and we need to focus on getting this team back to respectability and I do feel this is the best move we can make as Seahawks in the current NFL condition, If the like mines of his assitants pan out we can start rocking this and I will personally call P. Allen and ask him about getting my Soncis back in town. For a Seatown fan is Seatown Fan until every last chips falls down.


  25. Yo, that’s the Sonics, and like minds, sorry Y’all.


  26. BobbyAyala says:


    How bad are you when one of the worst teams in the league takes pot-shots at how easy it is to beat you during a press conference.

    Poor St. Louise.

  27. Well, all the clowning the NFC west is one thing and how much it hurts to write this how banging are the Cardinals right now! Yall talk S*** and it just creates a bomb arse rivalry for years to come. Oh, yeah! And by the way when warner gets his arse smacked around this Sunday New Orleans we might have an official announcement of his retiring from Football.

    Just an idea

    and hopeful one…

  28. vichawkfan says:

    Rams are going to be back on top 3-4 yrs from now. They keep getting top 2-3 talent every year it’s bound to pay-off. Hence – why we suck now – few years of being top 5 team and we’re left with the Spencer’s of the world.

  29. Seahawks2620 says:

    I’m actually hoping to dump JJ and pick up Spiller with our 14th pick. The kid is a beast, as you all know. A Spiller/Forsett duo would be phenomenal. Take Okung with our first pick, and then sign Jahri Evans from the Saints. Then add another guard or tackle with our second round pick.

  30. PC’s D sounds like the same thing Gus & Co were saying the Hawks were gonna be this past season. Attack, attack, attack!!!

    Keep Gus, and tweek the 4-3 Over into PC’s 4-3 Under. Keep the 8 in-near the box and get some blitzes to make it to the QB. Hawks D has gotta get pressure on opposing QBs, even if they have to blitz.

  31. Seahawks2620 says:

    I don’t know, the Thunder are full of top picks, but they are still garbage. Durant is the only star. Anyways, if we can shore up the O-line with a few signings and draft picks, then we would regret not drafting Spiller if he were still there.

  32. vichawkfan says:

    Agreed we need to go RB with the 14th pick. The only two true stud RB’s in team history – Warner and SA – we’re 1st rounders….time to buck up. It’s a young man’s position.

  33. Just so I can get this straight, you guys think a brand new coach who is coming into a clear rebuilding situation is going to keep a 35 year old, injury prone QB who has been among the worst starters in the NFL 3 of the past 4 seasons??

  34. Yes. You hate Hasselbeck and our road record. We get it.

  35. Seahawks2620 says:

    Even though it is as clear as day to us, the fans, it may not be as clear to a man who is shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars. I am referring to the term “rebuilding”, which many and most people agree that we need to do. I am not so sure that Paul Allen is willing to do just that. Just because Allen and company have said that they want to start fresh, doesn’t mean that they are willing to give up a couple of seasons to “rebuild”. I think this signing and the other potential candidates that have been listed, such as Dungy and Fox, point to Allen stating that he doesn’t want to wait around and is ready to win. It is clear to everyone except for this organization that we are not currently talented enough to win a super bowl, but we do have the foundation to start building off of. As of right now, I would definitely agree that we are not going to bounce back and wing 10-12 games next season. But I am willing to see just how deep Allen is willing to go into his wallet this off season. It just seems as if this signing and these statements point to the want to win. It’s possible that Allen goes nuts and starts signing a ton of free agents (Elvis Dumervil, Ray Edwards, Jahri Evans, etc.), seeing as how we are going to have a lot of money coming off the books with JJ, Grant, Kerney, Lock, Branch, and many others departing. I’m curious as to what Allen has in store for this off season. He seems to have made it clear that he wants to win NOW!

  36. BobbyK – I will be happy to profit off your love of Hasselbeck and lack of objectivity when it comes to him.

    I’ll bet you $20 and give you 2:1 if he is on the roster come opening day 2010.

  37. “Just so I can get this straight, you guys think a brand new coach who is coming into a clear rebuilding situation is going to keep a 35 year old, injury prone QB who has been among the worst starters in the NFL 3 of the past 4 seasons??”

    Ah yes, the dark cloud on an otherwise sunny day, from a familiar source.

    I think Carroll will do an evaluation – and almost certainly Hass will be the starter next season. For one thing, who else do you think it’s going to be? Someone we trade for who is going to step in an be better? A rookie next year? I don’t see it. And I still think Hass, behind a better line, can still be productive. God knows, I know you disagree.

    I wouldn’t doubt that Carroll will start taking more proactive steps toward finding our next QB – though I still think our #1’s will go toward other spots.

  38. Seahawks2620 says:

    One thing I would really like to see next season is Deon Butler and Nick Reed implemented into the game plan more often. Butler has the potential to be a Desean Jackson type of talent, but I don’t think that Hasselbeck has the arm to consistently sling it deep to him. He would have to launch it on a line like McNabb has been doing the past two seasons, and Hasselbeck’s deep balls are more along the lines of a rainbow.

  39. “I don’t know, the Thunder are full of top picks, but they are still garbage.”

    Dude, I wish. They are 5 games over .500 . . .Durant is getting 28 a game, Westbrook 16, Green 15. Their success has come way earlier than expected, in part b/c Durant is the next superstar in the league. It’s the masochist in me that draws my eye to their boxscores every day. Still SO pissed and bitter about the Sonics.

  40. I’ll take that bet. I’ll be happy to profit from you..

    Get ready for Tayler Mays to be one of our new safetys…

  41. Seahawks2620 says:

    I will be beyond pissed if Carroll brings in Taylor Mays with either one of our first round picks. It needs to be Russell Okung/CJ Spiller.

  42. WiscCory says:

    The Rams now have some bulletin board material.

    Just say no to Lendale White.

    Although I have 5 Hass jerseys in my house, I’m open to rebuilding that doesn’t include Hass. Let’s at least get something in return for him, though. Perhaps some talks with the Browns would yield something?? He’s not at the stage of his career where learning a new sceme will work – as we saw in 2009.

  43. isn’t pc a fan of jake locker? did i read that somewhere, or..?

    is it absurd to think they give matty a 1-2 year extension, fix up the line a bit, draft locker next year, and off we go?

    now, locker’s already said he’s returning to the u, but, all things considered… would he change his mind and enter the draft?

  44. pabuwal – Can I get in on that?

  45. williambryan says:

    If Sarkisian leaves, (he has been rumored as a candidate at USC) Then I think Locker will enter the draft, or if he’s too late, he will enter the supplemental draft and Carrol will take him.

  46. Duke – if I don’t hear from BobbyK, than I’ll come over to you.

  47. Seahawks2620 says:

    Everyone keeps asking why Pete Carroll would want to come to the Seahawks….the Seahawks seriously? Come on….the Seahawks! I really don’t see why everyone outside of the seahawks organization and fan base see this as such a bad place to come. Let’s take a look at the young group of players that Carroll will be building off of. Let’s also assume that with these up coming draft picks, we select Okung/Spiller/Calloway (Iowa) 1,2, and 3. Carroll would have Tatupu, Hawthorne, Curry, Hill (if not traded), Wilson, Forsett, Unger, Okung, Spiller, Calloway, Mebane, Bryant (huge disappointment thus far), Jennings, Rankin (if they intend on keeping him), Reed, Jackson, Butler, and possibly Gibson (if they intend on keeping him). That is a solid group of young guys to work with. That doesn’t even include some of the young talent that they could possibly bring in such as Evans, Dumervil, and Edwards. Even if we aren’t a very good team next season (which we probably won’t be), I will still be really excited to see these young guys take huge steps forward. I really want to see Reed and Butler get more playing time. I want to see Curry with a year under his belt as well. It’s gonna be fun.

  48. Seahawks2620 says:

    Can’t believe I forgot Carlson…

  49. yellaman says:

    After reading leiweke interview it is ,more telling of how bad this team was managed and why Mora had to go. Mora is worse than his dad when it comes to running a press conference and Ruskell did us no favors by having this guy as a coach in waiting. I’m stoked about the hire and even if PC struggles I’m going to at least give him a chance unluck some guys and fans in the media. Mora was a joke as HC and Ruskell was ego maniac.

  50. OutSydeDog says:

    My best Seahawk memory outside of the NFC Championship game against Carolina, is hard to define. Was it the playoff game against Miami, where Largent’s only catch was in the final moments and led to the winning TD by Warner? Possibly the game at Kansas City, where Krieg, with Thomas draped all over him, threw the winning TD to Skansi? Hmmm… I think it was probably the first time I walked into the Kingdome, and saw that bright green turf, blue and silver uniforms, and a crowd that supported the team like none I had ever seen before. Been hooked ever since.

    Mora might have turned this team around. We’ll never know. I hope that Carroll will suceed and not produce another Erickson. Now that what is done is done, as always, I’ll throw my support to the blue and silver…I mean darker blue…and hope that next year’s team is back to competing for the division crown.


  51. Sarkisian’s not going anywhere.

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