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Schneider on Hasselbeck: “We’re having great dialogue”

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 25, 2011 at 10:17 am with 10 Comments »
February 25, 2011 10:17 am

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider talked to reporters here in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting combine, and he looked comfortable in his first opportunity to talk to national reporters at the podium.

Schneider said that the team and Matt Hasselbeck are continuing to negotiate, and the team would like to bring him back, but no agreement has been reached yet.

“It’s going good,” Schneider said. “We’re having great dialogue. Matt’s Mr. Seattle, and he’s done a ton of great things for the city, on and off the field. We’ve had good dialogue. I think you’ve heard me say it before, the head coach and the quarterback are the most important people in the building.”

Whether or not the two sides come to an agreement, Schneider said that situation will have no affect on if the team takes a quarterback in the draft or not.

“It doesn’t,” he said. “You’ll see us looking at quarterbacks every year.”

And the same goes for defensive tackle Brandon Mebane. Schneider said he met with Mebane’s representation here in Indianapolis on Thursday, and said that the Cal product remains an important piece of Seattle’s defense moving forward.

“Brandon played well,” Schneider said. “I think Brandon’s a steady pro. Definitely, we hope we can have him back. We talked to his guys last night, and we’re having good discussions with them.”

Schneider also talked about Nate Davis, a potential developmental quarterback Seattle signed to a 2011 futures contract off of San Francisco’s practice squad.

“He had a great preseason with the Niners,” Schneider said. “So he’s just coming into this thing. He’s got his eyes wide open right now. But it was an opportunity to look at another guy.”

And reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst also will figure into the equation at quarterback moving forward as well.

“Charlie had the one game and he did a good job,” Schneider said. “He just hasn’t had the opportunities that other people have had. I think the St. Louis game was a perfect example. It was really the first week that they put a nice game plan together for him, and it was a huge game for us.

“You know, those two games at the end of the year, they don’t get any bigger than that. And that’s what Pete’s been preaching for a championship atmosphere, and Charlie stepped into a championship atmosphere that night.

“But we’re always going to be trying to find those guys to compete at that position. It’s the most important position on the team.”

In terms of draft evaluations, offensive line remains an obvious need for Seattle. But how the team looks at prospects will change based on Tom Cable being the offensive line coach this season, instead of Alex Gibbs last year during this time.

“Coach Gibbs liked a little bit lighter player, and Tom is willing to play with a bigger man. So, as we’re putting our board together, that helps us.”

Schneider said that now that he has a year under his belt, the draft preparation process has been streamlined. Last year Schneider melded two grading systems because he did not want to change the way the scouting department evaluated players halfway through the process, but now Seattle is using one grading system.

He also had praise for last year’s seventh round pick, defensive end Dexter Davis.

“A guy like Dexter Davis, he’s been hearing that he’s an under-sized guy his whole career,” Schneider said. “And he just has a natural feel, God-given ability to rush the passer.”

Schneider also said offensive lineman Max Unger, who spent most of the season on the injured reserve list after having toe surgery, ideally would play center.

Seattle’s center last season Chris Spencer is a free agent and might be moving on to greener pastures, potentially leaving a spot open for Unger.

“I think Tom and Pete (Carroll) and Darrell (Bevell) are still evaluating that,” Schneider said. “But Ideally his spot I think probably will end up being center.”

Schneider also had an interesting response when asked if he sees himself in the middle between his mentors, former general manager Ron Wolf and current Green Bay head personnel man Ted Thompson.

“Going to Seattle was interesting, because when I was in Green Bay, I was the one that was kind of bringing things to Ted a lot in terms of trades,” Schneider said. “You know, maybe we should sign this guy, or this and that. And I was pretty active. And Ted was like, ‘All right, slow down there a little bit.’

“And then now working with Pete, he’s like 24-7, I’m not sure if he sleeps. He’s just a 100 miles per hour. So all of sudden I find myself going, ‘Ooh, slow down man.’ So it’s helped me. And Ted’s just such a patient man. It’s so easy to just feed off of that. And then when you were working for Ron, Ron was very aggressive. And he wasn’t afraid to make mistakes.”

Schneider said don’t expect the Seahawks to spin through the nearly 300 roster moves they went through last season.

“Last year when we cam into Seattle there were a lot of issues we had to deal with,” Schneider said. “And that’s why you saw so much activity, turning over the roster a bunch.

“Hopefully we’re not going to do that. I mean we’re still going to be competing, but we had a lot of stuff to do. So I think we’re kind of at a point where we can take a deep breath now and just kind of move forward.”

Categories:
Interviews, NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. Dukeshire says:

    He’s certainly mastered the art of “GM speak”. lol Happy to hear Cable prefers, er “willing” to play with a bigger man. And it sounds as if they are willing to move forward with Unger at center and let Spencer test the waters.

    Mebane is a “steady pro”? Not exactly a ringing endorsement. I’m curious if that’s an undersell or if he really feels ‘Bane is merely serviceable.

    Eric, are you aware which players (and can you pass along?) the ‘Hawks have scheduled meetings with? Thanks.

  2. SeahawkFan12 says:

    NIce. Looking forward to re-signing Hasselbeck soon. Always like hearing from Schneider. I’m really happy–PUMPED, to quote Pete–that he is our GM.

  3. Great interview, Eric. A lot of hints there at where things are going.

    Interesting to hear Schneider directly talk about Unger playing C. That tells me two things: first, that coaches likely aren’t real excited about starting Unger at G again. And, second, IMO this sounds like a message to Spencer’s agent to get ready to sign for less money if he wants to stay in Seattle. I’m pretty sure they would like to have Spencer back since they really cannot afford to lose any of the few decent O linemen they have, but Schneider won’t roll out the green carpet for him.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall to hear Carroll, Cable, and Bevell planning their new offense.

  4. Sarcasticus says:

    I am glad to see Unger will be worked in at center (even if that means backing up Spencer if he is re-signed). I was not impressed with him at guard. I just didn’t see him drop anchor like you would like to see a guard do. Too often he was pushed straight back into the pocket. I hope he has the ability to make all the line calls.

    I would like to see Mebane re-signed. If not, things are going to look pretty slim pretty quickly at the dt spot.

  5. Given how horrible the Seahawks D line was after Mebane and Cole were injured, and given our swiss cheese O line, one would think that re-signing both Mebane and Spencer would be huge priorities for Schneider – even if he won’t admit it publicly.

    The reality for now is that with no CBA signed, management has the upper hand over players. But I hope they don’t overplay their hand. The last thing we need is more holes in our lines.

  6. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    They might let Chris Spencer walk?!?! This is OUTSTANDING NEWS!!! He has been a career underachieving bust, the first in Ruskell’s long line of them!!! For all his alleged power,the team has NEVER been able to reliably run behind him! Time to CUT THE CORD with mediocrity like Spencer that has plague our roster for years!!

    Spencer only started ONE YEAR at center in college, Unger was a TWO YEAR ALL AMERICAN at center!!! He is also bigger!!

  7. Hey Dukeshire: I’m not aware of what players they are talking to here. They generally keep those things close to the vest. But along with Pouncey, Lehigh’s Will Rackley said he’s interviewed with Seattle.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks E. I figured as much, we’d likely only know after the fact.

  9. I’m on the side of seeing what Unger can do as starting center. I think bringing back Mebane is essential; & as I’ve said before unless a blockbuster trade is in the works (Kolb??) I’m getting nervous regarding how long it’s taking to get Matt re-signed. Lastly franchise or not, we need to re-sign Mare.

  10. I am so elated about the “Unger at Center” stuff. I couldn’t agree more. Simply put, Unger isn’t a great guard but his skills are suited for Center. He’s a better Center than a Guard and Unger himself even said these things prior to being drafted.

    I am excited about Dexter Davis too. Good to read those comments.

    Lastly, I would like to be able to resign Matt. If we resign Matt… you can say that he is one of the new regimes’ “guys” too.

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