I was going to tack this on to the last post as an answer but it lengthened into a post of its own.
First, thanks, MontanaMike … I enjoy getting in here with you guys. EW is such a champ with this that I know he gives you the full buffet … I’ll keep occasionally trying to add a tasty biscuit here and there.
On the opinion of GMs over the years: Didn’t know much of John Thompson except the way his loyalty to the sinking Patera took him down, too. McCormack really knew the game, obviously, and was keen to get back on the sidelines, I hear. If they had brought him back to coach, though, they wouldn’t have ended up with Chuck. But it’s my understanding McCormack was the one who brought in Chuck. It was an obvious move, but he didn’t let any ego get in the way, and it was a huge development for the franchise.
Tom Flores was absolutely one of the great gentlemen of the game, sideline or front office — and still is. Despite his close association with Al Davis and the Raiders, I didn’t get much of a hint of the Raider attitude about him. That franchise was a real mess at that point. He very much appeared to be a loyal soldier even as he was working under the Behrings. That pretty much doomed him.
David Behring seemed like a rich kid with a toy. I can’t count how often I’d see him at the headquarters working out. They had a little hill covered in astroturf for aerobic work, and he was on that thing all the time. I got the sense the Seahawks were like a really expensive gym membership for him.
I think it made a lot of sense to give Holmgren the front-office power so they could get him as a coach. I was always convinced that he was a man with enough intelligence and charisma to be successful at anything he went after. Some of his moves were terrific and some were awful. As it is with a lot of GMs, he was relying on scouts and assistants’ inputs, too. I recall specifically that drafting Lamar King was a gesture to Fritz Shurmur. It felt like some of his mistakes were from being too sentimental. I think if Chuck Knox had been a GM, he would have never let any of his vets get replaced, even when the time had come. I think Mike had that feeling for guys he brought in or drafted. It’s hard for a coach-as-GM to be rid of a guy who has laid it on the line for the GM-as-coach. One thing that guys like Schneider have proven, hard work is a root source of success in this business. I think Holmgren was spread too thin and probably underestimated the demands.
Schneider has been an absolute wiz, obviously. He not only has the great management bloodlines, but has a grinder mentality, too. When the top guy works as he does, it sets the tone and level of expectations for everybody on down the line. With Pete being such a part of the hiring process, I initially wondered if he hired a 38-year-old kid he could push around. Not the case. From all appearances, these guys work in sync and share a common mandate. We’ve seen the effects of an imbalance, where the coach won’t play the guy the GM drafted or the GM won’t get the guy the coach wants (i.e. the awkward drafting of Dan McGwire, when Chuck would not even come downstairs to the press conference). No hints of that here. Locking these guys up for the long run is clearly the right move. The fact that Schneider didn’t want a big deal made out of it makes it even better in some ways.