Seahawks Insider

GMs through the years

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on June 22, 2013 at 9:56 am with 52 Comments »
June 22, 2013 9:56 am

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.

Leave a comment Comments → 52
  1. Great as always Dave!

  2. jawpeace says:

    “the awkward drafting of Dan McGwire, when Chuck would not even come downstairs to the press conference.”
    That is because Chuck Knox really wanted to draft some QB by the name of Brett Favre. But I think some owner was bent on making a poor team, which should have lowered fan support and then move them.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Fantastic post, Dave. Thanks!

  4. Dave Boling says:

    Just walking to the store and realized I left out Randy Mueller as a guy who at least functioned as a GM. Hard to believe since the first story I wrote on the guy was when he had quarterbacked Linfield to a small-school title. I always think of Randy as one of the great survivors, having started as a ball boy and risen to top management through several regimes. I asked him one time how he managed that, he said he thought a good rule of thumb is to do your job so well you make your boss’ job easier. Aside from being an extremely personable and humble guy, he will always be remembered as the man who got a first-round draft pick out of Rick Mirer, which helped them in 1997 to get Shawn Springs and Walter Jones. He did a spectacular job pulling the Saints out of the delta muck and getting them in the right direction before the inevitable issues with ownership. After some obvious problems in Miami, he’s been with the Chargers front office. I think he still lives in Bellevue, though. Great guy.

  5. jawpeace says:

    Dave I thought you were just hitting some of the GMs over the years, wasn’t Tim Ruskel(SP?)(I love short guys) the GM before JS?

  6. SandpointHawk says:

    Thanks Dave, great post indeed…

  7. For as much as we all view Ruskell as a poor GM, we wouldn’t be where we are now without suffering through his tenure.

    His highlights off the top of my head include Tatupu, Unger, Red & providing an additional 1st round pick for the incoming John/Pete regime. Some of his vet pickups for the Superbowl season panned out as well.

    Lots of stinkers though that at this point I will just leave alone.

  8. Cool bio on MikeRob that is on the air right now @ NFL Network.
    “Just Horsin’ Around”

  9. montanamike2 says:

    Thanks again Dave!
    I was listening to the Clayton show on the radio that i streamed in via i-net, Russell Wilson was coming on in a few minutes and then i woke up having missed the whole thing! Damn! Only minutes away, i’m so disappointed in myself right now. At least i’m not a Jets fan…..

  10. montanamike2 says:

    Don’t lay down to get comfortable for radio streams. Don’t do it.

  11. Dave Boling says:

    You might check if that Clayton clip is on podcast.

    As for Ruskell, I guess I thought that no sentiment had gone unexpressed here on that topic. And before you ask about Bob Ferguson, he was mostly asked to be a buffer between Whitsitt and Holmgren — an uncomfortable pinch-point.

  12. bbnate420 says:

    Thanks for the insight, Dave.

    Yes, Numbskull has definitely been discussed enough here.

  13. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Thanks Dave.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    “… the Ssan Lee treatment. I’d do that.” That is incredible. lol!

  15. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I will say right now that I totally missed on Unger. I was a critic going back to when he got injured. I remember going back and forth with BobbyK on whether he would pan out. Boy was I wrong!
    So give props to BobbyK and others who sided with Unger.

    I hope now that I’m totally wrong about Carpitt.

  16. bbnate420 says:

    I’d certainly pay to see that. Though Harbarf was a pretty tough player for a QB.

  17. SandpointHawk says:

    A new Real Rob to brighten your off season. Get to meet some of the big boys…

  18. bbnate420 says:

    Kind of amazing that Unger made the Top 100 and Okung didn’t, but that list is a joke as a whole. Unger has certainly grown up. Very smart player. One of Numbskull’s good picks.

    On the topic of Numbskull, he actually had a very good first year here. It was all down hill after that. He drafted both Tatupu and Hill in his first draft, though the draft as a whole is weaker than any thus far under JS/PC IMO. He signed WR Jurevicius, DT Chuck Darby, return specialist Jimmy Williams, and CBs Kelly Herdon and Andre Dyson in FA. He resigned Hasselbeck and Big Walt as UFAs. He franchised Alexander, though that was a no-brainer after getting Hasselbeck and Walt signed. We all know the story that followed.

  19. bbnate420 says:

    Thanks for posting, Sandpoint. I was going to the other night, but I forgot. The part with Bennett and McDonald is good. The rapping is rather weak IMO, though I’m not a huge fan of hip hop to begin with.

  20. The best thing that ever happened to the Seahawks was Paul Allen buying them. They’ve made the playoffs in 8 of his 16 years of ownership, and 7 of the last 10.

  21. bbnate420 says:

    Canfan, that is absolutely right. He’s been a great owner, and the Hawks would be in LA if he hadn’t stepped up. I thought the Hawks were going the way of the Browns. That alone puts him at the top. This blog wouldn’t exist without him.

    I almost forgot. The parts of the Real Rob with Red. Mebane, and The Big Ginger are good to. I really like Red’s slow, southern drawl for some reason.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, I could listen to Cornbread talk all day. Country boy from rural Texas, good people.

  23. bbnate420 says:

    Not only rural Texas, but East Texas. I’ve visited my brother in Austin a number of times while he was down there. The people from East Texas seemed to have more of that Southern vernacular.

  24. Dukeshire says:

    True story. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Austin as well, and the East Texas thing is the Gulf Coast influence, for sure.

  25. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Just spent the evening in Gatlinburg TN tasting free moonshine samples.
    After about 10 or more samples I finally decided to purchase a bottle of southern pecan whiskey.
    how that relates to football I don’t know, however if anyone ever makes it to Gatlinburg TN check out the Whiskey. Southern pecan is awesome.

  26. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Too wasted to say anything more but, Go Hawks!!!

  27. bbnate420 says:

    Hopefully you’re not blind tomorrow, Georgia. Never tried Pecan Whiskey, but I’ve never met a whiskey I didn’t like. Other than gut rot crap that is.

    Never tried real moonshine, but I’ll never forget the time I was offered a glass of clear alcohol and thought it was vodka. I took a swig, only to realize it was Everclear. That’s 99% alcohol of anyone doesn’t know. Never felt a burn like that since.

  28. East Texas dialect is alot different than west texas. Good people both places. Also Galveston. Loved fishin for croakers down there as a kid.

  29. bbnate420 says:

    Croakers = frog gigging?

  30. bbnate420 says:

    Giggin’ I should say.

  31. Nope, fish that make frog-like croakin noise

  32. Ruskell is good at finding the last final part of a decent team that needs to be very good – I is not good at maintaining or building a team from the bottom.

    I have often thought teams that are just oh so close (Houston for example) should hire him as a consultant to eval and give suggestions then send him on the way.

  33. I am willing to bet early on that there wasn’t as much “togetherness” in our front office. i.e. the Whitehurst addition. I don’t think that was a unified move but helped them build as a duo on how they decide players and moves

  34. bsinnitt says:

    Schneider’s ability to restock the roster and find multiple pro bowlers in the process gives him a great start to being the most influenci GM in hawks history. The asterisks is can he do it without Pete. Hopefully it doesn’t matter for the next 4-5 years.

  35. Ah, yes. White croaker fish – common component of imitation crab meat. New information to me. The things actually “croak like frogs”, klm? How does that work exactly? They stick their heads out of the water to do it or what?

  36. Wonderful, insightful thread on GM’s, thanks Dave. Agree that the best thing yet in raising the bar for the Hawks has been Paul Allen’s ownership…and how he vetted the hiring of Carroll and Schneider and has then stayed behind the scenes and not complicated their means, strategy and personnel decisions, so far as we know.

  37. Thanks, Dave. Its a pleasure to read solid new content like this on a Sunday morning. It almost makes up for the long offseason.

    I wouldn’t mind hearing more info about all our scouts and personnel people, and our assistant coaches. These are all guys who never get enough credit. The HC gets all the credit and most of the blame. The GM gets the rest of the blame if things go wrong.

    From what I can see, both Schneider and Carroll have assembled great teams of scouts and asst coaches top-to-bottom.

  38. Dave Boling says:

    I think the situation with the assistants is going to get increasingly more interesting as other teams try to tap into the Carroll approach (presuming it remains successful). Gus Bradley being Exhibit A. I thought that Holmgren’s staff dealt with almost constant poaching, and toward the end it wasn’t nearly as deep with talent as it had been.

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Kearse better be shaking cause Harper is going to be making this team imo.

  40. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I still have to pinch myself sometimes to fully see how this team has made such a remarkable turnaround in talent in just a few years.

  41. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Hello, Is there anybody home! Ring! Ring!

  42. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “Waiting for training camp is testing our patience”
    “We scoff at the players that seem to have no sense”
    “Down by the waterhole — drunk every Friday”
    “Eating our nuts — saving our raisins for Sunday.”
    “49ers and Falcons wait in the shadows”
    “They’re fast and they’re favored, and we have to follow.”

    “That’s bungle in the jungle! — well, that’s all right by me.”
    “The Seahawks are the top dog!”
    “I don’t care if you disagree.”

    “Just say a word and Thomas will be there.”
    “With claws on your back to send a chill through the night air.”
    “Is it so frightening to have Kam at your shoulder?”
    “Thunder and lightning couldn’t be any bolder.”
    “They’ll write on their tombstone, “I thank you for dinner.”
    “This game that we Seahawks play is only for winners.”

    “Let’s rumble in the jungle — well, that’s all right by me.”
    “we’re the best in the NFL”
    “And the best fans if we disagree.”

  43. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Oh forgot- Jethro Tull- Bungle in the Jungle Lyrics. Song writer Ian Anderson.

  44. Dukeshire says:

    I’m home, but season finale of Mad Men has me occupied.

  45. I think Coaches will want to come here – PC gives them a chance to interview and move up. Gus actually said PC was encouraging him during the process. That has got to make young up and comers WANT to come here knowing they will get noticed because the team is successful and then the flexibility to go after job promotions.

    On another note, I think Norton is here for awhile, he seems to like his position as a LB coach.

  46. Georgia–nice Tull reference! Saw Ian and his new band do Thick As A Brick 2 last year in salt lake, seen Tull several times.

    Ruskell was such an asshat he should be buds with Ken Behring…they deserve each other!

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