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February 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

John Schneider: “There are tough decisions to be made along the way”

Here is more of what Seattle general manager John Schneider had to say today when he took the podium at the NFL Combine:

On how much of an advantage it has been to have Russell Wilson at such a low cap number: “The rules are what they are, the CBA and the way it was negotiated. It’s a big deal for us. We’ve been able to acquire other players, and they were definitely players we were able to acquire that helped us get over the top this year.”

On the importance of keeping the defensive line together: “I think that’s very important. I think every team would tell you they’re looking for defensive ends they can jump off the ball and defensive linemen who are quick with their hands. I just think it’s important for us. It’s a huge goal for us to try to keep this team together for as long as we possibly can. There are tough decisions to be made along the way. We don’t look forward to those decision, but it’s more long-term. We’ve talked about trying to be a consistent championship-caliber football team and not just one that cruises in for a year and cruises out. We have to work through those issues.”

On how the defense came together: “Between coach Carroll and Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn, those guys are extremely good defensive coaches. The one thing with our staff is they’re very good teachers. They have a true investment in the players and spending extra time with them. We have a guys that spend extra time on their technique and then if you’re able to acquire players who run fast and are big and good looking, you’ve got a shot. I think the guys really respond to our coaching staff.”

On it if was a priority when Gus Bradley left to have a guy who knew the players like Dan Quinn: “It was immensely important because Dan knew a bunch of the players and was there when we acquired some of the players that first year. From a scheme standpoint, obviously very similar to what Gus was doing. But all of those guys are different with calling plays and calling defenses. Every coach has their little niche. But it was extremely important.”

On the Seahawks doing a good job keeping their information under wraps during the off-season: “I appreciate you saying that. I take that as a compliment. I really do. Just our culture we try to create. It’s a fun culture and we work our tails off. It’s 24/7 and we just ask that you don’t take advantage of it. Loose lips sink ships. I think our people do a very good job of keeping things in house.”

On how that has been helpful: “You just don’t have misinformation out there or leaks and lose the opportunity to either redo a player or acquire a player.”

On bow big a priority it is it to bring back Golden Tate: “It’s a big priority. We have a number of unrestricted free agents that we’re kind of getting a lay of the land. This is the weekend it kind of starts. People start hearing from other teams and how well they’re liked and appreciated. Golden knows where we stand and how much we love him and how much we want to have him back on our team.”

On if there was a specific blueprint in putting together the defense:  “I think it’s just about trying to improve every single day in every aspect of acquisition. I think our staff is open minded so they’re able to adjust on the fly. We moved Red Bryant when we got here. We knew he was a big powerful man so they wanted to put him in a specific position to accentuate his strengths. I think coach Carroll and his staff are very good at listening and being open minded about players, whether it’s a converging player. Blueprint wise? I’d love to say this is exactly how you do it, but really it’s about getting up every day and trying to improve in every aspect that you can.”

On what’s the key to keeping the fun culture and preventing something like what happened in Miami: “I’m not really sure about any other place, but what we focus on is trying to help people be the best they can possibly be, whether it’s our trainers or players and try to give everybody the ability to be as good as they can possibly be. You guys know, everybody puts pressure on themselves. We’ve tried to create a culture that’s outgoing, fun, aggressive. Life’s too short to stress yourself out and stress other people out. Not that I don’t stress people out.”

On comparing Johnny Manziel to Russell Wilson: “I could see why people say that. His ability to find passing lanes, quickness, foot quickness, the way he moves and backs out of the pocket.”

On if that’s more of an undersized quarterback thing: “The thing you would say is his ability to find passing lanes. That’s the first thing that would stand out about Russell and Johnny. I would see why people would say that.”

On what is the first thing you’re looking for when evaluating a quarterback: “There’s a number of different things. First and foremost, he has to be a guy. He has to have the locker room. He has to walk into the meeting room and make the players know, Hey, this guy’s got us. He’s got it. That character aspect. Ron Wolff would tell you it’s how they tip the field, and you can see it during a game. Russell’s very much like that .Very confident guy. But I’m not going to go down the list of specifics.”

On if there is a tricky dynamic to handle with Wilson winning a Super Bowl but the team not yet being able to pay him big money: “I don’t think so because it really is what it is. Those are the rules that are set up and we have to abide by them. I think everybody understands that if you have the ability to pay a quarterback, you would do that. Especially somebody with the character of Russell Wilson.”

On if there are aspects of B.J. Daniels that reminded him of Wilson last year: “His ability to find passing lanes. He’s got very good eyes. Guys that are undersized they’ve got to be able to move so that stand out right away with those guys. Similar traits (to Russell).”

On the signing of CFL star receiver Chris Matthews: “A bunch of people worked him out. We just were one of the teams that worked him out and hit it off. He liked the environment. He’s from Los Angeles. He’s a big man. It worked out.”

On Seattle hitting on a lot of late-round picks:  “We’re very open with our communication. The coaches have buy-in to that player so if it’s a Kam Chancellor or Richard Sherman, however they feel they can accentuate those guys’ strengths, they’re going to do it. When we pick a player, we just have a cool buy in. That’s the best way I can describe it. They know ideally that we’re not going to be pick somebody that looks like me.”

On a lot of teams being scared to play players it drafts late, but Seattle being willing to play them: “That stems from coach Carroll. He’s just coming from college ball a couple years ago. He talked about competition all the time. He gets up in front of the team every day and talks about it. We had a three-person quarterback competition a couple years ago so it’s the real deal. When he was recruiting somebody in college, he was recruiting a high school player and he could tell them, If you bust your tail, you’re going to have a shot to play.”

On the draft being two weeks later and how that impacts things: “I don’t think it really impacts it. There are some guys who we’ll work out later. If anything it will help some players who have been injured who maybe in the past haven’t been able to work out. Maybe it might impact it that way. In terms of our preparation, it’s more of the same. My wife’s not too fired up about it.”

On if the franchise tag is a possibility for Michael Bennett? “I don’t anticipate that, no.”



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