Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider held their annual pre-draft press conference with the media Monday afternoon. The session was a low key state of the union chat with the media in which the two executives were straightforward about the team’s direction and felt comfortable enough to discuss the teams past.
On the draft preparation with changes to the coaching staff and roster…)
Schneider: “You evaluate your drafts all of the time. You’re constantly evaluating what you think you did well and what you need to improve on. I think one of the things we’ve done is really cleaned up. There aren’t as many names on our board. You have to have certain criteria to be on our board and we’re making less excuses for players I’d say.”
On bringing in players not just to be on the team, but to compete for jobs…)
Schneider: “That’s another part of our evaluation. Just because you’re talented doesn’t mean you’re going to come in here not be in awe of Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson or whomever. We’ve got to get back to bringing guys into this building that are ready to compete with those guys and not just be happy to take a second seat or a backup chair. Pete’s whole deal is it’s all about competition. We need to get those guys that want to come in and compete. This class, they were in eighth grade or freshman year when these guys were in the Super Bowl so they’re playing them in Madden and all of that stuff.”
(On if having fewer players on the board character-related…)
Schneider: “There’s a lot. There’s character, psychological testing, orthopedic testing, orthopedic grades. True fits – sometimes you can make excuses in all of those areas because of a guy’s specific skill set.”
Carroll: “This time of year we’re always going back to basics and looking at the fundamental aspects of the makeup of the players. We have been strong on the thought of getting the smart, tough, reliable guys that we’ve always loved and we want to make sure that we’re doing that. Maybe it’s just a reminder because it’s that time of year again, but we certainly want to emphasize the real competitive-natured kids that really are going to come in and fight and claw and scratch just like the guys that have made this program. It just seems like maybe we emphasize this time of year, every year.”
On if the draft is more critical this year given roster turnover…)
Carroll: “We’re not taking it like that. We’re taking it as it’s as crucial as it could possibly be, as was free agency and everything else we’re doing. Every step of the way, John’s battling to give us another guy here, another guy there; the draft is the same. We’re hoping like crazy we’re going to hit it huge and get some guys who can com help us, but that’s not different than the way we’ve look at it any other year.”
Schneider: “We build this thing all the way through. All the way though the Super Bowl. We’re talking about adding guys on our practice squad right at the end of the season to try to get them in the mix for the following year. Mike Davis, we claimed him in June last year. It doesn’t stop.”
(On not having any picks in the second or third round and if they’d like picks in those rounds…)
Carroll: “It always is. It always is. We’re always trying to get as many – John’s been maneuvering like crazy in these drafts.”
Schneider: “We move around. I don’t know how it stacks up with other clubs or anything, but we take a lot of pride in our relationships with other clubs where we can just call somebody up real quick and make a deal to move around so that maybe we’re moving up to get somebody or maybe moving back to acquire two guys, possibly three. I think, yeah, to answer your question, I wish we had a second-rounder and a third-rounder but we went for it so here we are and now we’ve got to figure it out. It’s a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge.”
Schneider addressed the release of Richard Sherman and the decision to trade Micheal Bennett to Philadelphia.
(On a report of Michael Bennett reading book in team meetings, and Sherman being defiant in the past)
Carroll: “Mike never brought a book to a meeting, I’ll tell you that. The thing I would tell you about that is that we’ve been through a lot around here, we’ve grown tremendously together and all of that, and changes are inevitable. Sometimes, guys can’t hang with what’s expected for one reason or another, their growth, their development and all of that, and the best thing I can tell you is that they’re not here.”
On the Colin Kaepernick story and take us through that process…)
Carroll: “Well let me say it this way: we’re still battling on all fronts – on all guys – we’re still at guys and evaluating. There’s free agents that we continue to look at. In that, the process just continues. At this point, we’ve gone through the information gathering and we have a pretty good feel for where we are. It’s ongoing. We’re not done with that decision at all. We’re still watching him.”
(On if the team wanted to hear something from Kaepernick before moving forward…)
Carroll: “I think that kind of—that got blown up , you know, like that was a big marker. I think we’ve been working at this for some time now so I don’t think that’s really as telling as it came across. So we’re real aware of him and he’s a fine football player and there may be a place we’re not sure about where that fits yet.”
(On how much Kaepernick’s protest means to the team’s decision on him…)
Carroll: “I think he’s continuing to work on the stuff that’s really important to his heart. That’s what it looks like. He’s been recognized with an award just recently. Everything’s important. We take everything into account to make the decisions that we make. It’s no different for the quarterback spot than any other spot we’re considering.”
The Seahawks currently have the no.18th pick in the first round, no picks in the second and third rounds. The Seahawks have four picks in the fifth round none in the sixth round and two in the seventh round.