RENTON – It’s been just over a week since Tim Ruskell announced his resignation as the Seattle Seahawks’ president and general manager.
During that span, Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke stayed true to his word, using the time to perform an in-house evaluation of the organization before reaching out to potential candidates.
And it might be awhile before the Seahawks have a new voice as head of the franchise’s football operations. League rules mandate that the Seahawks wait until the end of the season before asking permission of another organization to contact a potential candidate under contract whom the Seahawks covet. And if that team makes a deep run into the playoffs, Seattle may have to wait until February to finish the vetting process.
The Seahawks have hired New York search firm Spencer Stuart to assist in the search.
Seattle also must interview a minority candidate, according to the Rooney Rule established by the league.
For now, the only potential candidate identified by Leiweke during last week’s press conference is currently running the team – interim general manager Ruston Webster.
Seahawks coach Jim Mora said his relationship with his new boss, who served as the team’s vice president of pro personnel during Ruskell’s tenure, has changed since Webster assumed his new position. Mora also stated the transition has been seamless.
“We have an excellent relationship,” Mora said. “We always have. Really, the only thing that has changed this past week is we’ve just communicated more because he has been here.
“Typically, Ruston at this time of the year spends a lot of time on the road. Now, starting this week, he would typically be home more because it’s bowl season, but we just spent a little bit more time talking. But we get along well.
“He’s a good football man. He’s a good personnel man. He knows what he’s doing.”
Webster and John Idzik, the team’s vice president of administration, who serves as the team’s salary cap specialist, have been fixtures at practice as part of their weekly evaluation of Seattle’s roster – basically the same routine the two adhered to before Ruskell’s departure.
Webster spent 18 years with Tampa Bay, working his way up though the Buccaneers organization before joining Ruskell in Seattle five years ago. He’s twice been a finalist for head front-office positions during his time in Seattle, finishing runner-up for the GM position in Tennessee.
Webster takes a low-key approach to the position. He is well respected around the league for his ability and eye for talent, and is generally considered a viable candidate for the position, along with ex-Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who last week stated his interest in talking to Leiweke about the vacancy.
Whoever the Seahawks ultimately hire, players like safety Lawyer Milloy understand that the last few weeks of the season will be crucial to players’ futures.
“The next four weeks, I think everybody in this locker room, including myself, needs to put a good product on the field because we’re going to have a new GM,” Milloy said. “And if these guys don’t understand that, they’re fooling themselves.”
Mora would not name a starting running back for Sunday’s game against Houston after Friday’s practice, stating that whether Julius Jones or Justin Forsett starts the game would depend on which personnel group his team uses on the first play. Mora did say, however, that Forsett is fully healthy and should see more action against the Texans than he did last week, when the team limited his touches against San Francisco due to a strained hamstring. ... Matt Hasselbeck (shoulder), defensive tackle Cory Redding (concussion) and center Chris Spencer (thumb) all fully participated in practice and are probable for Sunday. Linebacker D.D. Lewis (knee) was a limited participant on Friday and is questionable for Sunday. Mora said Lewis will be a game-time decision.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437