Boling: C’mon, Hawks, hire Reese; he’s smart, humble
DAVE BOLING; THE NEWS TRIBUNE
The Seahawks could go ahead and name Floyd Reese general manager today and be ready to roll into the future right now.
Reese reportedly interviewed with the Seahawks on Wednesday. His résumé alone makes him the most accomplished of the candidates whose names have been mentioned.
But more important, he fits the blueprint for the team’s new direction.
His profile, his persona, his experience; they all suit what the Seahawks need, and, a more important fact is something that couldn’t be quantified on his “CV” – he might be the perfect complement to new coach/executive vice president Pete Carroll.
We may assume that, at age 61 and with 18 seasons as an NFL personnel man (after 15 as an assistant coach), he’s well past the stage of needing to be in the spotlight. This guy won’t be racing to the podium to receive acclaim for his latest acquisition.
Pete Carroll does fine in the spotlight. Reese could be at his best in a dark video room or working the phones.
Could he operate in the “collaborative capacity” that has been established as the desired relationship between Carroll and the new GM? Well, most recently, he has been the senior football advisor in New England, working with coach Bill Belichick, who certainly is a powerful and strong-willed manager.
Some of the other GM candidates may be young and promising and on the way up. But Reese has actually done this and proven he can do it over the long haul.
In his first season as top executive with the franchise that turned into the Tennessee Titans, he hired Jeff Fisher, who has been the head coach ever since.
The team had bottomed out at 2-14. Reese helped get it stabilized and built it into a Super Bowl team four seasons later.
How about identifying high-end talent? The Seahawks have the No. 6 and No. 14 picks in the first round of the upcoming draft, so this will be critical. How has Reese done in such situations?
Well, in 1996, he used the No. 14 pick to get running back Eddie George, who was offensive rookie of the year and went to four Pro Bowls.
With the No. 16 pick in ’99, he added defensive end Jevon Kearse … defensive rookie of the year. His No. 15 pick in 2002 was Albert Haynesworth, a two-time Pro Bowl run-stopping beast.
As for that high pick? With the No. 3 selection in ’95, he drafted quarterback Steve McNair, a three-time Pro Bowl player who was the NFL co-MVP in ’03.
Let’s superimpose his history over one with which you may be more familiar (and frustrated) – the Seahawks’.
In 2005, when facing the reality of an aging offensive line, Seahawks president Tim Ruskell used the first-round pick on center Chris Spencer. He’s been injured, inconsistent and hardly worth the investment.
Reese also looked for an offensive linemen in that draft but waited until the second round to pick a relative sleeper, Eastern Washington’s Michael Roos. A product of Mountain View High in Vancouver, Wash., Roos has started all 80 games of his career and is a Pro Bowl offensive tackle.
So many of the Seahawks’ issues up front would have been solved by taking Roos instead of Spencer. He could have started at right tackle and then moved to the left side when Walter Jones was injured.
Another apples-to-apples comparison in the 2006 draft: The Seahawks used a first-round pick on cornerback Kelly Jennings, who has turned into a reserve. Reese found a guy named Cortland Finnegan, from Samford, who became a Pro Bowl player.
Reese was fired by the Titans after the 2006 season. Relationships apparently frayed to some extent over time, but that was after 13 pretty impressive seasons. And imagine what it might be like to work for owner Bud “Flip the Bird” Adams.
When the Titans went 13-3 in 2008, 16 of 22 starters were Reese’s acquisitions, including six Pro Bowl selections that season alone. We might point out that Ruskell had three acquisition make the Pro Bowl in his five seasons (Julian Peterson, Lofa Tatupu and Patrick Kerney … and Kerney and Peterson had been Pro Bowl players before getting here).
So, where are the Seahawks going to find somebody with Reese’s track record, with that instant credibility, who also wouldn’t be another big front-office ego that could create friction?
Hire the man, and get started healing this fractured franchise today.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440