We got a chance to talk to Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider about all of the roster churn over the past, three days – 41 roster moves in all – as he and head coach Pete Carroll continue to try and improve the roster heading into the first game of the regular season against San Francisco.
Schneider again reiterated that this is the toughest time of the year because of the conversations he and the rest of his staff have to have with players they believe still can play in the NFL, but that they will be moving on from.
“It was literally like draft weekend for us,” he said. “We’re being extremely excited about some of the acquisitions and the recruitment that was going on. And then on the other end of it, you’re talking about having to sit down with grown men who have the talent to play in the National Football League that you have to let go.”
But he considers this time of year one of the three, main places the team can improve their roster – the draft, free agency and trade. And he said that his staff was prepared to move swiftly in order to pick up players they felt could help Seattle long term.
“I think it’s really important to know that if I was a Seahawks fan, whoever was sitting in this chair is getting up every single day busting their tail, doing whatever they can to make this team better,” Schneider said. “And that’s exactly what we’re doing. And that’s what our whole staff does. Everybody takes a lot of pride in it.”
But Schneider said the team also had to achieve a balance between bringing in better players, and also not disrupting the roster too much so that they can still function this week.
“It’s a balance,” he said. “That’s why I said you have to have a coach willing to balance the upside and the improvement of your team with the acquisition, but also being able to play it safe and be like, ‘Hey, we’ve go to get ready to play a game next week.’”
On the team cutting receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Schneider said the team did take into consideration the player’s contract situation, but ultimately felt they were better without Houshmandzadeh on the roster.
“It was really just playing the young guys,” Schneider said. “Much like with Josh (Wilson), we felt like there was a group of guys behind him that were ready to take a step forward. T.J. is a good football player, he just happens to be a little bit older than the other guys, and we had some guys – Mike Williams and Deon Bulter and Ben Obomanu – we had some guys step forward.”
On the bulk of the roster moves coming at one time, Schneider said one of the reasons they waited this long is they needed an extended period of time to evaluate players and figure out whether or not they fit into what they are trying to do here.
“It’s a whole evaluation,” he said. “And you’ve got to take it to the end to figure out if you’re making the right decision or not.”
Schneider also apologized for the speculation of Julius Jones being cut. He is on the practice field this afternoon, and reportedly has taken a pay reduction to stay with the team.
“I apologized to Julius yesterday,” Schneider said. “I had no idea how that got out there, or if that was some angle or whatever’s happened. I apologized to him for it and he’s here.”
So is Seattle better after all these moves? Schneider thinks so.
“I think we’re a more talented football team, absolutely,” he said. “We’re bigger. We’re faster. Football’s the ultimate team sport. You’ve got 53 guys, 45 on Sunday. Now, how those guys come together in terms of time frame, I can’t answer that. But we’re clearly a more talented football team.”