Reporters who regularly cover the Seahawks got an opportunity to sit down and talk with Seahawks general manager John Schneider about the team’s preparation heading into this week’s draft.
We hit on several, different topics, and Schneider was as forthcoming as he could be without divulging the team’s strategy heading into Thursday.
Schneider did say he was “very concerned” with linebacker Leroy Hill’s latest run-in with the law, and that he will wait to see how the league handles the situation before commenting further.
Hill was arrested for the second time in over a year last weekend, when he was taken into custody at his Issaquah home for an alleged domestic disturbance with his live-in girlfriend. Hill was charged with misdemeanor drug possession a few weeks ago for a Jan. 24, 2009 incident in which he was found asleep at the wheel by police in suburban Atlanta with marijuana in his car.
“(I’m) Very concerned,” he said. “We have to wait for some guidance from the league office on it. Other than that I probably shouldn’t comment on it any further. We put out a statement and we have to stick by that.”
Asked if there was a question with Hill’s future status with the team, or if he was concerned about his status for the season and was comfortable with him still on the team, Schneider had this to say: “We just have to wait. We can’t really comment on anything until we hear from the league office. I mean, you just have to appreciate the sensitivity there.”
On losing out to Miami for Brandon Marshall, Schneider said sometimes the trades you don’t make are a blessing in disguise.
“It didn’t really set back our plans,” Schneider said about not getting Marshall. “I think I told you guys the first time I was with you that you’re going to see us involved in a lot of different things.
“There was a certain level of risk. We got in. We did our investigation. We had great contact. We had great communication all the way through it. And we had a certain level that we were willing to go to, and it just didn’t happen. And we weren’t going to come off of where we were. And congratulations to Brandon, and Miami and Denver for working it out.
“It’s one of those things where I truly believe that some of the best deals you make are some of the ones you don’t make. And everything happens for a reason. I think when you start getting into panic mode is when you really start getting yourself into trouble.”
Schneider said both center Chris Spencer (first round) and wide receiver Ben Obomanu (seventh round) have signed their restricted free agent tenders, and linebacker David Hawthorne signed his exclusive rights tender.
Schneider said Walter Jones still has not informed the team on his decision on whether or not he will retire, but the team is moving forward as if Jones will not be with them heading into training camp.
Scheider said he’s never seen 17 tryout players before at a minicamp.
“I was shocked with the guys that jumped in,” he said. “Shawn Bayes, this was his first time playing corner. And the coaches were excited about him and his ability to function in minicamp. I think it was a testament to our coaching staff that they were able to keep the tempo going, and those other guys just jumped right in there.”
Schneider said there’s no guarantee Seattle will take its selections at No. 6 or No. 14, with the possibility of trading back at both spots if the deal is right.
“I don’t know if we’re going to pick at six and 14,” Schneider said. “Everybody talks about six and 14, and that’s cool. We may pick at six because we just want to, or somebody may come to us with a deal we can’t refuse, and we may move back from six. And then when we get to 14 we may move back from 14 again. And then when we get to 60 someone might want somebody might want somebody.”
As far as being the guy heading the draft process for the first time, Schneider said he’s enjoyed it so far.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “You put your own stamp on it, and I’ve been blessed to work with very good people. I just feel it’s going to be great on draft day just to be able to say, ‘Hey, this is the direction we’re headed. And Pete’s (Carroll) is great to work with because of how enthusiastic he is. And so he’s very into the open approach and the different ideas, the different philosophies.”