The reaction from Seattle head coach Jim Mora and his players to Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell stepping down was one of sadness and disappointment, with the realization that their performance on the field had contributed to his early departure.
Mora said that Ruskell told him in a meeting on Wednesday at the team’s facility that he would no longer be the team’s head of football operations.
“My heart goes out to Tim and his family,” Mora said. “Tim’s a good man, and a good football man. And I’m disappointed that we couldn’t perform better and give him the help that he needed.”
Safety Deon Grant, who Ruskell brought in as a free agent in 2007 to help shore up the defensive backfield, said he felt like he had not lived up to his obligation by Ruskell bringing him in.
“There was some hurt in me,” Grant said. “Because he was one of the guys who believed in me. Him, the guys upstairs, Mike (Holmgren) and the guys who were already here, they believed in me. The brought me here. So to see him leave, and knowing that one of the reasons is because of the win-and-loss column, all of us played a part in that. So it’s hurts a lot because he’s a good dude at the end of the day.”
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said that even with Ruskell’s departure, he does not know if anything will change inside the locker room.
“We had a meeting at 8 o’clock this morning,” he said. “We were told what had happened. That meeting lasted five, 10 minutes. And then we got right on to getting ready to play the 49ers.
“So we all know what’s at stake. Every single guy in that locker room realizes that just like every other year, how you play will determine your status for next year, whether you’re in this league or not. Or whether you’re starting or not, or whether you’re on this team or not.
“And so that’s unchanged.”
Like Hasselbeck, defensive end Patrick Kerney, who was brought in the same year as Grant, in 2007 to help shore up the defense, said Ruskell’s departure is just another example of the results-oriented nature of the NFL.
“Wins and losses are the barometer for every one of us,” Kerney said. “From the general manager right on down to the guy most recently signed. So yeah, it effects all of us. But I think last year had to be some type of NFL record for starters missing games. So this year has been a difficult year as well, but it’s certainly is not over. And we’re certainly not out of it.”
As far as the practice report today, DT Cory Redding (concussion), DE Lawrence Jackson (groin) and LB D.D. Lewis (knee) did not practice for a second straight day.
C Chris Spencer (thumb) and RB Julius Jones (bruised lung) were full participants in practice.
For San Francisco, CB Nate Clements (shoulder) is out.
DT Kentwan Balmer (shoulder), WR Isaac Bruce (ankle), S Michael Lewis (quad), DT Aubrayo Franklin (not injury related), LB Takeo Spikes (hamstrong) and T Joe Staley (knee) did not participate in practice.
CB Marcus Hudson (back) was limited. And Wr Arnaz Battle (ankle), WR Brandon Jonoes (thumb), DT Ray McDonald (shoulder), T Adam Snyder (shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (thumb) and RB Michael Robinson (shoulder) fully participated in practice.