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Write Up On Seahawks Makeover. We Should Still See Some Major Changes


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Back in 2010 new Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll ended up cutting 22 players that first season and started changing the way things were usually done in Seattle. They moved quickly cutting many long time favorites in the process. Within the first two years the team let go of over 40 players who were on the roster when Schneider and Carroll arrived in 2010.

Among the players let go those first two years were Matt Hassellbeck,Deion Branch,Julius Jones,TJ Houshmandzadeh,Darryl Tapp,Seneca Wallace,Josh Wilson,Lawrence Jackson,Nick Reed,Deon Butler,Brian Russell,Kelly Jennings,etc.

One of their philosophies was to admit their mistakes early especially ones in the draft quickly and not have players hanging around who weren't good enough to play. They are willing to move along quickly from bad draft picks to give more undrafted free agents opportunities to make the roster. Doug Baldwin,Jermaine Kearse,Ricardo Lockette,Michael Bennett,Steven Hauschka,Thomas Rawls are all undrafted.

Seattle's focus was on keeping the best players no matter how those players were aquired. The Seahawks also lead the league in keeping undrafted free agents because during the preseason they give many new players time to play so they can hopefully sign as many players as possible. They also searched everywhere for talent the CFL,undrafted free agents,players other teams considered done,etc.

Marshawn Lynch was becoming an afterthought on a Buffalo team that was starting Fred Jackson and had chosen C.J. Spiller in the first round. Seattle acquired him for two picks in the latter half of the draft, and two years later Lynch had concluded the third-most productive rushing season in franchise history.

In April of 2010, the Seahawks sent a 2010 5th round pick in exchange for RB and KR Leon Washington and a 7th round pick. Washington scored 3 kick/punt return touchdowns in 2010 for Seattle.

Cornerback Brandon Browner was an even bigger bargain, someone the Seahawks signed after he spent four years playing in the CFL. The lesson? Just because a player didnt fit someone elses prototype doesnt mean he cant be a productive, even Pro Bowl-caliber, contributor.

Chris Clemons, whom the Seahawks acquired in a 2010 trade, was gotten along with a fourth-round pick for Darryl Tapp, a restricted free agent at the time.

Offensive tackle Breno Giacomini was signed off the Packers practice squad and started at right tackle. Left guard Paul McQuistan was added in 2011, not on an NFL roster when the previous season concluded. Seattle traded a seventh round pick to Philly for offensive lineman Stacy Andrews.

Carroll and Schneider did their best work not only in free agency but in the draft also getting Russell Okung,Earl Thomas,Golden Tate,Walter Thurmond,Kam Chancellor in their first draft in 2010. Very next draft they got Richard Sherman,Byron Maxwell,KJ Wright,James Carpenter. In 2012 Bruce Irvin,Bobby Wagner,Russell Wilson,Robert Turbin,Jeremy Lane,Winston Guy,JR Sweezy.

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I'm surprised how uncommon this strategy is in the NFL. You'd think these GM's realize that all bets are off at the pro level. Sure, maybe 1st round picks are more likely to achieve than 7th round picks. But honestly, the differences in ability between the best and worst players are minuscule. Everybody at the NFL level is insanely talented, so it's not easy to see who is the 'real deal' and who will flop. No amount of metrics or college accomplishments is going to tell you who's going to succeed at the highest level. A good GM knows this and is willing to find as many players as possible to throw into the ring until they find the ones that can get it done on the field. In essence, good GM's and coaches are successful precisely because they can admit that they don't know everything.

Edited by likeriver
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The truth is that the seahawks hit on an abnormally high number of picks, like crazy outlier here. They have not been able to do that recently, those two drafts they nailed is basically what got them where they are.

There is some truth to this but I dont think thats the whole story. They did a lot of great things with that "second CB" slot next to Sherman. That position was manned (and manned well) by a number of players from non-obvious spots.

This is where my theory of player development >>>>>>>> player drafting shows up. Is it that there were elite-level players that only one team in the league saw? I don't think thats likely. I think whats more likely is that the Seahawks have things that they look for at every position. And they're willing to seek those traits and skills and invest time developing those players into those roles.

With someone like Earl Thomas, they got "lucky" in that he probably should have come off the board earlier. But with Sherman/Wright/Chancellor? It was all about a perfect mix of opportunity, trial and error and matching talent to scheme.

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So many factors go into it. Personally, I believe it starts with chemistry and the entire team believing in one goal they are trying to achieve. The Seahawks were starting Tyler Polumbus. Remember one of the million offensive linemen we started at tackle? He was one of them. He was good with them and sucked with us. Heart and Pride will do tremendous things and I think Dan Quinn can install that if nothing else with decent talent.

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Improvement by TOer continually looking for what they want I that position.

I've seen somehwere that they being the Seahawks FO under Carroll had made 200 + player transactions in his first 3 years just continually churning players out until they got what they want.

Quinn is doing the same thing. That's why I like him. He cuts and brings in UDA's all the time. And all season he made changes in personnel to get the defense that held the panthers to 13 points last Sunday.
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Some very valid points being made in this thread. I whole heartedly agree that it's surprising that this "scorched earth" method isn't more widely adopted. As Larry stated so eloquently though, it's just as important if not more important to not only know what you're looking for in a prospect, but having the ability to develop them and their talents to fit your mold and vision. The problems arise though when teams /front offices start to force the idea and desire of having a successful pick/signing ahead of objectively deciding what's best for your team. It's ultimately an issue of ego getting in the way. Not seeing the forest through the trees. It's such a simple concept yet so difficult for a person to see when they are involved on a personal level. To me it appears it's just as important to know when to cut bait on a failure as it is hitting on prospects.

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