I am saving Sunday's tape analysis for the offseason. Just like last offseason and the two that preceded it, I will scout every important player on the Seahawks roster, cite specific plays from the season that exemplified that player's strengths and weaknesses and project their future within the organization.
Yesterday was filled with so much defeat, complete, non-competitive, Brett Favre benched in the second half, defeat, Seahawks fans deserve a respite. Let us escape from our escape through our escape.
The Tim Ruskell-Mike Holmgren dichotomy is media created foolishness. Holmgren wants back in football. A smaller team, a team that needs the recycled hype and distraction, that is mired in failure and needs anyone, anything to steal the headline from griping and finger pointing, will hire Holmgren.
Paul Allen is a progressive and invested owner. That doesn't put him beyond hiring a general manager he is comfortable with. That is why I start this series with a former Seahawk, Randy Mueller.
Mueller cut his teeth with Seattle, working his way up from pro personnel assistant, 1983, to player personnel director, 1990, and finally Vice President of Football Operation in 1995. The signing of Holmgren signaled the departure of Mueller. The two worked together on the disastrous 1999 draft before Mueller became the general manager of the New Orleans Saints.
Mueller drafted Joey Galloway, Shawn Springs, Pete Kendall, Phillip Daniels, Walter Jones, Anthony Simmons and Ahman Green for the Seahawks. He was integral in Seattle escaping Rick Mirer. Mueller traded Mirer to Chicago for a first round pick in 1997.
He went on to work for the Saints starting in 2000. There he helped clean up another coach-executed disaster, flipping Ricky Williams to the Miami Dolphins for two first round picks in 2002. In three season with the Saints, Mueller drafted Marc Bulger, Darren Howard, Kevin Houser, Deuce McAllister, Moran Norris, Donte Stallworth, Charles Grant and LeCharles Bentley.
From 2002 to 2005, Mueller worked for ESPN as an analyst. He signed with the Dolphins in 2005, but then-coach Nick Saban was in charge of personnel decisions. Mueller was in charge for the short period between Saban's resignation January 3, 2007 and Bill Parcells appointment December 19, 2007. The 2007 Dolphins finished 1-15 and Mueller was fired December 31, 2007.
His larger record speaks better of him than his recent work. Mueller might best be described as a fixer. He helps teams escape bad situations and has succeeded at turning high round picks into successful players. He traded Chris Chambers for a second round pick, Wes Welker for a second and seventh round pick (when Welker was a return specialist and part time receiver) and, as mentioned, freed the Seahawks from Mirer and the Saints from Williams. Mueller does not have much experience picking quarterbacks. He did find Marc Bulger in the sixth, and acquired Trent Green for a fifth round pick. Before a brain scrambling hit essentially ended his career, Green was a serviceable quarterback in 2007.
If Seattle is looking to blow up the roster and exchange some of its more valuable players for picks, Mueller is the right guy to dismantle and liquidate. He isn't young, but he is connected. He isn't fresh or sexy, but his record is pretty strong. Mueller is a bridge, and I would think, appeals most to fans that think the Seahawks are not close, not rebuilding, but collapsing; years from contention.