I'm often saddled with being the only person with a particular point of view on issues as it relates to mass opinion. I have been taken to task many times in my life for this, often too stubborn to see logic and worse yet, convinced even in the face of obvious facts. I'll try and face criticism for what I am about to type here because what I'm convinced of, is that the new conventional wisdom that winning will create good or positive relationships and that the Seattle Seahawks should not have used that as a guiding point to hiring their GM is blind. I am not here to contend that the Seahawks are right or wrong with who they hired, that would not be backed up by facts. What I am here to contend is two things: Direction is most important and that winning rarely breeds harmony.
Winning did not create harmony within the Seahawks. Post Superbowl, Darrell Jackson continued to make issue of a 4-5 million dollar bonus he was promised by the previous GM before Ruskell arrived. Winning did not make Steve Hutchinson believe that he should consider anything other than top lineman money. He left and continued to blame the organization for not doing a contract extension a couple of years earlier. Ruskell and Holmgren's relationship froze not after losing games, but after he lost Hutch.
Ruskell also was saddled with the job of trying to fix the condition and also set the direction of the organization. GMs do this throughout the NFL when they are hired, but Ruskell had to do it with a hall of fame head coach who fancied himself robbed of the job years earlier. Winning did not provide a grace period for growth. Setting a direction was put off by keeping a playoff window open.
Common direction in this case would have done more to preserve relationships than winning. A front office with common direction may have had players' trust more than a front office disjointed from so much upheaval before Ruskell arrived. It's direction this team needs. If that's Pete Carroll setting it, or the GM and Carroll setting it, or Blitz the mascot setting it, as long as the organization understands from peanut vendors to Paul Allen, what that direction is, harmony will follow. This is how it works in all the other organizations that have success. They have a direction.
What we already know is that Pete Carroll will set the direction of this franchise, we knew this when he came in. How much he helps push the Seahawks in that direction remains to be seen, but by simply having a direction to follow with a couple of competent hires means this Hawks team top down is in better condition to face the future than when Paul Allen saved it from the abyss of L.A.