I have been looking at our drafted players and trying to see them through the eyes of Schneider and Carroll. How does this front office consistently buck convention and still manage to find value? Schneider had the following exchange at 13:55 of his day 3 press conference.
Reporter: "You guys inherited a 5 win team.... How has this process changed in terms of the approach, the actual execution since then... what has changed?
Schneider: "No, I don't think it has changed, the process has not changed. I think the only thing that's changed, that we've learned along the way, is from our mistakes, and its really a tribute to the team, and the program that Coach Carroll has put together where there's so much competitiveness that these guys, they're on edge, they're confident and so you have to have a certain mentality to be able to battle... that's where I have made mistakes with guys."
Schneider couldn't go into the follow up question about who had failed specifically. That would have been really interesting.
So how to interpret Schneider's claim of growth through error: We've drafted players that were not mentally tough enough to handle the competition created by Pete Carroll's philosophy. They did not have the desire to be great, or constantly fight for a role, or fight complacency, etc.
Schneider claims to have modified his draft criteria by filtering more heavily for mentality of a player. This front office does so many things uniquely that, without actually seeing their draft board, it is impossible to determine how they rate an individual player until they select him. They weight their grades on items unavailable to not only the fans, but also those paid to rank prospects in the media.
What about the Seahawks requires such a unique filter? The intensity of leaders like Thomas & Wilson has opened Schneider's eyes to what it will take for a new player to make this roster. He has seen players he drafted crumble (presumably). It is no longer all about the most talented players. You had better bring it upstairs or you will be culled from this group. Talented without the right balance of confidence and "grit" is a true waste of a draft pick in PC/JS's eyes.
Schneider has a funny sense of humor. In humor you can often find more truth than in an interview then where he is "on guard". During the press conferences for Thomas and Sherman, Schneider poked fun at Earl's intensity and Richard's "lack of confidence." He is poking fun, because it is a way to heap praise on someone without it seeming disingenuous. There is so much fluff spoken at a press conference I think comedy is Schneider's way of speaking truthfully without becoming awkward.
So you can't just be some "geek off the streets if you know what I mean. You've gotta earn your keep." So I had an idea to see how many of this years draft picks were captains of their team. Assuming that if you were elected captain of the team you had the respect of your peers, and had characteristics that would allow you to be accepted and thrive in competition.
Cassius Marsh: Not a team captain and suspended for fighting.
Kevin Pierre-Louis: Not a team captain. Sparq guy.
Eric Pinkins: Not a team captain.
Kiero Small: Per Davis Hsu elected Team Captain.
Not sure what, if anything you will glean from this list. Being team captain is obviously not a prerequisite, but I imagine Richardson being named team captain allowed Schneider to check the character block on him. Whatever the true filter is for our players, Schneider claims that they are now leaning more heavily towards the right character instead of just talent.
How does Carroll fit into this? His philosophy is at the heart of this filtering. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Carroll prefers drafting a prospect early so they are labeled a "reach." I bet it gives him the edge he needs coaching those players. Imagine Pete walking up to Britt in Rookie camp and saying "Were you a reach Britt? Did you earn a D grade? Kiper called you a 5th, AT BEST?" That seems like it could be a powerful motivational tool for the right front office.
Anyway congratulations Rook! You are now a draft pick of the World Champs with no guarantee of making the team. Hopefully you take the media disrespect to heart because anger is your friend. Carroll is your new Emperor and he is strong in the Dark Side of the Force.
If you have any insight into character filtering please add it below!