The combined genius of Pete Carroll and John Schneider have completely broken from past norms, making us wonder exactly which leadership book on “change” the two read together this offseason.
Because this is quite simply not what they normally do.
First is not the draft, but Pete Carroll hiring new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron from the Los Angeles Rams. This comes with a varied and quick-pass offensive scheme and will invariably include some things that Russell Wilson prefers, and some that Carroll does not. It signified the beginning of adaptation, an overwhelming theme that has progressed from January into full bloom this spring.
Second is still not the draft, but the early signing of Gerald Everett. Undoubtedly OC Waldron had something positive to say in the process, and a diversely skilled tight end was a necessary step to let Wilson and Waldron do their thing this season.
Then the draft. Not only did the Seattle Seahawks make the fewest selections in franchise history, but they acted uncharacteristically throughout, and should continue to be monitored for strange behavior.
I want that one
They took positions of need! Gone were the random running backs of the first, or a linebacker to sit behind two Hall of Famers and follow two drafted the year before. Wide receiver and cornerback are two of the three biggest needs on this team, and spending two picks on those positions hints of insanity.
While offensive tackle is not the interior lineman that could be the remaining roster weakness, eventually Duane Brown will no longer play. Phil Haynes, Jamarco Jones, and everybody else have not stepped up to the challenge. With a remarkable move in a remarkable year, Schneider actually traded back up to get Stone Forsythe as a future left tackle. It’s the perfect time to let him develop for another year and then see what happens.
But I don’t want any other ones
Three picks. THREE PICKS!!! Seattle made some big-time trades last year. They evaluated the landscape of NCAA football in 2020. They even said something about being attractive to undrafted free agents this year because of only having three picks, per Brady Henderson. Instead of taking more gambles in the fourth round and beyond, they went with three guys they think could play right now. This is a well-thought plan that they committed to and stuck with and I cannot believe it. What’s wrong with them.
But they said they were trying to trade down!
If you’ve watched the post-draft content for any more than this year, you’ll remember how well John Schneider describes how much activity there is. Grown men using multiple phones to call multiple people, Dave Gettleman trying to figure out how Zoom works, texts and boards and words flying anywhere. The point is, that the Seahawks only had one trade lined up at the time, hadn’t done it earlier or elsewhere, and they ended up picking is meaningful. The fact that the Los Angeles Rams were apparently trying to draft D’Wayne Eskridge means I’m not convinced which side made the trade fall through. Yet another fact that they gave up the opportunity to have four picks to instead have Forsythe and three means that this truly was something they were prepared to live with, and united in that.
I’m also not going to be weird about it
Pete and John didn’t reach for anybody either. The country chuckled at the team’s previous two first picks: L.J. Collier and Jordyn Brooks. This time, they didn’t pick anybody who’s playing the wrong position or three rounds early. Eskridge regularly ranked in the top-15 receivers of this draft. Tre Brown had the best passer rating against single coverage in this draft, and let’s be honest they need to draft anyone other than a receiver in the fourth round, ever. Stone Forsythe was projected far higher than the sixth and was on a few boards as a top sleeper to watch in this year’s draft.
These picks were so sensible where they were made, it makes one suspicious.
Ok, maybe a little weird
Tre Brown is 5’9”. Carroll spent a decade employing cornerbacks closer to the 6’2” mark. But really, this is just another brush stroke in the big picture that is the point of all this. Pete has changed. Schneider may have even changed. Whether this year ends up as an anomaly or not, the two have multiple years of leadership yet to do in Seattle. The last six months have been a book on how even proven, ingrained football minds can adapt.
Yes, we will probably still punt on fourth-and-one.
But what in the world has gotten into John and Pete?