Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider held his first press conference since the team moved on from Pete Carroll as both head coach and Vice President of Football Operations.
Schneider confirmed that he has full control of personnel (as opposed to the shared responsibility he had with Carroll), including overseeing the new coaching staff. During the presser, Schneider expressed his disappointment with the team’s failure to reach the playoffs.
(Quotes via Seahawks.com)
“We are all here today because we underachieved in 2023,” Schneider said. “We all did. Now we’re in a situation where we all need to get better. We understand that the 12s, the fans, the community, (Seahawks Chair Jody Allen), everybody in this building deserves better. We had high expectations for 2023. We overachieved in 2022, and quite frankly we underachieved in 2023. I think everybody recognizes that. It’s time for all of us to look in the mirror in this organization, myself included, obviously, and improve, learn, and move forward.”
Schneider opted not to elaborate on why he felt Seattle underachieved, but it’s not like it’s too difficult to figure that out.
The Seahawks have cast a wide net in the coaching search. A reported eight candidates are set to interview with Seattle this week, including former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. In other words, the “we’re in on everything” adage we’ve heard so often in the Carroll/Schneider era also applies to finding a new head coach.
“Too many is not too many,” Schneider said. “We’ll handle it just like our free agency process, our draft process. We’re ready in everything, anybody that you can pretty much think of—I had a gentleman email me the other day whose buddy is a Pop Warner coach down the road, and he’s extremely interested too. It’s just really been amazing the calls and the notes and everything you get. It’s really a—I don’t want to say a confidence booster—but it’s a great reputation for this organization, a really cool feeling throughout the National Football League of what people think of this organization on the outside. I think people recognize it’s a very intriguing job, and one that you can come in and have a great partnership with everybody here and get rolling. I think people will recognize that.”
“Who’s going to help us move to the next level? How are we going to compete with everybody that we need to compete with and advance this organization moving forward? We’re going to learn so much in this process about the ideas. I’m proud about all of the connections we have around the National Football League, and we’ve learned a lot already. To be able to understand what that looks like. Different opinions, different philosophies, open the door to different ideas, whether it’s a defensive head coach or an offensive head coach or a special teams guy that is becoming a head coach. I think that’s all really important.”
As you might expect, Schneider was bullish on the quality of the current Seahawks roster, and believes it’s a major selling point for a prospective head coach.
“I think it’s a young, talented team that feels like they’re right on the cusp,” Schneider said. “I think there’s a lot of guys who have a ton of confidence in their abilities. They’re all highly disappointed in what just happened, and I think, to a man, they would all tell you—and I know this from the exit interviews that I had—that we still should be playing. Everyone was very disappointed. But I think it’s a great core, I think we’re a very attractive job because of that. There’s young talent all over the place.”
Lastly, Schneider had a pretty short answer as far as his thoughts on Geno Smith’s 2023 season. You can determine whether or not he’s tipping his hand as to what he wants to do at the quarterback position this offseason.
“I think Geno had a good season,” Schneider said. “It was a little bit opposite of last year. He started out real strong last year and things dipped a little bit in the 2nd half. I thought this year he started out not quite as strong last year and finished in a real strong manner.”