Ahead of the most unique NFL Draft in history, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll met with reporters on Tuesday to speak about the offseason so far for the Seahawks and what challenge lie ahead through draft weekend.
Like the rest of society, the Seahawks' top decision-makers will be sequestered in their own homes and working through the draft remotely instead of in the draft room at team headquarters that would normally see dozens of team members in the room. Scouts, coaches, are all going to need to be tied in remotely from their various locations across the country.
All 32 teams participated in a scripted mock draft on Monday to sort out some of the potential bugs in the process. Schneider said a handful of teams were expected to convene again on Wednesday to work through more scenarios that included more items such as trade proposals.
"I feel about 80 percent comfortable with it. I want to go through it more in my own head. Like I said, I'm very visual. I want to experience it, because it's muting this person and muting that person and talking through things with that person, and calling this team, and calling that team on your cell phone and making sure that our guys are still communicating with the teams that they are responsible for," Schneider said.
When it comes to where the team itself sits from a football standpoint, Schneider's comments on the state of their pass rush and the offensive line were the most interesting comments from the length meeting.
Jadeveon Clowney remains a free agent and Schneider said that the door is still open for him to return to the Seahawks. However, he said they could wait no longer for Clowney to make his decision and had to turn to other options.
“He came in and did a great job for us,” Schneider said. “We made an effort to re-sign him. The door is not closed, but we couldn’t wait any longer and so we had to conduct business. He knew that. Everything was very cordial.
“We’ve had great conversations. He’s just going to feel his way through this odd process and we’ll see where that goes.”
After reaching an agreement with Bruce Irvin early in free agency, the Seahawks waited over two weeks until April before turning the page and bringing in Benson Mayowa as well.
“We were able to acquire Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, two individuals that we’re very comfortable with (and) confident in,” Schneider said. I think they bring 16 sacks (15.5 sacks). So, yeah, we’re excited about having those guys back.”
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have made four additions to their offensive line through free agency with B.J. Finney, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi and Chance Warmack all joining the roster.
Schneider said they viewed the offensive line as one area they could make a difference with the roster this offseason and were quite pleased with being able to get the guys they'd targeted.
“We love our quarterback we want to keep him (upright). We want to have as many grown men in front of him as we possibly can,” Schneider said.
“It was important for us to be able to identify some people early on, and quite honestly, we hit, in our mind, what was (options) one, two, and three.
“This is an area where we felt like we can make a difference in free agency, playing by our rules in a way, what our philosophy is and trying to protect our quarterback in the best fashion that we possibly could.”
The Seahawks lost Germain Ifedi and George Fant in free agency to the Chicago Bears and New York Jets. But with the four additions and the re-signing of guard Mike Iupati, the Seahawks are returning four of their five starters on the offensive line from last season. Carroll said at the end of the season that he hoped to keep continuity together on the offensive line headed into next year. But on Tuesday, Carroll acknowledged that competition will be a big part of the puzzle with 18 offensive linemen currently under contract.
"Competition is on. Couldn’t be more clear," Carroll said.
“We have some young guys coming up that we’re really excited about feel like we’re gonna have maybe the best depth we’ve had, particularly the most competition we’ve had,” Carroll said. And so with that thought the ability to add some guys with experience that have been there to make sure that we shore up and we can come right back and play really good football. … So I think we did a nice job here, so it’s going to be a very cool camp. It’s not going to be just about the guys coming in, it’ll be about the opportunities that are there for the younger guys to battle you know. Phil Haynes is really important to us to see how he can come along and do a nice job. Ethan Pocic and guys are still looking for the best opportunities and (Jordan) Simmons and it’s an exciting group of guys so they’ll be battling. Everybody’s gonna be wide open, you know, so just looking forward to the time when we can get back on the field.”
Photo Credit: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 05: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks watches his team during warm up against the Philadelphia Eagles prior to their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 05, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)