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5 Things We Learned From Seahawks GM John Schneider At The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

Five takeaways from Seahawks president of football operations/general manager John Schneider’s time with the media on Tuesday.

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 in Indianapolis. (Brooke Sutton/NFL)
Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 in Indianapolis. (Brooke Sutton/NFL)

INDIANAPOLIS—The NFL Scouting Combine is underway, which means that, in addition to NFL teams gathering information on draft prospects, general managers, and in some cases, head coaches, are meeting with the media in Indianapolis this week.

New Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald and his coaching staff are not in attendance, instead staying back in Renton to continue working towards being ready for offseason workouts, but president of football operations/general manager John Schneider and the player personnel staff are in town, and Schneider provided plenty of interesting insights on what has been an eventful offseason during his time with the media Tuesday.

"We've been going non-stop, for I don't know how long it's been," Schneider said. "Exciting times, and getting to know a new staff now. Mike's done an awesome job putting his staff together. It's been pretty cool to see his process after going through our process of hiring a head coach, now to see him turn around and have his own process of putting a staff together, it's been exciting. It's been eye-opening, it's been meeting a lot of people. We learned a lot through the whole process, a lot of lessons and new ideas. We're just getting to know each other. It's crazy, you know – 15 years ago, Pete (Carroll) and I were here for the first time, and it doesn't seem that long ago. So, we're just trying to get to know each other and understand each other's philosophies. So, it's exciting times."

In addition to his thoughts on free agency and on assessing the roster with a new coaching staff, here are five other things we learned from Schneider's time with the media on Tuesday:

1. The coaching staff not being here doesn't make a big difference.

Throughout Schneider's time in Seattle prior to this year, the Seahawks sent Pete Carroll and his coaching staff to the combine along with the player personnel department, but with Mike Macdonald and company having so much catching up to do, including building a playbook, the decision was made for the coaches to stay back and not attend the combine. And while that will make the prospect interviews feel a bit different—Carroll usually led those in the past—Schneider doesn't think it will make a big difference not having coaches here this time around.

"I don't, I think it's kind of where it's going," he said. "Over the years now, the last several years, there have been a lot of staffs that have not been down, or some of the coaches just come down for the interviews. Our personnel staff does a great job of filming the interviews, getting the questions people want answered in the videos, then throughout the process this spring, all the interviews we do, we're constantly studying those. The dynamic with Pete and with Mike, it's a true partnership, so that part's not going to be different. It's going to be our personnel staff learning these coaches, understanding what's important to them and letting them have the trust in our system and the processes that we've developed over the past 15 years."

2. Abraham Lucas had knee surgery this offseason.

After starting 16 games as a rookie, right tackle Abraham Lucas was limited to just six games in 2023 due to a knee injury that first flared up in the season opener, then returned after he made it back from injured reserve. Schneider confirmed that Lucas had surgery this offseason, the hope being it will allow him to put any lingering knee issue behind him moving forward.

"Hopefully, yes," Schneider said.

3. Maybe this is the year the Seahawks actually draft a quarterback?

For years, Schneider has pointed out that, during his time in Green Bay, he saw first-hand the value of selecting quarterbacks regularly even if that position wasn't a pressing need, and yet despite holding that belief, the Seahawks have picked only two quarterbacks in Schneider's first 14 drafts, Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012 and Alex McGough in the seventh round in 2018.

Schneider characterized this year's class as "a good group," and noted he'd like to break Seattle's trend of not selecting quarterbacks.

"It's a good group," he said. "I've told you guys in the past and having grown up in the Packer organization for Ron Wolfe, 14 drafts and only drafting two quarterbacks is not something that we're necessarily proud of. It's just happened that way. Every year it's a goal to acquire a quarterback, whether that's draft free agency, whatever it looks like. But, yeah, this year's draft class is a cool group. A lot of variances in there."

4. Why Karl Scott was the only holdover from the previous coaching staff.

The Seahawks have hired 23 assistant coaches under Mike Macdonald, and only one, defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Karl Scott, is a holdover from Carroll's staff. Schneider explained why it was important to keep Scott, and also indicated that the Seahawks may have retained other assistants had the hiring of a head coach gone faster, but since Macdonald wasn't hired until January 31, most of the assistants from last year's staff had already found other jobs.

"He's an excellent teacher," Schneider said of Scott. "Philly was on him right away, so he was a guy that—we let our guys kind of go and explore whatever they wanted to explore with the hopes that we had a coach in place who could interview the guys. But the timing of it, the process stuff. Just the teaching part with Karl. He's excellent.''

5. The Seahawks like what they have in second-year linemen Olu Oluwatimi and Anthony Bradford, who could both be starters depending on what happens in free agency.

Approaching the start of the new league year next month, the Seahawks are currently looking at three of their top interior linemen, center Evan Brown, guard Damien Lewis and guard Phil Haynes, all testing the free agent waters if they aren't re-signed before free agency starts on March 13.

And while some or all of those linemen could be back, the Seahawks also feel good about the young options they have on the roster, having drafted guard Anthony Bradford and center Oluwatimi last year. Oluwatimi, who won the Outland Trophy, the Rimington Trophy and was a consensus All-American at Michigan in 2022, started only one game and saw significant playing time in another, but he made a strong impression in that limited action as well as in practice and meeting rooms. Bradford, meanwhile, started 10 games and showed some impressive physicality that should serve him well moving forward.

"We feel good about them," Schneider said. "Again, we want to talk to those guys (Brown, Lewis and Haynes), but from a personnel standpoint we feel good about those guys. Him finishing, the way Bradford finishes. Olu's intelligence. I mean, awesome to work with."

Before they were selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Draft, they were hopeful prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine. Take a look at current and former Seahawks players participating in their Combine events.

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