Join us in wishing Seahawks general manager John Schneider a happy birthday on May 25.
John Schneider, the general manager who helped build the Seahawks into Super Bowl champions, turns 45 today, but it's safe to say his sense of humor skews, well, a bit less mature. So in honor of Schneider's birthday, here's a look at how eight quotes and moments from "Step Brothers," one of his favorite movies, relate to his tenure in Seattle.
1. "Did we just become best friends?" — Schneider's relationship with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
Not long after Pete Carroll was hired as the head coach of the Seahawks in January of 2010, he and then-Seahawks president Tod Leiweke began searching for a general manager, and it didn't take long to realize that Schneider and Carroll were a perfect fit together.
"When we met for the first time in the interview setting, it was really obvious for me that he was different than the other guys that we had talked too," Carroll said. "He showed a mental agility, quickness, and wit about him that I immediately took to. We were having fun right off the bat. ... It just seemed to mesh. It didn't mesh fast enough for him to not go back on the plane and go home, though. We didn't quite get that done. But by the time he had landed, we knew that we wanted to bring him back."
As Leiweke recalled after that meeting six years ago, he came home late on his 50th birthday, but when his wife pointed out that he had worked a 15-hour day on his birthday, Leiweke said, "Actually I got a pretty good gift. These guys hugged at the end of the night, and I thought, 'Wow, we're on to something here.'"
2. "It's the (expletive) Catalina Wine Mixer!" — Super Bowl XLVIII
Schneider and Carroll didn't always do things the conventional way, and at times along the way their methods were questioned, but the end result was a climactic scene that was better than what anyone could have imagined—a beautiful rendition of "Por Ti Volare."… No wait, a 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos.
3. "Today I saw my own son use a bicycle as a weapon." — Seattle's NFC Championship Game victory over the Green Bay Packers.
OK, so Michael Bennett didn't use a bicycle as a weapon, but he did celebrate one of the most thrilling and improbable victories of the Schneider/Carroll era by commandeering a police bicycle to take a victory lap following the overtime win. Close enough.
4. Brennan singing "Por Ti Volare." — Drafting Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft.
On the surface, having Will Ferrell's character attempt to sing a famous Andrea Bocelli song seems like an odd risk that probably won't work out—sort of like drafting a too-short quarterback in the third round a month after spending big money on a free-agent quarterback. But just as Brennan's singing defined the odds and turned out to be a big success, so too has Wilson's career (sorry, that one was a reach).
5. "This is going to sound weird, but for a second, I think you took on the shape of a unicorn." — Seattle's 2013 defense.
The Seahawks have been historically great on defense under Schneider and Carroll, allowing the fewest points in the NFL for four straight seasons, making them the first team to accomplish that feat in the Super Bowl era. But for all the great defense played by the Seahawks under Schneider and Carroll, the roster they built in 2013 was particularly deep and talented—a unicorn, if you will, in terms of its rarity. In the salary-cap era, it's nearly impossible to build a roster with the kind of depth those Super Bowl-champion Seahawks had, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but because the Seahawks had drafted so well under Schneider and Carroll in their first three drafts, they had a ton of young, inexpensive talent that formed the nucleus of one of the best defenses in NFL history. Remember that in 2013, neither Michael Bennett nor Cliff Avril were even starters, and that Seattle's secondary in training camp that year included Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead, Tharold Simon, Ron Parker, Will Blackmon, Jeron Johnson and Antoine Winfield.
6. "Brennan, that is the voice of an angel. I can't even make eye contact with you right now. Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus" —Seattle's 2012 draft weekend.
The NFL draft is a very inexact science, and even the league's best talent evaluators miss on a prospect from time to time. But in 2012, Schneider and the Seahawks put together a draft class for the ages, even if the immediate reactions to that group were mixed at best.
Seattle picked 10 players that year, and four years later, all 10 are currently on an NFL roster, almost an unheard of feat. First-round pick Bruce Irvin was a big part of Seattle's dominant defensive run, first as a pass-rusher and later as a strongside linebacker; second-round Bobby Wagner became a first-team All-Pro middle linebacker and defensive captain; and most notably, the Seahawks landed their franchise quarterback in the third round, five picks after a punter was selected. Those three, as well as defensive tackle Jaye Howard, cornerback Jeremy Lane and guard J.R. Sweezy have all gone on to earn lucrative second contracts, as did undrafted free agent Jermaine Kearse, who was signed immediately after the draft in a group of UDFAs that also included DeShawn Shead.
7. "I'm Dale, but you have to call me dragon." — The 2010 trade that brought Marshawn Lynch to Seattle.
The Seahawks weren't after a dragon in 2010, but they did want a beast, or to be more accurate, they were looking for Beast Mode. Schneider and Carroll had reached out to Buffalo before the 2010 season to see if running back Marshawn Lynch might be available, but while the trade took longer to come together than the Seahawks had hoped, they did eventually get their man in October of that year. Getting Lynch didn't just help upgrade the Seahawks' running game, it helped them form an identity, which is why that 2010 trade was one of the most significant transactions Schneider has made in Seattle.
8. "So many activities… It's making my head spin how many activities we can do." — Every draft weekend.
Every draft has been different under Schneider and Carroll, but none of them have been boring. Whether it has been trading back to acquire more picks, something Schneider has done many times, or moving up for the right player, a rarity before this year's draft, or trading away first-round picks before the draft even happens, the Seahawks have had plenty of "activity" on draft weekend. And that doesn't even include the craziness that happens after the draft when the Seahawks scramble to sign top undrafted free agents, a process that has become a crucial part of Seattle's success under Carroll and Schneider.