John Schneider, the Seahawks general manager who helped turn Seattle into a Super Bowl-winning team along with head coach Pete Carroll, was rewarded with a contract extension Sunday that secures his long-term future with the franchise, and two days later he talked about that news and more with John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle.
"We're happy, Traci and I and my family," Schneider said. "Everybody is super excited, and super appreciative of Mr. (Paul) Allen and Seahawks family and (Seahawks Board of Directors member) Bert Kolde for working on this as hard as they did. Really we're just so excited to be a part of this community moving forward and to be able to help be part of moving this organization into the future to be that consistent championship-caliber team we always talk about every single day."
Here are five highlights from Schneider's interview with Clayton:
1. Schneider wasn't worried about a deal getting done.
The contract extension Schneider signed in 2013 ran through the 2016 season, leading to some speculation about his future with the Seahawks, but Schneider wasn't worried about getting something done this summer to secure his future in Seattle.
"I wasn't, no," he said. "I really wasn't. I have strong faith, and I knew they appreciated what we've done here, we appreciate what we've done, and people have the confidence to move forward."
Schneider noted that part of the delay with any deal this time of year is just getting everyone together in the offseason when people are on vacations.
"The awkward thing about this time of the year with things like this is that you have people kind of going in different directions at different times—this happens with player negotiations as well at times. When you do deals during the summer, you have people kind of going with family members here and going with family members there, so when several people are involved in the deal, just from a communication standpoint, things just don't get done quite as quickly as you'd like."
2. Stability is important for long-term success.
Even if Schneider wasn't worried about his future with the Seahawks before getting an extension, that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate knowing the organization has faith in him to be the general manager going forward.
"For Mr. Allen to have that confidence in us to help move this thing forward is huge," he said. "… Our whole staff here, we all have a great working relationship and everybody does such a great job being on the same page, whether that's personnel, sports science, our coaching staff, just the whole building quite honestly."
In spending time with several organizations, and in watching others from afar, one thing that has stood out to Schneider is that stability is often an indicator of success.
"Having that stability—when you look at the great organizations, they're organizations that have stability throughout, whether that's the New York Giants, the Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens, you look at those organizations and they just have great ownership and stability," he said. "That's probably what's most attractive here."
3. Complacency won't ever be an issue.
While Schneider likes the team he has, and while he now has a bit more security, he never plans on relaxing and deciding he has everything figured out.
"It's not at my core to feel like we're totally set," Schneider said. "I love all our guys, it's a great group of guys, but I don't ever feel like we're good to go now. Complacency at this level, it's just incredibly hindering. We're constantly trying to figure out what we can do next to help us compensate for any of our deficiencies."
Ultimately, that feeling that his work is never done goes back to Schneider's oft-stated goal of building a consistent championship-caliber football team.
"What you want to do every single year is have your fanbase feel like, 'These guys have a chance to win the championship.'" Schneider said. "That's our goal, that's our charge every single day. That's why we push it in every avenue of acquisition, we're constantly working players out, we're constantly researching. Our staff is phenomenal here, all the guys, Scott Fitterer, Trent Kirchner, Dan Morgan, Ed Dodds, Matt Berry, we have a really good group of guys working together who push the envelope—it's OK to come up with what some people might think is a crazy idea, we're going to work through it. We're going to go through every door. We're not necessarily going to make every deal—I'd say we don't make 90 percent of the deals, maybe 95 percent, but at least we're in that arena. Pete would say we're competing at every avenue and every corner. That's where our philosophies really intertwine right there."
4. That being said, Schneider really likes this team.
So now that we've established that Schneider is never satisfied, it's OK for him to also admit that he is really excited about the 2016 roster he, Carroll and the team's personnel department have assembled. The benchmark for this franchise is the Super Bowl winning team that in 2013 saw 23 players go on to land jobs with other NFL teams after being released by Seattle prior to the start of the season. Only time will tell if this year's team can live up to that impossibly-high 2013 standard, but Schneider doesn't think that comparison is too far off.
"I want to say in 2013, we had 20-some guys that we had in camp here go play for other teams," Schneider said. "I think it'd be close to that… I think it's probably closest to 2013."
Feeling good about depth in July doesn't guarantee success in January and February, but it's safe to say based on Schneider's comments, and ones made earlier this offseason by Carroll, that training camp will be very competitive when things get going this weekend.
One reason Schneider feels good about his current team is the way veterans have embraced leadership roles.
"I'm really excited," he said. "Especially coming off last year's offseason, I think this group of guys, the veterans worked their tails off. I think they looked at some of the young guys and said, 'Dang, there's some pretty good talent here.' I think everybody's ready to work. These rookies did a really good job of taking advantage of what we have to offer here.
"It's really cool to see Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor and Russell Wilson, the strong leaders on this team really step forward in leadership roles with the guys throughout the offseason."
5. Pete Carroll could coach "as long as he wants."
While you'd never guess it watching his non-stop energy on the sideline, Carroll, who will turn 65 this season, is the oldest head coach in the NFL. That does not, however, mean Carroll is close to finished as a coach, Schneider said. While Carroll has never been one to discuss his coaching future, Schneider could see Carroll coaching for a long time.
"He talks about Amos Alonzo Stagg a lot," Schneider said of the coaching legend who retired when he was 96. "(Carroll)'s just so positive and so youthful… He's just full of life and full of energy."
Schneider also referenced Marv Levy, who coached the Buffalo Bills until he was 72, and said the thought of Carroll coaching into his 70s is also realistic.
"He takes great care of himself, he's a bright, bright man, he's just intrigued by different ideas, he's open to a lot of things, so I think he could go as long as he wants, really," Schneider said. "… I wouldn't think (five more years) would be unreasonable. I think Pete probably thinks he could live to 120 and coach until 110."
General manager John Schneider extended his contract on Sunday evening with the Seahawks. Take a look back at John's time with the Seahawks via photos.