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Takeaways From Seahawks GM John Schneider & Coach Mike Macdonald's Radio Appearances Thursday

News and notes from John Schneider’s weekly show on Seattle Sports 710AM and Mike Macdonald’s appearance on Sports Radio 93.3 KJR.

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With free agency kicking off next week, these are busy times for Seahawks general manager John Schneider and new head coach Mike Macdonald, but both found time Thursday afternoon to take to the local airwaves to discuss Seattle's offseason thus far. Schneider held his usual weekly offseason show on Seattle Sports 710AM, while Macdonald was on Sports Radio 93.3 KJR with Dave "Softy" Mahler, Dick Fain and former Seahawks coach and Ring of Honor member Mike Holmgren.

Here are a few of the highlights from both radio appearances:

1. Releasing players is never easy, but the door isn't closed on bringing any of those players back.

The Seahawks, like every NFL team, have to make tough decisions every offseason when it comes to the salary cap, and this week that meant the release of four players: safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams, tight end Will Dissly and nose tackle Bryan Mone. Schneider talked about those tough decisions, and also noted there is always a chance of bringing some of those players back.

"Honestly, with this situation, it's more about what free agency looks like, how we prepare in setting this up as we come around the corner here into free agency," Schneider told Seattle Sports' Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton. "To be able to have (the coaching staff's) opinions on players obviously is very important, we haven't shut the door on any of them to come back, but when you do these contracts and try to create cap room, there's ramifications. It's credit-card situations, you've got to pay the bills, and if you want to keep moving forward, you have to address that. Unfortunately, you get in a situation where guys have high cap numbers, and either you can deal with it and try to work with it, or you can't, and you decide to move forward and see what the rest of the offseason is going to look like."

And while nothing is set in stone, Schneider hopes to be done making cap-related roster moves this offseason.

"I hope to be done, yes," he said. "We hope to be done."

2. The Seahawks are talking with Leonard Williams and hope to get a deal done.

The Seahawks are trying to free up more cap space this week not just to sign outside free agents when the new league year begins next week, but also to re-sign some of their own pending free agents. One of those players the Seahawks hope to keep in Seattle is defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who they added in a midseason trade with the Giants last year.

"He played great," Schneider said. "We're trying to get him back, we'd love to have him back. He's definitely a priority for us. We're in negotiations right now. The agents know how we feel, so we're trying to retain him, no doubt. We gave up that second-round pick, we went for it. We thought he was going to help change our defense, and he played well, but unfortunately we didn't make the playoffs. But he's a guy we want to keep in the mix, you can move him around, he play, three (technique), five, nine, he can play wherever you want. He's a great guy, he likes it here, I had a great exit interview with him, and we hope to retain him."

3. Building a coaching staff was both a "daunting task" and an exciting process.

Since being hired at the end of January, Macdonald has worked with Schneider to build a coaching staff made up of 23 assistants, most of which are coaches he has not worked with in the past.

"When you look back at it, it is kind of a daunting task, but we were so focused, doing it for the first time, and really trying to identify the right people," Macdonald said. "It's like this moving puzzle of who fits where, and this is the staff dynamic we're trying to create, and when you're interviewing, trying to imagine and envision their role here and how they can grow over time. Looking back at it, it's an exciting process—it still is. Now we're in the phase of really trying to come together and bond. There's not a lot of us who have worked together before, so it's going to be a long process, but man, I'm really excited. It's awesome to walk through the halls every day, there's a lot of football being talked about, and you can feel it coming together day by day. It's pretty cool."

4. A conversation with a Hall of Fame coach helped Macdonald stick to his convictions in building a staff.

Other than special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh, most of the coaches added to Macdonald's coaching staff have little or no experience working with him, including his offensive and defensive coordinators, Ryan Grubb and Aden Durde. So why cast such a wide net in building a staff rather than just going with people he knew? Macdonald said part of that decision stemmed from a conversation he had with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells.

"There came a time where you had to put your money where your mouth was in terms of what your values are and how you said you were going to do it if and when you got the job," Macdonald said. "That's easier said than done when it comes time to make those decisions. I had the opportunity to talk to Coach Parcells before this all went down, and he said, 'Hey, good football coaches are good football coaches, and they're everywhere. Find the guys you believe in, and go to war with those guys.' That really resonated with me and I felt like it empowered me to follow up on what I told everybody I was going to do."

5. Macdonald will be involved with the offense, but trusts Ryan Grubb to build it and run the show.

Macdonald's coaching background is on defense, and he has said he plans to call plays on defense this year, leaving the door open to possibly handing those duties off to Durde somewhere down the road. Being so involved on one side of the ball means Macdonald will have less time to spend on offense, and while he plans to be involved in everything as the head coach, he also fully trusts Grubb to take the reins on offense.

"We've got to install the defense too, and I'm carrying a pretty big load in terms of installing everything defensively," Macdonald said. "But I want to work with Ryan. I want to empower him to build the offense the way he sees it, but one of the reasons I was so excited about hiring him is just the type of person he is, and his track record throughout his entire career, and how he sees the game. I felt like our value system as people and as football coaches align, so I have all the trust in him in the world in how he builds his scheme out and how he empowers our staff. He's very much in control of what we're doing. My experience, I can provide some guardrails and some things that I feel are important and systematically what makes sense, and it's building a vision of how we want to build our football team too, but how we do it on a day-to-day basis, I have a lot of faith in what he's doing."

Seahawks scouts at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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