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Wednesday Round-Up: Working the Room: Around the NFL Combine with John Schneider

With the NFL Scouting Combine underway, General Manager John Schneider made his rounds with the media Tuesday.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Wednesday, February 28— about your Seattle Seahawks.

President of Football Operations and General Manager John Schneider takes the stage at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine to address the state of the franchise.

It's been an eventful offseason for the new-look Seahawks, as Coach Mike Macdonald's 23-man staff was officially announced last week. With the group looking to get familiar, brainstorming to implement a new playbook and build a draft board, Seattle's coaching staff didn't make the trip to Indianapolis for the 2024 NFL Combine, but Schneider and the rest of the player personnel department did. Following several interviews with national media and taking the stage at the combine, here's what Schneider addressed following Tuesday's media availability.

Front office representatives from all 32 NFL teams arrived in Indy this week, with each franchise taking turns to address media about their potential offseason plans. In a matter of months, Seattle has ushered in a new regime, with Macdonald becoming the league's youngest head coach at 36. With media pressers taking place Tuesday in Indy, Schneider answered questions about the franchise's offseason direction. The first order of business for Seattle is figuring out its current roster situation, with the free agency period looming. Macdonald addressed trying to keep the talent they already have while looking at who may become available on the market.

"We've got a cool group of guys that we want to get all of them back," said Schneider. "You find out when you're down here like 'OK, who do you have a chance to get back?' You have to try to prioritize it and then work with the staff and see if it makes sense for those guys as well. Because you don't want to be just pushing players on a staff, especially a first time out with a new staff. The previous staff, those guys, we were in a flow. They knew exactly how free agency worked. So we're going to work with our coaches and figure that out.''

Schneider elaborated on the newness of the staff, and using the current time for bonding to learn from one another and figure out a new identity amongst the many minds.

"We literally are just getting done hiring guys," said Schneider. "So you think about all of us sitting in a room together, we are all getting to know each other, 'What's important to you, what's important to all these different people?' So Mike and I, we got together, we've got a vision of where we want to take this thing but you've got to get into the specifics of the positions, too, and understand what is important to those guys in order to get the buy-in with the staff.''

Working the room, Schneider sat down with CBS Sports insider Josina Anderson, who asked about Seattle's quarterback situation. With 33-year-old quarterback Geno Smith coming off a trip to the 2024 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, Schneider discussed assessing the current prospects at the position with Smith under contract.

"I was blessed to be able to work with Ron Wolf," said Schneider. "Every year it was like 'Which quarterback are we going to take?' We've been here 14 years, and we've only taken two guys. I was able to have dinner with him the other night and he was giving me some crud about it. It just happens that way. It's not something you go into a draft saying 'We're not going to take a quarterback'. It's just the way things fall, the way you're moving around the board and what that looks like. It hasn't been intentional. Alex McGough and Russ (Wilson), those are the only guys we've taken. This is a cool class so; you know, hopefully it works, but I can't tell you how it's going to go. But, we have a lot of love for Drew (Lock); and we have a lot of love for Geno (Smith). Geno's done a phenomenal job, so I think we're in a good place there."

Schneider stopped by the NFL Network booth to join Tom Pelissero and the NFL Insiders Live team to discuss building the roster, while declaring Seattle won’t be continuing its 2023 practice of taking selfies with quarterback prospects during this year's week of evaluation in Indy.

"Going through 14 drafts," said Schneider. "And only drafting two quarterbacks is not something we're really proud of, but it's just the way it's happened. You can't reach at specific positions - especially at quarterback. This is a cool class, and we'll study this class just like we have every other one. We won't be doing the selfie thing though. I can't tell you whose idea that it was, it doesn't mean that it was Pete's (Carroll) though."

Schneider then joined Mike Florio and Chris Simms of NBC’s Pro Football Talk Live  where he discussed with Simms about the 2023 rookie class, and the impact of first-year pro bowl cornerback Devon Witherspoon.

"Your dad would've played against Dale Carter," said Schneider to Simms. "And he reminded me a lot of Dale. He could play inside, he could play outside, his feel for route concepts. His physicality and the love of the game. I want to say he missed four games. So he missed the first game and we missed him down the stretch, a bit there too. But he's an infectious personality, he works his tail off - that's important to him. He got a little light at the end of the season, he was around 178-180 (pounds) right there. So, we've got to put some body armor on him, but I'm really excited. We definitely discussed those quarterbacks up there (Pick No.5), but for him to be available for us at that point was extremely important. I guess two years in a row, up in Seattle you don't get offensive rookie of the year or defensive rookie of the year - it just doesn't happen up there. I'm not sure how many sacks or interceptions you need."

The coming days will likely bring more questions about Seattle's roster Schneider's way, as will some of his questions be answered by players in interviews and on the field. Seattle may have a new look and a ticking clock to adhere to ahead of several key dates this offseason, but Schneider and staff are preparing the best way they know how.

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