When evaluating potential additions to the roster for 2018, Seahawks general manager John Schneider has an eye for players who want to compete. Specifically, players who are ready to push starters.
“It’s important for us to do a better job of getting guys in the building that aren’t necessarily in awe of the Kam Chancellors and Bobby Wagners and Russell Wilsons,” Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton. “We want guys in that building that want to compete with them.”
Schneider sat down with Clayton to reflect on Seattle’s newest additions so far in free agency and goals for the NFL draft in April.
“We’ve been talking about smart, tough, reliable guys. And acquiring those guys where it’s all football. The Ed Dicksons, D.J. Fluker, (Jaron) Brown,” Schneider said. “All these guys that we’ve acquired and re-signed, we feel really good about these guys just having it being all about ball. While it hurts when you have to move on from other players that you’ve been with, it’s just part of the game … but we’re excited about the guys we’ve acquired, and we’re sad to see the guys go, but we wish them the best. Those guys will always be Seahawks.”
Here are a few more notes from Schneider’s conversation with Clayton:
• On the team’s renewed commitment to the run: “Ed was, in our opinion, the best blocking tight end in free agency. He can also run and catch. One of the more underrated players in my mind, and in our personnel staffs’ minds. … Ethan Pocic’s 322 pounds right now, he’s looking great. Added some much needed strength and some size to him. And D.J. (Fluker) always has been just all football, all he cares about is just mauling people, so we’re really excited to add that mentality to our offensive line.”
• On DT Tom Johnson: “Great guy, a leader, a hard, hard, hard player. His motor never stops. He came in, he’s got this really infectious mentality about him. A little older, we had some good times joking about it, but he’s one of those guys that’s just continued to get better his whole career. He played a ton of snaps last year, so from a play-time percentage we’re going to need to pull him back a little bit.”
• On DT Shamar Stephen: “He’s a younger player who still has a huge upside. He had a meniscus issue that he’s working through, so we’ll be able to kind of rehab him through this summer and get him ready for training camp. And I think that’s probably why we were able to acquire him.”
• On WR Jaron Brown: “He’s been a pain in our butt for the last several years. A real tough guy, he’s overcome an ACL (injury). And I think he ran 4.36, 4.38 (in the 40-yard dash) coming out (of college), and he’s almost 6-3. We love the way he high-points the ball and attacks it. Big catching radius and a lot of speed. We know that we’re getting a really tough special teams player and a guy that will go in there and block. And again, second year coming off the ACL so he should be much better this year.”
• On entering the 2018 NFL Draft without a second- or third-round pick: “We’re going to be constantly working on that. I can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to acquire a 2 and a 3. But our staff, we feel like we do a really nice job, one of the things I’m proudest about, our staff on draft weekend is that we all have great connections and people trust us around the league. So in terms of being able to move around during draft time, we take a lot of pride in that and trying to figure out where the strengths in the drafts are, where the ledges are, what our board looks like, and where we need to move to. So, if we don’t feel like it’s a second and third round, then we won’t draft there, and if we feel like we can get there then we will.”