Seahawks GM Schneider addresses ‘picture gate’ at team HQ

Apr 18, 2024, 5:44 PM | Updated: 5:53 pm

The Seattle Seahawks are just a week away from the 2024 NFL Draft, yet the biggest story around the team right now seems to be one regarding a few changes made at the headquarters in Renton.

Reaction: Are Seahawks’ removals disrespecting their history?

When players spoke to the media Wednesday, the basketball hoop that had been in the media room under previous head coach Pete Carroll was noticeably absent. So were some pictures and slogans from the Carroll era that had adorned a prominent wall in the building.

It was the first thing the Seahawks general manager/president of football operations was asked about Thursday on Seattle Sports’ John Schneider Show, and he jokingly referred to it as “picture gate.”

Alright, so what’s the real story behind all this?

“Right outside the team room to the indoor facility, (there were) a lot of pictures and slogans from Pete’s tenure here, like all the stuff we did together the last 14 years – (which was) awesome,” Schneider told Seattle Sports’ Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton. “But celebrating our history is, like, all over this building, and so we’re actually going a little more digital, too.”

Based on Schneider’s comments, it seems the Seahawks are still finding ways to honor their history while giving new head coach Mike Macdonald and his staff the ability to move forward with their own identity and culture – without having to feel the shadow of Carroll’s teams in the building.

“I was actually talking to (Seahawks president Chuck Arnold) about it this morning – we’re gonna have TVs up just kind of like celebrating the Dave Wyman tackles, if you will,” Schneider said, “or the Curt Warner runs and the Shaun Alexanders and the Coach Holmgrens and Coach Carrolls, the whole thing. Right when you walk around the corner from the indoor facility, I mean, we have the plates (with names) of every player that’s played here, and the pictures from all the guys, like more recent guys and all that. Really in Mike (Macdonald’s) mind, it’s kind of, hey, we’re celebrating our history, guys get that, but we’re not coming in here with certain slogans and leadership mottos and that sort of thing. We’re going to build our own as a team.”

Veteran defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who was a midseason trade acquisition in 2023 and re-signed with the Seahawks this offseason, said in a press conference Wednesday that he was happy with how the changes allowed for a clean slate with the new staff.

“I remember the first day we came into the team meeting, Mike pointed out that – you know, there’s empty walls in the hallways and things like that,” Williams said. “For a person like me, I think that made me really excited, and I hope it made the rest of the guys excited. We’re obviously going to respect tradition and the history of of the Seahawks, but I think it’s giving us a clean foundation to create whatever we want to be. We’re not chasing to be like any other team that’s been here before. We want to create our own identity.”

Schneider told Wyman and Bob that he agreed with Williams’ perspective.

“I think the players really embraced it,” he said. “Listening to Leo the other day, I thought he said it great. Like, hey, we’re totally gonna respect the past and everything that’s happened here, and, you know, we just gotta move forward.”

The John Schneider Show airs at 4 p.m. each Thursday leading up to the NFL Draft during Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob. Listen to this week’s edition at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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