JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: The most important, least heralded members of the Seahawks’ front office

Jun 29, 2017, 10:31 AM
Scott Fitterer, right, has been the Seahawks' co-director of player personnel since 2015....
Scott Fitterer, right, has been the Seahawks' co-director of player personnel since 2015.

Scott Fitterer, the Seahawks’ co-director of player personnel, recently interviewed for the Kansas City Chiefs’ general manager job.

The Chiefs last Friday parted way with GM John Dorsey, who was entering the final year of his contract. The news was stunning. Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid rebuilt a Kansas City team that was the worst in football in 2012. The Chiefs made three trips to the playoffs in four years and are considered a playoff contender this season.

Reid received a five-year contract extension last week. Dorsey was let go.

When a move like that happens this late in the offseason, it causes some concern for the good front offices. Contending teams have strong personnel people helping the general managers and the head coaches find talented players. With five consecutive trips to the divisional rounds of the playoffs or further, it’s pretty clear the Seahawks have a good team of personnel people. It’s also pretty clear when GM jobs open, teams are making calls to the Seahawks to interview some of the top people on their personnel staff.

Clayton: What new deals for NFL QBs mean for Russell Wilson, Seahawks

The Indianapolis Colts took a good one away from the Seahawks when they hired Ed Dodds as vice president of player personnel. Dodds spent 10 seasons with the Seahawks. His job was to evaluate pro and college players and make recommendations.

To the fans, these guys are only names, but let’s take a closer look at them.

Fitterer shares the title of Seattle’s co-director of player personnel with Trent Kirchner. Fitterer has worked for the Seahawks since 2001, when he joined the team as an area scout. Kirschner got his start with the Seahawks as a public relations intern in 2000 and spent time with the personnel staffs of the Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers before the Seahawks got him back in 2010.

Of the two, Kirchner has had the most interviews for GM openings. It’s understandable with his track record of being creative in scouting and an incredibly hard worker.

When Kirchner was in Seattle’s pro scouting department, he made suggestions on trades that netted Jimmy Graham and Marshawn Lynch. He was involved in the 2013 free-agent signings of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. He closely follows the Arena Football League and the CFL looking for hidden gems. He does what’s known as advanced scouting, traveling to watch the Seahawks’ next opponent and putting together scouting reports for the coaching staff.

Fitterer’s background has been more in college scouting. His input helps Seahawks GM John Schneider determine the team’s ratings of college draft prospects. That has helped Schneider have enough of a feel for the draft board to make several trades down, which has allowed the Seahawks to average more than 10 draft choices a year.

One of the keys to this year’s draft was identifying defensive tackle Malik McDowell as their first choice and trade down several times to turn seven picks into 11 selections.

Dan Morgan is the Seahawks’ director of pro personnel. His reputation continues to grow around the NFL; don’t be surprised if he starts getting interviews over the next few years. A Pro Bowl linebacker for the Panthers in the 2000s, Morgan is entering his seventh season with the Seahawks. Schneider leaned on him heavily this offseason, and the Seahawks had their most active free-agent period under Schneider, loading up on veterans with one-year contracts.

The feeling around the NFL is the Chiefs might hire from within the organization to replace Dorsey. Don’t be surprised if he lands with the Seahawks in some capacity. He’s good friends with Schneider along with Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. With the Chiefs paying him for the 2017 season, Dorsey would be a bargain to any team wanting to add him.

Want more John Clayton? Listen on-demand to his weekday and Saturday shows as well as his “Cold Hard Facts” and “Clayton’s Morning Drive” segments on 710 ESPN Seattle. Also, check out his all-new “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on 710Sports.com.

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
  • 710AM ESPN SeattleTune in to 710 ESPN Seattle on Saturday mornings for The John Clayton Show.

The Professor's Notes

John Clayton hosts a daily video breaking down the NFL

John Clayton

Seahawks Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Russell Wilson looks like himself as Seahawks take step in right direction

Everyone was asking was what it would take for the Seahawks to win again. The answer was simple. They needed Russell Wilson to play like himself.
23 hours ago
Seahawks 49ers...
John Clayton

Clayton: Things don’t look so good for Seahawks against 49ers

The Seahawks have done well against the 49ers in recent years, but John Clayton has a bad feeling about the upcoming matchup.
4 days ago
Seahawks Tyler Lockett...
John Clayton

Clayton: Hard to believe, but struggling Seahawks only getting worse

At 3-8, the Seahawks are only better than one other team in the NFC and are getting less out of their offense than any team in the league.
7 days ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks’ struggling offense has 2 big issues to fix

The NFL has evolved into a game built around red zone success and third down conversions. That’s where the 3-7 Seahawks are in trouble.
9 days ago
Seahawks Bobby Wagner...
John Clayton

Clayton: The Seahawks’ problems that are resulting in a vicious cycle

The Seahawks are stuck in a bad pattern. John Clayton breaks down the issues that have mounted for the struggling 3-7 team.
15 days ago
Seahawks...
John Clayton

Clayton: Injuries dominate conversation around Seahawks-Cardinals clash

The leadup to the divisional clash between the Seahawks and Cardinals is filled with injuries to stars on both sides, John Clayton writes.
18 days ago
Clayton: The most important, least heralded members of the Seahawks’ front office