John Schneider on the importance, challenge of identifying toughness

Apr 23, 2015, 12:27 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2016, 10:50 am
"You've have to have some unique qualities about you to be able to compete with those guys," GM John Schneider said about Seattle's secondary. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – Seahawks general manager John Schneider walked into a room full of reporters at team headquarters Wednesday, sat down at the head of the table and was jokingly asked if the single piece of paper he had in his hand was a list of players Seattle planned to draft.

“Yeah,” Schneider said, not missing a beat. “I’ve got all of our picks right here. All 11.”

Notes from Schneider press conference

If only. Schneider, of course, didn’t reveal anything specific about the Seahawks’ plans during his annual pre-draft press conference, but he did talk about one of the essential qualities for any player they might choose: the toughness to survive in the hyper-competitive culture that Seattle has established.

Schneider used Seattle’s secondary as an example, saying that a defensive back prospect is “going to need to have specific characteristics in order to come in and be able to sit in a room with Earl and Kam and Sherm and those guys – and Cary now. You’ve have to have some unique qualities about you to be able to compete with those guys.

“The same thing on the opposite side of the ball when you talk about the receivers now. They’re going against those guys all day, so they can’t blink, they can’t back down, so you have to be able to get those questions answered along the way: ‘OK, this guy’s not going to back down. He’s going to compete every day.'”

Schneider recalled how in 2010, when he and coach Pete Carroll took over in Seattle, they identified Pittsburgh and Baltimore as the two most physical teams in the NFL. The Seahawks had a long way to get there.

“That’s where we have to be,” Schneider remembered thinking. “That’s the standard. We have to get there. We have to get smart, tough, reliable football players and we have to be able to field a team that is going to be able to play you anywhere, no matter what kind of weather you are playing in.”

Identifying those types of players is easier said than done, though.

“There’s no golden wand or anything to just put it in somebody and find out what they have in their heart, what’s going to drive them and what’s going to be their passion,” he said. “… You have to be able to have all the information you can possibly have.”

Part of that information-gathering process includes having the team’s sports psychologists meet with certain prospects whom Seattle has interest in but also questions about. Schneider said the team is meeting this week with those sports psychologists to discuss what they’ve learned.

2015 NFL Draft

...
Brady Henderson

Report: Tye Smith signs rookie deal with Seahawks

Not long after offensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli's agent Tweeted that his client was the Seahawks' first draft pick to sign his rookie deal, a report stated that cornerback Tye Smith has become the second.
8 years ago
Brady Henderson

Agent: Kristjan Sokoli signs rookie deal with Seahawks

Offensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli has become the first of the Seahawks' eight draft picks to sign his rookie deal, his agent Tweeting Thursday that the sixth-round pick is now under contract.
8 years ago
Seahawks draft pick Frank Clark was arrested and jailed in November on a domestic-violence charge t...
Brady Henderson

Report: Seahawks didn’t interview witnesses to alleged Clark incident

Two women who were in an adjacent hotel room during the alleged domestic-violence incident involving Seahawks draft pick Frank Clark have shared additional details with The Seattle Times and told the paper that the team never spoke with them as part of its investigation.
8 years ago
A relief trip to Darfur convinced Seahawks signing Nate Boyer to pursue his dream of playing footba...
Brent Stecker

34-year-old rookie and ex-Green Beret Nate Boyer details his journey from military to the Seahawks

There's only one 34-year-old former Green Beret rookie trying to catch on with an NFL team for the 2015 season, and Seahawks hopeful Nate Boyer's story is every bit as inspiring as it sounds.
8 years ago
John Schneider says Seattle wouldn’t have drafted Frank Clark if they believed he struck his ...
Brady Henderson

Schneider: Seahawks ‘absolutely’ believe Clark didn’t hit girlfriend

Seahawks general manager John Schneider joined 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Salk" Monday morning and talked further about the team's controversial decision to draft defensive end Frank Clark despite past allegations of domestic violence.
8 years ago
Connor Halliday will attempt follow in the footsteps of WSU great Mark Rypien as a Washington QB. (...
Brent Stecker

WSU’s Connor Halliday, UW’s Andrew Hudson agree to UDFA deals

After a prolific career at Washington State, Connor Halliday will get a shot to bring the air raid to the NFL, signing a deal as an undrafted free agent with Washington.
8 years ago
John Schneider on the importance, challenge of identifying toughness