During an interview 950-KJR's "Mitch in the Morning" program on Wednesday morning, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider acknowledged that, despite their widely-praised 2010 NFL Draft, the team is still looking for ways to upgrade the roster, particularly at the team's "Leo" pass-rusher position.
"That's definitely a concern for us, there's no question," Schneider said. "We're going to be active (scouring the wire). Right now, we're excited about some young guys. We're excited about (Chris) Clemons, he's doing some real nice stuff. The guy we got from Philadelphia. (2010 seventh-round pick) Dexter Davis has some pass-rush ability. Ricky Foley, who we signed from the CFL, is a good special teams player and a very active pass-rusher.
"But, it's definitely an area, I think if you talk to 9 out of 10 teams in the league, they'd say they're looking for a pass-rusher, too, so we will continue," said Schneider. "We hold the sixth spot in the claim order right now. We'll continue to talk to other teams about possible trades, and try to work that wire and to continue to upgrade this team, not only at the pass-rush position, the 'Leo' position, I guess, for us, but at every position."
(To learn more about the Seahawks' "Leo" position, check out Doug Farrar's "Under Surveillance" article at Yahoo.com)
Not landing a pass-rusher early in the 2010 NFL Draft was the one universal knock against Schneider and Pete Carroll's first draft, and Schneider acknowledges the defensive line is an area the team will continue to tinker with this off-season.
"I think we still feel like we have several holes to fill, and sometimes you have to fill those holes halfway before you can get all the way to the top", Schneider said. "I think we're just going to have to have some patience, and see what comes to us."
Competition, Not Clutter
Host Mitch Levy asked Schneider about the running back "clutter" on the Seahawks roster, a characterization Schneider was quick to correct.
"The first part of it would be more along the lines of competition, than clutter. All runners are, much like receivers, very unique," Schneider. "We feel like we have five unique runners. You know, we signed (Quinton) Ganther, as well, so you have to include him in that mix. He's a heck of a special teams player. But, with Justin (Forsett), Leon (Washington), LenDale (White), Julius (Jones)—they're all somewhat different runners."
When reminded that he couldn't keep them all, Schneider wasn't so sure that he couldn't.
"No, you can't keep ‘em all—well, you never know. I mean, you could keep one fullback," said Schneider. "There's several ways to do it. Ganther has the ability to play fullback, as well, too, so it'll be interesting to see the way this pops out."
Schneider said that Leon Washington is a candidate for the Physically-Unable-to-Perform list, but that they are still several weeks away from having to make any determination on that.
-Schneider's comments when asked if the OTAs were truly voluntary workouts could raise a few eyebrows.
"It's truly voluntary, but you know, if you don't show up, it's probably not a very good reflection on the way you approach your teammates, you know?", Schneider said.
Article XXXV, Section 5(a) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement reads "No Club official shall indicate to a player that the Club's off-season workout program or classroom instruction is not voluntary (or that a
player's failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player's failure to make the Club)"
Aside from Leroy Hill's forced absence (below), and right tackle Sean Locklear missing Monday's session to host a charity golf tournament, attendance at the OTAs has reportedly been outstanding.
(Leroy Hill) "Well, with Leroy, we're really trying to rebuild this thing here, and we're waiting for the league, and we're waiting for some of his legal things to be taken care of. When you're rebuilding things, you really don't want the distraction, so we just asked him to stay away for the time being, until he resolves some of these personal issues that he has going on."
Schneider said that they were hoping to hear from the NFL regarding discipline for Hill "within the next week or two", and that Hill's presence on the team in 2010 is not yet determined.
"I think that (Hill being on the Seahawks in 2010) depends on the legal part, and we won't know that for several weeks," Schneider said. "That could last even longer than the Commissioner's ruling."
(Terrell Owens) "Those are not false reports. They're not—I think people have heard us say this before, that ‘We're going to look at everything. We're going to knock on every door'—and his agent represents a number of our players, so we've had conversations regarding Terrell, but nothing substantial"
Schneider said talks regarding T.O. were not ongoing, and that "something drastic" would need to happen for the Seahawks to go down that path. Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, represents five Seahawks. (Julius Jones, Olindo Mare, Kevin Vickerson, LenDale White, and Ray Willis, who hired Rosenhaus this off-season.)
(Mike Williams) "He's a unique individual," Schneider said. "Actually, when I came up and interviewed after our Arizona game, Pete was in the interview, and I asked him, because probably the Tuesday before that game, I had spoke with Mike's agent (Mitch Frankel) and he was talking about 'He's going to be coming back, he's lost 30 pounds and he's really into it', so Pete and I talked about it actually at that point.
"Once we got here and got settled a little bit, we made a list of some guys that were intriguing, veteran-types that might be looking for second chances, and he was included on that list. He came in, had a nice workout, a great attitude, and he's really kept that up. He's worked himself into very nice shape so far, and you're talking a big man, 6-5 and 230 pounds who that can take the ball out of the air.
"His first two years at USC, I believe he's the most productive freshman-sophomore receiver in college football history, so…then he got into the whole Maurice Clarett thing. So, he's an intriguing guy right now. He just had a baby the other day. Hopefully he's maturing a little bit, and he keeps going the way he's going. If he does, we look for some pretty exciting stuff."
(T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch) "They're doing well. They're rehabbing with (Seahawks head athletic trainer) Sam Ramsden. T.J. is starting to run a little bit, and I know Deion is getting excited about getting out there and run around a little bit, too. Those guys are progressing well. I think its going to be a competitive group at receiver.
"I think they'll be out there (at the start of training camp), but I think we need to be careful how we handle them. They both are veterans, so we need to careful how we handle these guys with their rehab, and how soon we get them out there and how much we ask of them in terms of their reps."
Wide receiver Victor James is back on the Seahawks' 80-man roster. James was waived on May 19, and like the other Seahawks' undrafted free agents, signed a three-year contract with the 'Hawks...Scout.com's Adam Caplan reports that the New England Patriots were the only team to place a waiver claim on quarterback Mike Teel, who was waived by the Seahawks last week.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
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