John Schneider, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks front office have been atop of the NFL the last few seasons. Yes, they have drafted unbelievably well. They have found diamonds in the rough in late rounds of the NFL Draft. Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Malcolm Smith, J.R. Sweezy, Byron Maxwell, (undrafted rookies) Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, & Thomas Rawls have all been a huge part of the Seattle Seahawks success. It is not the only reason though.
One of the biggest reasons is they are not afraid to walk away from players who haven’t performed or who have become a distraction. Percy Harvin was a huge acquisition. They gave a lot of money and draft compensation to get him. He was clearly a locker room distraction and was disrupting the Seahawks offense. It was clear on and off the field (at least for the Seahawk staff). They then traded him away for nothing because he didn’t fit the Seahawk mold. It didn’t matter how much they invested or what criticism they would receive. Yes they screwed up, but they don’t care. They are not going to hold on to a player that’s not working out or giving 110%. Cary William is the latest example. They invested 3 years and 18 million into Williams. He never developed the technique Carroll likes in his cornerbacks & Cary always went back to his old tendencies. The Seahawks defense was having to compensate for his bad play and it led to huge gaps in the defensive secondary. The return of Jeremy Lane and emergence of Deshawn Shead also had a lot to do with his departure. He didn’t work out, so they move on. Many teams don’t follow this method and it almost always leads to disaster for them. It also needs mentioned that Seahawks owner Paul Allen has given them the keys to the kingdom. They have the power to make the moves they need to. Paul Allen leaves the football affairs to John Schneider and doesn’t meddle in player roster moves. Sure, he may have an opinion on some decisions but he lets them decide. Other teams envy the front office the Seahawks have but aren’t as quick to make the right decision, when it needs to be made. This is no problem for the Hawks office and it lets them fill the need at the position faster. They either promote from within (like Deshawn Shead) or find a player off the street that will work better.
When the Seahawks move on from a player like Harvin and Williams it also encourages another philosophy they love to implement, competition. When they cut ties with players that don’t work out, it sends a message. If your not going to compete everyday and contribute to their success, you will get cut. It doesn’t matter how much money is invested or how big of an acquisition the player is. He won’t last long if he’s not dedicated or doing his job.
The Seahawks front office makes the tough decisions others won’t make, they admit when their wrong. They motivate their guys. They keep the hunger and competitive nature alive in players. It’s the formula an NFL football team needs to succeed, even if they have to admit they screwed up. It is also the reason the Seahawks in 2016 have developed depth that may create the perfect storm.