Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider has tried, without success, to fill the needs of his team’s offensive line with quality players the past few years. Now, as fans begin to get nervous about the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft, Scheider can’t go anywhere without hearing how he needs to find a way to fix it.
He’s even hearing about it from fellow churchgoers.
Speaking on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” show Tuesday, Scheider related an interesting story to illustrate this. Attending mass at Seattle University’s chapel, he was approached by a couple he has seen before at the same service.
“We’re leaving mass the other day and he pats me on the back, and he’s like, ‘Make sure you take care of that offensive line,'” Schneider said (h/t SeattlePI.com). “I was like, ‘Got you, brother. God bless you.'”
Some prayer might be in order, because right now it’s a dire situation.
Last year’s unit was atrocious through much of the year, and quarterback Russell Wilson took 45 sacks, the third-most in the league.
Since then, Seattle has lost two key members of that line, J’Marcus Webb and Russell Okung, meaning there is even more work to be done to make things right for the upcoming season.
That doesn’t mean Schneider has any regrets. He defended the team’s offseason strategy in the same interview:
“They’re all very hard, but we’ve seen this coming,” Schneider said. “We knew if we were going to be a consistent championship-caliber team, that it was going to be a situation — we’ve talked about this for several years now — that every year you’re going to see players come and go.”
“This year we had 17 unrestricted free agents,” he continued. “We had to make a pecking order, and that’s what we do. That’s our job.”
To be fair, he makes quite the salient point.
Seattle has gotten to where it is now because of some darn good draft work by Schneider and his scouting department. Draft picks that paid off big time came up and had to get paid, either by Seattle or another team. And deciding which ones to keep and which ones to let go is a tricky job.
As good as it’s been for this club since Schneider and Pete Carroll hooked up, they are facing their biggest challenge yet. Now that they key players have been identified, it’s time to get back to the draft board and start the process of finding top, cheap talent via the draft once more.