We will finally hear from John Schneider and Pete Carroll, at noon Wednesday, and you can bet they will be at their snarkiest – considering they (hopefully) are going to be asked about a lot of things they don’t really want to talk about.
A lot has happened since we last heard from Carroll in early January. And, because there was no Combine or in-person owners meetings, we haven’t heard from Schneider yet this offseason.
We put together 20 questions we would ask them about this offseason, starting with a couple of easy ones before hammering them with the tough stuff about Russell Wilson, Aldon Smith, Jarran Reed, etc.
The question: Matt Thomas did yeoman’s work with the voidable years to fit this roster under the salary cap. Happy with how that went?
Why ask it: It was a strange year for the cap across the league, and Thomas went outside his MO to make sure Seattle could sign the guys it needed to. Getting Schneider to expand on that would offer good insight into their free agency strategy.
The question: What do you think of your roster? Is it better? Do you think you have what it takes now to go farther in the playoffs?
Why ask it: Let’s see what Carroll and Schneider think of the roster now.
The question: How close did you come to trading Wilson? What is that relationship like now?
Why ask it: This is the most important question for Seattle’s bosses. Their answers will tell us a lot about the potential future of this triumvirate. They will downplay it, most likely, but we will read between the lines on their answers and divine the reality.
The question: Why did you sign Aldon Smith and how disappointing was it to see him arrested immediately afterward? Are you waiting that out like you did Quinton Dunbar last year?
Why ask it: Smith was an obvious character risk even before the arrest, and Schneider and Carroll need to explain their thinking and let fans know whether they are still hoping to keep him. Smith was a cheap addition who would be a nice rotation rusher if he were able to play. But that seems dubious.
The question: How did the Jarran Reed fiasco develop? When did you start trying to trade him?
Why ask it: We know Reed’s side of it. He wanted an extension. Let’s hear Schneider explain how it went down. Most interesting to us is the timing of when the GM started shopping Reed.
The question: Is K.J. Wright finished as a Seahawk?
Why ask it: Wright is still unsigned, so let’s see what the brass says the odds are of the excellent linebacker returning for an 11th season. (For the record: We feel bad for Wright, who is getting squeezed in a very tough cap year despite coming off one of his best seasons.)
Roster and draft Q&A
The question: Were you surprised you got Carlos Dunlap and Chris Carson back?
Why ask it: Both are key players who were not considered likely to return once they hit free agency. Let’s find out what Schneider thought would happen and what Carroll says about getting them back on the roster.
The question: How do you feel about your pass rush now? Initial plan?
Why ask it: Fans and media have been speculating over the makeup of the line. It will be good to hear Carroll tell us how he envisions Dunlap, Kerry Hyder, Poona Ford, L.J. Collier and the rest fitting together. And we will want to hear whether he expects Darrell Taylor to be part of it.
The question: Was Gabe Jackson a last-minute deal after Kevin Zeitler fell through? Was that LG move driven by Wilson’s comments?
Why ask it: Most of us think that deal was a direct response to Wilson’s concerns over protection. It will be interesting to see the answer – although Schneider likely will say he always wants to protect Wilson (in 2020, he said he loaded up on the line because he wanted to protect his quarterback).
The question: How do you feel about the O-line now? Ethan Pocic at center?
Why ask it: Most people don’t think Pocic can cut it at center (we think he will be better with Jackson on his left and Damien Lewis more experienced). Wilson made a big stink about it, so it is important to know whether Carroll and Schneider think they have addressed it well enough.
The question: You already used four draft picks on three vet starters. Was that a reflection of the uncertainty of this draft?
Why ask it: Let’s see what Schneider was thinking when he traded for Jamal Adams last summer and then added Dunlap and Jackson. In a pandemic, it is easier to put together a veteran team than try to train rookies — the vets don’t need as many physical reps.
The question: Are you working on extensions for Adams, Quandre Diggs and Michael Dickson?
Why ask it: Let’s see whether Schneider gives any insight into the future of these players on this team. Adams is the big one and expected to be problematic.
The question: Why were you comfortable giving up so much for Adams without an extension in place?
Why ask it: It was not a smart move by Schneider to pay so much for a guy he might not have for more than two or three years. So let him explain himself now that the draft is upon us.
The question: With Lockett extended, are you comfortable paying both him and Metcalf?
Why ask it: We know they are devoted to Lockett. Let’s see if they plan to pay Metcalf even bigger money.
The question: What about Duane Brown’s future? Need to draft a LT?
Why ask it: Brown is basically year to year, so let’s see what Carroll and Schneider think about replacing him – knowing the trouble they had replacing Russell Okung from 2016 until they traded for Brown during the 2017 season.
The question: How do you feel about corner after swapping Shaquill Griffin for Ahkello Witherspoon? Fair to say it’s a draft priority with no guys signed beyond 2021?
Why ask it: Corner is the No. 1 need in our book. Let’s see how they feel about their depth chart there and the draft options (which seem pretty deep). Oh, and let’s hear them debunk any thought of Richard Sherman returning.
The question: Prefer a veteran No. 3 WR or OK with drafting one?
Why ask it: Schneider won’t give away his draft plan, but we’ll see what they say about their WR depth (we already know they have been looking at veterans).
The question: Gonna try to beef up draft your stock (reportedly the least in the NFL in two decades)?
Why ask it: Let’s see whether Schneider surprises us by saying, “Nah, I’m good with three picks.”
The question: Strategy since 2018 has been 1-2 years at a time, not many long-termers. Other than Lockett and Jackson, it’s really a two-year roster still. Is this how you want it or just how it has worked out?
Why ask it: Let’s find out how Schneider and Carroll view roster building now. Are they just staying in lock-step with Carroll, who is really kind of year to year himself? Does Schneider not want to commit to many long-term players because he expects to alter course when Carroll retires? How does Wilson’s future play into this now? Some important long-term answers should be sought.
The question: How much did the 2016-17 drafts affect how you build the team now?
Why ask it: Those draft failures are the main reason they have switched to a veteran-focused roster. It’s a good follow-up that puts a little heat on them to explain their roster-building strategy.
In the end, Carroll and Schneider will say as little as possible about the draft and certainly deflect any concerns about Wilson or anything else – likely with their little two-man banter where they laugh at the reporter who asks the question.
But these are the questions we would ask, and we know how to read between the lines on these guys by now. Hopefully we’ll get them on the record about most of this stuff Wednesday and we will know more about the direction of this team.