John Schneider has never been shy about betting on veteran talent – whether they’re big trades or no-risk deals.
Josh Gordon might be the first guy Schneider has taken a cheap flyer on twice. The troubled but talented receiver is back, conditionally reinstated by the NFL and eligible to play for the Hawks in Week 16 against the Rams (if he’s ready that fast).
Just like Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson does not get it.
That is obvious based on the quarterback’s words about Antonio Brown, a seemingly mentally ill former NFL star whom Wilson thinks he and the Seahawks can help redeem while getting Brown’s talent in return.
Wilson is a good human, a kind and charitable guy strongly motivated by his faith in God. That faith was evident again Thursday as he talked about Brown, with whom he said he has become friends over the last five years. Wilson said, “I pray that he can continue to grow, just like anybody.” Also true to his Christian faith, Wilson added, “I try not to judge people.”
Wilson, 31, is apparently too young or too religious to understand it is necessary to judge people. You must weigh them against your principles so you know whether you should allow them into your life. If Wilson were wise enough to do that, we probably would not be having this talk right now.
Tennessee’s virus outbreak is no surprise. It was inevitable that teams would have problems as the NFL pressed to play. It’s why we thought the NFL should sit out 2020.
But, the season has started, made it to the quarter pole with only one game (TEN-PIT) pushed to another week, and now the league has to figure out how to finish. While Tennessee faces TBD consequences for breaking league COVID rules, along with an uncertain playing future this week and beyond, the schedule is starting to become a topic that needs to be addressed (it should have been before the season started, but the reactive NFL doesn’t work like that).
Due to issues in Tennessee and New England, those teams’ games tentatively have been bumped to early next week – with next Thursday’s game also possibly affected.
This is just the first major issue of what always figured to be a significant concern. And the question is now at hand: What happens if teams end up playing different numbers of games due to the inevitable cancellations?
The Seahawks have been NFL drama queens almost from the start of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era, so it’s never that surprising when some crazy news comes along.
But nothing ever done by the likes of rogues Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett or chuckleheads Leroy Hill, Percy Harvin, John Moffitt or Malik McDowell could top the situation Quinton Dunbar finds himself in.
Dunbar’s case (alleged robbery) is still working through the system, with conflicting reports (by the same people) of whether Dunbar was involved. We’ll keep following it and see how it turns out, but it certainly is one of the crazier crime stories ever related to the Seahawks. And they have had a few.
This spring, the NFL allows two hours of classroom work virtually for veteran players four days per week. The Seahawks as a team meet from 10 a.m. to noon PT four days a week, usually starting with a short team meeting and breaking down into smaller groups—the offense for some play installations, then maybe just the quarterback, tight ends and receivers, and then the tight ends, via video conference. The two-hour session is tightly controlled by director of team operations Matt Capurro, who flashes “time remaining” alerts on the screen as the last half-hour of the session winds down.
The scene: Seattle’s tight-end room, with two coaches and five veterans, stretches over three time zones and five states, connected by Zoom videoconference.
After a virtual draft dictated by mandated social distancing during this pandemic, Pete Carroll and John Schneider said they wanted to add mature, experienced players who can learn quickly and will require less time than most to prepare for the NFL.
As Schneider said, “It’s been important for us to try to acquire players that seem to be a little bit ahead of the curve from a learning standpoint in this current environment that we’re in.”
That naturally leads to the next question: Just how little time will they have to prepare for the season? And how much time do they need?
Clearly, the return of sports is not significant in the face of a deadly pandemic that requires us to cease our normal lives in order to keep each other healthy. But the return of sports will be important because it will signal the re-normalization of society and thus the presumed passing of the coronavirus.
The question we all want answered and for which there is no answer yet: When might that happen? July? October? Next year?
And, if we have to repeat social distancing every few months, should/will the 2020 season even be played?
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed thousands around the world and will kill thousands more. It has changed the way we all live — for now, if not forever. It’s obviously so much bigger than football and sports, which mean nothing in the face of a deadly worldwide crisis.
That said, the sports world is doing everything it can to help. Among the first athletes to do so was Russell Wilson, who (with wife Ciara) is helping to contribute 10 million meals to those in need. Drew Brees and his wife are giving $5 million to hard-hit Louisiana to combat the virus. Many others are contributing as well, and athletes everywhere have joined the PSA calling for people to stay home and help flatten the curve.
Nine years ago, NFL owners and players were negotiating a new CBA — and the start of the league year was delayed four months.
Now, with another CBA extension on the line, it’s possible the league year will be postponed again — for completely unrelated reasons.
The coronavirus pandemic has created a fearful environment in the U.S. (and the world) that has not existed since the days and weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. Even then, sports events were delayed for just a week as the nation grieved and tried to process what had happened.