BY Art Thiel 06:56PM 01/23/2015

Thiel: Seahawks GM ‘kinda loves’ Lynch’s act

Seahawks GM John Schneider, in a rare interview, says nice things about the Beast, explains (a tiny bit) about the Harvin trade and wants to keep CB Byron Maxwell.

Marshawn Lynch still has the admiration of his Seahawks bosses. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

RENTON — Earlier in the season came reports that Seahawks management, regarding a holdout and fines, had grown tired of Marshawn Lynch’s act. Apparently, that is no longer the case, if it ever was, according to general manager John Schneider.

“He’s a warrior — goes out every weekend and lays it on the line,” said Schneider in a rare, spontaneous meeting with writers Friday afternoon at team headquarters. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a better running back in football.”

As to the non-playing aspects of the business for which Lynch has little tolerance, Schneider was evasive. Lynch’s anti-media stance, which already cost him a $100,000 fine, has been the subject of meetings this week among the NFL, the Seahawks and Lynch’s agent prior to the media frenzy next week of Super Bowl XLIX Feb. 1 in Glendale, AZ.

“Last year we were involved a little bit,” Schneider said of trying to get Lynch’s cooperation. Asked what he does when he has in-house sides at odds, Schneider offered a wry smile and said, “I just leave the building.”

After the laughter subsided, he said, “I can’t get into that. We have to support everyone. Whether it’s Marshawn or any other player.”

Lynch has another year left on his contract, and wants an extension. But after his eight-day holdout from training camp ended with a modestly improved contract, Lynch’s future has been a source of steady speculation, as much for his age (29 in April) and savings against the salary cap ($7 million) and his eccentric behavior.

But after his 157-yard performance Sunday against Green Bay in the NFC Championship, Lynch keeps making the case that he is driving the offense that’s reached consecutive Super Bowls.

As to the season’s other major personnel controversy, the shocking trade of WR Percy Harvin Oct. 17 to the New York Jets for a sixth-round draft pick, Schneider can have the last laugh. But he wasn’t laughing.

“We took a shot for a highly explosive player,” he said of the March 2013 trade with Minnesota that produced little for a lot. “For a number of different reasons, it didn’t work out. We knew we had to resolve that situation as quickly as we could to move forward as a football team and an organization.

“It was a very hard decision . . .  not a decision we made overnight.”

He didn’t elaborate on the reasons, such as Harvin’s fights with teammates or the reported refusal to go back into two games. Schneider did say that he was at the University of Missouri, presumably scouting, the night before the trade when then-Jets GM John Idzik, a former Seahawks executive, who had just watched his team lose 27-25 to the New England Patriots on a Thursday night game, called wanting a deal.

“We were talking to number of teams,” he said. “They got very aggressive that night.”

The deal was announced Friday to a team shocked by the news as they prepared to fly to St. Louis for a game Sunday against the Rams, who won 28-26.

“I thought everyone handled it as well as possible, especially that weekend,” he said. “As far as affecting that game, I can’t tell you. It’s always been a tough place to play. The previous game there, we won on a goal line stand.

“I’m not sure it had an effect on that game. After that, we were able to get our feet back under us.”

The Seahawks won 12 of the next 13 games, for which Schneider gave out much credit.

“The support of ownership from top down really helps with that,” he said. “We were able to communicate through the football staff, and through the whole organization, how important a decision it was, and why it’s happening.

“Pete (Carroll), as with everything he does, he was so in tune with making everything such a positive. That was s great example.”

On more current events, Schneider said the personnel staff has already had its meetings on free agency, and planned meetings in Phoenix to discuss the draft. He said the length of the season last year, plus the parade in downtown Seattle, put the staff behind.

“We found out last year we got a little behind. It was a real bummer — the Super Bowl parade got in the way of our preparation,” he said sarcastically. “We kinda got crunched last year. It felt great to have the free-agent meetings behind us before we got to playoffs.

“Not saying we did a (deleted) job last year. I’m saying we could do a better job.”

Once the Seahawks season is done, he mentioned two priorities: Re-signing CB Byron Maxwell and extending the contract of QB Russell Wilson, who has another year left on his deal, which can’t be re-opened until after the season ends.

“One of our first priorities is to talk to Maxie,” he said. “As an unrestricted guy, he’ll be highly sought after. I’d like to have the opportunity to try to re-sign him.”

Carroll says Sherman, Thomas will be ready

Two who took a beating against Green Bay Sunday, FS Earl Thomas (dislocated shoulder) and CB Richard Sherman (elbow), went full speed at practice Friday.

“It’s really good to get (Earl) back out,” Carroll said. “It was two days of him being very uncomfortable, and it’s over now. He was back in action and in full flow today. He picks everybody up so it was great to have him back.

“Richard did everything. He took every play this week and looked fine.”

Others injured players, RG J.R. Sweezy (ankle), RT Justin Britt (knee) and SS Jeron Johnson (elbow) are likely to play, Carroll said.

Carroll corrects the minutes

Regarding Jeremy Lane’s remark Thursday that Patriots All-Pro RobGronkowski “wasn’t all that good,” Carroll had a ready retort.

“Jeremy,” he said, “just hadn’t watched the film yet.”

Regarding Deflate-gate that is haunting the Patriots after their AFC championship win, Carroll said it is of zero matter to the Seahawks.

“It’s a big deal for them,” he said. “I know they’re dealing with it. It isn’t for us at all. It has no bearing on anything.”


The Seahawks are inviting fans to gather along the bus route from Renton’s VMAC to Sea-Tac airport Sunday for the flight to Phoenix. The 1.1 mile route in the city of SeaTac is on South 188th Street starting at 46th Avenue South towards 28th Avenue South.  In order to ensure fan safety, barricades will be set up along the S. 188th route with signage to direct fans to approved viewing areas. Fans are encouraged to bring 12 flags, signs and loud voices to demonstrate support as the team buses pass . . . At 8:30 a.m., the state patrol will  close I-5 exit 152 (188th Street and Orillia north and southbound).  There will be no stopping, exiting or access to 188th from I-5 and both directions of S. 188th Street from Military Road to International Blvd. which will be closed.


  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Here we are at the pinnacle of a second superbowl…sounds like Pete and John learned a few things from last years experience and are more prepared for the off season with Free Agent meetings(Maxwell strategy) and probably discussed how they are going to replace Quinn too. Should they have to “deal” with a parade they are all set. Here’s to a balmy first week of February for our guys should the stars align. Go Hawks!

    • art thiel

      Denver and Dallas were Harvin’s moments of insubordination.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Thanks Art.You heard alot about the Dallas episode since it was his last as a Seahawk. I wonder what he was irate about in the Denver win? Oh well… Seattle has proved he wasn’t bigger than the team.Lets go men~two in a row/Go Hawks!

        • 1coolguy

          Harvin was a punk, an expensive punk and the only clear failure I know of that John and Pete have made in the player dept.
          What is remarkable to me is he played while Bevell was at Minnesota: How Bevell was blind to Harvin’s issues is way beyond me, as he was a problem there. As far as I am concerned, Bevell failed John and should occasionally be reminded he assisted in costing the team $20m+ draft choices.
          Can you imagine how LOADED the Hawks would be if they hadn’t given up those draft choices? Wow. A 1st, a 3rd and a 7th!

          • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

            True. But did you hear the Micheal Bennett presser the other day in which he rattled off a group of guys on the team who were low draft choices and undrafted guys such as himself who are filling their niche on this team?Its fortunate its worked out that way to ease the loss.You NEVER want to make a mistake like they did and I have that what thought too about his time in Minnesota.Bevell we know you saw bad behavior~WTF?
            Its possible they met with Percy and told him point blank we know about your behavior which we expect to end in Seattle simply because we are going to give you a new football life and a chance to compete for a championship banking on your frustrations being a thing of the past in Seattle. Harvin was pretty tempting due to the sheer talent they were trading for. He is an ass that wont change we see that for sure but at the moment of the trade everybody was hopeful Seattle knew what they were doing and bought into the give him a new environment and lets go thing which turned out to be a quicksand adventure.
            Oh Well…PH enjoy your cold winters in NY. Go Hawks!

  • just passing thru

    I hope the Seahawks do keep Marshawn at least thru next year. He’s a unique talent, with a unique personality. And if he’s willing to pay the fines for his anti-NFL-social behavior, so be it. Although the crotch grab is a bit boorish and a behavior that I wouldn’t want the youth who admire him to imitate.

    • art thiel

      I suspect it’s too late for the chillrun. They’re already grabbing when they do well in class.

  • PokeyPuffy

    Marshawn is literally 50% of the offense now, not sure how he could be replaced. We’ll see him next year, but its intriguing to think what Schneider has cooking for 3-5 years out. Michaels and Turbin aint bad but they will not fill the void when Lynch leaves.

    • John M

      I agree Lynch is unique at the position, but we can’t know if Michaels and Turbin can produce the same production until he’s gone. In pure running, perhaps not, but I see Michaels being used more as a receiver than they do with Lynch . . .

      • art thiel

        Michael needs to know his routes and secure the ball better before he’s a No. 1.

        • John M

          Agreed, and it may never happen, but Michael has to get some game mileage before any conclusions can be made.

          • eYeDEF

            I don’t see Christine Michael doing much for this team. The coaching staff doesn’t appear enamored with his work habits or progress thus far. He’s all talk and no substance. Oh, and he flashes some tantalizing talent too, enough to seduce you into thinking he could be great. But he can’t hold onto the ball and he can only secure it with one hand. He should have picked up the skill of running left handed by now, so I think the evidence is pretty clear that the kid is lazy.

          • John M

            You may be right, his speed is seductive yet turbo has been more productive, but if Pete/John thought enough of him to take him in the second round I’ll withhold judgement until I see more . . .

    • art thiel

      The offense will change some with his departure. Has to. Maybe they get a 6-4 wideout for Wilson.

    • SnackyCakes

      I thought Deion Sanders made a great point here in this clip (at about the 3:00 mark). Essentially, that Russell is the face of the franchise and Lynch is the heart. If you’re going to pay Russell (as they should) you should be able to find some for Lynch too.

  • 1coolguy

    Unger’s play is the difference: Lynch’ 157 yards against a tough Packer D and the “snail darter” of NFL football, a Seahawks’ POCKET for the QB, was actually sighted!
    RW hasn’t had a consistent pocket this season and BOTH OT passes were from the POCKET, as were a number of passes during regulation.
    Unger’s line calls and blocking are what make this O hum and Pete and John know this. He will be very well compensated next contract.
    A healthy Unger is trouble for the Pats:
    As Unger goes, so goes the O.

  • cwu91

    Some fans and the media seem to be getting a little squishy at the thought of Seattle keeping Marshawn Lynch past the age of 29. Often times, we never realize the value of something until it’s gone.

    Player A (Through age 28)

    Rushing attempts Yds TD’s Yds Receiving TD’s

    2204 9608 71 2170 7

    Marshawn Lynch (Through age 28)

    Rushing attempts Yds TD’s Yds Receiving TD’s

    2033 8695 71 1899 9

    At age 24, player A gained 1852 yards for an average of 5.5yds/carry. By age 28, that production (with the exact same number of carries) had dropped to 1222 yards for an average of 3.6 yards per carry. The following year at age 29, Player A started 9 games for a total of 596 yards with an average of 4.0yds/carry.

    You’re the GM. Are you going to “part ways” with player A? At this point, player A is 29 and has played for 8 seasons with an average of 294 carries per season. If the answer is yes, you just parted ways with Walter Payton. Here’s what you parted with.

    Age Attempts Yards TD’s Y/A Receiving TD’s

    30 314 1421 6 4.5 607 2

    31 381 1684 11 4.4 368 0

    32 324 1551 9 4.8 483 2

    33 321 1333 8 4.2 382 3

    34 146 533 4 3.7 217 1

    Incidentally, Marshawn Lynch is the guy who most reminds me of Payton’s running style. He embodies a physical presence to the offense that Seattle has never had…..the polar opposite of the “finesse” offense the team ran under Holmgren. Personally, I’d like to see Seattle rework his contract and add two additional years.

    Be of stout heart, o ye of little faith.