Rebuilding the Seahawks Part 1: The Front Office

December 21, 2009 by

in_heckert_080530This is the first article in a five part series breaking down the rebuilding process for the Seattle Seahawks organization this off season. Starting with the front office and finding their GM to build the framework for a Super Bowl team. Second will be the coaching staff and who the possible GM’s would hire. Third will be breaking down the current roster and who is staying and who is going. Fourth will be how the Seahawks should attack free agency and who they should sign realistically. Fifth will be the NFL and who they should take with their first four picks. Then there will be a concluding article summing up what the Seahawks roster will look like after all moves have been made.

So we start with the first part which is finding the replacement general manager for the Seahawks after Tim Ruskell resigned about a month ago.

I’ll be giving an updated and in depth list of the possible candidates that the Seahawks could be considering for the job. Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, who seems to have a choke hold on the Seahawks franchise, said that the GM must fit the Seahawks, not the other way around.

With that being said here is a list of possible candidates for the Seattle Seahawks general manager and executive vice president position.

1) Tom Heckert-Philadelphia Eagles GM

Examination: With Mike Holmgren officially being checked off the Seahawks list for their general manager position, in which was a complete PR move and really was a half-ass effort to give the Seattle Seahawks fans and the city of Seattle a great Christmas present, turned into coal.

With all that aside Tom Heckert will be very high on the Seattle Seahawks list to fill their GM void. Heckert, who is currently the GM of the Philadelphia Eagles doesn’t have the final say in the player personnel decisions like he would if he were in Seattle. Right now head coach Andy Reid has the final say in his roster decisions, and also signed a two year contract extension so Heckert is really spinning his wheels in Philadelphia.

Heckert is highly touted for his skills with the NFL draft and very diligent when he is chosen his draft picks. Something the Seahawks desperately need in their front office after Tim Ruskell failed draft after draft to bring in the right players to make the Seahawks a winning franchise.

Also with the Seahawks having two first round picks it will be very important for Heckert, if he is tabbed as the Seahawks GM to put his exceptional draft skills on display for the Seahawks to have an excellent draft to start their rebuild.

If the Seahawks chose to hire Tom Heckert as their GM/EVP I’m sure he’ll want to chose his own coaching staff, something the Seahawks might not let happen.

2) Steve Keim-Arizona Cardinals Director of Player Personnel

Examination: One common trait amongst these possible GM candidates will be that they are all exceptional at player personnel or have excellent draft credentials. Being in Arizona for 11 years Keim has had a hand in bringing in Adrian Wilson, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and countless other outstanding Cardinals players over the years.

With the Seahawks needing talent across their entire football team Keim and his skills would be a huge asset in helping the Seahawks speed up their rebuild.

If the Seahawks tab Keim as their GM he might want to go with his own coaching staff or have current head coach Jim Mora Jr. fire some of the current coaches on the staff but have Mora be the head man.

3) Ruston Webster-Seahawks interim GM

Examination: Ruston Webster, who was tabbed as the interim GM the day Tim Ruskell resigned has already interview for the Seahawks GM position. He’ll still be on the list as the third candidate because there are more qualified people for the job.

Webster in his third year as the Seahawks VP of player personnel worked alongside Tim Ruskell to oversee day-to-day management of pro personnel and college scouting departments.

Webster is solid at drafting players but over his last two seasons he, along with Tim Ruskell both dropped the ball so I don’t see Webster getting the job.

4) Kevin Colbert-Pittsburgh Steelers GM

Examination: The Steelers have taken a step back this season and finally ended their
six game losing streak with a last second win over the Green Bay Packers. However I still expect changes to be made in the steel city and that could start with their GM heading to Seattle to become the GM of the Seahawks.

Colbert has turned the Steelers into a top five organization this decade winning two Super Bowl titles. Colbert as done an exceptional job building up the Steelers entire roster through the NFL draft with players like QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Santonio Holmes, LB’s LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons, S Troy Polamalu and RB Rashard Mendenhall among other talented players.

With the Seahawks lacking talented on the majority of the roster bringing in someone like Kevin Colbert to run the show would turn the Seahawks into Super Bowl contenders in a few years.

Colbert would also most likely bring in his own people on the coaching staff.

5) Jimmy Raye-Director of player personnel-San Diego Chargers

Examination: The same situation continues as Raye has had over eight years experience in the scouting and draft department of the San Diego Chargers, something the Seahawks will need to bank on heavy when they are looking for a new GM.

Raye oversees all of the college scouting for the Chargers as well as assisting in all player personnel movements.

Raye would be the next best option if all of the other candidates passed. Raye would also most likely bring in his own people.

6) Randy Mueller-Chargers Senior executive

Examination: Mueller was a former Seattle Seahawks front office executive before Paul Allen hired Mike Holmgren as the GM and HC which forced out Mueller and he left for the Saints.

Mueller drafted Joey Galloway and Walter Jones in his time in Seattle. He’d be a last resort if no one else worked out.

7) Floyd Reese-New England Patriots Senior Advisor

Examination: Reese, a former GM of the Tennessee Titans and ESPN Analyst would be an interesting fit if none of the other candidates worked out for some bizarre reason.

Reese did a solid job building up the Titans organization before retiring to join ESPN.

8) A.J Smith- San Diego Chargers GM

Examination: From 8-10 these will be the extreme long shot candidates to become the GM/EVP/President of the Seattle Seahawks. A.J Smith has done an exceptional job of turning the page on the Drew Breese era to a dominant Phillip Rivers era.

Smith has done a great job building up the Chargers via the NFL draft and that’s how the Seahawks will have to attack this rebuilding process as well as getting top free agents.

9) Pete Ward- Colts Senior Executive Vice President

Examination: Ward has been an instrumental part of the Colts success this past decade and would be an excellent fit for the Seattle Seahawks GM job if the Seahawks other candidates don’t work out.

10) Bill Polian- Colts President

Examination: I can say without any doubt that the Seahawks won’t get to Polian on this list but if for some reason they do he’s one of the best in the business and would be a great man to rebuild the Seattle Seahawks organization.

This concludes the list of the top ten list of possible candidates for the Seattle Seahawks GM job. The Next article in this five part series will break down each candidates possible head coach of who he would hire if he became the GM of the Seahawks.

NOTE: Mike Holmgren is officially off the list as a candidate.

You can follow Lars at Twitter http://twitter.com/larshanson

Check out Lars’ sports blog: http://hansonsportsblog.blogspot.com/

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