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Seahawks select Schneider as general manager

Seattle lures 38-year-old from Packers organization

John Boyle Everett Herald

A week after hiring Pete Carroll to become the team’s next head coach, the Seahawks have picked the general manager who along with Carroll will try to rebuild a franchise that has won just nine games in the past two seasons.

John Schneider, who has spent the last two seasons as the Green Bay Packers director of football operations, has been hired as the Seahawks next general manager, the team announced Tuesday. Schneider, 38, has been in the Packers’ front office for the past eight years and has 17 years of NFL experience.

Schneider will be introduced in a press conference today.

Based on the structure outlined by Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke last week when Pete Carroll was hired, Schneider will work side by side with the new head coach, with both reporting to Leiweke. That differs from the team’s previous set up in which Tim Ruskell held the title of GM and president, and had final say in football operations.

Ruskell resigned with five games left in the season when he asked the team for an answer on his future beyond 2009 and was not given a contract extension. Ruskell’s departure, along with the firing of Jim Mora, allowed Leiweke to start over with what he described as a clean slate. Leiweke said when Carroll was hired that he expects the coach and GM to work “shoulder to shoulder” to run the Seahawks in a collaborative effort.

Leiweke said repeatedly last week that after going 9-23 the past two seasons, the status quo was not an option and that it was time to make major changes. Those changes not only include new people in top jobs but a new way of structuring the team’s front office.

“I think, to be quite honest, there was not a harmonious relationship between Tim and Mike Holmgren and it’s probably neither guy’s fault, but we learned a lot there,” Leiweke said last week. “Can collaboration work? It does all the time in all sorts of environments and in fact, it’s how I lead and this is the model that makes sense for us.”

Schneider spent one season in the Seahawks front office in 2000 under Mike Holmgren.

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