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G.M. search will be the first Leiweke-Carroll skirmish

As the 2010 Seahawks continue the bass-ackward approach to building a football organization that the 2009 Browns employed (and we all know how well that worked out), we think it’s important to pay close attention to the early days of the working relationship between CEO Tod Leiweke and coach Pete Carroll.

In our estimation, Leiweke saw the departure of G.M. Tim Ruskell as an opportunity to consolidate and expand power within the organization.  Initially, the scuttlebutt centered on the Seahawks hiring a “young” G.M., which struck us as an effort by Leiweke to bring into the organization someone who would defer to Leiweke.

At some point along the way, however, Carroll became the top candidate to coach the team, and we’ve got a feeling that Leiweke went along with that only if Carroll accepted the fact that Carroll wouldn’t be taking the place over.

Then came Tuesday, when Carroll’s introductory press conference created the distinct impression that he’s taking the place over.

Whether that’s the case will hinge on whether Carroll is able to drive the search for a General Manager toward someone he wants, or whether Leiweke will steer the process away from candidates who would defer to Carroll and/or align with him.

If, for example, Pat Kirwan gets the job, it would mean that Carroll clearly controls the football operation.  If the Seahawks hire someone with no connection to Carroll, the jury would still be out on whether Carroll can finagle what many assumed would be handed to him once he returned to the NFL.

And to the extent Carroll doesn’t currently have the kind of juice he envisioned, winning will allow him to accumulate more of it.

Regardless of how it all turns out, the Seahawks have set the stage for a potential mess, with more of the in-fighting and turf battles that have poisoned the organization from time to time over the past decade or so. 

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21 Responses to “G.M. search will be the first Leiweke-Carroll skirmish”
  1. tre_fizzle says: Jan 13, 2010 8:41 AM

    If they’re smart they’ll either define Leiweke’s role to not interfere with Carroll’s or the new GM’s…or they’ll crap-can him. Can’t start off with conflict.

  2. Richm2256 says: Jan 13, 2010 9:01 AM

    I’m still wondering what happened to the reports that Carroll was offered the job as Team President, GM, and Head Coach? One out of three ain’t good.
    Did he forget to ask for that in writing?

  3. albaNY Hawker says: Jan 13, 2010 9:01 AM

    WOW. Baseless speculation much?
    How about you let things play out and then report on what’s happening, instead of making silly wild-ass guesses at what might happen?

  4. Joe in Toronto, Canada says: Jan 13, 2010 9:03 AM

    This whole thing is looking worse by the minute, what a mess. I hope it all works out, for the fans especially, but man.

  5. Al_Davis_needs_a_dirtnap says: Jan 13, 2010 9:14 AM

    they better get there asses in gear, Matt Millian is probably the best guy out there. seahawks need playmaker receivers and Matt has the best eye for young them.

  6. tre_fizzle says: Jan 13, 2010 9:26 AM

    # Al_Davis_needs_a_dirtnap says: January 13, 2010 9:14 AM
    they better get there asses in gear, Matt Millian is probably the best guy out there. seahawks need playmaker receivers and Matt has the best eye for young them.
    This is either major sarcasm or the worst idea ever

  7. StevePhillipsLikesFat/UglyChicks says: Jan 13, 2010 9:29 AM

    Wow, another dig at Mangini in an article that has nothing to do with him. We know you don’t like him, you can stop being the douche bag about it anytime now.
    If you want to do some “investigative” journalism, you would see the Browns had a talent depleted roster, the salary cap was in shambles and had no direction after 10 years back in the league. Their one “flash in the pan” year, they had one of the softest schedules in the NFL. But God forbid you do a little research, right?

  8. slutnuts says: Jan 13, 2010 9:44 AM

    I’m predicting a top 5 year for the combo of Lieweke and Carroll, they’ll lead the team to the playoffs, and both be pro-bowlers. That is until Carroll gets upset about his madden rating.

  9. pushing50 says: Jan 13, 2010 10:21 AM

    Can I get the address to send my resume’. The guy won’t last long but will get paid for the next three years of sitting on his butt. I can do that, so I think I’m qualified. Just call me George Costanza. Maybe I can get a desk with a bed under it.

  10. straverse says: Jan 13, 2010 10:21 AM

    Why does everything have to be so difficult with you? I’m gonna start a blog called and just re-write all of your articles (sound familiar?). This one will be entitled “G.M. search will be the first mutually respectful decision that Leiweke and Carroll will get to make together in what appears to be a match made in heaven.”

  11. IsawFloriokissingBrettFavre says: Jan 13, 2010 10:24 AM

    tombrookshire says:
    “If Microsoft was run like the Seahawks, we’d all be reading this on an Apple right now.”
    I’m not following. Are the Seahawks in financial trouble?
    Because if they’re a financially sound organisation with a loyal fanbase who just happen to turn out a crap product that would make them identical to Microsoft in my book.

  12. Brewster says: Jan 13, 2010 10:25 AM

    # Al_Davis_needs_a_dirtnap says: January 13, 2010 9:14 AM
    they better get there asses in gear, Matt Millian is probably the best guy out there. seahawks need playmaker receivers and Matt has the best eye for young them.
    Very funny.

  13. Kuya 206 says: Jan 13, 2010 10:44 AM

    Leiweke needs to stay the f out of the football operations. Really, how many teams in the NFL have a “CEO”? This guy doesn’t know crap about football except that winning sells tickets.
    Carroll is Exec VP and HC. Dungy was going to be hired as the President of Football Ops, but probably felt that reporting to Leiweke would be a problem. No one should report to Leiweke…

  14. madpunter88 says: Jan 13, 2010 11:08 AM

    I normally don’t join in the bashing of this website like other bloggers but this treatment of the Seahawks coaching and GM search is getting ridiculous. Every article is filled with baseless accusations and speculation about something that hasn’t even happened yet.
    Leiweke himself has been entirely open recently saying the organization was dysfunctional in the last two years and they were attempting to alleviate that. But then you write an article based on speculation claiming that every move the team is making is evidence of how screwed up it is.
    How can a team admit it had organizational problems, make overt attempts to solve those problems by getting rid of the people causing those problems, and then be accused of creating a “potential mess” in the process? It seems to me they are fixing the mess that existed before — and the Seahawks organization ought to be applauded for the candor in admitting they made mistakes in the recent past. How many other CEOs get up in an interview and admit where they made mistakes and talk specifically about how they intend to fix it?

  15. says: Jan 13, 2010 11:31 AM

    Funny that Florio, a lawyer, would have no idea about corporate structures. This is matrix management, it’s in no way unique, and has proven effective in countless different industries. Do you really think that running a football team is more complicated than building an airplane?
    Also, as for those being critical of Leiweke, bear in mind that the owner is a multi-billionaire with his hands in about fifty different industries. He delegates responsibility. Technically, yes, Allen has final say over the Seahawks, but it is really Leiweke. He has been CEO of Vulcan Sports for a decade, and has done a pretty good job. Is he a “football guy?” Well, he didn’t coach or anything, but he’s been running a football team for a DECADE! What more do you need to get that title?

  16. FootballFan says: Jan 13, 2010 11:34 AM

    Let’s lighten up a little – Mike’s baseless speculation is half of the fun of this site! And sometimes his analysis is insightful.
    However, I think he completely missed the boat on this one. The real conspiracy theory here is as follows:
    The Seahawks have turned over the keys to Pete Carrol and he will have as much juice as Parcels in Miami. The rest of this cooperation, team-work talk is just a show that they didn’t make a mockery of the Rooney Rule (which we all know they did but better a mockery than eliminating it altogether).

  17. Joe in Toronto, Canada says: Jan 13, 2010 11:58 AM

    More and more of us are on Macs, and more and more of us are really happy too.

  18. OneManGang45 says: Jan 13, 2010 12:23 PM

    Screw you, Florio. Your columns are the only things that are “back-asswards.” Obviously you have a bone to pick with the Seahawks. What, did you lose some money in Vegas betting on them this year? What a loser…

  19. pushing50 says: Jan 13, 2010 12:42 PM

    MadPunter88, it is simple. Most good organizations build from the top down. The Seahawks are doing it backwards again. Hiring a head coach and letting him help pick the GM just doesn’t work. You are putting the GM in a weak position. Look at the top clubs and you will see an owner has one job. Hire the GM and get out of the way. Let the GM pick the head coach and head coach gets to pick his staff. Why bother with a GM if all the power resides with the head coach. Learn from the past.

  20. texasPHINSfan says: Jan 13, 2010 3:37 PM

    Leiweke is part of the problem, IMO. I think his poor decisions largely handcuffed Mora, even though I’m not a fan of Mora either.
    Hey, is it too late to hire Lane Kiffin in some capacity? I think the ink is dry on his USC contract, maybe he’ll leave and join the Seahawks? /sarcasm

  21. Nard100 says: Jan 13, 2010 4:50 PM

    Mike, you hit the nail on the head. this team belongs back in the AFC west with the other losers like KC and Oakland. This hiring order smacks of Al Davis style hiring policies. I’m sorry, but you don’t hire the coach and then the GM. Seahawk fans, prepare for continued mediocrity. Pete Carroll does not have the chops for the NFL and anybody that remembers his last stint will tell you that.

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