What Ruskell’s Departure Means

With news breaking last night that Tim Ruskell will resign, I figure it’s time to do a little bit of introspection as to what it all means.

You Piss of the Walrus, you gon'get eat.First and foremost, Ruskell’s resignation indicates that the Seahawks are not merely an injury-prone team. Have we been injury prone? Yes. Is that why we’re losing? No. Not at all. It’s easy to point at that and blame it, and maybe it has something to do with it, but that’s not the reason we’re losing. We have lost games from the bottom of the team right up to the top. We execute poorly in all three phases of the game (Mare and Ryan notwithstanding, our ST coverage is abhorrent). Our coaches seem uninspired and sloppy, take silly risks (bad challenges, 4th and 1 inside opponents territory) but then fail to take a risk when it matters. Our GM had been so hellbent on “cleaning out the locke room” and filling it with “leaders” and “character guys” that we now have a charity softball team playing in the NFL.

Second, it means the team is in rebuild mode. It might not be a major, benches clearing rebuild like Tampa did last year, but the Seahawks are signaling that things must, and will, change. That starts with the GM / President of Football Operations. It will not end there. We may or may not hear today who the interim successor to Ruskell is, but I would imagine it will be either Ruston Webster or Will Lewis. While I like Webster a lot, I would be more excited if it was Will Lewis. Lewis has been the head of Seahawks Pro Personnel for more than a decade under three separate GMs. He is clearly excellent at his job and scouting for the needs of his boss. Further, Lewis is African-American, which means he will soon be on everybody’s short list for interview candidates since the Rooney Rule now applies to executive spots as well as the HC position. Getting Lewis in OUR door before losing him to someone else would be excellent. Brian McIntyre had a great piece on this last week:

Third, it does not mean that Mike Holmgren is coming back. He probably is, in some capacity. I would be okay with him returning as the President of Football Operations, but I don’t want him as GM. He is way too close to this team, he has always stuck up for guys that he likes, and we could end up in a tail spin because we refuse to clean house. Do you want Hasselbeck to sign a new contract? Mike will. Do you want to trade some of our key players for draft picks or young talent? Mike won’t, at least, not the ones that he knows and loves. Now, I’m not saying that Holmgren would be an incompetent GM, he wouldn’t be. He made some good picks before. He also made a bunch of bad picks. He brought in Hasselbeck, but then, Holmgren could turn just about any undisciplined slob QB into a star — look at Steve Young, Brett Favre and Charlie Frye (ha!). Holmgren might be back as GM and President, but I hope it’s the just the latter. Either way, it won’t be today and it won’t be before a minority candidate is interviewed. Hopefully, Seahawks brass will meet with Shanahan, Cowher, Parcells, et cetera, too.

Fourth. it does mean that you should tune in at 10 am to listen to the press conference. The best place I know to listen is ESPN Seattle