With the Seattle Seahawks set to hire Mike Solari as the offensive line coach and Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator, it appears as though John Schneider may have stepped into the fray to help select coaches in order to address the team’s offensive issues. While head coach Pete Carroll had previously worked with Mike Solari in San Francisco in the mid 1990s when Carroll was the defensive coordinator and Solari was the tight ends coach and assistant offensive line coach, Schneider has worked with both Solari and Schottenheimer previously.
Schneider broke into the NFL in the early 1990s as a scout with the Green Bay Packers, and in 1997 was hired away by the Kansas City Chiefs to be the Director of Pro Personnel while Marty Schottenheimer was the head coach. For the 1997 season the Chiefs also needed a new offensive line coach, as Hall of Famer Art Shell had left to take the same position for the Atlanta Falcons. The Chiefs hired Solari away from the San Francisco 49ers when he became available at the end of George Seifert’s tenure as head coach for San Francisco.
Solari and Schneider spent three years together in Kansas City, and in 1998 Marty Schottenheimer hired his son Brian Schottenheimer to join the staff. So, for the 1998 season the Chiefs had Solari as the offensive line coach, Schneider in the front office and Brian Schottenheimer as an assistant coach. The trio spent only a single season together, as Marty Schottenheimer was fired following the disappointing 7-9 finish to the 1998 season and Brian left with him.
Solari and Schneider stayed in Kansas City for another year, but in 2000 when Ted Thompson took over as VP of football operations for Seattle, Schneider was hired by the Seahawks to be their Director of Player Personnel. He spent only a single season in the northwest before being lured away to the other Washington by Marty Schottenheimer to be Vice President of Player Personnel for the Washington Redskins.
Schneider only held that position for a single season before Dan Snyder cleaned house in both the coaching staff and the front office. However, as Marty had also brought Brian to the capital to be the quarterbacks coach for Washington that season, Schneider and Brian Schottenheimer have worked two seasons of experience working together, while Schneider and Solari have three.
Thus, Schneider has more experience with either of the offensive coaching hires than Carroll, and in addition, if you watch Schneider’s 2017 NFL Combine press conference, Schneider specifically states that one of the models around which they are building the offensive line is the Chiefs of the 1990s. With both Solari and Brian Schottenheimer on staff for the Chiefs in the late 1990s, it appears as though there is a reasonable chance that the offensive coaching hires the Seahawks are expected to announce in the coming days are not the decisions of Pete Carroll, and they may in fact be Schneider’s.
In any case, Carroll wants a running game, fans want a more consistent team on the field, and it appears as though John Schneider wants to relive the 1990s and get the band back together. Whether he wants to stop in K.C. and gets barbecue for offensive meetings is up to him, but these hirings show Schneider is sticking to his plan with the offensive line. Hopefully the plan yields more playoff success for the Hawks than it did for Kansas City, as the Chiefs have only won a single playoff game in the salary cap era.