INDIANAPOLIS – Every NFL fan is well aware of Revis Island. Thursday, John Idzik got a taste of the Revis Grill.
Idzik, the Seahawks’ vice president of football operations the past six years, is now general manager of the Jets. His second interview in that capacity since being hired last month turned into near interrogation about the future of Darrelle Revis, the Jets’ on-the-mend Pro Bowl cornerback.
Idzik’s podium stint at Lucas Oil Stadium was one of the most highly attended interview sessions of the day, when two dozen coaches and GMs as well as more than 50 draft-eligible players visited the media center. And most of the questions were about Revis.
“Darrelle Revis is obviously a great football player,” Idzik said. “He’s a great New York Jet. He’s tremendous asset to our football team and our organization. With respect to clarity, I don’t know that anything has really changed. Because we’ve always wanted Darrelle as part of our team and that has not changed.”
Next question? It was about Revis. As was the next. And the next. And the next. And so on and so on.
Idzik, however, was able to slip in a message he learned the past three seasons while working with coach Pete Carroll in Seattle.
“We’re going to have a general mantra with the New York Jets, and it’s going to be competition through and through,” he said. “We want to improve competition at every single position.”
Idzik did come armed with his sense of humor. As he stepped to the podium, he offered, “Good afternoon, I’m John Idzik of the New York Jets.”
Former Seattle Seahawks Vice President of Football Administration John Idzik has been named general manager of the New York Jets.
“John is a well-respected, life-long football man who I believe will be a strong addition to the Jets organization,” said Seahawks general manager John Schneider. “While he will be missed by the Seahawks organization, we wish him and his family all the best with this great opportunity.”
Idzik spent the past six seasons as part of the Seahawks staff as the Vice President of Football Administration. His primary duties included player negotiations, the team’s compliance with the NFL salary cap, player personnel transactions, all football operations budgets, staff and team contracts, and most aspects of the day-to-day football operations while also remaining active in player evaluations.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 8:
The cyber surf is up after the Seahawks got contact agreements with eight of their 10 draft choices on Monday, including first-round pick Bruce Irvin.
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says the agreements leave the Seahawks way ahead of the game, and even offers a chart showing the length of no-shows by the team’s previous first-round picks: “Before Irvin, only two of Seattle’s past eight first-round choices signed a contract without missing a single training-camp practice: Earl Thomas in 2010 and Lawrence Jackson in 2008. None of Seattle’s first-round selections in the previous 10 years were signed by the end of June.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune has Irvin tweeting the news: “I’m just ready to work,” Irvin said via Twitter. “The money is cool. If you took the money away, I still would play this game for free!”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald includes the others who also agreed: “In addition to Irvin, the Seahawks also agree to terms with second-round pick Bobby Wagner, who projects to be the team’s starting middle linebacker; quarterback Russell Wilson (third round); linebacker Korey Toomer (fifth round); cornerback Jeremy Lane and safety Winston Guy (sixth round); and guard J.R. Sweezy and defensive end Greg Scruggs (seventh round).”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com points to Irvin’s early agreement as just the latest indication of how serious coach Pete Carroll is about improving the team’s pass rush: “The Seahawks also made improving their pass rush a top priority this offseason, signing tackle Jason Jones in free agency and drafting Irvin to assist Chris Clemons, who had 11 of their 33 sacks last season. No other Seattle player had more than four sacks in 2011. The team envisions using Irvin with Clemons on passing downs. Irvin is a candidate to succeed Clemons in the “Leo” role eventually.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with vice president of football administration and lead contract negotiator John Idzik for his thoughts on the quickened process: “What’s the deal? The new rookie salary scale that was included in the CBA that ended last year’s 136-day lockout? The eagerness of this year’s draft class to reach agreements before the start of this weekend’s rookie minicamp? Superior work by vice president of football administration John Idzik, the team’s lead negotiator? The smile that washed across Idzik’s face said it was a combination of elements that led to Monday’s rush of agreements. ‘I’d like to go with the latter,’ he cracked, before adding, ‘But there are a lot of factors at work, the primary one being the new CBA.’ It’s actually the second year of the CBA that ended the lockout, but last year everything seemed like it was done on the run – not to mention in late July and early August. ‘So this isn’t the burn in, 2011 was,’ Idzik said. ‘And a lot of the rookie deals are now structured a certain way. So there was a little bit of precedent for everyone to go off of – both from a league standpoint as well as a club standpoint.’ ”
We also take a look at Robert Turbin, the running back who was drafted in the fourth round, through the eyes of Sherman Smith, the team’s original running back who now coaches the position: “So, what is that Smith likes – no, loves – so much about Turbin? ‘Let me tell you, in the 18 years of doing interviews (at the NFL Scouting Combine), this kid is the best interview I’ve ever had,’ Smith said the other day after one of the workouts in the team’s offseason program. ‘Very impressive.’ While players can be coached-up by their agents prior to the process, you can’t force sincerity – especially the kind Turbin displayed in that Combine session with Smith, and his Q&A sessions with reporters in Indianapolis and after he was selected by the Seahawks. ‘You can’t fake that stuff,’ Smith said. ‘It’s genuine, what he’s all about.’ ”
We’ve also got the word on Deuce Lutui, the Seahawks’ recently-acquired 340-pound guard, becoming a vegan: “ ‘It’s true,’ said Lutui, a veteran offensive lineman who signed with the Seahawks in free agency last month. “And coming into the offseason, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in. I credit that vegan diet.’ As proof, Lutui not only pointed to his weight, he pulled up his shirt and offered, “I can finally see a six-pack there.” Lutui said he’s already at his game weight (340 pounds), a process that usually takes him much longer.”
Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN passes along highlights from an interview with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley at mynorthwest.com: “ ‘Some guys have said, ‘Well, they went to the Pro Bowl, and how is that going to affect them?’ Bradley said. ‘I know I got a text from Earl Thomas the other night, on Tuesday about 9:45 at night. He was trying to get the code for the DB room, to (watch) film. So right there that shows you their mentality. They’ll sneak in here to try to get on the JUGS machine in the indoor practice facility at night. They’re just driven that way. I think that’s why we’re so excited about this group.’ ”
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 21:
Coach Pete Carroll did an interview with 710 ESPN yesterday and discussed free-agent middle linebacker David Hawthorne: “ ‘We love what David gave to us and brought to us,’ Carroll said. ‘This is free agency time, and, man, it can get hard.’ “
Not everyone was in all on Matt Flynn yesterday. Chris Burke at SI.com says the Seahawks went back to the future in acquiring the backup QB from the Packers: “Coming off a disappointing season in which they finished under .500 and missed the playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks found themselves in need of a starting quarterback. So they turned their attention to Green Bay, where a talented backup was stuck behind an entrenched starter. This all happened 11 years ago, of course, when Seattle pulled the trigger on a trade to snatch Matt Hasselbeck from Green Bay.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at why Carroll had a reason to smile even before the team got agreements over the weekend from Matt Flynn and Jason Jones: “ ‘Free agency for us was to get our own guys – that was the start of it,’ Carroll on Monday. And it started with the top two priorities: Retaining leading rusher Marshawn Lynch, without using the franchise tag; and getting an agreement with run-stuffing, kick-blocking defensive end Red Bryant before he could test the free-agent market. Check, and check. And check out what else Carroll, general manager John Schneider and vice president of football administration/salary cap guru/lead negotiator John Idzik were able to do before dipping into the pool of free agents from other teams. The club also reached agreements with Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, versatile and valuable offensive linemen Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan; and linebacker/special teams standout Heath Farwell, who led the NFL in coverage tackles last season. ‘The fact that we were able to do that with Marshawn and come back with Red, Mike Robinson and on down the line, this has been really important to us,’ Carroll said.”
Mike Sando takes a look at the free agents who have visited each of the teams in the NFC West, including the Seahawks.
Jason La Canfora at NFL.com continues to track all the free agent activity around the league and you can follow along here.
It’s not all about free agency at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The Seahawks also continue to prepare for the NFL Draft next month. Peter Schrager at FoxSports.com has a new mock draft this morning and he gives the Seahawks South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram with the 12th pick: “I loved the quiet re-signing of Red Bryant, one of the most underrated producers in the game, and picking up Jason Jones for one year was a “no-lose” move. Ingram solidified himself as a Top 20 pick with a dominant week of Senior Bowl practices in Mobile. Capable of playing either the outside linebacker or defensive end spot, he’s a pass-rushing force who can cover tight ends in the passing game, too. The Matt Flynn signing will steal all the headlines, but I love what Seattle’s doing with its D.”