The anatomy of a drafting a player

The first responder on draft day isn’t who you’d expect.

In fact, it might just blow your mind.

Once the smoke clears from the Seahawks’ War Room — and the official selection has been determined, neither general manager John Schneider nor head coach Pete Carroll call the player picked.

Nope, that task falls to Teresa Widner, Schneider’s executive assistant, who places the call into the draft pick and bears the good news.

“They’re shocked, absolutely shocked,” said Widner, who’s had the first-caller duty for 10 years. “There’s always so much yelling and screaming — you can’t hear a thing. I sit there and have to take the phone away from my ear.

“It’s awesome.”

Widner fires off a battery of comments and questions, starting with congratulations and then getting basic info before handing the phone to director of player development Mo Kelly, who alerts the newest Seahawk about the next minicamp and gives his phone and e-mail information, as he’ll be the main point of contact for players. Then, team travel coordinator Jeremy Young takes the phone and begins making transportation arrangements for the players.

“As soon as a player is drafted, we get to work,” Young said.

Then staffers from the communications department begin setting up interviews with local media. All of that happens in the span of a few minutes — most of it before the commissioner even makes the official announcement on stage in New York — before Carroll and Schneider get on the phone to say a few words with their newest player.

Life as a Seahawk then begins almost immediately. First-round selections will fly out within a day or two to meet the media and tour the facility. All drafted players will fly out next Thursday in advance of the upcoming minicamp, which begins April 30 and goes through May 2.

“It’s a busy week for these guys,” Young said.


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