Full Circle On Pete
Friday Morning, April 4, 2014 is the date that Pete Carroll will now remember for a very long time. It’s the date that likely made the Seattle Seahawks‘ Head Coach the highest paid NFL coach in history, for the next 3 years anyway.
And rightfully so.
The Seahawks are the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Seahawks not only won the game, but they dominated the game when most experts thought an aging Peyton Manning and the high octane Bronco offense would be too much for the hard hitting Seattle defense.
Offense wins games, but Defense wins championships has been the thought process in the NFL for a long time. Despite that, the rule book continues to shift the balance to a more offensive minded game, hence the Broncos being favored in Super Bowl 48.
Carroll never has believed that.
But for me, I can’t say that I ever believed in Carroll, at least not until more recently.
I was never in love with idea of the former USC college coach taking over the helm of my beloved Seahawks. College coaches weren’t exactly in NFL fashion back in 2010. Guys like Dennis Erickson, Bobby Petrino and Steve Spurrier had left a bad taste in the mouths of many NFL owners when it came to the idea of hiring a college guy.
Thank goodness Paul Allen is smarter than me.
Coach Carroll and his partner John Schneider inherited a team in dysfunction. The Seahawks were old and small. Mike Holmgren and Tim Ruskell had drafted just two pro-bowl caliber players in their last five seasons together in Max Unger and Lofa Tatupu.
To make matters worse the Seahawks, under Holmgren and Ruskell, couldn’t even do right by their own, albeit few, star players. They lost control over All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson when Ruskell tried to get away without using the franchise tag.
That moment was the beginning of the end for Holmgren. His relationship with Ruskell was forever strained at that point and when the two guys at the top can’t get along, well… as the saying goes- It all bleeds from the top down.
Pete Carroll changed all of that.
And he didn’t stop there.
Pete and John followed that draft up with picks like Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright in subsequent drafts. Carroll and Schneider’s success in the draft and their ability to land undrafted free agents like Doug Baldwin has transformed the Seattle Seahawks into the next potential NFL dynasty.
Now Carroll can sit proudly on top of the NFL coaching mountain. He is the King of coaches.
And it has to be a sweet feeling for him.
After twice failing in the NFL with New England and New York, Pete Carroll headed to USC. He brought the Trojans into a golden age of dominance that got tarnished in the end by NCAA violations centered around star running back Reggie Bush.
Did Pete know that Reggie was getting a $300,00 loan for a house in Malibu or a new Cadillac?
Probably, but we’ll never know for sure. However not knowing for sure is good enough though these days when it comes to the court of public opinion.
That’s why I was not in favor of the Pete Carroll move by the Seahawks. He seemed like a liar, cheater, and someone who could take a fading team down to the lowest levels of dismay that an NFL team could encounter, especially when you consider his previous NFL coaching record.
4 years later, I’m happy to admit it. I was wrong. Carroll has exceed all expectations anyone could have every had for him.
Today, he gets paid for what he has accomplished.
And he’s earned it.