Coming Back

I got away from this blog during December.  I’ll be here all offseason.

Pete Carroll is now the coach of the Seattle Seahawks.  He was up and down as coach of the Jets and Patriots back in the 90s.  Is he more ready for the NFL this time around?  Can he be successful?  I have my doubts.

Pete had a 27-21 record with the Patriots from 1997-99.  He was the guy who took over the team when the Big Tuna went to the Jets.  You may recall that New England had gone to the SB in 1996.  Carroll inherited Drew Bledsoe, Terry Glenn, Curtis Martin, Ben Coates, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Ted Johnson, etc.  Winning games with that group was hardly a major challenge.

Going to the Seahawks right now is a whole other ball game.  The team has some quality players, but also has some major holes.  Pete has uncertainty at QB, LT, WR, RB, DE, S, and CB.  There are players at each spot, but not sure things.

At USC Pete was able to do 2 key things:  recruit and motivate.  Those skills don’t necessarily translate all that well to pro football.  Pete’s energy and enthusiasm can work, but Seattle just had Jim Mora as coach.  Mora is a younger guy with a lot of emotion.  He’s very similar to Carroll in style.

I do think Pete is a better coach now than he was in his first time in the NFL.  Pete has a successful track record and that will help players to buy his ideas and methods.  He had a great staff at USC (Norm Chow, Steve Sarkisian, Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, Nick Holt, Ken Norton, etc.).  I’m not sure if any of these guys will be with him in Seattle.

Part of Carroll’s magic at USC was his rah-rah style that rubbed off on players.  Pete believed in competition and hard work, but also kept things as fun as possible.  He played pranks during practice.  He would have celebrities show up and participate.  Kids love that stuff.  I’m not so sure about NFL guys.

In the end I think Pete will have limited success in the NFL and he’ll go back to college football.  He won’t completely fail.  He’s too good a coach to fall flat on his face.  I hate the fact he left college.  Pete was a great college coach.  Not good.  Not very good.  Great.  He could have been legendary if he was able to sustain that success another decade.  Why pass on that for the NFL?  Terrell Owens can probably think of 35 million reasons.


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One Response to “Coming Back”

  1. shlynch Says:

    One thing about Pete’s time with the Patriots: the biggest difference between him and Belichick was a) Bledsoe vs. Brady, obviously, but more importantly b) he let the inmates run the asylum.

    One of the biggest things Belichick did was basically suspend Terry Glenn for 2001 for being an a-hole. That helped him keep other a-holes on the team (Ty Law, for example) in line.

    Pete Carroll couldn’t keep that team motivated and focused on football. As you point out, there was a ton of talent in place. But he couldn’t make that talent be consistent talent winners, in part because he had the wrong personality to motivate high-talent/low-motor players on a game-in/game-out basis.

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