Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Scribes weigh in

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 13, 2010 at 11:13 am with 37 Comments »
January 13, 2010 11:13 am
Ted Warren/AP
Ted Warren/AP

Now that Pete Carroll is officially signed, sealed and delivered as the Seattle Seahawks eighth head coach in team history, I thought we would take a look at what people are saying about the hire.

As always, we’ll start at home with our own John McGrath who had this to say:

During Carroll’s hiatus from the sidelines in 2000, he read a book written by peerless basketball coach John Wooden. It occurred to Carroll that UCLA didn’t win its first national championship until Wooden’s 16th season at the school – and then, once the Bruins won, they won almost perennially.
The football coach found Wooden’s late-blooming legend intriguing, as Carroll had worked the previous 15 seasons in the NFL.

Wooden’s story motivated Carroll to reinvent himself. So did the words of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, who told an interviewer that he didn’t want to be in the best band doing something – he wanted to be in the only band doing something.

John Wooden? Jerry Garcia? Welcome to Carroll’s cluttered, congested and yet beautiful mind, where his thorough grasp of football Xs and Os yields the right-of-way in a perpetual traffic jam to the dynamic duo of heart and soul.

Art Thiel of says the Carroll hire finally points the Seahawks in the right direction.

His high tide is Carroll, a man of indisputable energy and charisma who has a slightly better record in his four previous seasons as an NFL head coach (33-31, plus two playoff losses) than Mora (31-33, one playoff loss) and even the sainted Holmgren’s first four years in Seattle (31-33, one playoff loss).

The feat is large: Eliminate the misaligned, dysfunctional, overextended front office, dissolve the Mike vs. Tim factions, own up to the embarrassments on the field and in the board room and find a way to regain credibility with a stunned fan base.

Leiweke has shot the moon with his high-risk, high-reward choice, yet is clear-headed about what drove him to be bold without regard for his public image.

Jim Moore of says Carroll’s hard not to like.

He went to great lengths to discourage anyone from thinking that he’s the same coach he was at New England and New York, his two NFL head-coaching stops before he became Icon Pete at USC.

The hell of it is, I bought what the guy was selling. Instead of defending himself, he criticized himself, which is big in my book. With the Patriots and the Jets, he said he “didn’t know who I was as a football coach.”

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times said Carroll offered an unexpected sincerity during his introductory press conference.

The man who created excitement everywhere he went at USC, who inspired a Tacoma sports radio personality to gush that he’s the “coolest coach in the NFL,” appeared nervous as he was introduced. He rambled. He stammered. He turned defensive at times. It wasn’t the expected salesman’s pitch of a hello.

It was better.

Carroll was honest, raw, introspective, real. During the 40 minutes he spoke, his genuine enthusiasm and self-deprecating candor became so captivating that it obstructed skepticism about his so-so NFL record. Of course, as soon as he was done talking, the skepticism resumed, but, hey, trust isn’t built in a day.

But Carroll established plenty with his first impression. Most significant: The Seahawks matter again.

Sam Farmer of The Los Angeles Times says Carroll has clearly found his place in Seattle.

And now it can be told: Carroll’s fire to return to the NFL never died, even if it was only the pilot light that stayed aflame. The pros did come knocking from time to time, he said, although he wasn’t constantly turning away suitors.

“In the past nine years, with all of the speculation, you would think that I was talking to five or six [teams] a year,” he said. “Never happened. I’ve talked to three or four teams in earnest, and in each situation they presented to me an opportunity that sounded like it was different from the normal format for a head coach coming into the league.”

It wasn’t until the Seahawks came to him with their offer, a deal finalized Sunday, that he finally said yes. A big issue for him has always been control of the football operation, and Carroll will get that, even though the club will hire a general manager to work alongside him. The team isn’t going to hire someone who has final say — not the way Bill Polian does in Indianapolis, for instance — but someone who understands the final word belongs to Carroll.

The Seahawks offered him that, along with so many other enticing aspects, among them an owner with boundless resources, a first-class stadium and training facility, a West Coast lifestyle, two first-round picks in this year’s draft, and a weak division.

Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh told ESPN that the Carroll hire offers a new beginning for his team.

Alex Gibbs confirms in a conversation with a Houston radio station that he will be the offensive line coach for Seattle.

ESPN’s Mike Sando says there’s no question that Carolll has the power to put his system in place in Seattle.

New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker denies reports that he’s headed to Seattle to join Carroll’s coaching staff, reports Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 37
  1. i had a chance to watch the entire press conference on the hawks web site after getting home from work last night.

    seriously – it’s hard not to like the guy.

    at a time where the national media is blasting our team, i find myself in an intriguing position: when holmy left, all of this supposed “credibility” left with him. tedy bruschi (the ridiculous unevolved, neanderthal-lookin’ dude that he is) started talking mess on sports center last night, and it was clear he hadn’t listened to the entire presser…

    when pete says that college players and pro players are the same, in writing, it can be misconstrued. during the presser, however, he makes it clear that the person is the same, though their position in life may not be.

    so, you know, i got defensive… and gave bruschi my middle finger ^_^

    and that felt good. that’s why i became a hawks fan in the first place.

    don’t like us? wanna talk smack? think we’re inferior? well [middle finger] you!

    wouldn’t that be something? hawks win the big dance with carroll as hc?

    a big finger to all of them.

    man, it feels good to be a hawk fan today ^_^

  2. ChrisHolmes says:

    I’m excited. I like who Carroll is bringing with him, I like that he’s bringing Gibbs and Norton Jr. with him… I like that he has a serious chip on his shoulder to prove himself at this level.

    Never underestimate a guy with a chip on his shoulder and willingness to prove himself. Especially when he understands that he needs to surround himself with great assistant coaches. That’s what irked me about Mora. Knapp sucked as an OC, lost his play calling duties in OAKLAND of all places, and yet Mora still hired him as his OC because he was his buddy. Screw that. Get the best!

  3. first off, I’m stoked on our new coach, i’ve always thought he’d come back & do a good job when given another chance at the NFL. My biggest fear is that I don’t want the Mike Williams/Kerry Colbert/ J.D. Booty’s of the league competing for roster spots w/ the potential next Nick Reed/ Micheal Bennett/ Hawthorne/ Weaver’s in camp & win a roster spot over them. I guess I’m still not over the “TampLanta” players brought in constantly from the old regime.

  4. Yeah, that was Mora’s fatal flaw…going with Knapp and then changing too much of the offense in one season.

    Perhaps, Mora thought he was safe in his first season as HC with Ruskell as GM. It’s possible that Knapp was the best candidate he could find and convince to come here.

  5. maddog12 says:

    USC web site confirms USC Special Teams Coach Schnieder to Seattle.

  6. From the sound of it, Carroll is much less likely than Holmgren or Mora to continue with an established starter who is getting outplayed by a young guy. If that’s the case, Reed and Forsett maybe play a lot next year.

  7. Yeah I respected Holmgren but one of his flaws that Mora also shared was being too loyal to players-both would’ve sat Gehrig for Pipp.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    You know, Holmgren really only became that way later in his tenure. When he first got there, most every job was open.

    I think the biggest problem with the changes in offensive philosophy weren’t that there were too many, IMO, it’s that they were taught and communicated very poorly. By seasons end, we all had heard what the players were saying. No trust. Hell, Hasselbeck was talking about finding out what routs the WRs ran best, in November. That will not happen with this staff. First impression is that Carroll is a people person and loves teaching. Bring it on.

  9. Good point about the teaching. Holmgren has always been considered a great teacher, and I saw a segment a long time ago about how some of the best current and former coaches all had teaching credentials at one time or another.

  10. I liked that Houshmandzadeh interview. It sounded like a sigh of relief, didn’t it?

  11. seahawklovertoo says:

    My Friend, the sigh of relief you’ve heard came from me. As others have stated previously, I feel hopeful again, I feel that we have a (great) shot to matter again.
    I was never fan of PC but, anything is better than what we had ten days ago ( or,
    two months ago if you wish)
    The only reservation I have is with the ZBS… but, I am willing to take “wait and see” approach.
    I am soooooooo happy that Ruskell/Mora/Knapp era is over. It was taking to much toll on my nerves and well being in general. I was always piid-off and to combative here, at home and even at work.
    GO SEAHAWKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I have that same reservation about the ZBS. I know Gibbs is considered the best, and there is a reason for it, but the man needs talent too. You can make decent players good, and good players better, but coaching can only do so much.

    When I look at the Bronco lines, he had some Pro Bowlers, but he isn’t necessarily the reason they were Pro Bowlers. I mentioned yesterday that Mark Schlereth was a 1-time Pro Bowler in Washington, and then he became a 1-time Pro Bowler under Gibbs. My point is that Gibbs didn’t make him good (but he certainly must be given credit for what he did for the line as a whole with the success in Denver).

    Same with Gary Zimmerman, as stated yesterday. Zimmerman had already had a Hall of Fame worthy career before get played on the Gibbs line.

    Besides Tom Nalen, who Gibbs deserves some major credit for developing under his rule, Tony Jones is the only other Bronco OL to make a Pro Bowl under Gibbs. Well, Tony Jones was already a good player. He already had a productive career with Cleveland and was a very good player for about 7 years (might be off a year or two). My point is that he didn’t become magically good under Gibbs. He already was good. I can definitely give Gibbs credit for Jones making the Pro Bowl, but my main point over and over is that even a guy like Gibbs needs some talent to win.

    I’ll feel much better about our offensive line if Alex Gibbs has better talent to work with. As much as Gibbs is respected, if we goes into ’10 with Lock, Sims, Unger, Spencer, and Willis… there’s really not a whole lot of reason for optimism with respect to the offensive line. You can’t take bad talent and make the unit great. He can and will make it better than what Solari had, in part because the line would hopefully be more healthy and would have had a year of working in it too. But there’s only so much upside when the talent level is limited.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on what type of ZBS LT Russell Okung would make?

  13. BORNHAWK says:

    Am I the only one that can only get the mobile version of Everytime I try to go to I get the mobile version, HELP.

  14. maddog12 says:

    What type of scheme does Okung play under now?

    If fact, it would be nice to have someone review what ZBS is and what plus and minus of it are.

    I would bet we will see significant changes in O’line personnel before the ’10 campaign starts. The status quo will not be tolerated. Those who the educated eyes of Pete Carroll, the new GM, and Gibbs have not been performing or don’t seem suited to their ways will be gone and replaced with people leadership feels is a better fit.

    We should all be aware the Carroll’s reputation is on the line here and while it is true he would be paid regardless of results, I don’t think failure is an option with him. I sense he can be ruthless in his pursuit of success.

  15. seahawklovertoo:I was never fan of PC but, anything is better than what we had ten days ago

    Is that right? I like him just fine. Don’t know how successful he’s going to be in Seahawk land though. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    It’s the Trojans I’m not so sure about. I’ve liked them since I was a little kid (don’t ask). Even when they were bad (like this year) they were still better than almost everyone else. But after all this rigmarole with Lane Kiffen I’m starting to hope the NCAA puts the boots to them big time and all their best recruiting prospects go enroll at Tennessee instead.

  16. I like TJ’s interview too – there’s an excitement brewing for this coming season – as someone commented earlier, Carroll’s a big name national guy – we’re going to get a ton of coverage and hype, and I think that can’t help but pick up the energy level of the team.

    What a total contrast from Mora coming in at the beginning of last season – and that part really isn’t Mora’s fault, it just is what it is.

    Now – we need a couple splashy free agent signings . . .

  17. BORNHAWK:Am I the only one that can only get the mobile version of Everytime I try to go to I get the mobile version, HELP.

    Well, I’ve never had that problem so I really couldn’t tell you but it sure wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be your browser. Whoever manages those web pages over there is very careless about browser awareness. They screw up Mozilla browsers big time about twice a year.

    NFL.COM does the same thing. It’s made me wonder if one central group does all the team pages.

    At least they’ve got their vids working properly now. They were messed up for a long, long time.

  18. What is the word on the GM’s visiting this week?

  19. BobbyK – You’re right, you can only coach ‘em up so far. And a talent upgrade is an absolute necessity. But without a communicator that’s able to get them on the same page with the rest of the team, you get… what they had this year. The line won’t be totally revamped by next year but the process will be under way. He didn’t bring Gibbs in to just put lipstick on this group.

  20. BORNHAWK says:

    Thanks earther, I guess i’ll have to wait for them to fix it.

  21. hawks31 – If we’ve learned anything from this past week is that it’s impossible to know what’s really going on. That said; yesterday and today was supposed to be Marc Ross (NY Giants). And this week(end) scheduled are John Schneider (Packers), Floyd Reese (Patriots) and Omar Khan (Steelers). So, the new GM probably won’t be any of them, lol.

  22. seahawklovertoo says:

    Agree Dukie , I think it will be : Webster 4 GM !! We all are so high from the hiring of PC and his assistants , that TL will try to “slide” RW by using the excuse “of nobody else (qualified enough ) wanted the job” ( or something like that). We “had” our GM in place before we went after PC .
    I still don’t trust TL and I never will.

  23. seahawklovertoo says:

    This is the immediate future of the pro clubs that PA owns :
    They’ll go after and throw the whole “Planet” at LeBron James to sign him long term with the Blazers. He will sign and guarantee then at least two NBA championships. After that is done, TL will take a crush course on football to educate himself as much as possible so he can concentrate on the Seahawks himself.

  24. seahawklovertoo says:

    “Swami” has spoken.

  25. freedom_X says:

    Once Alex Gibbs starts teaching his famous low and blindside block techniques, you’ll find the effectiveness of the ZBS increasing dramatically.

  26. The whole process since TR resigned has been an absoute cluster****. Nobody really approved of him though, so I guess it’s best that he’s gone. But then Mora gets canned after a year in a pretty convoluted and shady seeming process.

    Don’t get me wrong…I’m no TR or JM fan, but f’g TL has been totally unaccountable for hiring those guys, and I worry that PA doesn’t see that part of it.

    Maybe part of the issue for me is that the ‘Hawks have insisted on this whole covert-op approach. F That. Let’s have some transparency and accountability. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling skeptical about the whole PC tornado that’s hit Seattle.

    I hope Pete is the answer, but I’m not as optimistic as many on the blog seem to be. I’m glad he’s not Mora, but damn…that hardly warrants a parade in January.

  27. “Salami” has spoken

  28. freedom_X says:

    I would also say, regarding the offensive line, that on a O-line, the sum of the whole is far greater than the individual parts. That’s where I would have agreed to a large extent with Ruskell.

    It doesn’t mean the parts can be trash, but it also doesn’t mean that Seattle has to have 5 Pro Bowlers. Or 3. I could see having an effective line with just one guy getting a lot of recognition. But the key is the line has to be coordinated and play well as a unit.

    Sometimes ZBS guys don’t get credit for Pro Bowl voting, too, if they’re using the “dirty” cut blocks to get the job done. I don’t care, if those guys are playing for Seattle.

    Many of Seattle’s blocking failures weren’t physical (so-and-so got whipped at the line of scrimmage.) They were mental (so-and-so didn’t block the right guy.) If it was just Willis and Locklear looking like a turnstile, that’s one thing.

    But if it’s guys coming through gaps clean and unblocked, it’s a cohesion and overall line coordination issue. It’s one player instinctively knowing what his linemate is going to do in an unexpected situation, and reacting accordingly, as well as vice versa.

    That’s what a line coach can do, and that’s why Seattle should be able to pick up effective players for the scheme without having to pour all resources into it.

    I don’t have a breakdown, but look at the players on the top lines in the league. I don’t think any of them have more than 1 or 2 1st round picks. Even our great 2005 line only had 2 1st rounders, spent over 9 years.

    I don’t want the new GM forcing things. I don’t want the top 2 rated O-linemen – I want 2 O-linemen that are worth the 6th and 14th pick, just to give an example of what I’m thinking.

    Even when the draft is thin at a position, critical need can make teams value a schmoe as a stud, wasting picks. Seattle has so many critical needs, I accept that the O-line may not be “fixed” in one season, and may take a couple drafts and free agent periods to get in order.

  29. “Many of Seattle’s blocking failures weren’t physical (so-and-so got whipped at the line of scrimmage.) They were mental (so-and-so didn’t block the right guy.) If it was just Willis and Locklear looking like a turnstile, that’s one thing.”

    Don’t know that I agree there – I saw those guys get beat frequently in pass coverage. But you’re also right that there were tons of failure to block the right guy, or block any guy, on blitzes as well.

    I’m not convinced we’ve got the personnel on O-line regardless or the scheme of line coach. Maybe someone who knows better can correct me – but I assume even in ZBS, when it comes to pass protection the the Tackles still have to be responsible for the DE’s.

  30. From the Washington Post:

    “Two league sources have confirmed that the Seattle Seahawks have been granted permission to interview Jerry Gray for their vacant defensive coordinator position.”

    Another Rooney Interview?

  31. Hammajamma says:

    ZBS line?

    Rookie LT
    Free Agent RT

    Out: Locklear, Spencer

  32. I don’t see Willis as athletic enough for the ZBS at tackle or guard. He needs to be on a team that wants to run the ball and run it down your throat.

    As everyone can agree, talent, not simply just the scheme, is needed up front (although Gibbs will make what talent he has to work with better, as many have said).

  33. ChrisHolmes says:

    On the OL:

    Look at what the Jets have accomplished rushing the ball this year. 175 yards per game. They are in the playoffs with a rookie QB because they can pound the rock and protect their rookie. Imagine Hasselbeck with their line:

    LT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson(1st round pick, 4th overall)
    LG: Faneca (1st round pick (PItt), FA signing for Jets, 9-time Pro Bowler, 1 ring with Pittsburgh)
    C: Nick Mangold (1st round pick, 29th overall, Pro Bowl 2008, 2009)
    LG: Brandon Moore (undrafted FA 2002)
    LT: Damion Woody (1st round pick (Patriots), Pro Bowl in 2002, 2 rings with Patriots)

    FOUR FIRST ROUND PICKS on the offensive line.

    It’s pretty clear – you put quality on the offensive and defensive lines and you can do special things. We all know that from experience. 2005 with Jones and Hutch on the left side of the line, and we went to a super bowl.

    We have to build this team from the inside out. You put 1st round picks in Gibb’s hands, and we’re going to see a running game like Denver had when TD and Elway carried them to two Super Bowl wins.

  34. area51hawkfan says:

    Hey you know what I’ve taken from this whole situation, from the way Holmgren was not retained because of More in waiting and the callers and bloggers and national media talking about how this team really has no direction or that no true football people are running or making the calls now for this team and I have this to say..

    So S.F.W.!!! what I hear from that is just how much some of these fans may not remember just who it was that came in a bought this team and kept it from leaving here in the first place… Mr. Paul Allen!!! Show some respect to him first, and the fact that he’s hired some smart people to run this team is wonderful. These same people keep this tema from being the train wreak that is the Washington Redskins or the Oakland Raiders or Dallas Cowboys (kinda) who have owners who can’t keep themselves out of the football side of the buisness that they invested in.

    Other than the Cowboys situation for now, I’m on Mr. Allen and Mr. Leiweke’s side here. They chose not to stand by and let this team continue to fall into mediocrity anymore so than they have to this point and have done drastic to do something about it. And you don’t have to like Pete Carroll or Tod Leiweke but you definitely can not say that this front office and ownership are not trying.
    So I’d say to many of those idiot fans, media members, and over all nay-sayers to just “shut the hell up” & let things unfold. No one knows what or how this will work out, but you can’t blame them for trying. Isn’t is wonderful to still have this team around to get worked up about an debate as much as we can and are doing????? Yet again, Thank you Mr. Allen for stepping up and keeping th Seahawks here.

  35. area51hawkfan says:

    And sorry for the spelling & grammar errors (above)…. I’m at work trying to be quick!!

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