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 Seattlepi.com 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 Seattlepi.com 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.