If you’re looking for reasons why the Seattle Seahawks might consider welcoming a troubled soul like Denver Broncos restricted free agent Brandon Marshall into their world, this excellent profile on Hawks head coach Pete Carroll by our own Dave Boling provides some perspective on the issue.
Carroll appears to be a guy willing to give people second chances. Boling chronicles Carroll’s work with nonprofit A Better L.A. to try to help curb gang violence in inner-city Los Angeles.
As it turned out, Carroll – who would later become the coach of the Seattle Seahawks – didn’t just pop in to spread sunshine and rainbows, or imply some ludicrous connection between coaching football and the ability to quash the epidemic of violence that was eroding Los Angeles from within.
Carroll asked more questions than he offered answers. He said he had no idea how he could help, but he was willing to do whatever he could: Raise money, elevate awareness, go into the neighborhoods and talk to the offenders and victims … whatever it took.
Bercini and Woodle had seen too much blood to believe it was possible. Carroll changed that.
“Let me put it to you this way, when you’re immersed in dealing with death and violence for long periods of time, you sometimes come to believe there isn’t any hope,” Bercini said. “And then maybe somebody makes you think we do have something. With (Carroll), I think it was his being able to connect with people from the top levels and also with those on the streets. So, if you’re asking me, ‘Can one guy come in and stir people up and get them motivated?’ I have to say, yes, he really did.”
How? By offering more than rhetoric. Carroll used his position and visibility to create a nonprofit organization, A Better L.A., that helped involve corporate and monied entities. It brought together government and law-enforcement agencies, and helped support and fund the critical liaisons with the community.
He began showing up in the neighborhoods in the middle of the night for face-to-face talks with gang members. And the most important thing … he didn’t make a splash and run. He committed.
Can Carroll really be making a significant difference in the quality of people’s lives? Maybe even saving lives? Seriously, saving lives?
“Oh, please … yes … absolutely … absolutely,” Woodle said emphatically. “That man is my hero … and trust me, I don’t have that many.”
My story today gives you the latest on what’s happening with Marshall’s visit in Seattle.
ESPN’s John Clayton and Mike Sando talk about the possibility of Marshall coming to Seattle in this audio link.
Denver Post columnist Woody Paige says “The beast” Brandon Marshall was too much of a burden in Denver.
The Seahawks search for an edge rusher continues, as Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union reports that Green Bay free agent Aaron Kampman signed a deal to play for Jacksonville. Kampman is coming off season-ending ACL knee surgery. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The Cardinals addressed their vacancy at safety by trading for Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, reports Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that N.Y. Giants free agent quarterback David Carr has other options besides San Francisco. They include Cleveland and Arizona.