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Boling: Leftovers from Pete Carroll feature

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on March 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm with 32 Comments »
March 11, 2010 1:48 pm

Although the Pete Carroll feature we ran on Sunday was lengthy, there was quite a bit that didn’t fit in the paper, so I thought I would toss in a few more things and give the blog folks a little background on the story.

Coach Carroll gave me about a half hour of time in his office. I think he liked the idea that the story was going to be about some of his off-field passions and not so much about football. When he was hired, we covered almost every possible football angle, anyway, and I was intrigued by what I’d read about his involvement with A Better LA foundation, a non-profit outfit he helped establish that works to funnel funds and resources into the toughest neighborhoods to fight the spread of gang violence.

This guy is hyperkinetic. He was at his computer with music going (Moby Grape, he pointed out at one point). As he answered questions about the foundation, he played with a soccer ball almost non-stop. To almost every question about his direct influence, he deflected the attention to the people in the community who “are doing the real work.”

He said there had been some concern in LA that his move to Seattle would disrupt the program. “The work is way bigger than me,” he said. “All that I can do to help support it I’ll do. In talks with the Seahawks about coming up here, they made it clear they were more than willing to help the process. I know that Tod (Leiweke) is committed to generating the same kind of impact in areas of the community … to extend whatever we can in this direction as well.”

As I researched A Better LA, I saw an interesting name on the board of directors … Tim Leiweke, Tod’s brother. If we wondered why Carroll’s name came up so quickly as a candidate for the Seahawks, it would appear that’s an obvious connection.

I interviewed a lot of sources before talking to Carroll. To be real honest, my initial impression of Carroll was that he was one of those “pep-talk” kind of coaches. Sometimes when coaches are glib and shiny, it seems like a veneer, that it hides an absence of substance. Here’s what turned me around in a hurry on Carroll: When I started talking to LA police officers, and they were in absolute awe of the guy. There were a couple long-time cops, with decades of experience dealing with gang violence, that I talked to. Both of them, independently, called Carroll their “hero.” These are hard-edge, no B.S. guys. Guys who have lost partners to gang violence. They said that Carroll’s ability to bring attention to the problem is one thing, and it’s important, because he can tap into the money down there. But the bigger thing is that he’s for real, and goes out there in the middle of the night for heart-to-heart talks with these kids and their families. Very impressive.

One of the cops described some of the gang members Carroll addressed. He said some of them were the absolute baddest of the bad-asses, who would listen to nobody. When Carroll showed up … they listened. I asked them if they thought this actually translated into lives being saved. They said they were certain of it.

Sgt. Curtis Woodle said: “I’ve been in the force for 25 years and we never had this kind of support.”

Another source that was very moving was Joe Danelo, the old Cougar placekicker who had a nice NFL career. I had talked to him a time or two years and years ago. I remembered that his son, Mario, was a kicker for Carroll at USC and had died after a fall off a cliff. I didn’t want to stir up bad memories, but I wondered if Joe would want to talk about Carroll’s reaction to the tragedy. I got Mrs. Danelo first, and she said they loved coach Carroll, but it was just too hard for her to talk about, although she was sure that Joe definitely DID want to talk about Carroll. Joe, a longshoreman in San Pedro now, said that Carroll donated money from his speaking engagements to set up a scholarship fund in Mario’s name, and that he came out to the house several times. Aside from his appreciation for all the thoughtfulness, Joe said: “I wish I was 30, 35 years younger so I could have played for him … the guy is an unbelievable coach.”

More background on Carroll and his involvement can be found on-line by digging up a “60 Minutes” feature that was done in December of 2008. I thought it was all a pretty interesting look at another side of the guy you’re going to be seeing on the sidelines.

Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. How does all of that translat to the hawks?At USC he was dealing with 17 yrs to 21 yrs old kids.like the kids in south central LA.The seahawks are men from 21yrs to 35yrs old.I do hope it works and he can reach the seahawks olayers.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    How this translates is that people are willing to listen to him and clearly work hard for him. It may surprise you to know that gang members are not just 21 year old kids. Should they live into adulthood, that’s just exactly what they are, adults. Gangs, in south central and elsewhere, are not limited to simply college are kids. The biggest issue a coach has, at every level, is communication. Getting people to buy in and sell out for them. Carroll clearly has that gift; kids, adults, athletes, parents, gang members, cops. Seemingly anyone whose life he is involved with he impacts. Last years Seahawks and very likely Holmgren’s ’08 team did not “buy in”. Anyone who watched the Ruskell / Mora / Knapp team that took the field knows they quit on them and had turned a deaf ear. Carroll has the ability to get people on the same page and listen and work together. That’s how this translates to the ‘Hawks.

    “To be real honest, my initial impression of Carroll was that he was one of those “pep-talk” kind of coaches. Sometimes when coaches are glib and shiny, it seems like a veneer, that it hides an absence of substance.” – This has been a lot of peoples’ feelings about Carroll, certainly it was my first reaction. Thank you Dave for being among one of the people to show me a different side of this man over the past several weeks.

  3. vichawkfan says:

    it’s not an age thing jibo….the guy move’s people on and off the field. He’s going to be interesting to watch for sure.

  4. OCHawkFan says:

    Return of the Sando….Mike had some great points on the Hawks in a recent post:

    “Mike Sando: The ownership/management/coaching situation needs to be unified and stable. A team needs strong veteran leadership. Quarterback and both lines should be priorities. Those are the places I would start when building a team. Seattle thinks it has the ownership/management/coaching part solved. The quarterback situation is dicey for the long term. Both lines have issues. Signing Brandon Marshall should not be the top priority. The key for Seattle or any rebuilding team would be to acquire him without sacrificing the ability to build those other areas. That means not giving up a first-round choice for him. That means making sure the team has strong enough leadership — starting with ownership and management — to deal with a potentially disruptive presence. And then it’s important for the organization to protect itself against known risks such as a possible suspension if Marshall runs into trouble again”

    I think the take away is we are in rebuilding mode. Priorties are OL, DL and Franchise QB. Signing Brandon Marshall does NOT make us a playoff team. If we are patient, draft well, and dont sign any headcase WR’s..we could be a Super Bowl Conteder again in 2-3 years. Its not going to happen this year though.

  5. OCHawkFan says:

    Return of the Sando….Mike had some great points on the Hawks in a recent post:

    “Mike Sando: The ownership/management/coaching situation needs to be unified and stable. A team needs strong veteran leadership. Quarterback and both lines should be priorities. Those are the places I would start when building a team. Seattle thinks it has the ownership/management/coaching part solved. The quarterback situation is dicey for the long term. Both lines have issues. Signing Brandon Marshall should not be the top priority. The key for Seattle or any rebuilding team would be to acquire him without sacrificing the ability to build those other areas. That means not giving up a first-round choice for him. That means making sure the team has strong enough leadership — starting with ownership and management — to deal with a potentially disruptive presence. And then it’s important for the organization to protect itself against known risks such as a possible suspension if Marshall runs into trouble again”

    I think the take away is we are in rebuilding mode. Priorties are OL, DL and Franchise QB. Signing Brandon Marshall does NOT make us a playoff team. If we are patient, draft well, and dont sign any headcase WR’s..we could be a Super Bowl Conteder again in 2-3 years. Its not going to happen this year though.

  6. jmatt8711 says:

    isnt there any real news? what about all these rfa and free agents we have had in??? marshall was a great trip??? anything else, wait and see, we have had linemen come in 2 quarterbacks cant anyone pull the trigger,
    If we are in a win now , we cant do it with what we have. local papers give us one little blurp a day then nothing. Im getting more info on profootballtalk
    its a shame

  7. Totally o/t, but I just read that KC signed ex-Hawh Jerheme Urban. Wish we would have brought him back, I’ve also been sorry we let him go. Great #3 or #4 receiver.

  8. Another day with no FA final deals for the Hawks…..
    and offensive linemen are available…..

    Smoke & mirrors…. Smoke & mirrors…

    PC/JS, pls forget BM! I don’t want my ticket money supporting someone who has assaulted an officer (04), has Multiple DUI’s(07 &08), been involved with (reported) domestic abuse over a dozen times (07, 08, 09)… You’ve used up all your second chances…. There’s more, that’s why Denver wants you gone…. This really isn’t debatable… If you want to debate it, ask your spouse/significant other first, then your mom….

  9. Dukeshire says:

    “Smoke & mirrors” – What does this mean? Are you implying that they are laying in the weeds, waiting to make a move on a player, out from underneath another team? Or are you saying that the new front office is inpet and all the talk has been a sham?

  10. chuck_easton says:

    Duke,

    Both Goofy and Moo are now on the anti PC wagon and want him and all the new front office fired before they even have a chance to coach a practice or game and conduct a draft.

    Some are still pining over Holmgren and the fact that Paul Allan wouldn’t give him the keys to the money printing machine and all the rubber stamps his heart desired.

  11. Am I the only one that remembers Miami going from 1-15 to 11-5 the next year with nearly the same players and better management and coaching?

  12. seahawklovertoo says:

    I am not one of those that want PC and the new FO out (yet)… but, I can understand the frustration others feel. There are some really good UFAs out there to fill some of our needs ( quality OLineman , Safeties, CBs) even some that had played in ZBS or, quality squads…. and, nothing has happened yet. Maybe PC thinks he will solve all/most of our problems through the draft ?? I don’t know if it can be done. Maybe they are cherry-picking and trying to save the money b/c if we can’t trade down , our two first rounders will cost a lot of money.
    One thing that is mind boggling to me is that PC will waste a college pro day on banquets and then go to a ( worthless) UW event.

  13. seahawklovertoo says:

    RADEoN, I had posted multiple times that our poor record was b/c of bad coaching and most of the platers quitting on Mora. So, I agree with what you’re trying to say.
    As UFAs go….Peppers was to risky to go after, ; if Kerney would settle for less money and stay healthy, he is better than Kampman etc. One thing that I don’t get is OG Lilja….he is the player we should go after b/c we could use him. And there is total silence on him, like his situation never happened.

  14. seahawklovertoo says:

    players

  15. Why have we heard nothing about the Ben Watson visit? Did it take place?

  16. The lead in this article is very telling. At the rate Pete and our Gm move, The only Free Agents to sign will be leftovers. Personally I don’t care about his Good Samaritan stuff. I want to know what he is doing to improve our Football team. So far there is nothing. For a team that has so many gaping holes Our new FO is missing in action.

  17. This front office is missing in action. The remaining Free Agents will be leftovers by the time these guys get around to fill the gaping hole that exist.

  18. Dukeshire says:

    This may help explain why the Seahawks haven’t been beating down Lilja’s door.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?sport=NFL&id=3005&line=169676&spln=1

  19. vichawkfan says:

    we followed TR blindly from 06-08….with Gibbs onboard, I’m sure the FO is looking at any FA o-lineman possible to help the team. Who are we to judge the talent or fit.
    Having said that, Lilja looks the type.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    This may explain why the Seahawks haven’t been beating down Lilja’s door.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/Content/playerpages/player_main.aspx?sport=NFl&id=3005

  21. vichawkfan says:

    Duke – nice work detective !!

  22. Wow!!! sure didn’t know I was on the wagon!!! LOL!!! Whew, tough group here!!!!
    We talk & talk, but there has been no clear cut action!… All Smoke & Mirrors!!!
    are we correct in our thinking??? are we being misled by our new leaders?
    Is a lot of what we are hearing just for the sake of misleading us??? Or perhaps just misleading other teams’ mgmt?
    Who knows? It’s all just smoke & mirrors until we see some commitments…
    This far in, and the needs we know are there, just boggles my mind we have made no movement yet ….
    Am I against PC or JS? You’ll find it impossible to find anything “I’ve” commented on in that vein… (check it out Chuck!) … I’m excited they’re here!!! What I don’t understand, is that there is still no firm commitment in the FA’s…. In particular, the OL area… There are FA’s out there… that can help…. but nothing…

  23. I thought the posts were going to be fixed today?

  24. vichawkfan says:

    Duke aka Sherlock Holmes, has found the answer to the Indy OG. Found it interesting that Indy signed Andy Alleman also. I remember being high on him coming out of college…..I think Chicago got him before us.

  25. If we’re not in ‘win now’ mode, as the BM visit would suggest, I wonder why we even brought him in for a visit in the first place? (humor me… I know it’s being smart/patient with respect to getting the best deal possible… which is good).

    Maybe the new regime is smart enough to know that any loser QB can throw jump balls (Kyle Orton ’09/Jay Cutler before that) to BM and he can/will come down with most of them?

    So, as soon as they dump Matt, they want to make sure their hand picked QB looks good? But if it’s Kolb, he’s gonna cost picks. Then how are we gonna get BM? And if we get Kolb AND BM, how is the OL going to get improved if we’re lacking in picks? And please don’t pretend it’s going to be because of Gibbs (and his crappy Houston OL of ’09).

    What’s another 192,494,930,294,929 years of terrible offensive line play? We’re used to it by now so it doesn’t really matter. We can always look forward to 2025 (overexaggerating).

  26. surelyyoujest says:

    The FO said they would leave no stone unturned. They didn’t say they would hire everyone they found under said stones. They’re looking at what’s out there, weighing options, and working their plan. Making a big splash early in FA hasn’t been a winning formula for us in the recent past. I’m fine with them getting the deals right. They’ll move the pieces around when the deals are right, but the draft is what we have to get right.

  27. Dukeshire says:

    Well said. I’m not interested in them making moves quickly, but rather the right moves.

  28. Surely, I’m totally with you, and also agree, well said….

    I still find it odd we haven’t really added at this point. Until Duke put up the link on Lilja, I felt he was a quick, needed add…. maybe he still should be with some health agreements made…. Doesn’t have to be superstars, just marginally better… minimizes the stretching we might have to do in the draft….
    We only have so many draft picks…

  29. chuck_easton says:

    Schneider comes from the school that you build through the draft and not FA. That probably has something to do with the fact that Seattle isn’t out spending like a drunken sailor.

    Most ‘experts’ say this is a weak FA market and a deep draft so it’s my belief that the team wants to build for the long term and not just make a splash on the FA market to get their name out there.

    And BobbyK Ben Watson signed in Cleveland for 3 years 12 million with 6.75 million guaranteed.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    I have nothing to base this on, other than a gut feeling, but unless an ideal situation presents itself, they will wait until after the draft to add pieces. See what happens with their own FAs, and how the draft shakes out first, because other than the first couple frenzied days of free agency, there hasn’t been much movement. My impression is that a lot of teams will be / are taking this approach.

  31. To expand on Chucks point, this is a weak FA market because of the uncapped year and the large number of RFAs that it created from UFAs.

    I haven’t seen a particularly great UFA signing yet, and I like the fact that they kicked the tires on the best WR on the market. If they get him for a reasonable price (they may yet) I think its an important piece. I agree that an upgraded oline is more important, but no reason to NOT get another player if the value is there. Also, appreciated RADEoN’s comment regarding Miami. We can only hope…

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