Seahawks Insider

TNT Seahawks special section: Carroll on Seattle being his final stop, having energy to coach a decade more + so much more

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Sep. 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm with 25 Comments »
September 4, 2014 12:33 pm
Pete Carroll says in The News Tribune's Seahawks preview special section that Seattle is his final coaching stop--and that he has the energy to coach another decade. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Pete Carroll, 62, says in The News Tribune’s Seahawks preview special section that Seattle is his final coaching stop–and that he has the energy to coach another decade. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

With 5-plus hours still to go until the NFL season kicks off with Seahawks-Packers at CenturyLink Field, I wanted to share online The News Tribune’s special Seahawks preview section that ran in the newspaper this morning.

Tons of great stuff in here. This should tide you over from now until kickoff.

It sure beats working this afternoon:

–In my main story I wrote my impressions of Pete Carroll now to the one I covered in 2010 during his first months as Seahawks coach and vice president. The news in it is at the end, when I asked him in sit-down interview a couple weeks ago inside the VMAC in Renton if Seattle was his final coaching stop. He laughed.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “Oh, yeah. Yeah. They said, ‘(Old soldiers) never die they just fade away.’ That will be me, I guess.”

And get this: He says he’s up for doing this with the Seahawks for another decade, until he is … 72? That’s Marv Levy-like, except more chic and hip; Marv Levy never wore such cool shades.

“Yeah, I am. I don’t have any problem with the energy part of it,” he said. “We’ll just see. Really, it’s just one lifetime at a time.

“I love this team so much, and I love this formula, the support that we have and the way Paul has structured it for John and me. The wonderful players that we have.

“It’s just too much fun.”

The story also details how Carroll is so far different than in his first NFL coaching stops, in the 1990s with the Jets and Patriots. He said it wasn’t until 2000, his only year out of coaching since 1973 when he was a 22-year-old graduate assistant at the University of the Pacific (two hours east of where he was born, San Francisco), that he had an a-ha! moment and found his coaching philosophy. It was by studying the teachings of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

I find him to be much more delegating, a CEO-type, on the field during practices now. He said that’s because then he needed to instill his “always compete” philosophy into every player on the roster. Now, they have internalized his messages and philosophy to the point of self-policing and correcting during meetings and practices and even games, freeing Carroll for a more global approach to the team.

And I detail the free-throw shooting contests he still conducts before meetings. Turns out, wide receiver Bryan Walters is the best shot on the team. He was an all-league basketball guard in high school in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, by the way.

–I also wrote a story about Richard Sherman saying absolutely nothing has changed for him or for his “Legion of Boom” secondary since winning the Super Bowl — even with the new NFL emphasis on illegal defensive contact this season.

–TNT columnist Dave Boling writes why it is so hard to repeat as Super Bowl champions in today’s NFL. He leads with Mike Holmgren remembering the words he got from Bill Parcells after Holmgren won his first Super Bowl as a head coach, with Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXI: “Good… now let’s see how you handle the next challenges.”

The first glimpse of how the Seahawks are handling theirs comes in a few hours.

–Boling also writes how in this age of no-huddle, pass-all-the-time offenses in the NFL the Seahawks, Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell remain grounded in old-school thinking of running the ball inside first. That is despite Percy Harvin’s revitalization and speed and what looks to be a more explosive Seahawks offense this season.

–Fellow TNT columnist John McGrath says Russell Wilson is already on track as the best quarterbacks in NFL history, after just two seasons. McGrath puts Wilson head-to-head with Montana, Elway, Marino, et al.

–Colleague TJ Cotterill tries to define just how fast Harvin really is. ““It’s like if a Lamborghini and a Maserati had a baby, that would be a Bugatti. If a Bugatti had a baby with a Ferrari, that would be Percy,” said fellow Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

–Craig Hill’s got a great story on The Beast: A rolling 12th Man cave. It quotes a mega-fan known as the “SeaPope.”

–Here are five questions I was asked to give and answer on the Seahawks this season:

1. Can they defy the odds the league – and everyone else – has stacked against them?

There are reasons, many reasons, that only one franchise has repeated as Super Bowl champions over the last 15 seasons. A weighted schedule full of playoff-caliber teams — which for Seattle this season has it going to Kansas City, playing both its division games against San Francisco and Arizona plus going across the country to fast Philadelphia, all over a brutal, six-week stretch starting in mid-November. There are free-agent departures. Inevitable injuries. A sense of entitlement, if not complacency. Yes, repeating is plain hard to do. Yet the Seahawks have dedicated themselves to two words for 2014, uttered in the locker room at the Meadowlands moments after they won the Super Bowl: “What’s next?” As Pete Carroll told The News Tribune during the preseason: “It’s to stay on top. That’s the challenge. I think it’s a great accomplishment to win a championship. But it’s a greater accomplishment to demonstrate that you understand how to do it, how you did it – and do it again.”

2. Is the offensive line indeed improved? And will it hold up?

Let’s face it, the Seahawks won it all last year at times despite their offensive line. Now they have a rookie second-round draft choice at right tackle, Justin Britt, who is going to face squadrons of edge rushers specifically targeting him. They have a starting right guard, J.R. Sweezy, who three years ago was a coming out of college as a defensive lineman. Fifth-year starting left tackle Russell Okung has yet to play a full NFL season and is coming off toe surgery. Left guard James Carpenter has yet to show consistency over his three seasons in Seattle. And there are unproven backups at guard and tackle in Stephen Schilling, Alvin Bailey and Garry Gilliam. History shows the Seahawks will need to play some or all of them. Good thing quarterback Russell Wilson is so elusive.

3. Can anyone catch Percy Harvin?

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell seems intent to find out. Fly sweeps. Go routes. Dig routes. Bubble screens. The only play the now-supersonic wide receiver may not do this year is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Harvin had offseason hip surgery and says the last time he’s felt this fast and healthy was “before college.” That was a decade ago. His increased speed could wreck the plans opponents have spent the winter and spring constructing to stymie the Super Bowl champion. No. 11 alone could be the Seahawks’ biggest game-changer, and the reason this team isn’t those run-Marshawn-Lynch-and-rely-on-defense Seahawks anymore.

4. Will those so-called “Legion of Boom” rules change the Seahawks’ thudding secondary?

Most around the league – including, most pointedly, Dallas owner Jerry Jones and veteran Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall – see the NFL’s new points of emphasis on illegal contact downfield and defensive holding as reactions to the in-your-face pass defense last season of Seahawks Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and friends. Those guys are what made Seattle the league’s top-ranked defense, the one that limited Peyton Manning and the Broncos to a mere eight points in the Super Bowl. Now, the flags are flying around NFL defensive backfields. Yet the Seahawks are adamant nothing’s changed for them. “We didn’t adjust anything,” Sherman said of Seattle in its exhibition season. “We’ve been playing the game the right way. We continue to play it the right way. Everybody just complains and whines about us breaking the rules, etcetera, etcetera.”

5. Will Byron Maxwell be up to the challenge?

Because he has one this season. Every quarterback that faces the Seahawks will be finding and targeting No. 41 simply because he plays the opposite side of the field from the All-Pro Sherman. The sixth-round draft choice from 2011 is on the spot with Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond now gone. Carroll didn’t like the physical condition Maxwell was in when he reported this summer to training camp but says “he’s a terrific football player … we love the way he plays.” They will get ample opportunity to see how he plays this season.

–And because some of you asked, here are my predictions for the NFL season, as published in today’s paper:

NFC West

San Francisco
St. Louis
NFC Central
Green Bay
NFC South
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
NFC East
New York Giants
NFC wild cards
San Francisco
NFC champion
Seattle over San Francisco
AFC West
San Diego
Kansas City
AFC North
AFC South
AFC East
New York Jets
New England
AFC wild cards
New England
AFC champion
New England
Super Bowl
New England 24, Seattle 20
You didn’t think the new beat writer would pick the Seahawks to win it all again, did you? Too much of a homer move for me to do — though I’m not sold that the Patriots will even get that far.
Enjoy the pre- pregame. Soundgarden is going to start playing in the North Lot in a few hours.



Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    My biggest concern going into this year is the depth of our D-Line… Last year we had Avril and Bennett coming off the bench as part-timers who stayed fresh throughout the season. This year we have them starting which means their snap counts will probably go up and could make a difference come December.. We need guys like Irvin, Schofield, Scruggs or Hill to step up be a force on 3rd downs.

  2. oscar_contender says:

    Great write up, a lot of talk this week is how we will respond to being Champs. Well, that was last year, and I think we will see the same from our Hawks that we all have come to expect, a well oiled machine! Glad John McGrath is comparing Russell with the greats of old, and not with the Andrew Luck’s of the world, since that is what we should focus on with him. He said he wanted to be the best ever, so we should compare him with the best ever. The Patriots will not beat Seattle, sorry Gregg, but you are in denial if you even think that is possible, but again, it will give the team an extra boost ;) You should tell Sherman that you think Brady will beat them in the Superbowl for fun, he may give you a look like Lynch gave Softy the other day. All kidding aside, great work and thank you for your work ethic and dedication.

    Go Hawks! 1-0! Championship Game here we go!!!

  3. oscar_contender says:

    PS after meeting Pete in person, you must know how great of a guy he really is, how sincere he is and his care for people to truly reach their potential. That is the win forever way and I would love to see him coach another 10 years!

  4. ChrisHolmes says:

    I figure Seattle over New England in the Superbowl.

    This is really the best chance a team has had to repeat in a long time. Seattle has the right personnel, right attitude and mindset to do it.

    I do think New England will be the best of the AFC.

  5. pabuwal says:

    This just feels like a year there will be a lot of shakeup in the playoff teams, Seattle excluded.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I totally agree with MikeFromNewJersey & as Pabs has posted earlier.

    This will be a great test tonight to see if the D-line depth will step up.

  7. pabuwal says:

    What’s the over/under on back shoulder throws to Sherman’s side? 4?

  8. jawpeace says:

    @ Greg, you forgot one important equation on question number one under the many many reasons- assistant coaches leaving the team. The Hawks were very fortunate not to loose Bevel or Quinn this year. Just a feeling that these guys also wanted to stick around for another year because they know what they have here in Seattle is special.

  9. HawkfaninMT says:

    I will take the under on that… Id say 4 throws at Sherman is the over under!

  10. PLUHawkFan says:

    After the Raiders game I bet a few QB’s try back shoulder throws to Sherman’s side. That being said, I guarantee you they will get burned for it as well.

    1st… to throw the back shoulder well you need to be a darn good QB. Obviously there are QB’s who can do it, but not sure even the good ones can do it all the time without error.

    2nd With how much Sherman studies tape, and compared to Preseason he is preparing for each game now, you might get one or 2 catches on Sherman doing that, but he’ll catch on very fast and jump the route. *Pick 6…

    I am going to watch, I’ll bet a nice chunk of cash that a few try it (and maybe even succeed) Word will get out all of a sudden “you can beat Sherman on back shoulder throws” Then bam, his interception numbers will skyrocket. Mark my words it’ll happen. :)



  11. pabuwal says:

    The guy they are playing tonight loves throwing them.

  12. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    I will take the over Pabs..

  13. PLUHawkFan says:

    Have fun guys, I’m heading to a Gameday Party. I’m predicting blowout!! No close game, we will kick the Packers (_!_).



  14. Macabrevity says:

    Gregg keeps blowing me away with this content…

    What’s the over/under on how long it takes one of the sports powerhouses to steal Bell from us? 9 months? Please give me the over…

  15. SandpointHawk says:

    Macabrevity shush your mouth…Just write TNT and tell them to bump his pay…

    Gregg, nice angle on the Pete article, hard to find something new on the guy but you did…

  16. Looking back & forward

    One FA departure I wish we still had: Clinton McDonald.

    Headscratcher personel move: Bowie being released vs IR’d a few weeks later.

    Best part of the offseason. Being Champions!!!

    Who wins Superbowl X-LIX? Last year from the spring on I had full confidence that we were going to win it all. Just felt it like many here did. This year, while we are certainly as good as anyone at full health, I don’t have that same feeling. Gonna guess the Broncos win it all.


  17. mocarob says:

    Gregg, Thanks for all the content! You’re hitting a home run here..
    How is it covering opening for the Hawks? Is this your first?

  18. Gregg Bell says:

    Thanks all. I appreciate the kind words and the give-and-take on here each day.

    mocarob, this is actually my 10th NFL opening game as a beat writer, the first four on the Raiders from 2002-05. I did covered the Seahawks daily the Associated Press from ’05-’10. So I had a head start with these guys, at least the staff.

    In the stadium now. Soundgarden rockin’ just behind the end zone in the sun-splashed North Lot. Not a cloud in the sky, 75 degrees. Fun day.

  19. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Gregg – inactives?

  20. RDPoulsbo says:

    Here’s the inactives:

    TE Helfet
    RB Michael
    LB Pierre Louis
    CB Simon
    WR Norwood
    WR Bates
    DE Scruggs

  21. TomlPDX says:

    Hey Gregg, have I told you lately that you’re ROCKIN’ IT! Thanks for breathing new life into this blog and making it yours! I am READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!

    Go HAWKS!

  22. Gregg Bell says:

    Thanks TomIPDX. Appreciate that.

    Check out my Twitter feed, upper right screen of the blog for more timely updates, as I won’t update this as often tonight. That’s why we put it up there, so you can follow along even without a Twitter account (though you really should get one!)

  23. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    You’re right Gregg I should sign up for twitter. I figure I will take care of that as soon as I get Facebook.

  24. BigShermyWorm says:

    Guess the under was the right bet on those back shoulder throws, eh?

  25. BigShermyWorm says:

    Didn’t expect them to not try Sherm even once.

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