A Seahawk Season For Change Part 1: My Argument For Pete Carroll

Hate him all you want but he’s a good coach

Dear Seattle Seahawks Fan,

Now that the league has officially robbed the Seattle Seahawks of a winning season (thanks to one of the worst officiated games that I can ever remember seeing against the mother flipping Rams), I think it is fair to now acknowledge the very real possibility that major changes could be around the corner for this team in a short month or two. This is part one of a series that I am going to put together that will make arguments for the major power players within the organization.

Instead of focusing on all the negatives the surround Pete Carroll, John Schneider, and Russell Wilson, I want to use my law school drop out skills to make positive cases for each member of this power trio.

I personally think it is unlikely all three will be back in 2022, especially considering the news that broke a couple weeks ago that Jody Allen isn’t happy with how things have been shaking out with this team. Instead of trashing each of them, however, I want to celebrate each of them a bit for what they have brought and what they mean to this franchise.

Here is my argument for Pete Carroll.

I have heard many of the complaints about Pete. He’s old, and his offensive approach doesn’t cut it in the modern day analytic approach to offensive football. His defense hasn’t been nearly good enough for about five years now. He meddles too much in the front office dealings, and with the offensive play calling. His miss manages games galore.

Maybe the greatest argument against him is that, at age 70, can he be trusted to see through a major rebuild path if he is allowed to trade away Russell Wilson? That’s a very fair question to ask.

I think all these criticisms about him are completely fair, actually.

I wish he would lean more into his quarterback on offense, and embrace going in a tempo that best allows the quarterback to find his grooves as a plucky passer. I think a more offensive minded head coach would do this, and it feels too logical to not make it a thing.

I do think that he meddles in the front office too much, and I highly doubt that the decision to trade two first round picks and a third rounder to the Jets for Jamal Adams was John Schneider’s idea. I do think he gets in the way of his offensive coordinators.

I don’t think he has adapted his defense enough in recent years. I think the league has figured it out and he just doesn’t have the horses he used to have to have for it be reliable enough game in and game out anymore.

And finally, at age 70, I do have my doubts whether he can see forth a major rebuild that will get this team back to championship contention within a four year span without one of the best quarterbacks in the game (even if said QB isn’t playing like one enough these days).

That all said, I think there are a few things that work in the favor of Carroll that are undeniably positive for this club. I think moving away from Carroll to build better around Russ could be a careful what you ask for thing, and if they do that, they better hit it out of the park with the next head coach.

I think Pete Carroll is probably the single best culture builder in professional football, and his ability to have a roster continue to play hard under difficult circumstances is a very rare thing. This is a huge benefit for the Seahawks.

This has been a tough year for the club, no question. The off-season trade speculation with Russ, disappointing start to the season with the defense in a mess, the Russell Wilson finger injury on his throwing hand, and not playing well enough when he came back from it early. There’s a lot of icky stuff there.

One thing that has not been icky to watch is how hard this team continued to fight through it all. They fought tough in Pittsburgh with Geno Smith having to step in at quarterback in a hostile environment, and they fought very tough in Green Bay when Russ came back too early from injury and played poorly. This team held an explosive Rams offense to ten points into the fourth quarter on Tuesday night until the refs took the game over in favor of LA.

Pete Carroll has a way about him of getting guys to fight hard for him. His players will not quit on him. That’s a check that you can safely take to any bank and cash.

I honestly think that if this was a better roster, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines, Seattle would have won a bit more of these games, and might be at a 7-7 or 8-6 record right now instead of 5-9. But unfortunately, Seattle has chosen to go cheap on both lines by putting big time money into their quarterback, middle linebacker, and strong safety positions (all of which who haven’t been playing well enough to perhaps justify their salaries).

If Pete were to stay, and Russ were to demand a trade to say the New York Giants (as it seems to be the hot speculation of the day), and Seattle were to oblige him, and the Giants would send their two top ten picks along with Daniel Jones, and maybe their first round pick in 2023, Seattle could use those two early picks on blue chip players to go on their offensive and defensive lines, and play on cheap rookie contracts. They would also free up cap space to be a bit more spendy in free agency than in years past. Maybe they make a splashy move on a talented young interior pass rusher and bring in a pro bowl center, and a quality veteran corner.

I’m personally not a Daniel Jones believer, and if Seattle were to acquire him, I would want them to add to the competition by maybe bringing in a Jamies Winston or Marcus Mariota, but for all the talk that Pete Carroll’s preferred way of running the ball on offense is outdated, the playoff contending team of the 49ers, the Titans, the Ravens, the Colts, and Eagles all beg to differ with that. The proof is in the pudding that Pete Ball will always be around in some form or fashion, and teams will win playing that style.

For all the analytic advancements with the game, football will always been football. If you can run the ball well, you can control clock, and if you can stop the run, and pass rush, you can get the ball back. Pete Carroll’s mantra is that “it is all about the ball” and those other teams that I just mentioned are playing Pete Ball right now pretty well.

So maybe Jones (or Jameis) would be nothing more than a game manager for Seattle by dumping off the ball to Travis Homer on third and short for a first down, and handing off to Chris Carson on the next play, but maybe that’s all Seattle needs to be better on third downs with a built back better offensive line, and a defensive line that can consistently find pressure on the opposing quarterback.

For all the talk about what Tom Brady has meant down in Tampa, the Bucs won their Super Bowl against the Chiefs by playing Pete Carroll football in that game. They ran at will, played great defense, and Brady managed that game.

In order to play this style of ball, you need a good offensive line, a good defensive line, and a quarterback willing and capable to game manage for you. It is not beyond reason to think that these ingredients could be found with high draft capital and a bit more aggressive free agent spending.

Would it be enough to get Seattle back into a championship game?

Maybe, but they would have to hit it out of the park in the draft, and free agency.

Tennessee was a hot playoff team recently playing this way, and San Francisco made the Super Bowl doing it a couple years ago. I would venture to say neither team has greatness at their quarterback position.

I would also add this in my closing argument for Pete Carroll. If Jody Allen can convince Pete to give up his Vice President title to general manager John Schneider and therefor give Schneider true autonomy to construct this roster, I would have much greater confidence in Pete Carroll leading this team beyond the Russell Wilson era.

My greatest concern with Pete is that he has too much of an impulse to meddle with the draft, free agency, and trades. As I stated above, I don’t think it was Schneider who was willing to deal all that draft capital on Jamal Adams. I also suspect that if Schneider had it his way in the 2018 draft, he wouldn’t have taken a running back in round one who didn’t play ball in a major college conference. I also seriously doubt Schneider had a high enough draft grade on LJ Collier to take in in round one in 2019.

All of my intuitions say that Carroll’s VP status needs to change if he is to stay on board. But if he is being paid the same, is it that rally too much for Jody Allen to request that he gives it up?

I don’t think it is, and I think freeing him of that status frees him up to better coach up this team through 2025.

If the power structure changes from Pete to John, I could better handle this team trading Russell Wilson for a boat load of picks. John Schneider has a really good eye for quarterbacks, and if it takes a few years of Daniel Jones or someone else at quarterback before the next franchise passer arrives, I could handle it if this team is playing pretty good Pete Ball.

This is my argument for Pete, anyways.

There is a lot that can be said about him, and I agree with much of the criticism that surrounds him, but I also think that, at the end of the day, he’s a good coach, and I think he should be acknowledged as such, even with all the critics.

And he is a superb culture builder. That can never be questioned, and it matters in professional team sports were egos can constantly go awry. Trust me on that one.

Go Hawks.


1 thought on “A Seahawk Season For Change Part 1: My Argument For Pete Carroll

  1. Pingback: A Seahawk Season For Change Part Two: My Case For Russell Wilson | 12th Life

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