Remember when Pete Carroll coached the New York Jets?
How about when he directed the San Francisco 49ers?
Not ringing a bell?
That’s okay, as most – including Carroll, probably – have forgotten about his previous NFL struggles after the way he has coached the Seattle Seahawks since 2010.
Carroll went from a position coach in the NFL to the head man in 1994, leading the Jets for one season.
He failed, going just 6-10 and receiving a pink slip after the year.
Two years as a coordinator in San Fran led to a second chance, and Carroll failed to deliver again.
Another pink slip followed, and the California native moved back to the college ranks.
Carroll built Southern Cal – rightly, or wrongly, that doesn’t matter for this story – into a powerhouse.
Heisman trophies were won. All-Americans named. National titles followed.
In 2010, however, sanctions started piling up through the NCAAs offices and Carroll bolted sunny SoCal for rainy, cold and damp Seattle.
What was he thinking? Did he not remember his failed stints before in the pro ranks?
More importantly, what was Seattle thinking? Did they forget to do a Wikipedia search and see just how bad Carroll was?
Well, Mr. Carroll, the joke is on everybody else now, isn’t it.
A pair of 7-9 seasons – one of which netted them the division titles (side note, can you believe the NFC West, with two of the best teams in the league right now, was awarded to a 7-9 team just three short years ago? WOW!) – turned into an 11-5 record and playoff victory in 2012.
Seemingly everything Carroll has touched has turned to gold.
He drafted Bruce Allen when everybody told him not to.
He drafted Russell Wilson after the front office went out and secured Matt Flynn.
He has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL paving the way for one of the best running backs in Marshawn Lynch.
Oh, and that defense….by golly, that defense.
At Southern Cal, Carroll built ball-hawking, in-your-face defensive units that controlled the tempo, the attitude and the scoreboard in favor of the Trojans.
He’s carried everything right over to the Pacific Northwest.
This past Sunday night, Seattle cemented its status as a team to beat – and not just in the NFC West or the NFC, I am talking about THE TEAM TO BEAT.
One week after looking unbeatable, the 49ers limped out of Washington with their tails between their legs. Colin Kaepernick, who could do no wrong vs. Green Bay, misfired on 15 passes and was intercepted three times.
Frank Gore? Non-existent.
Anquan Boldin? Might as well have been back in Baltimore on Sunday night, because the Seahawks had him covered like the police in “The Wire.”
We have to remember it’s only been two weeks, but the fact that Seattle and Carroll demonstrated they can win with defense in this day and age of “all-out, gun-slinging and spread-option football” should really put some concern into the minds of Mike McCarthy, Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton and Bill Belichick.
By the way, anybody thinking Carroll made a bad move by bolting Southern Cal now for Seattle?
Didn’t think so…