When you reach the top, it’s great. You’re winning lots of games, you’re winning Super Bowls, teams are copying your scheme and signing away your players and hiring your assistant coaches and front office staff. Between that and the salary cap, the league does everything it can to chip away at your success, until you’re a hollow husk of your former self.
Then, on the way down, you stop winning Super Bowls, you don’t win as many games as you used to, the league is not only littered with copycats, but teams who’ve figured out your scheme, and nobody really wants to sign away your rejects or hire your assistants anymore. After a long run of success, at the first sign of stagnation, what do you do? Deflect blame and start firing assistants.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as ugly as it sounds. It’s not like Pete Carroll is out on a soapbox trashing guys like Darrell Bevell, Tom Cable, or Kris Richard, but a message is sent without saying anything at all. These guys were problems for us. If we want to get good again, we need to replace THESE guys with THOSE guys.
And, unless you’re Mike Tomlin or Marvin Lewis (guys who never get fired, no matter what apparently), you pretty much only get to do that once. Some coaches will take their time replacing coordinators. One bad year, pick which unit was the worst and fire its coordinator. Still didn’t work? Fire the other one. Dragging that out can sometimes help a head coach cling for dear life to his job. But, cleaning house all at once? That’s a bold move.
A bold move, I would argue, of a man who doesn’t figure to be here much longer.
The last ditch effort of a head coach trying to save his job is to bring in “his guys”. Get back to basics. And, if he has to go down with the ship, at least he went down his way. I don’t think Pete Carroll was in any danger of getting fired this season. I think this team could totally crater in 2018 as well and he’d probably still get a crack at turning it around in 2019. So, I wouldn’t say this is a hot seat situation – like it usually is – so much as a guy either nearing retirement, or simply nearing the end of his run in Seattle.
Pete Carroll was with USC for 9 seasons. He’ll be entering his 9th season with the Seahawks later this year. I’m not trying to say there’s some significance with the number 9 or anything, but 9 years in any one spot is a long time in the coaching world. Pete’s been in the business since the early 70’s, and his stint at USC (and now Seattle) was the longest BY FAR of any of his stops. You have to wonder if he’s getting antsy.
You also have to wonder if he’s seeing the writing on the wall. He saw it at USC, and left at the perfect time. With the Seahawks, what do we have to look forward to if the players we bring in from the 2016-2018 NFL Drafts don’t develop into elite Pro Bowlers? We’ve got a quarterback, a wide receiver, a few pieces on defense, and a lot of question marks. That makes it sound worse than it actually is – there are plenty of fine players on the team right now – but obviously there wasn’t enough in 2017 to get this team into the playoffs! When you’re susceptible to a kicker costing you your season, then you absolutely don’t have enough talent to be a championship contender. And, if you’re not a championship contender, then what’s the point?
I think that’s what Pete has to be thinking. He’s 66 years old, by far the oldest head coach in the league. I know he’s young at heart and whatnot, but even if he coaches until he’s 72 or 73 years old (and that’s being pretty generous, I think), what does that leave him time for? Is that enough time to turn this Seahawks franchise around? Maybe, but again it’s going to be really hard to do if we’re coming at it as a 9-7 team. If we string a bunch of these years together, that’s not going to help us rebuild! It’s just enough to keep us spinning our tires in that 8-8 grind! Better to bottom out for a year or two, then bounce back with a bunch of high draft picks (assuming, of course, that you hit on them).
Or, if we’re talking about the last 5-6 years of his head coaching career, maybe are we talking about Pete Carroll going to some OTHER downtrodden franchise and turning THEM around? I feel like that task is much more likely to come to fruition (assuming, of course, they figure out the quarterback conundrum).
To put it another way, does Pete Carroll want to be known (from an NFL perspective) as the best head coach in Seahawks history? Or, does he want to be known as a head coach who was able to turn around multiple franchises, and bring two different organizations to the Super Bowl? And, what’s more likely to get him into the Hall of Fame one day?
Part of this is me questioning whether Pete Carroll wants to finish his career here, which I have serious doubts about. But, the other part of it is me losing a little bit of confidence in these guys as talent evaluators and teachers of the game. This team needs a serious infusion of talent to counter-balance this team’s aging core and terrible luck with injuries. Because I don’t think the coaches they’ve brought in are capable enough of transforming the players we have now into superstars. And if this team keeps trending downward, as it’s been since 2015, we could be looking at some fairly lean times ahead.
At which point, it wouldn’t shock me to see Pete Carroll bolt for another opportunity. Nor would it shock me to see Paul Allen come in and blow everything up again. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m heading into the 2018 season without much confidence.
Jesus Christ. I’ve read this blog and been a big fan of yours since 2012. And I know the theme behind your website is not to take anything to seriously. But we had one 9-7 season, where most of our defensive stars were out injured and we still would have made the playoffs if our kicker knocks through the Redskins and Falcons kicks.
Yet you and fucking hoards of Seahawk fans are acting like it’s the end of the fucking world and that Pete Carroll probably doesn’t want to end his career here and Wilson has reached his peak and everything is going to go to shit in two years.
Take a breath. I’m not saying everything is perfect and teams should never make changes as long as they squeak out a winning season, but maybe have a little faith in the objectively best coach and GM in franchise history.
Yes they have made some moves that didn’t work out but I’d rather that than them sitting on their asses all off season.
We still have a top five QB in the league (fuck anyone who says otherwise, statistically he is and he’s running for his life half the time) a top 15 probably top 10 defense with healthy starters and we have some play makers on offense. We get a decent running attack going and a slightly improved line, which with Cable gone may actually happen, along with a kicker who won’t shit the bed and Seattle is right back being a top 8 team in the league. Super Bowl winning teams have had less ingredients than Seattle does now.
I get it’s Seattle Sports Hell but can we try to not act like it’s the end of everything Seahawks as we know it.
Seahawk fans are pricks
Fuc*ing thank you. So tired of these sky is falling fans in Seattle I remember in ’13, ’14,& ’15 we were the self proclaimed, by the 12’s(I have no affiliation with the 12’s, I have been a Seahawks fan for far too long to cal myself a 12, but nothing against MOST of those that do) as the greatest fan base ever. Many times we were close to living up to that.
I mean banding together to pay Marshawns fine and all, was anathletically explosive move by the fans that I was proud of.
Then Marshawn gets hurt and Rawls(who I absolutely love) goes off for about half of a season, and it seems everybody is all “Cool, let Marshawn go we don’t need him, we should go after the signing bonus as well.”
What?!? That’s red flag number 1. This is a man that has taken years off of his life so he can push the pile an extra yard for all of those that cheer for the Hawks. The guy is going to have brutal back pain for the rest of his life and may end up like Favre addicted to wrangler jeans and sending out dissappointing wiener pics via text, and you all wanna just toss him out with Darnell BevFAILs bubble screen playbook which is 30+ pages deep.
2nd red flag; where the hell were you diehard fans when there was legit excitement for some mullet sporting inbred(have links to prove this) that went by the name of rick for God’s sake **pause as this needs explaining to the younger fans** Rick is generally your 40 year old neighbor that lives with his mother 2 Floors above you in the 80’s. Rick wears the old school “male” version of the generic non existent halter/crop top or just plain rolled up for extra fruitiness, football jersey with the extra large holes making sure the world can tell that he doesn’t believe in sit-ups or eating food that isn’t microwaved.
Rick also likes to sport a greezy restaurant looking mop head that he calls hair, that needed to be switched out 6months ago, and is most likely carrying remnants of actual quality cocaine, and lightly seasoned with last weekends Barf party after drinking too much while trying to impress and look cool in front of all the underage kids he bought alcohol for.
Yes, his royal rumble of spider orgies on his head would still be a mullet if he could afford the oppressive 7$ charge from Supercuts every month for a trim. But the F that, Rick graduated from the 3rd grade and doesn’t need to take shit from anyone.
This is who we were excited about in 93 after 3 early season wins in a row, very early in the year.
Now, where were we?
Seriously?!? where were all you folks when almost every home game used to get blacked out? Where were you when I learned that the Rusty Tillman was not some grimes new age sex special move? If you weren’t old enough at the time, than no worries I understand that. But the one true lifers know that Reuben Rodriquez once had like a -7 yard punt that wasn’t even blocked, John L Williams would stiff arm his own mother, we drafted a big gangly randy Johnson wannabe qb in fucking Dan McGuire without the roids of his brother, Dave Kreig who spells his last name funny and has the literal hands of a midget that led to a brutal amount of fumbles. but was an awesome qb, or how about the original, the first star RB for Seattle that had a rookie year better than Rawls but then suffered some gruesome leg injuries that cut his career waaayyyyy too short(eerily similar to Thomas “Yeah baby I like it” RAAAAWWWWWLLLLLSSSS) the original spelled with a C, Curt Warner?
Real Hawk fans also know that if Chris Warren would have stopped doing the MC hammer style typewriter behind the line and just hit the hole top speed like he did his first few seasons, he’d have been one of the better backs the league had seen.
Red flag 3 and the most damning in my eyes.
All the god damn panic threads saying to fire peat and trade Russell after what is still technically a WINNING season at 9-7.
Good lord you all. What the hell would you do if they went 2-14 next year?!?
Do you all not remember what it was like before Pete and John got here?
Fire them and trade Russell, huh? Straight up the dumbest shit I have ever read. I’d rather fight me on 30 of the Buffalo Bills fans in a fire lit tables ladders and chairs match than go back to the brief era of Jim mora(not even the ‘playoffs? You kiddin me?’ Cool Jim mora)
Come on, you all need to relax and have faith the Russ John and Pete know what they are doing. Try and see the big picture, I know 9-7 was disappointing to all of us but how many browns fans would trade a winning record for giving up booze and their 3rd, 4th string and practice squad, old bullet wound and C section scarred strippers for a Browns 9-7 record?
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