BY Steve Rudman 01:24PM 02/04/2015

Belichick sticks up for beleaguered Carroll

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that Pete Carroll doesn’t deserve all the criticism he’s receiving, and many commentators “aren’t qualified” to make a judgment.

New England coach Bll Belichick came out in defense of Pete Carroll Wednesday. / Wiki Commons

New England coach Bill Belichick Wednesday came to Pete Carroll’s defense, saying his Seattle counterpart does not deserve all the criticism he has received for the play call on second down with 26 seconds to play that resulted in a Malcolm Butler interception, sealing the Patriots’ 28-24 victory Sunday in Super Bowl XLIX.

Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and several Seahawks players have been the butt of jokes and scorn since botching a shot to win the game from the one-yard line. The overwhelming sentiment is that the Seahawks should have handed the ball to Marshawn Lynch, who had picked up four yards on first down, giving him 102 for the game.

In defense of the slant pass, Carroll said, “The other guy (Butler) just made a great play.” Belichick agreed.

“There has been a lot of criticism that I don’t think is anywhere close to being deserved or founded,” Belichick told WEEI radio, via “That football team is very good, very well-coached, and Pete does a great job.

“Malcolm and Brandon Browner, on that particular play, just made a great play. I think the criticism they’ve gotten for the game is totally out of line, and by a lot of people who I don’t think are anywhere near even qualified to be commenting on it.”

Instead of handing the ball to Lynch against a stacked box, Bevell called for a slant to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. WR Jermaine Kearse was supposed to dispose of cornerback Browner and make sure Butler didn’t get a bead on Lockette.

But Kearse couldn’t handle Browner and Butler beat Lockette to the ball. Russell Wilson either didn’t see Butler, or didn’t see him quickly enough. Butler became the first undrafted rookie ever to intercept a pass in the Super Bowl.

“I wouldn’t be able to say enough about Seattle,” Belichick said. “They’re a great football team, well-coached. They deserve so much credit for what they’ve done, and how well they’ve done it. I know they are disappointed, as we’ve been in that spot a couple times ourselves. So the high that we feel is probably not as high as the low that they feel. But that’s a really good football team.”



  • poulsbogary

    Of course he is going to stick up for him. Carrol just handed the man a super bowl. Here Bill, you take it, I don’t want it. Carroll got schooled by belichick in that last half minute of the game.

    • art thiel

      Belichick has been in the same spot as Carroll. Yes, they are part of the brotherhood, but he didn’t have to do it. Waiting for Harbaugh to speak up . . .

      • poulsbogary

        Lombardi, Halas, Brown, Shula, Landry, et al, turned over in their graves after that call.

        • Estip

          Interesting that you’ve buried Shula alive.

          • RadioGuy

            Well, it HAS been a while since we’ve heard from him. Is that what that tapping noise is?

          • RogersRangers

            Is being dead part of ” and by a lot of people who I don’t think are anywhere near even qualified to be commenting on it.”?

  • SL

    The choice of the coaches to take an unnecessary risk cannot be defended; there was no need to give those guys the opportunity to make a good play. I also feel that there are a lot of apologists out there calling the pick a “great” play, when in fact it was merely a “good” play.

    • art thiel

      That has been my point; the choice to pass inside the defense’s edge is by definition a higher risk play, especially with the game on the line. And yes, Butler is suddenly Deion Sanders . . .

      • HW3

        It may have been too much to ask Kearse to push Browner back.

      • Eric K

        That is what is so frustrating, run that on 4th and goal if your desperate, but on 2nd down?

  • Cameric

    After watching Chris Matthews, it seems we need some new tall receivers in the draft (or free agency). Does that mean current ones are expendable? I would argue that we need Jermaine Kearse, Luke Willson and Zach Miller. Not sure about the rest.

    After a few days to reflect, the last play wasn’t as horrifyingly stupid as I first thought. Now I think it was just poorly conceived and poorly executed. I would feel a better if Bevell and Carroll copped to it being a mistake. i would feel a LOT better if we had run three plays and the Patriots stood us up each time. In that case, we would have lost to a better goal line team, instead of losing on a mistake. That last part is the part that hurts.

    • Eric K

      Paul Richardson was coming on pretty well before he got hurt, I’d keep him as well

  • Kevin Lynch

    November 15, 2009. Colts/Patriots. Colts down by 6 with 13 seconds left. Ball on 1 yard line. Reggie Wayne, unbelievably, shook off a fade route when Payton signaled it preferring, you guessed it, the slant route to the middle. Touchdown, Colts win 35-34. My memory is that Peyton threw the ball about two feet off the ground and Reggie dove and got it, with little chance for an interception. Peyton later verified that Reggie called the play.

  • Larry

    But if they handed the ball to Lynch, there may not have been a 4th down. The thing that’s missing from most discussions is that it wasn’t just about 2nd down. Carroll/Bevell were faced witha situation: 2nd down, 26 seconds, 1 timeout. If you think they should have handed off to Lynch, you need also to say what you would have done in the likely (statistically) event he didn’t score. Did they have time to run it two more times? If not, and they knew they would have to use one of the downs to pass, 2nd down, arguably, was the best down to pass.

    • Bruce McDermott

      Don’t disagree. But strongly believe that the pass they chose was not the right one to choose, for several reasons.