BY Art Thiel 06:14PM 02/20/2015

Thiel: Carroll knows Seahawks are high intrigue

Pete Carroll has a strong chin, and a will to match. He knows the Seahawks will be the most compelling team in the NFL next season. For a team so high to go so low so suddenly, and be so …

Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider are working to get back to their happy faces that they had after the NFC Championship win. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Pete Carroll has a strong chin, and a will to match. He knows the Seahawks will be the most compelling team in the NFL next season. For a team so high to go so low so suddenly, and be so open about the trauma, well, the climb back up is reality-TV without the scripted outcome.

“We’re a very unique team right now for people to watch,” Carroll told reporters Friday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “You saw us win it all. And now you saw us go all to the last moment and not get what (we) want . . . What were we going to do then? What are we going to do now?

“How we respond, we’ll find out.”

Perhaps unlike any of his NFL contemporaries in the same situation, Carroll has invited and answered every question about the immortal play that finished off the Seahawks’ chances at a second consecutive Super Bowl triumph.

Some will never agree with his answers or his thinking that led to the interception that preserved New England’s 28-24 win. But Carroll remains staunch in transparency. Disagreement over tactics won’t produce an urge to run away.

“We shared that experience with the world,” he said. “I feel there is a responsibility to really extend the message of accountability, and that’s getting to the truth of what happened . . . And then, being prepared to move on constructively, productively, immediately.

“We’re not into this world of blaming and fixing blame, trying to figure out what went wrong.”

His long-ago-booked appearance at the combine, where more than 300 college candidates for the April 30 draft run around in their underwear for three days on the NFL Network trying to win a job in pro football, followed by a day QB Russell Wilson’s self-designed video on Players’ Tribune in which he talked for four minutes and 20 seconds about the play and the emotional aftermath.

Apparently the public purge of feelings is part of the post-flop program.

“As we have been since the moment we stepped in here, we have been competing, battling, clawing and scratching to find a competitive edge in everything we’re doing,” Carroll said. “And here it is draft time now. We’re forging on . . . We’re in a situation that is notable because the way our game finished coming off the Super Bowl.”

Responding to a question about Pats coach Bill Belichick’s strong rebuke of critics who assailed Carroll’s choices, Carroll said, “It is important, and I really care about that. Bill’s an extraordinary coach. Anything he says, people should listen to. In this case, he’s just respecting coaching. He understands the game. he knows what was going on exactly . . . he knows. He gets it.

“I’ve always respected the work Bill has done, the accomplishments, the achievements. For him to take the moment to do that, it’s very gracious of him. We coaches all care about the game. I think he made a statement, just to try and let people know, if they’re curious, what he feels about it. And I appreciate that.”

In his presser, Carroll moved on from the past to the future and whether RB Marshawn Lynch is in it with Seattle.  He said “big offers” have been made to the Seahawks “heartbeat player” (GM John Schneider’s term) but offered little news.

“I haven’t talked to Marshawn,” he said. “But we have been, in earnest, negotiating with Marshawn to get him back with us in every way that we can. It’s been an ongoing process — we’ve had big offers out there. We continue to work with that, and we’re excited about the future.

“He’s been an integral part of our program for five years, and we’ve loved the contribution that he’s brought. He’s been a great character in the program. We’re excited to move ahead; we’d really like to move at that swiftly. It’s such a big deal, as it has always been, to get our lead players intact. So, we’ll work at that.”

Notes

Carroll said that neither SS Kam Chancellor (MCL knee tear) nor CB Richard Sherman (dislocated elbow) will have to undergo surgery, but CB Tharold Simon might. He said it was a shoulder problem but was not specific. When GM John Schneider met the media Thursday, he said CB Jeremy Lane, who was already going to have surgery on his broken left wrist, also tore his right ACL on the same interception return in the Super Bowl and will need surgery on the knee as well . . TE Zach Miller is progressing well from ankle surgery and should be available for the start of the season . . . Carroll said the appointments of Kris Richard to defensive coordinator and of Rocky Seto to assistant head coach of the defense were a “natural progression” for both and they will work in tandem . . . Carroll was interviewing at the combine for two other coaching positions.


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    From reports it sounds as though the Hawks are in the market for a TE which surprises me somewhat. Maybe they aren’t confident about the return of Miller and/or McCoy? With them, Helfet, Willson and Moeaki I believe they have a solid group of TE’s.

    Not worried about Marshawn. Pretty confident he’ll be back and if he doesn’t decide until after the draft and then pulls a Barry Sanders I have no issue with Turbin and Michael. Wish he’d stop with all the drama though.

    • art thiel

      Carroll mentioned that Miller will be back and is in the 2015 picture. As far as Marshawn, I’m less certain he’ll return.

  • Tim

    Good piece Art. I think it’s pretty unique how Carroll has used the agony of defeat in such a transparent way as a way of leading and teaching by example. Him talking about not being part of the “world of blaming” speaks volumes about his own leadership and desire to influence in a far greater way than simply football. It’s actually helped me deal with the agony and move on. We all know this experience will provide plenty of motivation for our beloved Hawks to assume the “it’s us against the world” next season. I’m already excited.

    • art thiel

      Thanks for the story, Tim. Lots of 12s are grappling with this, and Carroll admirably takes responsibility for helping all move on. Glad you’re mastering it.

  • 1coolguy

    Trade Lynch while he still has value for another, younger back or a few draft choices.

    • art thiel

      The option has merit, but only as a last resort.

  • RadioGuy

    I think PC’s got the right approach. You can’t let one play define an entire season and you can’t have it back anyway. Glad to see SOMEONE in Seattle moving forward…otherwise, I expect “The Little Pass That Couldn’t” to be beaten to death all the way to training camp.

    • art thiel

      There is no escaping the beatings until Feb. 7, should the Seahawks return to the Super Bowl and win.

  • Big

    Improbability played a big part in the 2014 season and improbability placed it’s role in the Super Bowl. Most likely more improbability to come. Let the improvability gods be with the SeaHawks as the choose in this years draft. Beating the odds is a time honored sport in sports.

    Bill Belichick knows football and he coached/prepared his team for the improbable; a slant into the end zone with the ball on the 1 yard line, 2nd down, and going for the winning score during the closing seconds of the Super Bowl; after an improbable catch.

    Drama, SeaHawk drama.

    • art thiel

      I hope other fans can appreciate what you’re saying: Independent of outcome, the personalities and storylines of this team are wonderful sports theater.