Fire Pete? Tough Crowd (Long, so be forewarned…)

FidelisHawk

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This is, as I’ve warned, going to be long, but I’m an old man and have earned the right to be long winded, so gather around you whippersnappers or get the hell off my lawn...

Things get tough for the Seahawks and the calls for firing Carroll come hot and heavy from some naysaying or disenchanted fans. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pushing 63, I’ve watched a lot of bad football and, more importantly, a lot of bad Seahawk football. I’ve called for coaching changes in the past, Patera and Flores come to mind, so why not Coach Carroll?

Pete’s been coaching, in one form or another, for over 40 years. He’s built a resume only a few coaches can match. He’s worked with some of the great coaches from the NFL and the NCAA and, apparently, has learned from or taken something from them all.

He’s been a head coach for 21 of those years and has had exactly 3 losing seasons in all that time. Now 9 were, as we know, with USC, so for this, I’ll not elaborate on his success there, we’re all aware of it already, anyway.

His 12 seasons in the NFL are the most pertinent now and his 3 losing seasons happen then, so I’m going to look at them in more detail.

1994 New York Jets, his first career head coaching job, first losing season, 6&10. Should he have been fired? Well, he inherited a perpetually bad to mediocre team (6&10, 8&8 one playoff loss, 4&12, 8&8 under Coslet) to another bad record. Had he more time could he have turned them around? Who knows, his successor went 3&13 and 1&15 and was fired as well. Later Parcells did take them to a 9&7, 12&4 one playoff win, and then an 8&8 record, so there is that. I would have advocated for more than a year, but can understand making a change if not the next hire.

1997-1999 New England Patriots, no losing seasons here, he took Parcells SB losing team (11&5) back to the playoffs (10&6), winning one game, then losing to the Steelers 7 to 6. One 40 yard run in the first quarter (QB Kordell Stewart) proved to be the difference in his first playoff loss (sound familiar?). He returned to the playoffs the next year (9&7), losing the wild card game and finished his tenure there with an 8&8 record.

Did he deserve to be fired from there? He did take a SB team to an 8&8 record and then there’s the whole Parcell, Jets, Belichick, Kraft thing going on at the same time. But New England got what they wanted, they gave up a first round draft pick, and the Belichick era began. Robert Kraft did say afterward that firing Carroll was one of the toughest decisions he had to make since buying the team, stating, "A lot of things were going on that made it difficult for him to stay, some of which were out of his control. And it began with following a legend (Bill Parcells)."

It’s probably pertinent to point out, that at this time, Carroll had three winning seasons, only one losing, two playoff appearances, and a playoff win. Belichick, on the other hand, had one winning season, four losing seasons, one playoff appearance, and a single playoff win, so the Belichick hire wasn’t the given it is today. Of course he did have the whole tied to Bill Parcells hip, defensive wunderkind thing going for him, but hey, had Carroll stayed (and drafted Tom Brady) who knows what his legacy would be now. I mean Bill’s had one winning season, one losing season, and no playoff appearances in NE without Brady under center, this includes taking Carroll’s 8&8 team to his only losing season there (5&11) the next year, coincidence? I don’t know.

But I am digressing, because is about whether or not the Seahawks should fire Carroll and I plan on getting there, it’s just going to take longer than some want. I will skip the USC years, like I promised, so we can be happy about that anyway.

2010 to present Seattle Seahawks, we all pretty much know these years by heart, but i’m going to examine the losing seasons anyway and insert my personal opinions as well. Carroll took over Mora’s 5&11 team, who took over Holmgren’s 4&12 team and promptly had his second losing season in his head coaching career, sixteen years after his first, but he made the playoffs once again.

Going 7&9 and winning the division to making the playoffs is amazing enough, but then he did what had never been done before. He won another playoff game, with that losing team, against Sean Payton and the 11&5 reigning Super Bowl Champions. And he was doing it his way, he hired his own GM, drafted a Safety to play the deep position he envisioned, drafted another that was more like LB, made over 200 roster moves, and brought in a RB that could handle his pound and grind, run first offense. All against the common NFL (and NFL fans or at least this fan’s) wisdom.

Let me pause here and emphasis I was not a fan of the Carroll hire. I’d seen the all encompassing GM/Coach position fail many times over, massive roster moves disrupt the “chemistry” of a team, his handling of the QB position was questionable at best, his DE on one side was too small, on the other side too big and he wanted to run more than pass, in a league designed to throw the ball, and was having a hard time doing that. In my eyes he was still a college coach trying to make, what worked in the NCAA, work in the NFL and like others before him was doomed to failure. Even his NFL record was barely above average at best, 33&31 before going 7&9.

By the end of the 2011 season Carrol had posted his third losing season, and first set of such back to back in his career. Had Paul Allen decided to pull the trigger and end the Carroll Experiment then, most fans would have probably understood (I was being swayed, but certainly would have understood). Carroll was now 47&49 for his NFL career and no where close to the the newly surging 49ers under new first year coach Jim Harbaugh. His QB position was still a mess, his new #1 receiver was injured half the time, Big Mike Williams was getting bigger and catching less, the bulk of the pitiful passing game was falling upon an UDFA, and their best pass catching TE was shackled to the OL, blocking the strong side.

Perhaps Paul Allen had more patience or the “Beast Quake” clouded his judgement, maybe he had more faith in the things that were going right. After all Carroll’s running game was now working, both the RB and FB were pro bowlers, his too small DE had back to back 11 sack seasons, his too big DE was shutting down opposing teams running games, his LB/Safety was a pro bowler patrolling the center, Earl Thomas was proving to be one of the best FSs in the league, his too slow, too tall CBs were looking dominate (one a pro bowler the other a budding star). And let’s face it, half the losses were so close that with a break here or there, or a little better QB play, they could have been wins. Plus there were plans to bring in an established QB that had shined in the Green Bay offense.

Whatever Paul’s reasoning was, patience, loyalty, or insight this was the last time firing Carroll should have been possible for any reasonable fan to support. I should mention that, by this time, Carroll had started to win me over. I was becoming a believer in his overall philosophy, a strong running game to setup a potent deep passing game, a strong, fast, run dominate defense, and keep the score close giving his offense (such as it was) a chance to win at all times. Absent his handling of the QB position his overall vision was slowly becoming clear, to me anyway.

The rest is more or less history, bring in Matt Flynn, draft Russell Wilson, preseason battle between the two, start a rookie OB, five straight double digit wins, five more playoff appearances, seven more playoff wins, a SB win and of course three more playoff losses and a SB lose. This is all well and good, but doesn’t answer the original question.

But should the 2017 Pete Carroll be fired?

One would think I’d be done by now, but no. Gather closer or leave, at your own discretion, I’m going on longer than most may want, but like I said much earlier, I’m old and long winded. Let’s see how Pete compares to his compatriots.

Currently, at 12 years, Carroll ranks tied for fifth in years as a head coach among all active coaches.
Four have longer tenures Belichick 23, Andy Reid 19, John Fox 16, and Marvin Lewis 15. He’s tied at 12 with three if you count Wade Phillips, or two, Mike McCarthy and Jack Del Rio if you don’t. Why is this of any importance? Well if the argument is the NFL has caught up and surpassed Carroll, then it stands to reason, the same is true for these coaches as well and the same will be true next year for Mike Tomlin and Sean Payton who are currently at 11.

I personally find this argument a bit perplexing, most good coaches tend to have longer tenures with mostly winning records, or they are, by definition, not very good coaches. In addition, franchises that change coaches and philosophies, before either can be fully instituted, tend to continue to have subpar seasons over and over. Rarely does a coaching change result in perennial winning seasons without growing pains. That’s not to say it doesn’t, or can’t happen, just that firing a winning coach carries a larger risk and finding the perennial winning coach is even harder to do, and of course the Seahawks do have a winning coach.

Carroll ranks seventh in overall winning percentage (.589) with Belichick (.667), Tomlin (.653), McCarthy (.642), Arians (.615), Reid (.602), and Payton (.600) ahead of him. Atlanta's ex-head coach Mike Smith has the same percentage as Pete, so if you’re looking for a replacement perhaps one of these would work. Honestly I think only Smith or maybe Arians could be pried away and does anyone really believe either would be a major upgrade? If not, can any of the others be brought in? If you really believe so, stop now, and start advocating for XXX to leave XXX, you may be a lone voice in the wind, but there’s always the whole “Parcell, Jets, Belichick, Kraft, first round pick” factor to hang your hat on.

Anyway, we’re looking for someone who can move the Seahawks past where Carroll has brought them, so how about playoff appearances. Pete, at 8, ranks fourth behind Belichick (15), Reid (12), and McCarthy (9). Of course that’s what we want to improve on, right, Carroll has been getting to the playoffs but not winning enough. So how about wins? Pete ranks fourth again, with the same guys ahead of him.

So how about playoff winning percentage, after all that’s what we really, really need right? Someone to get to the playoffs and win more than the next guy. Pete’s 8 appearances, 17 wins and .588 winning percentage ranks 27th in the history of the NFL. Let me say that again, every head coach since the league began George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Paul Brown, yeah we’re talking way back, Carroll is 27th. In the entire history of the NFL, only four coaches have been to the playoffs more times and have a higher winning percentage. In reverse order, Tom Coughlin 9 times; 19 wins; .632, Chuck Noll (12; 24; .667), Joe Gibbs (10 ;24; .708) and of course Bill Belichick (15; 36; .722)

Pete Carroll has a higher playoff winning percentage than HOF coaches Bill Parcells, Paul Brown, Don Shula, John Madden, and higher than active coaches Mike McCarthy, Andy Reid, and Mike Tomlin. The facts are the only active coach in the NFL today that has been to more playoff games and has a higher winning percentage is Bill Belichick. The only ones that are even close are John Harbaugh (6; 15; .667) and Sean Payton (5; 10; .600).

More Conference wins? Belichick. Super Bowl wins? Belichick. Of course, with only two Conference wins and a single Super Bowl win a couple head coaches could pass him, a few more could tie him. But for now the only Head Coach better than him? Belichick.

How about another college coach, I could go on at length (I’m sure everyone would love for me to do that) but, suffice it to say for every great innovative college coach, like say Bill Walsh, that jumps to the NFL and succeeds, there’re two more like Chip Kelly or Steve Spurrier that fail, for every Jim Harbaugh there’s a Bobby Petrino or Nick Saban, for each Pete Carroll there’s a John McKay or Rich Brooks. Catching lightning in a bottle from the college ranks is less than a 50/50 shot, doing it twice even harder. Can it be done? Of course, but as someone has already pointed out, “Even a broken watch is right twice a day.”, you just shouldn’t use it to get to your next job interview, especially if your future is riding on that interview.

So, should we call for Carroll’s head? The NFL Fan’s Constitution gives us the unalienable right to do just that, and I quote:
Amendment I
The NFL shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of NFL fans, or of the press, to critique all things NFL; or the right of the fan, or of the press, to call for the firing of any head coach, coordinator, referee, player or NFL commissioner, reasonable or not; or to peaceably assemble and boo, any and all things NFL, not to exclude people, things, or non existing grievances, including Santa Claus.”


So, we certainly have the right to criticise, suggest or even advocate for his firing. We’ve been close enough to see his flaws, mistakes, all his warts, but then who do we hire thats better. Belichick? If Belichick’s New England career is the bar we fans set for our coach, or future coaches, then fine, not particularly rational, but fine.

Let it be known though, Bill has had an all-pro, MVP, late round draft pick QB in his system for 17 of his 18 years. Pete has had a all-pro, possible MVP, late round draft pick QB in his system for 6 of his 8 years. Both have firm philosophies that would not be considered the NFL norm. Both have had their distractors, for various reasons, some even among their own fan bases. Both are very good coaches, both have helped shape the modern NFL, both have been very successful, innovative, and both have other coaches, teams and franchises trying to emulate their success.

So, should the 2017 Pete Carroll be fired?

As I said much, much, much earlier, I’ve seen a lot of bad football. I’ve rooted for teams that have floundered for years. I’ve seen, what I thought were, good coaches fail, but I’ve only seen a handful of coaches flip a teams roster, change a franchise’s fortunes, and succeed like Pete Carroll, and most of those are either dead or long retired.

Should the 2017 Pete Carroll be fired?

As a fan that was, at first, disenchanted with his hiring, and needed to be persuaded Pete is indeed one of the great coaches of his time, I say, lets not rush too quickly to judgment. This fan not only won’t be riding that train anytime soon, I’m hoping Coach Carroll can, wants to and is fully capable of leading this team well into his seventies, warts, mistakes, flaws and all, so for me it’s no, no, and no.

Well, thank you for reaching the end of this, I’m done, and have to go take another nap now...
 

Bigpumpkin

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Thanks for the "epistle", but I think that most here do not want Pete's head......just a renewal of his assistant coaches.
 

MontanaHawk05

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Bigpumpkin":19dg6ext said:
Thanks for the "epistle", but I think that most here do not want Pete's head......just a renewal of his assistant coaches.

Not everyone. For myself, I've traced this tiresome focus on "big plays" and the run game back to Pete. His assistants are only doing what he wants philosophically. He hasn't adapted to the injury-forced loss of a running game and his insistence on play action and the deep ball have played a part in keeping the offense in a rut. If he can't adapt, the offense won't.
 

Sgt. Largent

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FidelisHawk":3vb4bvzc said:
So, should the 2017 Pete Carroll be fired?..


If he's not the same as the 2010 Pete Carroll, yes................and that's what I see.

I see a Pete Carroll that's no longer the same version of himself as he was seven years ago. He looks tired, frustrated, and no longer in control of his team, and that's been slowly happening for 2-3 years now.

Does that mean I want him fired now? No. He's earned enough goodwill from me to give him a chance in the off season to make the necessary coaching, scheme and philosophical changes necessary to right the ship and make another run.

If he does these things? Then I still have faith in Pete. If he doesn't and thinks he can still win with the same coaches and predictable schemes on both sides of the ball? No, he has to go.
 

Bigpumpkin

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Sgt. Largent":2o9zvtqx said:
FidelisHawk":2o9zvtqx said:
So, should the 2017 Pete Carroll be fired?..


If he's not the same as the 2010 Pete Carroll, yes................and that's what I see.

I see a Pete Carroll that's no longer the same version of himself as he was seven years ago. He looks tired, frustrated, and no longer in control of his team, and that's been slowly happening for 2-3 years now.

Does that mean I want him fired now? No. He's earned enough goodwill from me to give him a chance in the off season to make the necessary coaching, scheme and philosophical changes necessary to right the ship and make another run.

If he does these things? Then I still have faith in Pete. If he doesn't and thinks he can still win with the same coaches and predictable schemes on both sides of the ball? No, he has to go.



I think even Paul Allen might admit that he wants to see Pete makes these changes.
 

ZagHawk

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I didn't read your entire post, but I'm not calling for Pete's head. However, Bevell needs to go (and possibly Cable), and the longer he keeps both and the offense keeps looking as bad as it does. It's going to be his job. The way I see it...

Fire Bevell, and it buys Pete a year.

Keep Bevell and next year turns out much of the same problems and miss playoffs (again, I'm assuming Hawks aren't making it this year). Then Pete is probably gone (or definitely the extremely hot seat).
 

SoulfishHawk

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Not saying it's time, but I wouldn't be opposed to it. Clearly he has lost this team. They lack so much discipline. They show zero class when they lose, but pump their chests out when they win. They have in fighting all the time. They are penalty machines. I love Pete and what he has done for this team. But it's clearly time for some major changes.
 

randomation

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Cable needs to go before anyone else Cable should by all rights be gone today. Pete has lost control over the players because they don't see the always compete mantra applying to coaches. Bevell should have been fired the instant he threw a player under the buss for the super bowl play instead of taking responsibility. That was the start of this whole issue. The players feel the coaches aren't being held to the same standards they were or are and rebelled against that.
 

IndyHawk

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FidelisHawk..
That has to be the longest post I have read in here and it was bad ass!
I have to say Pete deserves to stay but cannot say the D,Off,St,DL and OL coaches do.
I might as well add the Strength/training coach also.
It is clear some changes have to be made.
 

HawkerD

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Not a Bevell fan but I think Cable then Richard are the first that need to go. Cable is inept and DC is too big for Richard.
 

Sgt. Largent

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Bigpumpkin":6iu15il1 said:
I think even Paul Allen might admit that he wants to see Pete makes these changes.

Probably, but he's stuck isn't he?

I mean, the ONLY reason Pete came her is because Allen gave him the keys to the kingdom to make 100% of the personnel decisions.

If Allen tries to take even a small amount of that away, I fear it'll end up like Holmgren, badly.
 

Beren

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I really enjoyed this post although I disagree with the rationale behind it. History is fascinsting, but you have to do what is best for the Seahawks going forward and for me that means: I'd be in favour of keeping Carroll if he doesn't bury his head in the sand come the offseason and makes some overdue changes in coaching roles.

Thanks again for the write up.
 
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FidelisHawk

FidelisHawk

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Beren":cseknkc5 said:
I really enjoyed this post although I disagree with the rationale behind it. History is fascinsting, but you have to do what is best for the Seahawks going forward and for me that means: I'd be in favour of keeping Carroll if he doesn't bury his head in the sand come the offseason and makes some overdue changes in coaching roles.

Thanks again for the write up.

You're welcome.

While the past can’t predict the future, a continuing trend does support the odds that it would be sustained, as opposed to it veering radically.
 

getnasty

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SoulfishHawk":3b3m0ex7 said:
Not saying it's time, but I wouldn't be opposed to it. Clearly he has lost this team. They lack so much discipline. They show zero class when they lose, but pump their chests out when they win. They have in fighting all the time. They are penalty machines. I love Pete and what he has done for this team. But it's clearly time for some major changes.

You could say the same thing about both Superbowl teams.
 

oldhawkfan

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Beren":minriw0v said:
I really enjoyed this post although I disagree with the rationale behind it. History is fascinsting, but you have to do what is best for the Seahawks going forward and for me that means: I'd be in favour of keeping Carroll if he doesn't bury his head in the sand come the offseason and makes some overdue changes in coaching roles.

Thanks again for the write up.


Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
Kudos to the OP. Great post!
 

Fade

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Unfortunately it looks like the team has quit on Pete Carroll. (Give it two more weeks to confirm.)

So nothing really matters in terms of what he could/would do, exp, and the past. The players would just walk all over him and do what they want anyway. Just like they do right now, it is an absolute mess.

Hire Josh McDaniels to be the Head Coach instead.

He would bring the Patriots way in terms of no nonsense, and even more importantly scheming for opponents. Paired with JS to find the talent. I think it would make for a nice match.

Double bonus look up his work with QBs. He is in the same class as Shanny, McVay, & Payton.

Sentimentality and living in the past isn't going to get this team back to the Super Bowl in the next 5 yrs. Only a new coach can do that.
 
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FidelisHawk

FidelisHawk

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Fade":2k7e3wrn said:
Unfortunately it looks like the team has quit on Pete Carroll. (Give it two more weeks to confirm.)

So nothing really matters in terms of what he could/would do, exp, and the past. The players would just walk all over him and do what they want anyway. Just like they do right now, it is an absolute mess.

Hire Josh McDaniels to be the Head Coach instead.

He would bring the Patriots way in terms of no nonsense, and even more importantly scheming for opponents. Paired with JS to find the talent. I think it would make for a nice match.

Double bonus look up his work with QBs. He is in the same class as Shanny, McVay, & Payton.

Sentimentality and living in the past isn't going to get this team back to the Super Bowl in the next 5 yrs. Only a new coach can do that.

Josh McDaniels may deserve another HCing job, but all I can think about is he traded UP to draft Tim Tebow and the fiasco that was his almost two years in Denver.

As far as his Bonus work with QB’s I’m not sure being Tom Brady’s QB/OC coach means much, maybe his time with the 1&9 Sam Bradford, or the 8&7 Kyle Orton will impress some, just not me, sorry no thanks.
 

Siouxhawk

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randomation":2znu58iu said:
Cable needs to go before anyone else Cable should by all rights be gone today. Pete has lost control over the players because they don't see the always compete mantra applying to coaches. Bevell should have been fired the instant he threw a player under the buss for the super bowl play instead of taking responsibility. That was the start of this whole issue. The players feel the coaches aren't being held to the same standards they were or are and rebelled against that.
He never threw anyone under the bus and I don't think you really have any right to speak for the players.
 
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