Carroll revisits past with Seattle facing Patriots
RENTON, WASH. (AP)
Updated: Oct 10, 2012
Pete Carroll feels no animosity where maybe some could be justified.
After just three seasons of trying to implement what he believed to be
at the time a successful system with the New England Patriots, he was
dismissed, cast aside in favor of Bill Belichick and ultimately more
success for the franchise.
While it was an embarrassing moment in Carroll's coaching career, his
firing in New England more than a decade ago was the catalyst for the
philosophy and system Carroll brought to USC with so much success and
that helped land him another chance in the NFL in Seattle.
''What I learned from the situation is to be a really successful head
coach you have to have control. Otherwise it's somebody else's job that
you're dealing with. That's why everything that came out of that
experience changed me and I haven't been the same ever since,'' Carroll
said Wednesday. ''It took me 10, 11 months before I got going on the
next job, but from that time, everything that is the philosophy, the
approach, the mentality, everything, the language, everything came out
of that experience. It's classically one of those deals where you get
kicked in the tail and you come out better. I hate to learn the hard
Carroll gets to revisit some of his past when the Seahawks host the
Patriots on Sunday in a matchup between New England's top-ranked
offense and Seattle's No. 1 ranked defense.
This is the first of two games this year where Carroll's past will
catch up with him. Before getting his opportunity as the head coach of
the Patriots, Carroll spent one season as head coach of the New York Jets, who visit Seattle on Nov. 11.
Carroll's time in New York was so brief it didn't have the same effect
his three seasons in New England and his eventual dismissal did in
forming the beliefs and philosophies he carried forward.
''Getting spanked and getting knocked out of there was a great chance
for me to regroup,'' Carroll said.
Carroll's tenure with the Patriots started with great success, winning
the AFC East in 1997 and reaching the second round of the playoffs
before losing to Pittsburgh in the divisional round. New England went
9-7 in 1998 and finished fourth in the divisions but earned a playoff
spot before losing to Jacksonville in the wild-card round.
But the 1999 season is when the bottom fell out for Carroll, and owner
Robert Kraft decided a change was needed. New England started the year
6-2, only to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs. Carroll was shown the
door and realized that whatever job he took next, he wanted full
control of how everything was handled.
He got that when he took over the Trojans and led USC on a nearly
decade-long run of success. It was only when Seattle essentially
guaranteed Carroll the control he had in the college ranks that he made
the move back to the NFL.
And now that means catching up with his past, even if the events of
more than a dozen years ago have very little effect on what takes place
on the field this Sunday.
''At (USC), because of the autonomy I got to do everything, general
manager, coach, the whole thing, you did it all. That's why I never
thought I'd leave there because I never thought I would get another
opportunity like that and I wasn't leaving unless I did,'' Carroll
said. ''I wasn't looking to leave. I just never thought I would have a
chance in the league to do that until this opportunity presented
Notes: Seattle has already ruled out G John Moffitt for this week's
game with a knee injury. ... C Max Unger (hip) did not participate in
practice on Wednesday and will be monitored daily. But Carroll was
optimistic he would be able to play.