By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
The Seattle Seahawks have had a roller coaster of a few weeks. Twice coming within one catch of winning against the two Los Angeles teams, then beating the Green Bay Packers in Seattle last night on Thursday Night Football.
I’ve always found social media to be an interesting place after a win or a loss. Fans often have extreme reactions, and the last few weeks have been no exception. From shouts of “Trade Wilson now!!” to “Super Bowl Bound!” all rang through Twitter. However, it was the calls for the firing of head coach Pete Carroll that caught my eye the most.
National media have been crowing about Carroll this season. They’ve said that this season has been some of the best coaching Carroll has ever done. If that is true, why are some fans calling for his head? What is it the media sees that fans are missing?
Everyone knows the story. When Carroll came to Seattle, he lead a massive overhaul of the entire Seahawks organization. That fed right into the Legion of Boom era, which included the drafting of quarterback Russell Wilson, the best defense in football, running back Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch, and two Super Bowl appearances. But as always, good things must come to an end…unless you have Pete Carroll as your head coach.
Seahawks are exceeding all expectations. Many had them in line for a top 5 draft pick (myself included), we were wrong.
Helps that going from Tom Cable to Mike Solari as OL coach is the coaching equivalent of going from a Ford Pinto to a Ferrari.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) November 16, 2018
As you can see above, many thought Seattle was doomed this season. Most said that with the huge losses on defense and few offensive weapons, this was supposedly the second rebuilding season in Carroll’s tenure in Seattle. That rebuilding was exaggerated and this is why this could be Carroll’s best.
In the last rebuild, Carroll found amazing talent, once in a lifetime talent, in a bunch of misfits. Cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor, free safety Earl Thomas, Marshawn Lynch, Wilson…the list of players that shouldn’t have worked well together but did is long. Head coaches often never hit that kind of gold mine, and if they do, they will never get it again.
At least as of now, the talent level in Seattle isn’t the same as it was in their Super Bowl years, yet it is amazing what Carroll is doing, once again, with a band of misfits.
Take safety Bradley McDougald for instance. Picked up by Kansas City as an undrafted free agent, then playing in Tampa Bay for 3 seasons, Seattle picked him up in 2017 on a 1-year deal. Stepping in as the starter after Chancellor was put on IR, he has taken over as a leader on the team and on the field.
Another example, running back Rashaad Penny. Penny was drafted 27th overall, and many said he was a reach. Penny had a slow start this season, but Carroll kept insisting Penny was just about to turn the corner. Insisting he was going to show why he was a first-round pick. And halfway through the season, Penny has done just that, having a 100 yard game against the Los Angeles Rams on November 11th.
Oh, and then there is the Australian rugby player turned punter, Michael Dickson. The kid is a rock star, and Pete Carroll knew it.
K Michael Dickson
Stats vs Packers
— SeahawksUnited (@SeahawksUnited_) November 16, 2018
Let’s not forget the changes Carroll has made in coaching, bringing in offensive line whisperer Mike Scolari, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. The difference Scolari has made has been overwhelming, turning the worst o-line in the league into a very good unit.
Carroll has good leaders on this team in Wilson, linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, center Justin Britt, and tackle Duane Brown. However, it is due to Carroll’s leadership, his foresight, and his talent evaluation, that finds and molds these players.
Fans get caught up in emotion, and that is understandable. However, this season has been one of Pete Carroll’s biggest challenges, and not only has he kept the team playing at a high level, he has them within striking distance of the playoffs. No one thought that would happen in 2018.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG