Pete Carroll Bores Me

Site hits have been up lately. Perhaps people are anticipating another angry tirade. I could record myself swearing like a child again. That would be welcome. The market for opinion is robust and if one can keep their output up, it minimizes standards for process, accuracy and intelligence.

Here's the thing: I don't know how successful Pete Carroll will be and I don't know how to know. It's hard enough to evaluate an established NFL coach. This time last year, I didn't know what kind of coach Jim Mora would make. He had supporters and detractors and facts to support either. A few people thought the Seahawks would succeed in Mora's first year before declining over the next two seasons, because Mora's Atlanta Falcons succeeded in his first year and declined over the next two seasons. Surprisingly, Mora was not in total control over the innumerable variables that produced that performance in Atlanta.

Seattle would not win a Super Bowl if it hired Bill Cowher. It wouldn't draft a great quarterback if it hired Mike Shanahan. It didn't reach the NFC Championship under Mora. It won't become a dynasty because of Pete Carroll.

Mora didn't fail because his team failed. He was fired because his team failed, but he didn't injure Matt Hasselbeck, end Walter Jones career, put Lofa Tatupu on IR, turn Marcus Trufant into a penalty machine or cut off Patrick Kerney's arms. Mora didn't make the 2009 Seattle Seahawks bad. He made them worse.

He needlessly lost talent. He eventually lost his team. I could look at each of Mora's coaching decisions in context and evaluate how and why they succeeded or failed. It wasn't until about a month before his firing that I became confident he wasn't a good head coach.

Mora had to define himself and so will Carroll. What he accomplished at USC will not translate to the pros. One needs only to consider Nick Saban to see that the ability to run a successful college program and the ability to run a successful pro team are not the same.

Saban finished 15-17 as an NFL head coach. He inherited a loser, stumbled onto the right side of .500 in his first season, ran out virtually the exact same quality of team his second season, but suffered various kinds of bad luck, finished 2006 6-10 and left the Dolphins to return to college. Saban bookended his short and unsuccessful time in Miami with a national championship at LSU in 2003 and a national championship at Alabama in 2009-10.

Saban is the first coach since 1936 to win a national championship at two different programs. That feat puts him in the discussion for greatest college coach of our era. He isn't a brilliant mastermind, but certainly knows something about winning at the amateur level. Whatever that is, it didn't follow him to Florida, and whatever caused him to fail in Miami didn't follow him to Alabama.

Carroll can not import winning. Whatever allowed him to win at USC won't translate to Seattle. That doesn't mean he'll fail. That doesn't mean he'll succeed. Pete Carroll's collegiate career doesn't tell us anything about how he'll fare as an NFL coach. Neither do the careers of Saban, Spurrier, Kiffin or Petrino.

Pretty bland.

I guess we'll just have to wait and watch what Carroll does and evaluate his decisions rather than his reputation, hype, type, tresses and tan.

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