RENTON, WA - MAY 11: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during minicamp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on May 11, 2012 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The letter "C" is for Carroll. And, Convention.
It is widely known, and oftentimes widely criticized, that Pete Carroll and John Schneider do not follow convention. They do not follow the "collective draft-nik shared consciousness of player value" when selecting and grading players. This makes people, who don't follow the regime closely extremely uncomfortable.
In Win Forever, Chapter 19, Carroll quotes Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. A reporter asked Jerry, "How do you feel about being possibly the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time?"
Jerry's response was, "No, man. That's not how we think of ourselves at all. We don't want to be the best ones doing something - we want to be the only ones doing it." Pete Carroll always held onto that thought: the only ones doing it. Pete likes the idea of being the only ones doing something.
The Seahawks may be the only ones in the NFL running this type of 4-3 Defense with 3-4 Personnel. The Seahawks are the only ones dedicated to the LEO defensive end to the extent of drafting a Bruce Irvin at #15. The only ones willing to entertain the possibility of a starting quarterback under 6 feet tall. The Seahawks are likely one of few, if any, teams that drafted two 3-4 college linebackers (K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner) and are willing and hungry to fit them into their 4-3 scheme.
This 2012 NFL Draft just adds to the list of previous unconventional Pete Carroll ideas: Two 6-3+ cornerbacks, a strong safety so big many teams considered him a linebacker, being a running team in a passing NFL, Red Bryant as a defensive end, and on and on. Of course, not all of these unconventional ideas have worked out. Carroll's unconventional ideas toward the passing game have yet to gain traction in Seattle - we will see if they do in 2012.
Pete Carroll has also stressed the idea in Win Forever, and in other venues, that the Seahawks' vision is to do things better than they have ever been done before. To do things better than they have ever been done before, invariably means that things will be done different than the collective NFL herd, and of course, not all of these unconventional ideas will work out. Despite not getting a ton of credit from national media, Pete and John have shown they're not afraid to stand out from the crowd and elicit criticism for bucking convention in the process.