Pete Carroll gave an outgoing Super Bowl press conference on Monday and someone asked him about the similarities between Seattle's Championship Game domination to those Carroll had while at USC during their dynastic run. The most striking similary would be to the Trojans 55-19 Orange Bowl drubbing of the #2 Oklahoma Sooners in 2005. The question specifically pertained to Carroll's young teams (he regularly played freshmen at USC) having so much success on the big stage, and what he said was pretty interesting.
It puts a wider scope on what just happened, and it gives you some perspective into the culture that Carroll fostered and developed first at USC and now at VMAC:
"That's a big answer to me, because we developed a mentality from the first day we start talking about these kinds of moments, because this is exactly what we envisioned from day one. We were going to be right here and win this football game - and it just happened to be in New York which makes it even more special - in the fashion that we were able.
We deserved it and we earned it because this is exactly what we've been preparing for, and we expected it. That may sound cocky. That may sound arrogant. But it's a mentality you can't get in one week.
Y'all were right. How can a young team handle this if we just started talking about this two weeks ago? You're right. We wouldn't have had any foundation, but this team has a foundation. They have the understanding, and they came in here knowing that this could likely happen, knowing that it could be a game just like it was, and with that kind of result and that kind of outcome, there's not one of those guys that's surprised by it. We knew what it takes to get there. They've understood that.
That's a long process, to bring guys into that mentality. It comes from a very strict, disciplined approach. That's how they've learned it.
This game was very similar to the Oklahoma game. This game was very similar to the multiple Rose Bowl championship games. It was just like those games. It felt like it. It looked like it. The score was like it. The offense, the defense, the special teams.
So, something's going on. I really can't tell you exactly what it is but something's going on because I sat back there at the end of the first quarter and said, ‘Shoot, here it goes.' The score. Bang, bang, bang, bang and it's 22-0 at halftime. There's a lot to it and we're very proud of it and I'm thrilled that we've seen it in one area and we've been able to bring it to the NFL and recreate it.
For the fans that have watched us over the years in Southern California, I would think they took great pride in what happened last night because they understand what they've just watched. There's something about that. There's something pretty powerful about that understanding. Hopefully we'll start stepping into the next one. We've done this before. We'll see how we do."
It mirrors pretty closely things that Carroll said after that game in early 2005. This is specific language, a specific doctrine, a specific mindset that Carroll has espoused over the years.
Now, schematically speaking, it's also pretty interesting to watch the highlights above, because you can see Carroll's tenets in play: Hard hitting, physical defense. A strong run game, explosive passing game, bootleg heavy offense, and turnover creating special teams. Pretty cool.
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