Pete Carroll called legendary Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent out of the blue last December, in hopes of gleaning some insight on pass rush from the man that sits at No. 8 all time in sacks with 137.5.
Dent was a member of the legendary 1985 Bears defense - probably the best all-time - and it's a unit that many had compared the 2013 Seahawks to late last year. With that in mind, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if Carroll had been watching tape on that team and decided that he'd look Dent up. He called Dent on a Sunday morning as he working an NFL Network segment at 9 AM EST, which would have been 6 AM at the VMAC. The Seahawks had a game that day against the Arizona Cardinals, but Carroll took the time to call Dent shortly after his live segment ended. The two talked for an hour and a half.
"That really tickled me to death," Dent told CSNChicago. "It was an honor. We were talking about alignments, different things, situations, and at the end he said, ‘I think we should see about getting something done.'"
"The fact that I was only on the network right then, and you don't know who's watching, and that's real early in the morning for Seattle," said Dent. "So hey, he had to be up at 5, 6 in the morning to be seeing this. And I'm thinking, ‘This is a guy who really loves what he does.' He's got one more game, he's doing great, and he's still trying to get better. That says a lot about the guy, and a guy like that is someone you want to work for, you want to be a corner with."
So, evidently, there's mutual interest in some sort of consulting position.
"I didn't want to do anything at that time, because he had one more game left (after that week)," Dent said. "But here was a man still trying to get better, and he only had one more game. That says a lot about an individual. It says a lot about what he thought of what I was saying, and it says a lot about the kind of man he is, ‘I've only got one more game left and I still want to get my players better.'"
"I was so impressed that he would call. Great conversation, great ideas, and then I watch the Super Bowl and his defensive linemen were all pushing the offensive linemen back into Peyton Manning's face."
"As a player, you really appreciate someone who looks for anything that can help you," Dent said. "If you think you're the smartest guy in the room, then that's where you fail. You can't get everything you need from one place or one person. You can suck up as much as you can but if it's not in your house, you have to go seek it. Because your clock is ticking."
Apart from what's an interesting thought in Richard Dent serving as a consultant for the team, the anecdote says a lot about Pete Carroll's approach to his program. You'll hear both John Schneider and Pete Carroll talk about "a constant quest for knowledge" and this is something they take seriously. It's part of the Always Compete philosophy.
In addition to consulting with fellow coaches and GMs, they try to expose their players to the 'greats' from all aspects of life by bringing them in for visits, whether it's from football (Jerry Rice, for example), other sports (MMA's "Mighty Mouse" Demetrius Johnson just today, the NBA's Eric Spoelstra last year, Golf Hall of Famer Fred Couples and Tom Kite, NBA legend Bill Russell, motocross elite James Stewart), psychology (Dr. Michael Gervais), comedy (Will Ferrell, Rob Riggle, Joel McHale, Rainn Wilson), or even music (Kenny Chesney, Drake, Macklemore, Snoop Dogg, Sir Mix-a-Lot). I think this is more than just for fun - there's a purpose behind it - maybe it's to humanize "champions" of sports and industry (and celebrities) and make it easier to believe the whole "why not us?" mantra. As Joseph Muldoon pointed out on twitter, do not be surprised if the litany of special guests to Seahawks headquarters this year includes people that have repeated as champions in their respective areas.
In this case, though, Dent obviously has some practical expertise so it will be interesting to see if something gets worked out. He noted, "It's been hard to find times that work for both of us but I would like very much to work with Pete and what they're doing."