Pete Carroll came to the Seahawks in 2010 with a plan to do things differently and to have a major impact on the NFL. Five years later, his team has won a Super Bowl, gone to another, and produced some of the most unlikely superstars. But it wasn't always just about what he would do in Seattle, but what "his guys" could do for other teams around the league.
Carroll always encouraged his coaches to get bigger gigs when available, and always preached that the roster was so talented that they'd have to let go of guys that could become stars anywhere. That impact has never been more apparent than right now.
I called Elijah Wood and asked him about deep impacts
I searched around Pro-Football-Reference and ProFootballFocus for former Carroll players that are now having significant impacts on their teams this season, as well as former coaches, and was surprised to see that the number of guys who are more than just role players is even higher than I thought. This is not a complete list of every player in the NFL who used to play in Seattle, just the guys who I see as having major roles on their respective teams. If I missed anyone, go ahead and throw it in the comments and we'll get it updated.
Carroll has produced a lot of players on the Seahawks who have made the Pro Bowl, but this year you could see a couple of guys that couldn't make the final 53 in Seattle on their way to Hawaii.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Colts
Don't call it a comeback ...
Hasselbeck started for Indianapolis in Week 4 and he did something that Andrew Luck wasn't able to do this season: Win a game by more than two points. He also didn't throw an interception, something that Luck hasn't done in any of his previous five starts. Hasselbeck is just the 10th QB in history to throw for more than 200 yards and have a passer rating over 85 in a game past the age of 40.
It may seem like he's just at the point now where he can only make a spot start and be a mentor, but would Hasselbeck actually be able to lead the Houston Texans to the playoffs, were he given the opportunity? He still seems better than a few young QBs around the league, including what the Texans are trying to put out there.
Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens
He rushed for 1,287 yards in his Seattle career, but had 1,266 yards for Baltimore just last season alone. Forsett is at it again: He rushed for 150 yards against the Steelers last Thursday.
Golden Tate, WR, Lions
The Seahawks have been searching for a player to fill Tate's shoes, but that's just not an easy task to complete. However, they're probably better off not paying him like the Lions are. Tate had 1,330 yards last season but only scored four touchdowns. He's currently on pace for just 760 yards this season.
Bryan Walters, WR, Jaguars
Don't give up on Bothell's native son: Walters has a career high six catches for 76 yards with Jacksonville this year. He's also returned three punts for 17 yards, so some things never change.
Breno Giacomini, T, Jets
Breno has three penalties in four games this season.
Tyler Polumbus, T, Broncos
Polumbus was just picked up by Denver after being let go by Washington.
James Carpenter, G, Jets
Looking forward to seeing Russell Okung and JR Sweezy on the Jets next year.
Max Unger, C, Saints
Chris Clemons, DE, Jaguars
Jaye Howard, DE, Chiefs
You ready for this? Howard is one of PFF's favorite defensive tackles in the league.
He's got a sack and four QB hurries but he also has 17 stops, tied for the most among DTs this season. He's not Aaron Donald, but it appears that Howard will have a long career in the NFL as a run-stopping force in the middle. Let's not forget that the Seahawks former fourth round pick could still be on his rookie contract with Seattle right now but was let go after one injury-plagued season.
Jason Jones, DE, Lions
O'Brien Schofield, DE, Falcons
Cliff Avril is tied for the second-most QB hits by a 4-3 defensive end right now with Schofield. Dan Quinn brought him into Atlanta's fold and while he's far from a "star" Schofield is a nice piece to the defense for a 4-0 team.
Clinton McDonald, DT, Bucs
Tony McDaniel, DT, Bucs
Brandon Mebane should pack his bags with warm-weather clothes.
David Hawthorne, LB, Saints
Malcolm Smith, LB, Raiders
It seemed as though every Seattle fan was preparing for Smith's departure almost immediately after he started making plays for the Seahawks in 2013 in the wake of injuries to Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright. Smith had 54 tackles and two interceptions that season (and won a little-known prize called "Super Bowl MVP") but few Seahawks fans thought that production was sustainable. He played a decent role as a backup in 2014 but nobody seemed to really care if he left via free agency and Smith signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Raiders.
He is currently Oakland's leading tackler (37 in four games) plus he also has a sack and a forced fumble. It appears as though his only issue might be in coverage, because PFF notes that QBs are throwing at Smith a lot due to the fact that good things seem to happen when you do that: They are 19-of-22 for 203 yards when throwing to players being covered by Smith.
Perrish Cox, CB, Titans
Byron Maxwell, CB, Eagles
His troubles on the field have been well-documented this season. The $63 million man has been targeted a lot more than most number one corners and that's because QBs have had great success in doing so. Things have kind of slowed down but also not really: They are 6-of-6 for 75 yards when throwing at Maxwell over the last two weeks. Which is still better than the first two weeks.
It's too early to call Maxwell a bust, but he was probably never suited to be a number one corner. He's experiencing many of the problems that Cary Williams was faced with in Philly, and now their roles have been reversed. However, given the opportunity, wouldn't Williams prefer the money too? I would.
Walter Thurmond, S, Eagles
All this talk about Maxwell and we're overlooking the fact that Thurmond is the starting safety in Philadelphia. And he's apparently quite good at it. Why does PFF grade him as the second-best safety in football this year?
Thurmond has 13 tackles, six stops, and an interception. So much attention on Maxwell has perhaps given him a window of opportunity that he's taking full advantage of.
Ron Parker, S, Chiefs
Parker was Thurmond before Thurmond. Playing next to Eric Berry this season, Parker has been targeted at 13 times, allowing 11 catches for 151 yards. It hasn't been a good start this year to the Parker party, but it's early.
Jeron Johnson, S, Redskins
Chris Maragos, ST, Eagles
Ken Norton, defensive coordinator, Raiders
It's going to take at least a couple years to turn around Oakland's defense (I mean, it's been over a couple of decades of ineptitude) but there is talent there.
Gus Bradley, head coach, Jaguars
I feel so scared for Bradley every week, and I sincerely hope that he manages to find six wins this season and keep his job.
Dan Quinn, head coach, Falcons
Quinn is in no such danger after a 4-0 start with no loss in sight. The Falcons play the Redskins this week, followed by the Saints, Titans, Bucs, and 49ers. Then they get a bye week before playing the Colts, Vikings, and Bucs again. A 13-3 record on the back of an easy schedule seems like quintessential Atlanta ... except now it's Quinn-tessential? Look, you know I can't pass up a good pun.