I’m hard-pressed to believe that Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll aren’t the two best coaches in the NFL. Belichick is pretty much undisputed but who else could top Carroll? Mike Tomlin? Mike McCarthy? John Harbaugh? Certainly not Andy Reid, Jason Garrett, or Sean Payton. Carroll has been to two Super Bowls, won one, and has one of the best records in college football history. So it’s easy to imagine that Belichick and Carroll look for similar types of players.
That’s what makes Belichick’s answer at the Ohio State coaching clinic interesting as to what he looks for in a player so interesting to me.
“For me, tough, smart, dependable,” Belichick said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “That’s where I would start. Tough -- mentally and physically. Smart -- good decisions, good football understanding, high football IQ. Dependable -- [in] critical situations, you can count on those players to perform under pressure. You can count on those players to execute what you want to execute as a team. The tougher the game, the more critical the game, the more important the situation, the more I want the tough, smart, dependable player in the game, in the eye of the storm, making a decision that needs to be made for us to win.”
“Tough, smart, dependable,” are probably the three words you’d start with to describe Russell Wilson. Just look at Wilson playing through three serious injuries last season. The same could be said for Richard Sherman, who played through a sprained MCL. We’ve seen it in the past with Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas for the playoffs. The same could be said for Doug Baldwin, who has missed just two games in his career.
There’s also the mention in that Pats Pulpit article that “availability is more important than ability” to Belichick. Think about that for the Seahawks in the draft this year, as well as looking for players who are tough, smart, and dependable. That’s probably where you’ll find Seattle’s targets as well.
Update: It is absolutely what you’ll find.
In 2016, this is what John Schneider said on 710:
“That’s our goal from a pure football acquisition—that’s what I talk with our people about all the time—we talk about being tough, smart and reliable all the time,” Schneider said. “Who are the players who are going to play hard, who are going to come bring it, are going to be able to survive in the locker room with real strong personalities and compete with those guys, and stand next to them side by side in the trenches? That’s definitely what we’re looking for.”
Tough, smart, and dependable meets tough, smart, and reliable. Hat tip to our old friend Danny Kelly for sending this article over.