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Making sense of the Pete Carroll departure

Owner Jody Allen says Carroll will remain with the team as an advisor, but what does that (and everything else) mean for the future of the Seahawks?

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

A shock, but perhaps not a surprise.

After two Super Bowl appearances, and one of the best records in NFL history, reports are that Pete Carroll will not be the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks any longer.

The Seahawks, still famous for their historic defensive run of the early 2010s, have laid claim to some of the worst defenses of the past four seasons. Questions began to grow as the season went on, if this were to be the final season of Carroll’s tenure.

In the early days following the finale, Carroll indicated he wanted to remain with the team, that he wasn’t tired or anything of the like.

Apparently, ownership had other thoughts.

Pete Carroll is the winningest coach in Seahawks history, with an overall record of 137-89-1 in Seattle. The rosters of 2013 and 2014 were among the greatest teams assembled in his generation.

The verbiage of the reports is worth noting. Carroll has not been outright “fired”, at least not according to these accounts. “Out as head coach,” according to Adam Schefter, gained clarity as an “advisor with the organization.”

This is a fascinating development. One that leaves the team in even more upheaval as they have now moved on from both franchise quarterback and head coach within three years.

Carroll’s strengths have always been a bit unique in the head coaching world. He’s not been praised for X’s and O’s or in-game management, as much as culture builder, potential-finder, and holistic leader.

Pete Carroll’s final press conference and subsequent interview with 710 Seattle Sports has been the subject of great discussion. Personally, it did seem the most disconnected with the real future of the team that Carroll has been while as head coach. The organization has identified that things absolutely need to change, and Carroll had run out of time to change them.

From a football standpoint, this makes sense.

From an emotional standpoint...there is absolutely no guarantee that whoever comes next will be even as good as Pete Carroll. He’s a gum-chewing goofball, throwing passes and running sidelines and I thought he might do it until he’s 80.

I, for one, am surprised that he would agree to this new role with the team, and in retrospect on another reading of Jody Allen’s post, I’m not actually sure what that even means. It’s difficult for those who have attained this level of leadership to find ways to be involved and not be the leader. That will be a delicate balance for all sides to discover in the days ahead.

This also virtually assures that Clint Hurtt will be out in the near future, as a new head coach would be wise to bring at least that position with him.

Speaking of which, the obvious candidates will emerge immediately, with speculation abounding.

Expect to hear Jim Harbaugh’s name a ton, and Mike Vrabel once or twice, but here’s an interesting and familiar face:

There will be much to discuss in Seattle in the days ahead. We will also take the time to properly honor Pete Carroll’s legacy when the time is right.