If he's praised for his cheerful and loose yet progressive style of coaching that has led to his team's rapid rise to NFL prominence, then he must be held at least partially accountable for the team's obvious PED problem.
Since he was hired by the Seahawks in 2010, after he fled the University of Southern California before his perpetually successful football program was smacked with vast recruiting-violation sanctions, Seattle players John Moffitt, Allen Barbre, Winston Guy, Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman and, most recently, Bruce Irvin have been hit with PED-related suspensions by the NFL.
Sherman won his appeal in 2012; however, the recurrent PED usage on Carroll's team has become a serious issue.
Serious enough that the veterans assembled for a team meeting on the matter, according to Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor.
In a recent Sirius XM NFL radio spot, Chancellor said the following:
We had our meeting, the vets put a meeting together to talk to the guys about not making the same mistakes over and over. You know, we gotta grow up and move past that. So that's pretty much the message right now—growing up and not making the same mistakes over and over.
Carroll is known as one of the most player-friendly coaches in the NFL, but it's probably a stretch to assume the relatively relaxed atmosphere he's created in Seattle is the main culprit in his team's spike in PED use.
Then again, it can be argued that his somewhat easygoing approach to the way he forges and maintains relationships with his players isn't exactly deterring them from breaching PED regulations.
Ultimately, though, grown men who are paid large amounts of money to play football are the ones making the decisions that result in suspension—although most will plead that their "PED use" was done unknowingly.
But the head coach of a team which has had five players face suspensions for PED-related incidents over a three-year span clearly needs to have more control over his on-field personnel—there's no doubting that.
How much is Pete Carroll to blame for the Seahawks' PED issues?
That just comes with the job title.
If Carroll's players were getting arrested at an alarming rate, he'd be responsible for intensifying the team-authorized consequences that come following run-ins with the law.
The same goes for this ongoing PED trouble.
He shouldn't shoulder the majority of the blame for these mishaps, but he definitely can't give a free pass in regard to the negative developments of his players on his team.
Pete Carroll has done a tremendous job with the Seahawks, and undoubtedly much of what he does as a coach works wonders.
Yet it's evident that he must slightly tweak his coaching style and incorporate some degree of a disciplinary approach to keep his players out of trouble and his roster fully intact.