Sleepless in Seattle: Why Pete Carroll Still Has Much to Prove in 2010
As far as great coaches go, Pete Carroll is one of the few truly trustworthy men left in all of football.
It isn't very often that I find myself envying the Seattle Seahawks, considering their past dismal regular-season performances. However, I can't help but wonder what Pete Carroll can do for this franchise, after so many glorified and highly successful years at the helm of USC.
Prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, not many people knew how to feel about Pete Carroll. He's experienced the life of an NFL coach many times, and his most recent attempt at schooling a team to victory occurred in 1999, when he took over the New England Patriots for a brief three-year period.
Unfortunately for Pete, this experience was short-lived, as he found himself once again coaching a hopeful college football program to a handful of well-deserved wins and Rose Bowl appearances, in which Pete continued to grow in both experience and knowledge.
Now, we enter another Pete Carroll moment in history. We've all seen how capable and influential this man has been for the USC Trojans, and although his NFL expertise has been questioned at times, there is no doubt that he is entering 2010 knowing right from wrong.
I guess for Pete Carroll, the old saying of "Just get back on the horse", has been well applied throughout his career.
He's been bucked and booed out of the NFL on several occasions, and once again he finds himself reeling at the opportunity to try his hand one more at time at this whole professional football coaching gig.
So all in all, what should we expect from the 32-year football veteran?
Well simply put, we should all expect a hard-working season that sees Pete Carroll rise in NFL fame.
However, before we jump the gun too much and praise Pete Carroll for all that he could be, there are three simple problems that Pete Carroll must address first, in order to achieve his full potential.
3. Provide Seattle Fans With a Little Faith
Aside from on-field issues, there is an overall lack of confidence in the Seattle fan base right now.
Sure Seahawk fans remain optimistic about their future, but for the most part, the loyal fans of Seattle are tired of seeing their team mentioned with the rest of the garden-variety NFL teams.
Much of this could be due to Seattle's rise and fall. From a successful 2005 campaign that saw Seattle reach Super Bowl XL status, to a disappointing array of below .500 seasons, surely has taken the wind right out of the sails of faithful Seahawk fans.
Therefore, it is important for Pete Carroll to enter the NFL with a bang. As insignificant as a Week 1 victory may seem, it would also add some real happiness and hope for the future in Seattle.
Realistically, no one is predicting Seattle to do a whole lot this season. With that said, though, there is no reason for them to stop rebuilding for the future, and continue posting a few more wins each season.
I guess for Pete Carroll, the best possible scenario is for him really to influence his team. If the motivation and passion is back in Seattle, then the fans will respond.
If Pete fails to reignite the fire though, well we may see the same dull and desperate Seahawk roster that we have seen in previous years.
2. Outdo Jim Mora
Let's face it, comparison is everything in the NFL. If we aren't comparing the Packers to the Vikings, then we are comparing Peyton Manning to Tom Brady, or some other form of lower-ranked quarterback.
Since Pete Carroll has taken over in Seattle, the very thought of Jim Mora has disappeared. His woeful ways have been shifted to the back of Seattle's thoughts, and rightfully so, as this franchise builds for the coming years.
However, if Pete Carroll fails to meet Jim Mora's 2009 win/loss record of 5-11, then he may suffer to receive any recognition as the new coach of the Seahawks.
As unfair as it may seem, that's just the way it goes. We saw it when Jim Caldwell took over from Tony Dungy in Indianapolis, and you can bet your house we will see it again in Seattle.
If Pete outdoes Jim Mora in 2009, then things will look extremely positive. However, if Pete fails to exceed or even tie five wins this season, then the hot seat may warm up a little for the coming years.
1. Turn Matt Hasselbeck's Inconsistent Ways Around
This is perhaps one of the biggest concerns in Seattle right now, Matt Hasselbeck.
A former Pro Bowl quarterback turned inaccurate passer, it is vital for the Seahawks that Matt Hasselbeck turns his career around, fast. Unfortunately for Matt, time is ticking.
He isn't the youngest passer in the league, and with a young and upcoming team such as Seattle at his feet, realistically he may only have a few years left as the starter.
In 2009, Matt Hasselbeck's stats were disappointing. 17 touchdowns and 17 interceptions pretty much tells the story of how Matt's season went, and although he does have the ability to turn this around, some serious concern does arise when considering the Seattle Seahawks.
For the most part, Matt's inconsistency and inaccuracy problems aren't entirely his fault. A lack of dominant wide receivers still plagues Seattle heading toward September, and Matt can only do so much with the options he is offered.
However, if Pete doesn't help Matt out considerably, then it may be the last we see of Hasselbeck.
According to NFL.com writer Vic Carruci, Pete Carroll has learned from his mistakes during his time with the New York Jets in 1994.
Pete turns 59 in September, and as another year passes him by, another slice of experience is added to his resume.
If any man can get the job done, it is Pete Carroll. Statistically, the odds are stacked against him, and with the problems facing the Seahawks right now, it is doubtful that the Seahawks will have an overnight turnaround.
But following a successful draft campaign and some serious offseason elbow grease, the Seahawks may be back to their old ways sooner than predicted.
So will Pete fail or rise to the top? If history is anything to go off of, Pete may very well fail. But this time, something is different, as Pete Carroll knows what it takes to win, and seems to be calm and collective heading toward September.
For his sake, let's all hope Pete does well. He is perhaps one step behind great coaches such as Mack Brown, Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, and Tony Dungy; however, he has plenty of time to make up for it.
Coaching the Seahawks is no easy job, so give Pete credit for taking it on. Now it's time for words and offseason play to result in positive action on the field.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL writer for Real Sports Net , and Green Bay Packer writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .
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