Seattle Seahawks Coaching History
He is accepting a new challenge after a great stretch at USC replete with two national championships. He had previous NFL stints with the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
What many NFL fans, and Seahawk patrons in particular, are highly curious about will be the offensive scheme under Carroll. At USC he took great athletes and pushed them to the peak of their skills by incorporating the balance of strong passing and running attacks.
Great Record of Achievement
Seattle fans hated to see Mike Holmgren leave to help the Cleveland Browns recapture some of their patented old glory. Green Bay fans hated to see him leave after Holmgren had achieved a Super Bowl title and put the Packers in another one.
What Seattle fans are hoping to see is for the Seahawks to recapture the old Holmgren magic of 2005 when the team made it to the Super Bowl, but due to bad calls that the referee admitted, lost.
Holmgren’s 2005 NFC champions had that blend of great passing behind the arm of current gunslinger Matt Hasselbeck and running from Shaun Alexander.
Holmgren was well schooled as a San Francisco 49ers assistant under mastermind Bill Walsh. Holmgren was one of the architects of the west coast offense around which the Niners built their dynasty.
For those who are either superstitious or like connections, both Mike Holmgren and Pete Carroll originally come from San Francisco.
The first regular season game for Carroll will be against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field.
An Almost Super Bowl Appearance
Chuck Knox was one of the more successful NFL coaches when it came to taking his teams to playoff games. He did it 11 times in 18 seasons. The bad news was that there were no Super Bowl appearances and his playoff record was 7-11.
All the same, Knox had a great career and had his teams essentially in the hunt wherever he went. He had two stints with the Los Angeles Rams, beginning and ending his career with that team. After his first Ram stint Knox went to Buffalo and from there arrived in Seattle for the 1983 season.
Knox took over the Seattle coaching reins from Mike McCormick. He had been named coach after the firing of Jack Patera, a former Oregon University and Baltimore Colt linebacker who assumed control in the Seahawks’ first season as an expansion team in 1976.
While Knox had garnered a reputation for a conservative running style offense in Los Angeles, which was given the name of “Ground Chuck”, he quickly adjusted to the available passing talent in 1983.
Dave Krieg received most of the reps at quarterback, but Jim Zorn also obtained his share, both displaying proficiency. They were aided by having the only primary Seattle player ever to make the Hall of Fame, Steve Largent, as a dangerous receiver. The running game was proficient with Penn State product Curt Warner enjoying a fine season.
Until the 2005 juggernaut, the Seahawks had never stood on the precipice of playing in the Super Bowl. The 1983 team finished second in the AFC West and reached the playoffs as a wild card entry. The hallmarks of the Seahawk season were two wins over the first place Los Angeles Raiders with the first, a 38-36 thriller, being one of the most memorable shootouts in Kingdome history.
By virtue of the team’s inferior overall record to the Raiders, the 9-7 regular season Seahawks were compelled to travel to Los Angeles for the AFC championship game, a 30-14 Raider victory. The Raiders then went on to defeat the defending champion Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl.
Unable to Repeat the Magic
Flores had a highly productive coaching career before joining the Seahawks with the team he formerly quarterbacked, the Oakland Raiders, between 1979 and 1981. He left Oakland, but so did the team, which he continued to coach in Los Angeles from 1982 through 1987.
The Raider mentor won two Super Bowls, distributing them between the two cities. The first was in 1980, a 27-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seahawk faithful was more familiar with the victory achieved in Los Angeles. This was the 1983 squad that decisively defeated Seattle 30-14 to win the right to meet defending champion Washington in Tampa.
That Raider team caught fire during the playoffs. The 30-14 win over Seattle had been decisive enough, but the Redskins sustained an even worse loss in Tampa. Marcus Allen earned Most Valuable Player honors with a 191 yard rushing day, including one of the greatest runs in Super Bowl history, a 74-yard touchdown. Meanwhile the defense was ferocious as Redskin quarterback Joe Theismann was sacked six times.
After having remembered that fateful AFC championship game when a Super Bowl trip had been denied, the Seahawk community was no doubt thinking that the Tom Flores magic could be reenacted at least once in the pacific northwest.
It was not to be. Flores coached Seattle teams finished fifth all three seasons of his tenure. His first season in 1992 resulted in a 2-14 record. There would be improvement in the remaining Flores seasons of 1993 and 1994 as the Seahawks finished with identical 6-10 marks, but the team would finish in fifth both times.
Local Product Coaches 2009 Season
It initially looked like perfect destiny for Jim Mora to coach the Seattle Seahawks. He had come to the city when his father, Jim Mora Sr., who would later gain fame as head coach for the New Orleans Saints, took a post under Chuck Knox during his coaching stint with the Seahawks.
Jim Jr. went to school at the University of Washington, playing defensive back under legendary coach Don James. His activity included two Rose Bowl contests.
The younger Mora went into coaching first as a graduate assistant under his mentor James in 1984. The following year he began coaching in the NFL with the Chargers. From there he coached for a time under his father at New Orleans and on Steve Mariucci's staff in San Francisco.
He became head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and served three seasons between 2004 and 2006, compiling an overall record of 26-22.
When Mike Holmgren decided to end his coaching career at Seattle in 2009, Mora became the coach in waiting. He reportedly brushed aside an opportunity to coach his alma mater of Washington after Tyrone Willingham was fired but allowed to finish the 2008 campaign.
The moment arrived and Mora took over in 2009. Regrettably the ending was anything but happy as the Seahawks registered a 5-11 mark, finishing third over the hapless St. Louis Rams at 1-15.
Seattle lost its last four games and six of its final eight. Mora was terminated. He has now taken a position as a CBS television analyst.