The 1994 New York Jets went 6-10 and finished last in the AFC East. That was strike one.
The 1997 Patriots were the defending AFC Champions, but they failed to make it past the second round. They regressed each of the following two seasons before finally missing the playoffs in 1999. That was strike two.
After getting in a deep 0-2 hole, Pete Carroll bolted for the college game in USC, where admittedly he hit a few home runs (although the validity of those homers carry about as much weight as a 2001 dinger hit into McCovey Cove).
Now, he’s back in the NFL and is looking to crawl out of his 0-2 hole and get a hit where it counts.
When I heard that Pete Carroll was leaving USC to become head coach of the Seattle Seahawks back in the early spring, I thought that it must be due to one of two possibilities—Either the NCAA had finished their investigation into USC’s violations and were ready to come down hard on the school, or Carroll actually thought that the third time would be a charm and he would have success in the pacific northwest. After the first suspicion proved to be true, I’m left wondering if the second is as well.
Can Pete Carroll succeed in the NFL on the Pacific after failing twice on the Atlantic?
He’s clearly a charismatic guy, and he can charm the socks off of a couple of eighteen year old’s parents (even if that charm comes with a free house), but how will that translate to an NFL franchise? I think he knows his X’s and Os, and he’s not stupid, but I highly question his game management.
Having lived in Massachusetts my whole life, I saw every game that he coached with the Patriots in the late 90s. He never made adjustments. He never has his players in the best position to make a play. Even when he was winning National Championships at USC, he showed the same management problems.
In the 2006 Rose Bowl, he had no answer for Vince Young. Everyone knew what he was going to do on every play in the final series, but he couldn’t stop it. When I watched the game, I was reminded of the 1999 Patriots defense, being shredded by quarterbacks in the fourth quarter, powerless to stop it. Something like that doesn’t go away.
That’s why I see the Seattle Seahawks finishing LAST in the NFC West. They have minimal talent to begin with, and with Carroll’s game management skills, they do not have what it takes to contend. Their best players are old, with little in the way of depth at key positions, and I believe Matt Hasselbeck is one hit away from never getting up again.
How much faith can you have in a team like that? As of now, I see them settling on crap at the position for another two years, and taking Matt Barkley with the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Prediction: 3-13, fourth place in the NFC WEST.