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Why Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks May Surprise Us All in the Long Run

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 12:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks (R) is congratulated by Seahawks' Chief Executive Officer  Tod Leiweke after the NFL season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field on September 12, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 31-6. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
James WilliamsonSenior Writer ISeptember 13, 2010

When you look at Pete Carroll's career as a football coach, you originally feel like he is a genius at the college level; yet, when he gets into the NFL's arena and sits on the head coach's throne, he's not nearly as effective.

Pete Carroll is, in a lot of ways, the ideal college coach—a happy-go-lucky man with a kind smile and a rah-rah-rah attitude.

Passionate, emotional, the guy you feel you can go to in some aspects. That's exactly what college football is about. It isn't about money, it is about having fun and joining together a group of young men to make a brotherhood.

Well, in the NFL, it doesn't work now because the athletes have free agency, there is a roster limit, so the competitiveness amongst each other  to make the team can make it difficult to forge friendships.

Every year, teams lose 10 to 20 players on their team and replace them with new ones, so friendships may not last long because players move around all the time.

Also, the coach does not talk to the parents of a running back or wide receiver in the NFL to see if he'll play for his team. Pete Carroll knows how to talk to college parents and get them to convince their son that this man will take care of you in college.

All those talents that Carroll has at team unification are crippled severely, so I originally thought that Pete Carroll would struggle with the Seahawks this year.

Yet, I'm going to admit now that I may have leapt off the building before I checked how high up I was.

I am just amazed at how, despite having the most changes out of all 32 teams that I can recall, Pete Carroll had the Seahawks ready for opening day and they crushed the 49ers with a score of 31-6.

Carroll, a defensive coach, and his defense held the 49ers to six points? That's incredible. Not only that, they had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, the 49ers had only 49 yards rushing (ironic huh?), and had two sacks.

Everyone I've talked to as a writer was convinced that the 49ers would run away with the division. Now, granted, it is the first game of the season, but it is definitely a mental boost to beat a division rival like that. It wasn't a 21-20 game. They dominated the 49ers after the first quarter.

The Seahawks looked a little sluggish on offense though. Granted, they had three touchdowns, Matt Hasselbeck only had 170 yards passing, and the team had a combined 77 yards rushing.

However, a win is a win, and it has me wondering...

Has Pete Carroll figured out how to coach in the NFL now? He had been slightly productive as the coach of the Patriots from 1997 to 1999 and went 6-10 in his one year with the Jets in 1994.

Then, he goes to USC, and wins two National Championships, molds dozens of players for the NFL, and despite USC's controversy, you have to admit that he was a great coach.

Now, he is back in the NFL, and I really think he will succeed this time around. He's got a great homefield advantage with a hardcore group of loyal fans.

He's gotten great draft picks and new players to work with for the future. He has Charlie Whitehurst ready to roll should he decide to bench Matt Hasselbeck or should Hasselbeck retire.

The Seahawks are a very good organization, and I think they can turn it around. I just didn't know it would like it would be in one year.

But, this last Sunday, we may have seen something that foreshadows a great season. Who knows what will happen next.

In the meantime, congratulations Coach Carroll. You have your first win in Seattle, and here's to more of them.

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