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In summing up the preseason earlier in the week, I noted Pete Carroll is a believer in creating leadership through the coaching staff, which trickles down to the players. It's not up to the players to create leadership and Carroll is not one to use the saying, "There wasn't enough leadership in the locker room" as an excuse for his team.
Eric Williams of The News Tribune sat down with Carroll for an in-depth interview that was released on Labor Day. It was a great read. Among other things, Williams got Carroll to clarify how he feels about the lockerrooms' reception of his message and what the plan was going forward in terms of creating leadership:
Q: But do you feel that (you're still selling the message)?
Carroll: "I feel like the message is much clearer for the players—and we still have new guys and new coaches, and you’re always teaching—but I feel like the message is much clearer. And it’s always, when you’re talking about what you could be and then now you are, it makes everything stronger. I have refused to waver. I’m going to stick with it, and stay with what we believe in. And bring these guys to believe in it as well hopefully. And give us a mindset that helps us perform at a high level."
Q: You lost three core leaders from last year’s team in Matt Hasselbeck, Lofa Tatupu and Lawyer Milloy. The coach is always going to be the person steering the ship. But I imagine you want your lieutenants out there getting out the message as well. So how much more do you take on that role with those guys gone?
Carroll: "Here’s the deal. If you don’t have anybody who can carry the message for you, then the coach has to do it. And the assistant coaches have to do it. And I’ve always said that. I don’t want to be a coach that says, “Well, we would have had a really good year if we had better leadership.” I don’t buy into that. That’s not OK because we can lead for them."
His philosophy relies upon having a clear message that he can relay to the players; a basic vision that can be understood and easily adopted. The Seahawks had 10 players older than 30 in 2010 and now have only three. It's up to the staff to lead an efficient, energetic first week of practice with a clear message and game plan. They need to get it right on the road, and preferably right away
The staff believes if the team understands the message, the rest of the process will fall into place. Carroll wants high expectations—some would say unrealistic—to be a part of the program and for the players to believe in Carroll's goal of "owning the division," the staff must bring their "A" game. Then this young team will have a chance to perform up to those "unrealistic" standards and hit the ground running to start the season.