Cliff Avril: Seahawks Started Questioning Pete Carroll After Super Bowl Loss

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2018

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talks to reporters following NFL football practice, Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril said members of the team started "questioning" head coach Pete Carroll after the Super Bowl XLIX loss to the New England Patriots in 2015.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com passed along comments Avril made Thursday on the Dave Dameshek Football Program about the players' mindset after the Hawks opted to throw near the goal line, leading to a Malcolm Butler interception, rather than running the ball with Marshawn Lynch.

"I do think the team would have bought in more to what Coach Carroll was saying instead of going the opposite way of, 'Hey, this is what we thought the foundation of the team was, and that's not what happened in that particular play,'" he said. "So I think guys started questioning him more, more so than actually following his lead if we'd won that Super Bowl."

Carroll didn't shy away from criticism after the ill-fated play call.

"My fault, totally," he told reporters after the heartbreaking 28-24 loss.

Nevertheless, Avril said he believes the Seahawks could have added another Super Bowl title in the following years, but the players never got over the lost opportunity.

"The situation sucked regardless of who took the blame," he said. "It's just the fact that we were so close and we weren't able to get it, so I think a lot of guys got turned off by the message."

A victory over the Pats would have given Seattle back-to-back championships after it crushed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48.

Instead, the Hawks came up just short and failed to advance beyond the divisional round of the playoffs the next two years. They missed the postseason altogether in 2017.

The roster has undergone a transformation during the offseason, with Avril joining Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett as notable departures from the previously vaunted defense.

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