“John was shocked, because most coaches don’t think that way,” Carroll said. “Most coaches think you get the old experienced guys and sprinkle in the young guys.”
More than half the Seahawks players – 29 of 53 – are 25 or younger. The team’s star, running back Marshawn Lynch, is 26. The most experienced guy is 10-year veteran Marcus Trufant. The 31-year-old cornerback was first coached in Seattle by Mike Holmgren, who took the team to their only Super Bowl appearance, in 2005.
“Holmgren was kind of a throwback coach, a hard-nosed coach, you got to get it done this way. He was a great coach, he was well-respected,” Trufant said in the Seahawks’ spacious dressing room. “Pete is a fun-loving coach. He approaches the game mentally. He gets you thinking in that way, that positive way, doing everything positive, and just getting better.
“It’s all about competition, that’s every day, that’s at meetings, that’s off the field, that’s at practice, that’s all the time.”
‘Our own path’
Outside football, Carroll, in 2003, started an organization called A Better LA, dedicated to reducing youth gang violence in inner-city Los Angeles. There is now A Better Seattle. And next March, Carroll is helping to bring Canadian activists Craig and Marc Kielburger’s youth-empowerment We Day to Seattle, its U.S. debut.
Pete Carroll is not Vince Lombardi. Pete Carroll, in nine years in college football, established himself as a legend. In the NFL, he could be poised to attain the same status.
In a story three years ago, Carroll’s son – Brennan Carroll, who coaches at the University of Miami – called himself and his father “weird.”
As Competition Wednesday shifts to post-practice meetings, Carroll chuckles at the description.
“If Brennan said that, that’s okay with me,” Carroll said, his coach’s whistle around his neck. “We’re not run-of-the-mill, you know. We’re a little bit on our own path. So I can see why people sometimes don’t understand.”