By Brady Henderson
Seahawks general manager John Schneider didn’t need more than a second to respond when asked what’s been most surprising to him about coach Pete Carroll.
“Low ego,” Schneider said. “That’s easy.”
General manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll have the Seahawks in the Super Bowl four years into their tenure with the team. (AP)
When listing the reasons why Seattle has reached the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history, the relationship between the general manager and head coach should be at or near the very top.
The two had never worked together when they arrived in Seattle four years ago, and as Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Friday, reality turned out to be much different that perception with Carroll.
“When people have certain perceptions of coaches and if you’re on the outside looking in you may have a perception of certain individuals, and I think the thing that stands out about Pete is it’s just all about the team and it’s just all about competing and getting better every single day, and it doesn’t matter how it happens as long as you’re doing it,” Schneider said.
“And just his energy, and it’s not about him, and what you see on the sidelines – that enthusiasm, that positive nurturing – that’s him, and it’s real. He’s the same guy all the time. That’s what stands out.”
Little has been conventional about the way Schneider and Carroll have built the Seahawks into a Super Bowl contender. The same could be said for the way they were hired and the power structure in Seattle’s front office. Carroll was in place before Schneider and has final say on the roster, a departure from the norm in each case.
That arrangement has worked out well despite the inevitable disagreements that arise when it comes to personnel matters. Their predecessors, Mike Holmgren and Tim Ruskell, once carried two kickers because they couldn’t agree on one. While that relationship became dysfunctional, there’s been to suggest that the Schneider-Carroll partnership has been anything but harmonious.
“It’s a blessing to be able to work with a guy like that,” Schneider said of Carroll, “because as a personnel guy and trying to manage all these different people and different departments and everything, all he cares about is getting better, are we getting better, and are we able to work together and communicate together.
“Because you’re going to have differences along the way, and so there’s give and take. He’s not pounding his fist on the table like, ‘I have to have this player.’ That doesn’t exist with him. If we feel like we’ve made a poor decision, it’s like, how do we fix it and let’s fix it right away. And he has no problem with that.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.