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Prisco defends ranking of Pete Carroll on coaches list


CBS Sports NFL columnist Pete Prisco isn’t as quick as his peers to give credit to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll (left) and quarterback Russell Wilson. (AP)

By Brent Stecker

CBS Sports NFL columnist Pete Prisco is not one to put the cart before the horse, and he’s drawn the ire of the Seahawks’ fan base because of it.

Prisco put Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at No. 15 on his rankings of all 30 NFL’s coaches last week, and he added fuel to the fire with some divisive comments on “Brock and Danny” Friday regarding Seahawks sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson and his fellow members of the NFL’s Big 4 of young quarterbacks, which also includes Robert Griffin III of the Redskins, Andrew Luck of the Colts, and Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers.

Regarding Carroll, Prisco said his career NFL coaching record of 58-54 (.518) doesn’t warrant a higher ranking.

“Do I think he’s a good coach? Yes. Has he proved it in the NFL so far? No,” said Prisco. “And people say, ‘Well, he went 11-5 last year.’ He’s had two double-digit victories as a coach in his (NFL) career. When I put the list together, I put him where I thought he should be placed.”

Prisco admitted that Carroll’s recent history is promising, and he’ll jump up the list in the future should the Seahawks keep performing.

“If they (the Seahawks) do what they did a year ago, then obviously he goes higher on this list,” said Prisco. “I do like the way he coaches. He coaches with a swagger, he lets his players play loose — sometimes he lets them play a little too loose, at least I thought they did at times last year on defense.”

ESPN analyst John Clayton came to the defense of Carroll after Prisco’s rankings were released, as did the Seahawks fan base, as Prisco acknowledged.

“I’ve already heard from every Seattle fan in America, and John Clayton tried to shoot down my argument of where Pete Carroll is placed on that list,” he said.

As for Wilson and the rest of the league’s top young quarterbacks, Prisco thinks the buzz around them is too much, too soon.

“Everybody’s rushing to anoint (the young quarterbacks) as the next great thing in this league. We’re all sitting here on the verge of camp opening up, and everybody’s saying, ‘Oh, they’re stars already.’ Show me again. All of them need to show me again. Do we think they can? Absolutely we think they can, but we don’t know.”

Prisco singled out Wilson and Kaepernick for a declaration that won’t go over well in both Seattle and San Francisco, though he did say Wilson has the upper hand in their burgeoning rivalry.

“Both of them (Wilson and Kaepernick) are not going to be as good as they were a year ago,” he said. “I tend to believe Wilson will be the better of the two, because I think he’s a passer and you have to be able to throw the football in this league.”

The hype surrounding the Seahawks and 49ers doesn’t settle well with Prisco, either.

“You talk to everybody in the league, media included, and you might as well as put Seattle or San Francisco in the Super Bowl, and why bother playing the season?”