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FOX’s Curt Menefee: Seahawks’ Carroll won’t be Coach of Year, but 2018 was his best season

Pete Carroll's Seahawks finished 10-6 and returned to the playoffs this season. (AP)

The NFL will cap the 2018 season with it’s biggest game of the year on Sunday, but before that, the league will recognize its standout coaches and players during Saturday night’s 8th annual NFL Honors. One of the show’s biggest categories, Coach of the Year, has one notable exception though: Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

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To be fair, Carroll – who has never won the award – would be up against stiff competition. This year’s nominees include Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears), Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints), Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams), Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers), and Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs). And while the Seahawks returned to the postseason with a wild card spot, all of those coaches led teams that finished with 12 or more wins and appeared in the divisional round of the playoffs or further.

FOX NFL Sunday’s Curt Menefee joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk Friday to preview Super Bowl LIII and talk about Carroll’s 2018 season.

Full disclosure: Menefee didn’t say the award should go to Carroll. Instead, he says he looks at someone Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy, who oversaw the Bears’ transformation from worst-to-first in the NFC North. But Menefee does believe that this season, not Seattle’s championship 2013 season, showcased Carroll at his best.

“One of the things we’ve talked about, particularly late in the year, is I think the turnover aspect. People see the players — and I had our stats people look it up during that playoff game, and I believe the number was 19. There were 19 first- or second-year players on that roster for the Seahawks, which means those are guys who hadn’t played in the playoffs before. But the other thing is people didn’t talk about the coaching staff turnover, at least not nationally. There are six new coaches on that staff. For all of that to come together in one season, and obviously it didn’t wrap up in a Super Bowl, but anybody who doesn’t believe they exceeded expectations is crazy.

“To have six new coaches and 19 new players and still win double-digit games and make the playoffs and be down the stretch as good as anybody else? I think it’s a phenomenal job and it really is a salute to the job Pete Carroll has done there, which I think gets taken for granted, and John Schneider and the talent that be brings in as well and all the scouts that are there.

“It really shows the quality of the organization to be able to turn it over on the fly. How many years have the Cleveland Browns been trying to turn it around? Or we see a different organization and they just can’t get out of their own way? This team did it on the fly, and I think that was impressive. And to me, I think this is the best job of coaching that Pete Carroll has done, and I include the year they won the Super Bowl. Because that team had the talent and was expected to go to the Super Bowl at least, if not win it. This team didn’t have those expectations. The talent is not at that level just yet. And the coaching staff turnover? I think he did a phenomenal job this year.”

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