Is Seahawks’ Pete Carroll showing a different, less patient side?

Sep 21, 2021, 2:58 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll Ken Norton...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. look on in the fourth quarter against the Titans at Lumen Field on Sept. 18. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk on Monday morning, something about Carroll’s answers to some questions about the Seahawks’ 33-30 overtime loss to Tennessee on Sunday stood out to Salk.

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“Pete Carroll did not display his usual level of patience yesterday. Usually Pete’s very comforting, he’s very patient,” Salk said Tuesday, adding that Carroll typically plays the “comforter-in-chief” role after a loss. “I don’t think he displayed his usual level of patience – at least in talking to him yesterday that was the sense I got.”

Salk had a few quotes from his interview with the coach on Monday’s Pete Carroll Show that he played to illustrate why he feels the Seahawks’ longtime mentor is perhaps taking a different approach this season. You can hear the full discussion in the first segment of the podcast here. Below, we’ll go through the quotes and what Salk had to say after listening to them.

What Pete said: “The bench is a great ally for you as a coach when you have to use it to make a point. I thought that the (late hit penalty) for Jordyn (Brooks) was so clearly out of bounds, that was one I needed to make sure that we’re not going to keep going, this needs to stop, and so we made a little statement and he went back in and played good after that.”
Salk’s reaction: “For Pete to come out and say, ‘Yeah, I sat Jordyn Brooks down,’ I think that is pretty striking. … It’s not often that you see him (bench a player), and secondly it’s not often that he wants to talk about it and continue to send that message of ‘No, no, there’s going to be some accountability around here.'”

What Pete said: “It was a spectacular day of playing ball (by Bobby Wagner). He was matching up with Derrick Henry… (trying) to keep him from getting out, which I thought he did a fantastic job. Too many checkdowns late in the game – they kind of controlled the ball, we were trying to stay on their wide receivers and the ball didn’t go outside, it kept going inside. Bobby got a bunch of tackles on those checkdowns.”
Salk’s reaction: “I’m not saying he’s being negative about Bobby, I don’t want to over-read into it, but I think it fits into the narrative of what I’ve heard over the years of, alright, 20 tackles is fine, but where do those tackles come? … How many of those tackles were, as Pete said, they were throwing into a zone and completing the pass before Bobby got there and made the tackle? Now, he’s a sure tackler – none of those 7-yard dump-offs turned into 15-yard gains because he missed the tackle – but was he being targeted there? Did the Titans stumble on something where it’s like, ‘Oh, just throw into Bobby’s zone’?”

What Pete said: “I thought (Russell Wilson) took advantage of the game well until the last sequence (in overtime). We had a play-action pass and I wish we could have controlled the ball and checked the ball down there. Took a shot at Tyler (Lockett), then went up to DK (Metcalf) on second down and then our opportunity escapes us right there and (the Titans) get the ball inside the 40. That sequence was the one, I wish Russ could have helped us there and just made completions for us. We needed to just move the ball there and change the field position at least in overtime because you’re playing (for) a field goal right there.”
Salk’s reaction: “‘I wish Russ could have helped us there.’ Unfortunately we just didn’t get it done. Those strike you as different from what you normally get from Pete Carroll? They strike me as pretty different. I don’t want to overreact to them… but he was holding (Wilson) accountable for what he did in that moment.”

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