Huard: Seahawks, Pete Carroll found answers ownership needed to see

Jan 10, 2022, 3:33 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll Sidney Jones...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talks with cornerback Sidney Jones before Sunday's game at Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The 2021 Seahawks’ 7-10 season wasn’t just disappointing. At times, it was also puzzling.

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How so? Well, as the Seahawks suffered six losses over a seven-game stretch from Week 5 to Week 12, they were having trouble coming up with answers for what was going wrong. It even got to the point that head coach Pete Carroll, known for playing it cool and keeping things positive in most situations, even left the podium while members of the media were still asking questions following a Nov. 21 loss to Arizona at home.

Carroll eventually did come back minutes later and continued to answer questions, but that moment was indicative of just how frustrating their season was at times.

Just as indicative of where they stand going into the offseason, though, was how clear Carroll’s responses were to questions after Seattle’s last two games – a 51-29 blowout of the Lions in Week 17 and an impressive 38-30 victory over the postseason-bound Cardinals on Sunday. And that’s something that FOX football analyst Brock Huard said is important for a franchise that is going into a crucial offseason after its first losing campaign in a decade.

“There were many Sundays following many games where he did not have answers,” Huard said Monday of Carroll during his daily segment on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show, “to one point where he walked out (on a press conference) and had to come back into the room realizing that ‘That is not the way I’m going to conduct my business.’ But he didn’t have answers for what was wrong with their team. He could not speak to it. And that was, I think, the most alarming to ownership and to others.”

Huard heard what the Seahawks’ brass should have been looking for after Sunday’s season finale, though.

“I think after the game, it was very clear – ‘We do have answers,'” he said. “The last six weeks have shown that very clearly, and the answers are the balance that (the Seahawks) need.”

Huard went on to explain that Seattle and first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron found the right balance on offense thanks in part to running back Rashaad Penny’s torrid final stretch and quarterback Russell Wilson buying into his role, and that Carroll’s culture shined through as the Hawks won their last two games and went 4-2 in their final six contests.

“The answers are a first-time coordinator that got comfortable. The answers are a quarterback that believes in what we’re doing. The answers are a difference-making running back that went from a first-round bust and blossomed into one of the best backs in the league the last six weeks. And ‘When we play that kind of ball, we still have a pretty special culture here where people love to play.’ And it doesn’t matter how interchangeable the parts work, because there were a lot of them (Sunday) on the O-line and the D-line and in the secondary, but there’s a culture that guys love to play (in).”

If Carroll needed to show Seahawks ownership that he’s still the right person to lead the team, Huard believes it happened in the final weeks of the season.

“I think he was just reinforcing that to a fan base and certainly to an ownership group and other people in management that, ‘You know, there were weeks that we did not have answers, but down the stretch we found exactly who we are.'”

You can hear the full conversation between Huard and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player below. Huard joins Salk live at 7:45 a.m. Monday-Friday on 710 ESPN Seattle, and the pair also host the weekly Brock and Salk Podcast, which publishes at 6 p.m. each Wednesday.

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Huard: Seahawks, Pete Carroll found answers ownership needed to see