FOX’s Menefee: How Geno, Pete, Seahawks have proved people wrong

Nov 8, 2022, 3:40 PM
Seahawks Pete Carroll Geno Smith...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and QB Geno Smith celebrate a win over Arizona on Oct. 16, 2022. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are 6-3 with eight games left to go this NFL season, and good luck finding anybody who said they expected this before the season.

Even Curt Menefee, host of FOX NFL Sunday and the Seahawks preseason TV play-by-play announcer, admits to it.

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“I’m not afraid to say I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong about a team coming out of training camp than I was this Seahawks team,” Menefee told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Tuesday.

Menefee, who has called preseason Hawks games with FOX colleague Brock Huard in the past, emphasized that point by relaying some of his conversations with Huard from before the season.

“I said to you, ‘Well, if you look at their schedule, they play the last game of the season against the Rams, maybe the Rams have wrapped up a playoff spot and that’s their sixth win,'” Menefee said.

That sixth win, of course, came Sunday at Arizona, meaning Seattle could challenge even doubling the total Menefee thought they would get in 2022.

That’s all to say these Seahawks have done a good job of proving people wrong in their first campaign after moving on from previous franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. And no two people have had more to do with that then the head coach and the QB, as Menefee went on to explain.

The coach

Menefee mentioned that the FOX NFL Sunday crew unanimously picked Seattle’s Pete Carroll as Coach of the Year when discussing midseason awards last weekend, but he also shared why more probably should have seen this team’s success coming.

“At the same time, you’re around this team and you knew that this was a Pete Carroll kind of team,” Menefee said about watching the Seahawks prior to the season. “He liked the young guys, he liked the personalities and the people that he has on the team and the hunger they had. And you could just see Pete was, I don’t know if rejuvenated is the right word because Pete’s never been a ‘down’ guy, but he was excited about this team. You just thought, or at least I did, they’re still too young and the talent’s not there and all that, and they’ve exceeded every single expectation I think already and we’re just crossing the midway point of the season.”

Why is Carroll the favorite for Coach of the Year ahead of the Giants’ Brain Daboll or the Eagles’ Nick Sirianni?

“The guys (on FOX NFL Sunday) liked the job that Pete’s done with the talent he’s gotten. And I think… that a lot of people probably do owe him an apology,” Menefee said. “… (The younger Seahawks) don’t know that they’re not supposed to be good. They don’t know that they’re supposed to fail. They’ve had success at every level they’ve been. They’re doing it right now as a collective group, and there’s nobody who’s more supportive and enthusiastic of his players in this entire league than Pete Carroll, so once they get on a roll and they believe in what he’s saying, why would they change?”

The QB

Then there’s Geno Smith, who has surprisingly put together an MVP case after taking over the starting QB job in Seattle, which is his first opportunity at a full-time job since 2014 with the Jets, which was his second year in the league.

“I’m happy for him, I genuinely am because I think it’s a great comeback story,” Menefee said. “I think if you sit down with him, he’s matured as a man from when he came into the league 10 years ago. You know, I think you say that a lot of people get older but not everybody matures. And I think that he would probably be pretty open about that.

“You remember when he came out of West Virginia, he wasn’t drafted in the first round, he left the (site of the draft)… and they had to coax him into coming back for the second day. He wound up being taken early (in the second round) by the Jets. Then he got his jaw broken in a fight with a teammate, and I think that kind of became the narrative about who he was as he bounced around the league as a backup and that he’ll never be a starter again.”

That Smith has risen to the level he’s played at this year says a lot to Menefee.

“I think that a lot of people will sulk in those situations, and he didn’t. And he did some self evaluation about himself as a person and also as a player in particular, and decided, ‘OK, if I ever get another shot at this, this is what I need to do.’ And he put his best foot forward in every situation, kept his head down and kept working, and these are the results. I think it’s a great lesson for people not just from a football standpoint but in life in general that success is really about perseverance. You’ve got to keep fighting through a lot… in order to come out the other side. I think Geno’s a great example.”

You can listen to the full Brock and Salk conversation with Menefee in the podcast player below.

More Seahawks coverage from Seattle Sports

Fann: Why Seahawks are versatile enough to sustain success
Bump’s Game-Changing Plays: How Seahawks responded to pick-six
Seahawks Takeaways: Carroll on Geno-Waldron chemistry, Walker comp
Rost: Just as surprising as Seahawks’ 6-3 start is that offense is better

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FOX’s Menefee: How Geno, Pete, Seahawks have proved people wrong