JOE FANN

Fann: Why has Seahawks’ Pete Carroll been snubbed for Coach of Year… again?

Jan 26, 2023, 1:57 PM

Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll Darrell Taylor...

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talks to Darrell Taylor before a 2022 game against the 49ers. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The NFL, as it does with essentially every aspect of the sport, is working to increase the hype and anticipation that surrounds the league’s annual NFL Honors event that takes place the night before the Super Bowl. And in that effort, a list of finalists have been announced for each award.

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That includes three Seahawks: standout corner Tariq Woolen is a finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year, running back Kenneth Walker is up for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and quarterback Geno Smith is one of three finalists for Comeback Player of the Year.

But one glaring omission was Pete Carroll’s name from the list of finalists for Coach of the Year. What’s even more ridiculous is that the Associated Press voters deemed five other NFL head coaches as more deserving: Brian Daboll (Giants), Sean McDermott (Bills), Doug Pederson (Jaguars), Kyle Shanahan (49ers) and Nick Sirianni (Eagles).

Of course, if Pete is to join that group then someone would have to be removed. That would be an easy choice as McDermott has zero business being there given Buffalo was a preseason Super Bowl favorite, and nothing the Bills accomplished during the regular season exceeded expectations.

McDermott surely won’t win, but it is noteworthy that voters somehow landed on him as a more deserving candidate than Carroll. It’s almost as if there’s a voter fatigue working against Carroll, which makes zero sense given he’s never won the award.

Carroll was snubbed from the award from 2012-14 as the Seahawks skyrocketed from a middling team to league superpower. Bruce Arians (Cardinals, 2012 and 2014) and Ron Rivera (Panthers, 2013) were all egregious selections over Carroll.

From that point, there weren’t any narratives working in Carroll’s favor in order to win despite the Seahawks’ sustained success following the “Legion of Boom” era. Seattle had been established as one of the decade’s winningest franchises to where even a 12-win season and NFC West title in 2020 hardly moved the needle. Kevin Stefanski, who led the Browns to an 11-5 season, won it that year.

Omitting Carroll from the list of finalists in 2022 is shameful. Seattle had a projected win total of 5.5 and ended up as a surprise playoff team after a 9-8 regular season. Carroll kept the ship afloat in a transition season after a franchise-altering trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver. General manager John Schneider certainly deserves his credit as well for a tremendous 2022 draft class, but that doesn’t diminish Carroll’s impact. The same goes for Smith’s breakout season that nobody anticipated.

What’s more, the very same AP voters determined that not a single player on the Seahawks roster was worthy of any All-Pro honors, whether it be on the first or second team. So not only did Seattle drastically overachieve, but the team did so without any players deemed among the best at their respective position.

It wasn’t surprising to see Smith and Quandre Diggs each take to Twitter in support of their head coach. There’s no reason to overreact to those posts, but they’re still an illustration of the respect Carroll has in that locker room as he remains one of the league’s top culture builders.

At the end of the day, I don’t think Carroll should have won the award outright. I think it should and ultimately will go to Shanahan for having his team one win away from the Super Bowl despite working with the team’s third-string quarterback who is literally nicknamed “Mr. Irrelevant.” The edge he gives his team from an X’s and O’s standpoint is rivaled by very few of his peers.

But it’s worth noting Carroll’s absence on the list of finalists all the same. He’s a football legend who continues to be dismissed or overlooked when it comes to league-wide honors, as has been the case for a full decade at this point.

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