Cowherd: Seahawks’ Pete Carroll keeps doing what Belichick can’t

Oct 17, 2023, 3:21 PM | Updated: 3:59 pm

Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll...

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll during a game against Carolina on Sept. 24, 2023. (Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has quietly been climbing up the leaderboard for NFL coaching wins. Now in his 14th season with Seattle, Carroll ranks 17th all-time with 164 wins, which is fourth among active coaches.

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Perhaps the reason it’s been a quiet climb is that the active list is led by New England’s Bill Belichick, who is third all-time with 299 wins, and Carroll’s career has always been a bit overshadowed by Belichick’s.

Both are legends. They even met in a Super Bowl, which Belichick’s Patriots won. And most importantly, Belichick actually replaced Carroll as the Patriots coach in 2000, beginning an historic run that has included six championships.

But now, the 71-year-old Belichick’s future seems to be in question. Since quarterback legend Tom Brady left the Patriots after the 2019 season, New England has had just one winning season, and it currently is off to a 1-5 start in 2023. Meanwhile at 72, Carroll has done a much better job since parting ways with his own franchise quarterback, Russell Wilson. The Seahawks had a surprise playoff season in 2022 with Geno Smith leading the offense, and Seattle is currently 3-2 this season.

This is not lost on Washington native Colin Cowherd, the well-known host of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio. While Cowherd has been critical of Carroll in the past, specifically when it came to how the coach handled Wilson during the later years of his time with the Seahawks, he’s been singing a different tune for a while now. In fact, he even apologized this month on the air for what he’s said before about Carroll.

“I thought it was too hard on him,” Cowherd said of his previous comments about Carroll when asked Tuesday by Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk about his apology. “… With Pete, what I said was I thought he was stunting Russell’s growth. And in the end, he saw what we didn’t.”

Previously from Cowherd: Carroll was ‘tone-deaf’ but has ‘pivoted’

Cowherd then brought Belichick into the conversation.

“I gave Pete credit for doing something that Belichick can’t. Belichick can’t make a singular pivot off Brady – not one,” he said.

In Cowherd’s estimation, this is far from the first time Carroll has pivoted with the Seahawks.

“Pete is now on his fourth pivot with the Seahawks. Pre-Russ, got to the playoffs. Russ, (the Seahawks reached) two Super Bowls. Old Russ, won. And Geno, won. This is his fourth pivot as the coach of the Seahawks.”

It’s not just the fact that Carroll has pivoted that stands out to Cowherd, though. It’s that he’s still able to do so this late in a career that’s included championships both in college with USC and the NFL with Seattle.

“What he is doing now is really rare,” Cowherd said. “Coaches that are rich and successful and have a ring and have a legacy fall in love with themselves, and Pete just keeps reinventing himself, reinventing the Seahawks, reinventing their culture. I was wrong, he was right. It’s really rare that you find an older coach with success. Look at the history of college – Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes. They all age poorly. Joe Paterno. Belichick now. (Gregg) Popovich in the NBA. They get stubborn. Not Pete.”

Listen to the full Brock and Salk conversation with Colin Cowherd in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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Cowherd: Seahawks’ Pete Carroll keeps doing what Belichick can’t