Pete Carroll is among the few coaches in football history to make repeat championship appearances in both the NCAA and NFL. The Seahawks coach told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson there are a lot of similarities to building dynasties in both high-pressure leagues, but that the NFL has a few major additional challenges: extra social media scrutiny and players getting paid.
“The NFL is so big and it’s so exposed and there’s so much attention to every detail of it. College is not like that,” Carroll said. “It’s not nearly as covered with a fine-tooth comb, and every relationship and everything that goes on.”
Carroll, who led USC to back-to-back BCS championships – winning in 2005 and losing in 2006 – said NFL players have a lot more to deal with than collegiate athletes.
“The volume of people that are Tweeting about their performances, or their last play they just had, or what they did in the first half – the social media thing is so much more connected that it… adds to the factors of what can distract guys and what can get in guys’ ways,” he said.
Beyond social media component, Carroll said part of the reason it’s so difficult to repeat as NFL champion is “the volume of distractions” tugging at players in various stages of their careers.
“Guys in the middle of their careers, and different stages of their careers, and trying to get paid – all of those things,” he said. “All of those factors add in and, really, it’s a great challenge to make it through those and still be able to perform at a high level.
“The college thing, the individual part of it is not nearly as exposed to the kind of distractions that can keep people from performing at their best,” he added.
Carroll noted that the Seahawks surprised the critics last season by returning to the Super Bowl simply because it is such a rare thing to do.
“To come back again is rare… and we’re right at the cusp of being able to get that done again,” he said. “We feel so close to that, and we know we can, so that’s a great challenge.”