One area in which Carroll, Belichick are alike? It’s all about the ball

Jan 25, 2015, 2:38 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks and Bill Belichick’s Patriots have the NFL’s best turnove...
Pete Carroll's Seahawks and Bill Belichick's Patriots have the NFL's best turnover margin since 2012. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – For the two head coaches whose teams will square off in Super Bowl XLIX, it’s all about the ball.

That has nothing to do with the level to which it’s inflated and everything to do with the emphasis that’s placed upon possessing it, both protecting it on offense and taking it away on defense.

Seattle’s Pete Carroll made that comparison on Friday when asked about how he’s similar to New England’s Bill Belichick. Two coaches who couldn’t be more different in public appearance have one thing in common in terms of their approach to football, which is that it’s all about the football.

Carroll shared this stat: Seattle and New England lead the NFL in turnover differential since 2012 (including the playoffs) at plus-51. The next closest team is at plus-28.

“To have a football team that plays with that kind of focus and that kind of concentration, it crosses the entire gamut,” Carroll said. “It’s every aspect of your game and guys have to appreciate and understand what fundamentals in this game are all about. I think that’s a nice comparison. One that I’m happy to see. You can see the messages and the lessons that we both stand for allow you to play in that style of football.”

Seattle and New England have held that distinction despite different employing different types of offenses. The Seahawks have finished either first or second in rushing attempts and either 32nd or 31st in passing attempts since 2012. The Patriots have been more balanced.

“Whether you throw it or whether you run it, that stuff is different, it’s the fundamentals of this game that without them, you can’t play at a high level,” Carroll said. “I like to think that we’re fighting for the same thing. We want teams to play without mistakes and play with great intensity and focus and toughness and all that kind of stuff. I would like to think we’re very similar in that regard.”

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One area in which Carroll, Belichick are alike? It’s all about the ball