Carroll disappointed he ‘couldn’t make it work’ with Harvin

Oct 20, 2014, 1:28 PM | Updated: 1:57 pm
“I competed at this thing and couldn’t make it work,” Pete Carroll said about man...
"I competed at this thing and couldn't make it work," Pete Carroll said about managing Percy Harvin. (AP)
(AP)

Pete Carroll thought he could manage Percy Harvin the way he has with other wayward personalities over the years.

That he wasn’t able to able to made last week’s trade especially difficult on Seattle’s coach, even though it was clear that Harvin needed to go.

“I competed at this thing and couldn’t make it work for our team and for the players,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” Monday, three days after the Seahawks unloaded Harvin to the Jets for a conditional draft pick. “I was disappointed because I told (general manager John Schneider) I’d get this done. I thought I could when we made the decision.”

The Seahawks knew the risk they were taking when they traded for Harvin, giving up three draft picks and shelling out a giant contract for a player with an extensive history of clashing with teammates and coaches.

Part of the reason they thought it would work was Carroll’s track record of taking on players with troubled pasts and/or reputations as malcontents. Marshawn Lynch, Bruce Irvin and Mike Williams were all examples.

But the Seahawks didn’t have the same success with Harvin, whose brief tenure included plenty of the familiar turmoil. He fought with Doug Baldwin during training camp and was also involved in an altercation with then-teammate Golden Tate before the Super Bowl, former Seahawk Michael Robinson confirming that report on Sunday. According to The Seattle Times, Harvin refused to return to the field during the fourth quarter of Seattle’s loss to Dallas.

Carroll was asked if his ability to handle different types of personalities made it harder to see the Harvin experiment fail.

“Yeah, absolutely. I compete at that, too, trying to help our guys be their best and I put a lot into this and really worked hard to try to make it work for everybody,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of guys over the years … there have been a lot of cases, a lot of situations that called for understanding and compassion and strength and vision, and sometimes it doesn’t work. For me, most of the time I feel like it does. So I take it hard.”

Carroll didn’t get into specifics of what happened with Harvin in Seattle but gave a revealing answer when asked if the decision to trade him was more about on-field or off-field issues.

“It was about the team moving forward. It was about us. It was about the group and how we do our work and how we carry ourselves,” Carroll said. “We needed to be as true to that as we possibly could and we needed to make a decision to keep us team-oriented and moving ahead.

“It wasn’t a hard choice to make in that regard. It was a difficult decision because there’s a lot of magnitude and all of that. But we could see what we needed to do. We just had to get it done.”

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Carroll disappointed he ‘couldn’t make it work’ with Harvin