Pete Carroll searches for answers within
Pete Carroll's NFL comeback came after an epiphany
By Danny O'Neil | The Seattle Times
The question was phrased the same. The answers were anything but similar, which shows -- perhaps better than anything -- how the verbiage and perspective of coach Pete Carroll is fundamentally different from the way other NFL coaches see and talk about the trajectory of their careers.
He's not the first coach to find success after being previously fired. He's one of the only ones, though, who professes the idea that he's got the magic bullet now, a philosophy that he solidified in nine years at USC and has brought with him back to the NFL.
Consider Bill Belichick for a moment. He was previously fired, categorized as to grumpy for his own good during his five seasons in Cleveland only to come back with New England and become a historically successful NFL coach.
Q: Do you feel you reinvented yourself as a coach after leaving Cleveland?
Belichick: "Umm, no."
That was it. No follow-up. No elaboration. A word and a half were all he was willing to give that question.
Now, consider Carroll's answer.
Q: Do you feel like you reinvented yourself as a coach?
Carroll: "There's no question. There's no question. I had thought that I had a philosophy in mind. I had come out of the San Francisco years - which was an extraordinary opportunity for me to learn and to grow and to put things together, working for coach (George) Seifert and having coach (Bill) Walsh around at that time - was just unbelievably valuable to me. So when I went there, I was unbelievably ready to go. I was hired with the thought let's bring the philosophy and the approach and all that, and then we didn't get to do it.
"Getting spanked, and getting knocked out of there, there was a great chance for me to regroup. And I really found the approach and the language, the specifics because of the necessity and the competitive opportunity. I needed to get my act together or I was never going to get another chance. All of that coupled together gave me the real insight to create what is so important to me now as a coach and as I deal with this position. And fortunately at USC - because of the autonomy - I got to do everything. General manager, coach, the whole thing. You did it all.
"That's why I never thought I'd ever leave there because I never thought I'd get an opportunity that was like that, and I wasn't leaving unless I did. I wasn't looking to leave. I just never thought I would never have a chance in the league to do that. That was the chance to reinvent in essence. I'm hoping - when we look back here - that we'll see the benefit of all of that time can be seen in our program here. The philosophy, the approach, the dedication to what we believe in. Our mode and our language and everything about this thing, was successful there, was successful here and I will have felt like it meant something."