The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

Feckless in Seattle


The problem with the question of whether Pete Carroll can succeed in the NFL is that it's already been answered. Twice. In 1994, he was hired as the New York Jets' head coach, installed a basketball court in the parking lot of Jets HQ, and played ball with his coaching staff. He finished 6-10 and was fired after the one season. In 1997, the New England Patriots hired him to follow the great Bill Parcells after Parcells famously clashed with owner Robert Kraft. He rode Parcells' Super Bowl team to a division title, and things started going downhill. By the time he was fired after the 1999 season, he and general manager Bobby Grier had put the Pats in such disastrous salary cap constraints, it took replacement Bill Belichick two years to clear it up, though Belichick certainly did.

In standing between two of the greatest NFL coaches of the modern era, Carroll proved to be a liability at the NFL level. Many of the things that have made him great at the college level -- his "rah-rah" style, his basic motivational tactics, and his indifferent discipline -- fall flat in the pros. Add to that the fact that he's heading back to the NFL to coach the Seattle Seahawks with a number of possible recruiting violations on his heels, and it boggles the mind that any organization with a lick of football sense would pay over $30 million over five years to put him in charge. In recent years, the Seahawks have proven to be just the kind of team to fall victim to Carroll's charms.

This is a PR-happy organization, currently more concerned with putting butts in the seats than winning. Carroll is a PR man's dream. He understands perception, and marketing and selling the brand. In that regard, he and Seahawks CEO Tod Lieweke are a perfect match. Problem is, there is nobody in the Seahawks' organization with actual success at an administrative level -- there is nobody with the wisdom to understand what Carroll will not do well.

I predict that Carroll will find the modern NFL far too difficult, and he'll try to bail before his contract is done.The NFL of today is more complicated than the NFL Carroll left in 1999 -- from a schematic, financial, and business perspective, we're talking about two different planets. Finding himself in the wrong atmosphere, Carroll will soon run out of air.

By Doug Farrar  |  January 11, 2010; 10:53 AM ET  | Category:  College Football , Doug Farrar , Seattle Seahawks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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