Is He the Answer for Seattle?


Anytime a team is struggling and they want to turn things around, they usually do one of two things.  Either they change their head coach or they change their QB, and often times they do both.  Jim Mora replaced the legendary Mike Holmgren in Seattle before the start of last season but the Seahawks struggled to a 5-11 record which brought Mora's tenure to an end after only 1 season.  Now it's Pete Carroll's turn to see what he can do, who chose a perfect time to flee from USC.  Under Carroll USC had been one of the most dominate teams in college football, going to 7 straight BCS bowl games, winning 6 of them, as well as winning 2 National Championships.  But coaching in college is not the same as coaching in the NFL.  Just ask Nick Saban and Dennis Erickson.

Top college programs are always going to get the best recruits and teams with more talent will usually beat teams with inferior talent.  Coaches still need to get the best out of their players but it helps if the talent is their to begin with.  Why do you think non-BCS schools match up better with the BCS schools today than they did 10 years ago?  It's because the NCAA reduced the number of full ride scholarships teams could offer recruits and a rule was made that gave non-BCS schools an opportunity to play in the big games.  Those two changes spread the talent around and created more parity than their was before.   

Carroll won't have those advantages in the NFL which has gone to far greater lengths than the NCAA to ensure parity among its 32 teams.  He won't be able to go to a top NFL players home an simply recruit him to Seattle like he was able to do at USC.  He's also not dealing with kids right out of High School.  NFL players aren't going to bow down to him simply because he's Pete Carroll.  His laid back style, which worked so well at USC, might be a detriment to him among the older veterans in the league.

Continue reading after the jump.

Those who feel Carroll has what it takes to succeed as a head coach in the NFL will point to the most recent draft.  By almost anyones measure, the Seahawks had one of the best drafts of any team.  But how much of that was because of Carroll?  It's hard not to have a good draft when you have the 6th and 14th overall picks, something the Seahawks had before Carroll was signed.  Luck also played a role.  He didn't wheel and deal to get the players he wanted, he was just a little fortunate that they fell to him.  So while the Seahawks had a great draft, an argument could be made that they would have had a great draft even without Carroll in the war room.

What about the players he's been able to trade for?  Several times he traded next to nothing to get players that could have some real big upside.  But now we're seeing why they were traded for next to nothing.  LenDale White has already been released and it's looking like Leon Washington may start the season on the PUP list.  Of course the trade that will really make or break him will be the trade for Charlie Whitehurst.  The Seahawks gave up a lot for a player that was only the 3rd sting QB on the Chargers and has yet to do anything during the regular season.  If Whitehurst isn't able to take over as the starting QB when Hasselbeck steps down, it could really set the Seahawks back several years in their redevelopment.

It's impossible to say for sure if Carroll is the answer in Seattle.   I did read several articles after the draft that said the Seahawks might be able to challenge the 49ers and Cardinals for the NFC West as early as this season.  But off season hype doesn't always translate into regular and post season success.  Just ask the players who played for the 49ers during the 07-08 season.

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