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2010 NFL Draft: Pete Carroll responds to Taylor Mays criticism

Earlier this afternoon, newly minted 49ers safety Taylor Mays leveled some fairly serious criticism at his former college coach, Pete Carroll:

On his feelings about his former coach Pete Carroll taking a safety in the first round that wasn't him:

"It was just interesting. I definitely thought from the relationship that we had, the things that he had told me about what I needed to be aware of for the draft process, the things that I needed to do, I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took, which was definitely alarming. Some things that he told me I needed to do as a football player, versus the actions that he took and who he took as a safety. I understand it's a business, but with it being a business, you just need to be honest and that's all I was asking for."

It was only a matter of time before Pete Carroll responded. And in a move that didn't surprise me, he took the high road. It's not to say Mays was wrong to make the comments, but just good that Carroll seemed to understand Mays' frustrations. Due to the length I've posted it after the jump.

Q: On Mays' comments:

"Well, first off, I love Taylor. I love the player that he is, and we were thinking that we would have a terrific chance to get him somewhere. When our safety situation came up with Earl, we didn't think Earl was going to get to us. We jumped at that opportunity there.

"I'd like to pick all my guys, but it just didn't work out, and unfortunately for Taylor, it was a hard day for him. His expectations were very, very high, and mine, too. So I feel for him. But I know what he's going to be like. He's going to be ferocious about going about this opportunity with San Francisco. Unfortunately, he's in the division so we're going to be battling against him and all that. This is a remarkably competitive guy, and prideful, and I'm sure he's got a chip on his shoulder, and it's going to serve him well. It's not going to help us in the division. He's a terrific player. He's an extraordinary, and I felt bad for him, that it didn't happen quicker in the first round. Certainly, we were ready and would have loved to have had him. Just by the way it fell, we were very excited about Earl. We thought Earl would go 7, 8, 9, right in there."

Q: Would you have considered him in the second round if he were available?

"Absolutely. Absolutely. If that would have happened, absolutely, we would have."

Q: Have you reached out to him?

"One of our other coaches got a chance, but I haven't talked to him. He might want to wait a couple of days before he talks to me. I love him. I love him to death, and I know how competitive he is, and I don't blame him for being the way it is. I would probably be surprised if it was anything other than that."

I say I'm not surprised about this because Pete Carroll has always come off as a fairly nice guy that was not out to make enemies. Maybe he was kind of scuzzy in pretending not to know about the Reggie Bush and other team scandals, but that doesn't make him a bad person.

Now, I don't think this will remove the chip from Taylor Mays' shoulder. And I think that chip could help him become a great player in this league. Some of the best players of all time were driven in part because they felt slighter or disrespected at some point.

Anyways, I thought this was a story worth following up on, particularly given the fact that the two parties are now in the same division.