Pete Carroll has done a lot of positive things in Seattle in a short time. He’s turned over the roster into a young group with a promising defense. He’s drafted pretty well and won a playoff game.
There is no denying one of Carroll’s shortcomings. He has been one of the worst gameday coaches in the NFL since he returned from USC. Carroll makes Andy Reid look composed by comparison with his clock management skills.
“We learned about what happens when a coach gets hormonal and tries to jam it down their frickin’ throat for the touchdown,” Carroll said after Sunday’s loss to the Bengals.
Carroll is referring to his fourth-and-two call from the three-yard line with 14 seconds left in the first half. Marshawn Lynch picked up two yards, and time ran out in the half during a 17-3 game before Seattle could run another play.
“It’s tough to balance it, because I have an attitude and a personality about how I want to do it, but as a team, we’re not quite able to take advantage of that yet,” Carroll said.
This sequence wasn’t an isolated incident. Carroll has endured plenty of gameday blunders in Seattle, including a very similar situation against the Chargers last year. He’s starting to get more criticism in Seattle for his mistakes.
The end of the half fiasco took some attention away from the odd decision to start Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback.
Seattle announced Tarvaris Jackson as the starter, then played Whitehurst for a few drives. White struggled, so Seattle inserted Jackson. (Jackson played much better.) Carroll wanted to see if Whitehurst was functional first, but said that the team’s backup wasn’t suited for the team’s up-tempo plan.
So why start him if Jackson was available?
“We’re still in a transition period,” he said of his young team. “Still figuring it out.”