Pete Carroll: It took getting fired and kicked in the butt to get here


Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was viewed as a failure — and even a joke — as an NFL coach in the 1990s, getting fired by the Jets after the 1994 season and by the Patriots after the 1999 season. But now Carroll is in the Super Bowl with the Seahawks, and he says those experiences shaped him into the coach he is now.

“It really took me getting fired a couple times, getting kicked in the butt, to get to where I am now,” Carroll said this morning. “It’s taken some shots to get here, but it’s a tremendous time for us now.”

Carroll added that he views himself as the same kind of positive, upbeat coach now that he always was, but he has figured out a better way to run an entire program the way he wants.

“I personally don’t think I’ve changed that much, I’ve just grown and learned,” Carroll said.

Asked how he got from his second NFL firing to where he is today, Carroll answered, “That’s a long story. . . . I don’t even know where to begin to answer that question.”

It’s been a long journey, but Carroll is now widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the NFL. Not many people would have predicted that 15 years ago.

49 responses to “Pete Carroll: It took getting fired and kicked in the butt to get here

  1. Pete Carroll wasn’t a terrible coach at the pro level even back ten. That 1990’s Jet squad wasn’t loaded by any means. He did OK with the Patriots, he just had the bad luck of being sandwiched between the Big Tuna and Belichick in terms of his tenure.

  2. I don’t recall what Pete Carroll’s problem was in NE in the late 90’s? Perhaps, he wasn’t perceived as being strong enough as a coach?

  3. Hard to believe that Carroll was the last coach the Patriots had before Belichick.

    And yes, I will never forget the choke sign, and the subsequent drive that cost his team the game.

  4. I cancelled my Seahawks season tickets when they hired Pete Carroll – couldn’t stand the guy. Now my son likes to ask me “Dad, do you like Pete Carroll now?” Yeah, son – he’s OK now. Go Hawks!

  5. Obviously Carroll is unaware the Hawks were “completely obliterated” by the minnysoda vikqueen’s clever treachery of the Harvin trade.

    Minnysoda vikqueens personified = Barney Fife in a speedo.

  6. He forgot to mention he changed his style to look more like Bill Walsh. Maybe that made him smarter. What really changed for Carroll are three great drafts, a franchise QB, an excellent GM and quality coaching staff. But the flim flam man does look flamboyant on the sideline. Go Broncos!

  7. It took paying college players to win national championships and running for the hills when the law came around. The guy is a snake!! Now he leads the league in PED violations!!

  8. I really didn’t know about Pete Carroll’s choke sign to the Dolphins when Carroll was a coach for the Jets until posters on this site mentioned it. Looks like bad behavior follows this guy at all his stops. Golden Tait and Richard Sherman are 2 of the biggest DB’s in the NFL. In one of their games this year, a Seahawks special teamer took a cheap shot on a guy out of bounds. He received a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty and then a whole bunch of high 5’s from coaches on the sideline. Pete Carroll really is a rat. It will be enjoyable to see him lose Sunday.

  9. All I have to say about Carroll’s tenure as the Patriots HC is that he wanted to cut Troy Brown.

    According to Brown, Carroll hated him and wouldn’t even talk to him. It was the WR’s coach that had to beg Carroll to keep him.

  10. ” If you ain’t Cheatin’ you ain’t trying!”…. Most of the highly successful people in any profession have failed repeatedly before learning how to succeed… Yes he got a few breaks, but he kept working through his failures and getting back at it. There’s a lesson in there

  11. I don’t really get how he can be considered a terrible head coach based on his first two stints. Over 4 seasons he was 33-31, was .500 or better three times, won a division title, made the playoffs twice going 1-2.

    It’s not amazing, but it’s respectable for an NFL head coach. Ask Bills fans how much they’d pay for a coach that could deliver those results.

  12. Carroll and the Schneider have built a franchise that is the envy of the NFL. Carroll’ attitude and persistence has paid dividends.

    A testament to his success is the fact of how many players want to play for him. Nearly a 1/4 of players polled think he’s the guy. I agree.

  13. New England was a team in turmoil from Parcells’ final year until the rise of Tom Brady. Carroll did well under the circumstances and would have been a fine coach if Bob Kraft had learned his lessons earlier. As it is, things have worked out well for both sides. I’m glad Carroll has had success and hope he gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.

  14. Don’t forget it took paying a bunch of college players and having your wins erased to get there, too.

  15. In 3 of the seasons his teams were SB ready and they underachieved, part of his problem, Bob Kraft was giving us his best Jerry Jones impersonation back then and screwed up the roster…I’ll never forget Kraft with a stop watch working out Teabucky Jones pre draft then taking him in the first round……

  16. To quote Rascal Flatts, “God bless the broken road…’ Many of us are where we are because of the broken roads or trials and tribulations of a previous situation. Good for him because he overcame and didn’t wilt as many people do.

  17. See how good of a coach he is when his QB’s rookie contract is up and he can no longer afford to throw money at his defense…

  18. Pete will get the biggest nfl coaching extension this off season. Our owner has ridiculous amounts
    We want pete for another 4 years

  19. I don’t blame Hawks fans for being excited about their team but let’s not lose sight of all the cancers and cheating. Hawks fans are no doubt tired of hearing about the cheating, PED’s, illegal substances, DWI’s etc. but it will always be in the back of their minds……they will be happy if the Hawks win the SB but never have the satisfaction of having the respect of other NFL fans. Kind of like stealing a couple of million dollars, sure you might be happy to be a “millionaire” but you will never forget how you became one….kind of takes the shine off the sliver.

  20. Lots of pete haters out there. But Seahawks fans love him. And he’s better then Mora any day of the week

  21. It took screwing over a bunch of kids at USC to really develop the thick skin it takes to coach in the NFL.

  22. These Seahawk fans are truly a special group.

    Just hard to take a city built by Microsoft (City of Nerds) seriously when it comes to football.

  23. Let’s not forget though – the first time he got fired, by the Jets, was by a senile Owner who let Pete go to jump at the chance to hire RICH KOTITE because he said “I want to win now!”

    Oh boy . . .

    (Imagine being a Jets fan for the last 20 years.)

  24. Carroll is a weasel. Something is very wrong with celebrating a guy who cheated so badly at his old job, ruined the program for a decade, scurried away like a coward once it was apparent he was busted, is rewarded with an NFL job, and praised for his success. Pete Carroll has no integrity and is a disgusting individual….for that he should be admonished and not celebrated.

    signed, USC Alum

  25. Don’t worry fans of lesser teams, there’s still time to get on the 12th man bandwagon! Vikings fans get priority seating as they are pretty much our farm team, cheeseheads and whiners not allowed.

  26. Don’t worry NFL fans the PEDHawks will go back to being the doormat of the NFL once again.
    Perrenial losers since 1976.

  27. I had to look up the choke sign story – and then learned it’s from 1992 (and the story noted that he apologized immediately after) . . .jesus people, let it go. that’s 22 years ago. i guess every negative commenter has led a perfect life so far . . .

  28. Reality check: It took the NCAA Gestapo FIVE YEARS to conduct the Reggie Bush investigation to come up with, essentially, nothing they did not know at the beginning. And then, to make the Gestapo look “good,” they hammered USC with penalties that were so far out of whack with the actual violation that they have been very, very, circumspect since. Ban the NCAA Gestapo.

  29. Wasn’t he replaced by Rich Kotite after being fired by the Jets? It would take years of therapy to get over that.

  30. Pete Carroll’s tenure in NE is a good example of why the Pats are going to be successful for as long as Bob Kraft is around. 3 years, a 27-21 record, 2 playoff appearances and 1 playoff win – that would satisfy most owners. But the team was taking a step back every year, and Kraft decided to lure Belichick away from the Jets.

  31. Carroll purged those players who not by in at the beginning of his reign. He made over 200 roster changes to get to 13-3. You can’t coach to someone else’s (Holmgran) culture.

  32. While I like Pete Carroll a lot and think he’s a great coach the fact is it didn’t take getting fired for him to get to where he is.

    It took him getting caught abusing the college system which in all fairness every big college that competes for national titles eventually happens to. He would never have been the coach of the Seahawks if not for having some actual evidence that stuck on Reggie Bush.

    Let’s be fair King of LA or King of Seattle? Nobody is leaving LA unless they have to.

    The fact that he is a great coach is why he’s able to continue on to success like he has.

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