Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is preparing to face Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez on Sunday, and both men are trying hard this week to make clear that they’re on good terms.
Sanchez said he’s looking forward to seeing Carroll on Sunday, and Carroll is going even further than that in explaining how excited he is for his former quarterback.
“I love Mark,” Carroll said, via the News Tribune.
The two are being asked about their relationship because Carroll said some decidedly negative things when Sanchez left USC to enter the 2009 NFL draft. Carroll said publicly that he didn’t agree with Sanchez’s decision, and there was some talk that there was a rift in their relationship. But Carroll says that’s just not the case.
“We just had a difference of opinion at the time, in that regard. I wasn’t going to hold him back,” Carroll said. “He was awesome with us, had a great career. Kind of grew up with us, was there even before he came to school. His family was close to the program. I was very, very close to the family during that time — and felt like I was representing an opinion that was coming out of the household, too, because they could see reasons why they wanted Mark to stay. The main thing was, he was really forthright and he was very determined to take on the challenge. . . . But that had nothing to do with our relationship or anything.”
Carroll may have been right that Sanchez could have used another year to develop at the college level, even as Sanchez was obviously right that he’d be a high pick if he turned pro. Whatever their differences at the time, both are in agreement that they have no differences now.