Pete Carroll: Field in Munich was a “nightmare”

Seattle Seahawks v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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If the NFL plans to keep playing games in new countries (and it does), it’s important for the playing surfaces to be as familiar as possible.

In Germany, it wasn’t.

On Tuesday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll echoed his concerns while using even stronger language. Appearing on 710 ESPN Radio in Seattle, Carroll called the playing surface “a nightmare,” via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Carroll explained that players never knew when footing might give way, but he was pragmatic about the absence of a competitive disadvantage.

“It’s equal . . . both sides had to go against that,” Carroll said.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles had similar observations on Monday, saying the surface was “slick” but that “it was a slick field for both teams.”

Bowles added that, even while wearing long cleats, players were still slipping.

During a separate session with reporters, Carroll was asked whether he thinks the league should take a closer look at the types of fields being used in European venues.

“I don’t know soccer to know why they would like the field like that,” Carroll said. “I think the topic is kind of on right now on fields in general, and we just like to keep getting better at it, and understanding how
we can make the game safer, and the game better in all ways. That’s not to say it has to be natural turf versus artificial or whatever. We just need to keep working at it, but it’s really nice when it is uniform. I know they pay attention. They talked about it when we were in London also. It was the same discussion.”

The discussion lingers, because the problem does. It takes a commitment of time and money and a level of expertise that the league can’t or won’t consistently harness.

Even if the surface is the same for both teams, that doesn’t make it acceptable. A slick field enhances the risk of injury for all players. And it makes the game less exciting, if/when players will be falling down when otherwise doing the things people pay money and spend time to see them do.

42 responses to “Pete Carroll: Field in Munich was a “nightmare”

  1. The true nightmare was the Seahawks’ run defense. Rachad White should send Pete a ‘Thank You’ note.

  2. The sentiment from many NFL coaches and players was beginning to be “switch back to grass”, but as this situation proves, grass fields are never going to be consistent. The Steelers were notorious for leaving their grass field in rough shape and visiting teams hated it. There were always complaints.

    In this case, it’s a soccer pitch and it was too soft for NFL play, but if they switch back to grass in the NFL, you can bet every team will be setting up their field to have an advantage at home. Not putting the tarp on when it rains, not fixing divots, etc.

    A firm well maintained natural grass field is 100% the best and safest surface, but I have no idea how it could be policed for consistency for all 32 teams in all weather conditions.

  3. Better to just run the ball Pete, but we know you have a hard time comprehending that when you’re so obsessed with having your quarterback win any game against Tom Brady

  4. Well, maybe its because Germany doesnt have to worry about investing all that much in the NFL. The NFL is falling all over itself for these foreign games (I think its nuts myself, but whatever)….let the NFL make sure that these foreign stadiums have proper turf.

  5. While a natural grass field may have too many travel n logistical problems in the various countries the NFL will and would like to travel too … n as this league certainly has enough bucks … travel with a portable field turf surface for the teams to play on .. that way the field is the same for both teams as they say and any further problems with that particular home stadium (usually soccer) turf is untouched and everyone is happy … assuming of course they can do this in time for an NFL game to be played.

  6. the NFL cancelled a game in Mexico last year because of the turf. Probably should have cancelled this one too. A good playing field is not that hard to produce but the NFL is struggling bad with it

  7. Hey, Pete. Soccer doesn’t have players generally over 210 lbs. And if they do, they have cleats made specifically for that surface. The grass is short so the ball travels consistently over the surface (like a putting green).

    The NFL needs to make either better, more appropriate cleats available when playing on this surface or maybe needs to reassess if playing on soccer surfaces is the best way to promote the league.

    Also: Still nowhere near the injuries on this soft grass than on most turf. Regardless of what the NFL “says”.

  8. canadianpatsfan says:
    November 15, 2022 at 6:04 pm
    While a natural grass field may have too many travel n logistical problems in the various countries the NFL will and would like to travel too … n as this league certainly has enough bucks … travel with a portable field turf surface for the teams to play on


    Or they could just stop being entitled pampered multi-millionaire babies and just play on the surface they’re given. They’re professionals, they can exercise professional discipline in how they play relative to the conditions.

    Whether it’s expecting to have nothing and no one anywhere near the sidelines after they run off the field of play or this – just look at what’s around you and deal with it.

  9. Gee…an international stadium isn’t going to spend thousands to re-do a field for one NFL game a year. Not so surprised. Maybe if the NFL forked over the money to change out the field for football then back to soccer. I’m sure the NFL was the one who pitched the idea for a game in Germany.

  10. The field in Mexico City is as hard as concrete & people forget Cowboys players questioning it and they were silenced by Goodell & his minions last time!
    The security is another issue – who does the NFL put their trust with players & fans safety with in Mexico? Sounds like Goodell is making a deal with the devil!

  11. This game was awesome because of the fans! It seemed like a playoff game here in the US Kudos to Munich, and the NFL. Great to know Europe loves our game. Three million people tried to get tickets to this game. That speaks volumes.

  12. I don’t get why they can’t get an NFL grounds team to be on site and consult with the local grounds crew to get it close to right a couple weeks or months before the game

  13. Some folks here are missing the point – YES clueless International fans love seeing NFL games played in their countries. But to put these fans before player safety because of field conditions is mind boggling….nevermind the NFL ignores field conditions HERE in the US!

  14. tiredofthestupid nails it. A soccer field is engineered for a completely different sport, manned by completely different athletes using completely different gear. The field surface, and the grass grown on top of it, is tuned to those much different needs and in the German weather conditions versus that of England or Mexico.

    There was no way that the field was going to be torn up, rebuilt, and re-sodded for one NFL game only to need to be completely reversed once the NFL leaves. One would think that the NFL employs smart people who could be directed to scout out the field and experiment with real football athletes and determine the optimum cleats for their event. But, of course, here I am writing these things about an organization to cheap to employ full-time officials.

  15. NFL should just require all teams to have soccer style surfaces because they keep expanding the product to international soccer fields!!

  16. Just ……..STOP with these frigging foreign games already. Only thing dumber is instant replay

  17. The NFL has a set of Ground Crew people, why didn’t they send them a couple of weeks ahead of time?? Maybe because it’s Thousands of mile away and they thought no one would care. You know “out of sight,out of mind”!! Plus they would have to pay for plane tickets and you know how cheap the NFL is.

  18. Tottenham keeps a second turf field on hand for this exact reason. Just give them the extra game and broadcast it across Europe

  19. It takes a level of commitment that the league won’t live up to. Same with blown calls. A sky judge could call a missed face mask for example because refs on the field can’t see everything. But no, the league doesn’t care about getting it right.

  20. Come on man, It’s football. Quit whining about the fields. Look all those games in the 60s and 70s. They played tough!

  21. If Brady tore his ACL trying to catch that pass, every field would be re-done this offseason.

  22. I guess next they’ll all want to only play on natural grass indoors since snow and rain makes natural grass “slick” and “a nightmare” when it gets rained or snowed on in outdoor stadiums like it has been doing forever.

  23. Oh and instead of worrying about this, how about fixing the atrocious reffing in the NFL ? Because, you know, priorities……

  24. yeahanditsdeep2 says:
    November 15, 2022 at 8:53 pm
    Just ……..STOP with these frigging foreign games already. Only thing dumber is instant replay


    Why are you opposed to the NFL expanding interest internationally? There’s obviously tremendous interest.

  25. Tottenham build a separate surface for the NFL. That could easily happen in Germany for the next game. There were 800,000 people that wanted tickets for that game.

  26. Soccer fields are usually watered just before a match and at halftime to keep the field slick so the ball rolls well. Also not very many soccer players weigh even 200 lbs so they don’t really dig into the turf except on slide tackles. The NFL should have known and expected that.

    If they really want to see poor field conditions they should see some of the fields Caribbean soccer teams play on.

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