January 08, 2010

Seahawks Fire Jim Mora, Hire Pete Carroll: The Seattle Seahawks jumped onto a slowly spinning coaching carousel Friday, firing Jim Mora after just one injury-riddled season. But the Seahawks' next move might be an even bigger surprise. They are hiring Pete Carroll, several NFL sources told ESPN.

posted by irunfromclones to football at 06:02 PM - 16 comments

As a fan, I'd like to see Carroll stay where he is. I don't think even he could have envisioned having the level of success he's had at USC. He's clearly found his happy place in the football universe, and knows it.

Not everyone likes the SC program. The thing I like about the Trojans is that they're always loose and always look like they're having a ton of fun - all the while maintaining focus and playing at a high level.

Seeing college kids enjoy themselves is good medicine. After watching USC, I'm better able to endure watching the torture and anguish oozing on the sideline in places like Ann Arbor.

posted by beaverboard at 08:33 PM on January 08, 2010

I didn't expect Carroll to leave USC. He seemed content there, and it was only a matter of time before they contended for another national title.

posted by rcade at 09:23 AM on January 09, 2010

The L.A. Times is all over this. But they still haven't confirmed it.

Bottom line seems to be $35 million over 5 years, complete control with an invisible owner (Paul Allen), being on the West Coast and more problems at SC combined with the complete lack of support on the McKnight story from the incompetent Mike Garrett has led to this.

Carroll saved Garrett's job nine years ago. If Carroll really does go, the first thing SC needs to do is dump Garrett. Now.

posted by cjets at 11:08 AM on January 09, 2010

They may have had a verbal lock with Carroll before they canned Mora.

Only two reasons to fire a guy after one year:

1) You couldn't stand the job he did - to the point where he just had to go

2) You have a top guy agreeing to come in - a hire you feel is too good an opportunity to pass on.

Seattle, without a GM, is essentially following the whims of the owner at the moment. I could see a GM being prudent and wanting to give the new coach at least one more year, and an owner who was in love with a coach wanting to go ahead and make a drastic move, money regardless.

Another possible sign of a potential prior understanding between Carroll and the Seahawks: Holmgren was in talks to maybe return to Seattle, but abruptly went hard in another direction - Cleveland.

Seattle better find a minority coach to interview pretty quick.

posted by beaverboard at 11:14 AM on January 09, 2010

As good as Carroll has been at USC--as an alum I'm very happy with him--his NFL track record is the suckage and I don't see why the Seahawks are so anxious to get him.

Also, if this is true Paul Allen is making a mockery of the Rooney Rule. I think the league should come down on the team like a ton of bricks. Doubt they will though.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:51 AM on January 09, 2010

I think the league should come down on the team like a ton of bricks. Doubt they will though.

The fine would go down on the balance sheet as an operating expense.

He seemed content there, and it was only a matter of time before they contended for another national title.

Yeah, the Esquire feature suggested he had things there set up not just to his liking, but as a projection of his personality and approach to the game. (I've joked about USC getting credit this year for past seasons, but you can't knock Carroll's success.) And I'm not going to speculate about NCAA stuff, but the Joe McKnight thing reminded people how both football and hoops have been under review.

posted by etagloh at 12:17 PM on January 09, 2010

I believe that he knows steam is picking up on the Reggie Bush scandal (will they ever figure this out) along with the current running back McKnight (who is taking his Hummer and going to the NFL) as part of the reasons he is even entertaining this idea. Oh yeah, lets not forget Mayo too....

I know Pete Carroll has long wanted to try one last time at the NFL level, but he wants control over the personnel as well... something apparently the Seahawks have done by letting go of their GM prior to firing Mora. So, it is all laid out for Pete to become the next coach at the Seattle area. The only thing left is the mockery pointed out by billsaysthis concerning the Rooney Rule. They will interview a token person that they have no interest in whatsoever as to comply. I have heard that one coach has already refused as it is a joke to do so. Some say it is a good experience and gets your name out there, for what? So that you can be a token interview for another club that has already picked their coach before interviewing anyone... (See Washington Redskins and Mike Shanahan).

I just think that Pete has one of the rare and perfect jobs in all of America at USC. He will always get the best recruits and have talent waiting for him to pick which ones he wants, not the other way around. Face it, there are but a few places in college where you have such success: ND, Florida, OU, USC, TX and a few others. You win at one of these schools and life is good. You go to the NFL and you have to deal with things like gun toting knuckleheads that don't have the common sense not to shoot themselves while in a nightclub.... That and their attitudes...

In my book, bad move by him and a huge opportunity for Mike Riley? I know they (USC) has already spoken to the coach for the Oregon State program to replace Pete Carroll if he leaves, which just confirms to me that he has....

posted by Mickster at 01:00 PM on January 09, 2010

Just my opinion, but I'm not going to come down on Seattle for violating the spirit of the Rooney Rule. In a situation like this, what the hell are they supposed to do? It was the same thing with the Lions when they hired Steve Mariucci; you have a big name who is wiling to coach your team, so why waste time with anyone else, minority or not? Tokenism isn't going to help anyone. It's fine when you fire a coach and are looking far and wide for a replacement, but in a situation like this, it's just an obstacle. I don't disagree with the basic concept of the Rooney Rule, but I think it would have been better being the Strong Rooney Suggestion as opposed to codifying it and setting up these sorts of situations where a team is going to have to do something useless and somewhat wrong to avoid a penalty.

Back to the football aspect of this, I have to wonder if Carroll felt like some form of sanctions were coming down on USC with the Bush and McKnight situations. USC may be heading for a bit of a down cycle, at least by their standards. And the fans of USC have Carroll to thank for those standards being so high, as he did a hell of a job there. But it may have been time for him to move on. If he wanted one more shot at the NFL, this was the time for it.

posted by TheQatarian at 01:32 PM on January 09, 2010

In a situation like this, what the hell are they supposed to do?

They're supposed to follow the rules. It isn't tokenism to make sure that you interview diverse candidates before filling a position -- it's good business. If you're willing to overlook the Rooney Rule in this circumstance, when would you expect teams to follow it? If Carroll's the right guy for them this week, would he no longer be the right guy next week after you've considered worthy alternatives?

posted by rcade at 02:05 PM on January 09, 2010

It would appear that Pete Carroll is attempting to evade the effects of the excrement encountering the rapidly rotating parts of the cooling device. I believe Mickster has it about right.

posted by Howard_T at 03:52 PM on January 09, 2010

If Carroll's the right guy for them this week, would he no longer be the right guy next week after you've considered worthy alternatives?

That's the point...they obviously weren't considering Leslie Frazier, so why bother with the charade of interviewing him other than to make a token gesture to satisfy the Rooney Rule requirement? In most cases, I don't have a problem with the Rooney Rule; this is just a situation where it isn't helping anyone. Again, just my opinion.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:45 PM on January 09, 2010

Any team can subvert the purpose of the Rooney Rule by bringing in qualified minority candidates they have no intention of hiring. The Carroll situation is hardly unique -- many teams have a specific coach in mind when a vacancy opens. If you believe in the purpose of the rule, which is helping put more minority coaches and coordinators in the league, you can't allow a "why bother" exception. The NFL should hit them with a big fine for this.

posted by rcade at 11:54 PM on January 09, 2010

If owners/GMs can satisfy the Rooney Rule with token interviews then the league isn't being serious enough about it. More recycling of the same old white men isn't good for the fans or the teams.

Mariucci in Detroit is an excellent example of where the hiring manager (the devastatingly bad Matt Millen, to be sure) was simply stupid--"big name who is wiling to coach your team" who was not qualified to be more than a coordinator rather than a high quality assistant, minority or otherwise, who was ready to move up.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:20 PM on January 10, 2010

I don't see how you can fine the Seahawks because they didn't intend to hire Frazier but they still interviewed him.

Are we going to institute fines because we don't like the intent of the alleged offender? The bottom line to me is that they followed the Rooney rule whether or not anyone likes it. And by what grounds do you fine Seattle? By that, I mean how do you justify the fine? "Even though you interviewed a minority, we don't like your intentions."? That makes no sense.

Don't punish those who work within the rules. Change the rules to better suit it's intent.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:11 PM on January 11, 2010

Exit interview with Carroll.

posted by yerfatma at 12:55 PM on January 11, 2010

Seattle doesn't get around the Rooney rule for this, but Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke did ask Tony Dungy if he was interested in the Team President's position last month.

posted by Newbie Walker at 01:08 AM on January 13, 2010

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