Ever since Mike Holmgren left Seattle, we’ve been searching for an identity, some recognition, some respect. Mike Holmgren added Jim Mora Jr. to his staff planning for him to take over the reins after his departure. Mora stuck with pretty much the same strategy that Holmgren had started, and many of the same players still remained here in Seattle under Mora. Holmgren’s final season in Seattle, the Hawks went 4-12. Mora’s inaugural season, 5-11. This wasn’t the change that the Seahawk Community was looking for. Whether or not Mora was given his due chance to change the team, he was fired.
Enter Pete Carroll. A highly touted college coach, with NFL experience. His enthusiam and energy was an immediate shock to those fans who didn’t know who he was. His former stint in the NFL was immediately brought back up. Carroll couldn’t possibly turn this franchise around, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The critics all lined up to get their shots. This was the same Carroll that started 6-5 as the head coach of the New York Jets in 1994, and wound up losing that season with a 6-10 record. As the head coach of the New England, Carroll failed to keep a Patriots team in the playoffs, making a steady decline the years he was there the Patriots went, 10-6, 9-7, and 8-8. In 1999, Carroll was put on the chopping block. This was the same Carroll that got NCAA sanctions imposed on USC for knowingly allowing players to receive gifts. The critics definitely had the facts to back up their claims that Carroll didn’t belong in coaching.
The year was 2010. Carroll brought in new philosophies, new flavor, and a challenging mantra. Players who were “comfortable” in their positions were no longer promised a starting position. “Backups” were no longer “backups”. Everyone had a legitimate shot at being a starter. Carroll wasn’t afraid of being different, not afraid to change things, move things around. Carroll brought in his guys who knew his strategy, but he wasn’t afraid to cut ties with anyone who didn’t believe. Signs were posted throughout the practice facilities with the words ” I’m in”. Just what Carroll wanted, belief in what he was doing, his plan to the top. The rosters churned at an amazing rate, over 200 players filed in and out of Seattle. Carroll was putting together the mold of a championship team. The Seahawks battled through the first season with Carroll at the helm. Finishing up the season at 7-9, they were the first team to ever make the playoffs with a losing record. More critics. The Seahawks then beat the Saints, a visiting Super Bowl caliber team. Earthquakes were registered, fans were piling in, Carroll was seeing his dream starting to become a reality. After losing the next game on the road to the Chicago Bears, the Seahawks continued their endeavor in change.
Skip ahead to today. The change has started to slow down, the roster churn hasn’t been nearly as much. Carroll’s philosophy of “always compete” has managed to bring some interesting players to Seattle. Players have bought into the plan, Seattle was starting to show up on the radar. Carroll was finally bringing some national attention to the Seattle arena. Two years after Carroll was hired we have already seen glimpses of where he intends this franchise to be. Big name players are actually interested in playing here. The franchise has finally found what it was looking for, and the Seahawks are starting to get some respect around the league. The “always compete” mantra has changed everything here in Seattle, changed the old dull feelings of more losing seasons on the horizon. Carroll has truly changed the franchise and made others believe, support, and make them want to say ” I’m in!”