All the talk about new head coaches needing three years to infuse their own “system” into the new team got me wondering about how the Seahawks have fared from previous coaches. Since 1976 when the Seahawks were introduced to the NFL, they have accumulated 8 different head coaches. These men were and are Jack Patera (1976-1982), Mike McCormack (1982), Chuck Knox (1983-1991), Tom Flores (1991-1994), Dennis Erickson (1995-1998), Mike Holmgren (1999-2008), Jim Mora (2009), and finally Pete Carroll (2010-current).
We can automatically knock out McCormack, and Mora since neither of those two had enough accumulated seasons to compare stats. That leaves us with five other coaches we can compare to Pete Carroll in the Seahawks franchise.
Jack Patera spent his first two years building up the Hawks, and managed two wins the first year, and five wins the second year. The third year Patera took his team to a first ever above .500 finish, and ended up at 9-7. Patera that year managed five wins in the Kingdom, only surrendering three losses. The 1978 Seahawks, with only one Pro Bowl player (Steve Largent), scored 345 points while allowing their opponents to score 358 points. So in summary, Jack Patera led the Seahawks, in three seasons, to a combined 16-28 record. Coincedentally, Patera’s best season with the Seahawks was his third year when he managed to tie for second place in the AFC West.
Chuck Knox’s third year wasn’t nearly as impressive as his prior two. In his first year with the Hawks, Knox took the Seahawks to the AFC Championship game, but faltered to the Raiders 30-14. Knox was 9-7 in his first season, and improved on it in the second season, taking the Seahawks to a franchise best 12-4. In his third season with the Seahawks, Knox only managed a mere 8-8. With three Pro Bowlers on the roster (Steve Largent, Kenny Easley, and Fredd Young). The Seahawks scored 349 points, holding their opponents to only 303 points. Overall Chuck Knox’s combined record, in three seasons, amounted to 29-19.
Tom Flores overall record in his third year totalled 15-33. Flores’ best year with the Seahawks was his first year, and he only got them to a 7-9 finish. His second year he managed 2-14 to tie the franchise for the worst year. His third year he amassed six wins versus ten losses. The Seahawks managed only 280 points that year, while allowing their opponents to score 314. They managed to send three players to the Pro Bowl that year (Chris Warren, Cortez Kennedy, and Eugene Robinson). Flores would only spend one more season with the Seahawks.
Dennis Erickson as well only coached the Seahawks for a short four years, the same as Flores. However, Erickson amassed a total of 23 wins and 25 losses. His first season was an 8-8, followed up by a 7-9 season. Erickson’s third year he managed another 8-8 season placing the Seahawks third in their division. The Seahawks managed to score 365 points while holding their opponents to 362 points. The Seahawks also had three Pro Bowlers (Warren Moon, Michael Sinclair, and Darryl Williams).
Most recenly Mike Holmgren revived the Seahawks. In his first year, he brought the Seahawks back to the playoffs, a spot in which they hadn’t seen for 11 years. He posted a nine win season in 1999, a six win season in 2000, and finally in his third season he posted another nine win season. This was also the last season playing at Husky field, while the new Seahawks Stadium was being built. They nearly made the playoffs this year. They amassed a total of 301 points, while their opponents managed 324 points, while only having one Pro Bowler on the roster (John Randle). Holmgren in his three year stand in question, posted a 24-24 record.
So, in recapping all of the previous coaches who have amassed enough seasons with Seattle to fit into this category, theres no disputable information that goes either way. Holmgren was even in games, Knox was ahead, while Erickson, Flores, and Patera all had well under .500 records. Pete Carroll inherited a old, aging army of guys ready for their last battles. While its only been two years, Carroll has weeded out some of the age, and infused the team with young battle savvy players who are ready to start a war. His first two seasons were both 7-9. Carroll started with no players being mentioned to the Pro Bowl. After the 2011 Season, Earl Thomas was voted into the ProBowl, and soon after Michael Robinson, Brandon Browner, Marshawn Lynch, and Kam Chancellor were added. In 2012, there are several prospect players that are bound to have a incredible breakout season and head for the Pro Bowl. Carroll’s third year in tenure, in all essences, could be a bust, but with all the excitement that has been added to the roster, its more probable that it will be a boom.
*All stats taken from Pro-Football Reference.com