Pete Carroll is rolling the dice his third year as Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. So far, his unconventional style of coaching has brought a floundering team back to contention in many aspects. He has taken a team from awful in the secondary to one of the best in the league. He has reestablished a run game, with the help of talents like Michael Robinson and Marshawn Lynch. Additionally the offensive line, with the help of Tom Cable, has gone from a soft spot on this team to one of the strengths. Yet, his quarterback choices have been the main reason he has yet to have a winning season.
This year is a make or break year for Carroll and he is taking a gamble on a 5’10 ¾” 3rd round pick quarterback. This goes against the grain of the NFL and all conventional football wisdom. Russell Wilson has made his case for the starting job in impressive preseason performances. This will be the first time in three decades that a 3rd round pick, rookie will be a starting quarterback in the league, no quarterback 5’10” has ever won a Superbowl, and all the other rookie starters are playing out of necessity.
Has Wilson’s performance against back up defenses and a depleted Kansas City defense really impressed the coach so much that he is willing to risk his career on him? Yes, it appears so. Even with a talented and experienced quarterback they aggressively sought out in free agency, and paid handsomely for already on the team. Flynn may have only started two regular season games, but they were both against playoff caliber teams. He shined in his two performances, even setting franchise records for the Packers. Yet, Carroll has decided once again to take the road less traveled in the NFL, and fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
Some say he should start Flynn and develop Wilson’s talent. It’s not as if Flynn isn’t efficient enough to win games with the defense and running game being so much improved. Carroll has opted for Wilson because of his performances in the preseason. His career in the NFL is on the line, as this will be his third stint as a coach, and has an overall record of 47-49. He has proven to be an excellent college coach and some say he will not ever be successful at the professional level.
It is easy to look and see that the team is much improved talent wise than it was when Carroll took over. If Russell Wilson proves Carroll right, the critics will call him a mad genius. It may even change the way some view coaching at the NFL level and impact the game itself. It’s all or nothing, he is risking it all on a quarterback many considered, but passed up on due to his size.
All bets are off, the dice have been thrown. Now it is time to wait and see if the dice come up snake eyes, or 12’s.