As tends to happen to everybody besides the Patriots, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have been in a gradual but steady decline since winning the Super Bowl in the 2013 season and losing it in the 2014 season, and all of a sudden find themselves with a season unraveling and in need of a pretty substantial rebuild. Maybe this would be an opportune time for Carroll and the Seahawks to go their separate ways.
In the 42-7 drubbing Seattle took at home at the hands of the upstart Rams, they were outmanned at every position except quarterback. From 2-53, the Rams just have better, younger, less expensive players, and that situation ain’t going to reverse itself anytime soon.
If the NFC West weren’t steadily improving around Seattle, perhaps it would make sense to make one more go at it with Carroll and hope the Legion of Boom can return healthy next season and stay that way. But Sean McVay, and the 49ers brass with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan who appear to have found their quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, make that option less palatable.
By any metric, Pete Carroll has done an exemplary job as head coach of the Seahawks. He exorcised all the demons from previous unsuccessful stints with the Jets and the Patriots (when Bill Simmons would call him Fredo), and even though he is 66 years old he would instantly become on the short-list of top candidates on a market that could conceivably have 8-10 open jobs.
But, his message may have worn thin in Seattle. In addition to being generally beaten up on defense with season-ending injuries to Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, two players in that unit — Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner — sniped at each other through traditional and social media after Sunday’s game. Amidst frustration at the end of the game last week Michael Bennett recklessly dove at the Jacksonville center’s knees while Quinton Jefferson could very well have ignited a Malice in the Palace situation if not for a beefy security guard who forcefully prevented it. The bill is coming due for the laissez faire style that brought Carroll so much success in the first half of his tenure.
On offense, the Seahawks have Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, and not much else. The offensive line has been a mish-mash unit for years, and nothing has really worked in the running game since Marshawn Lynch left the team following the 2015 season. It doesn’t feel like things will turn around anytime soon. This team needs enough new players that this will be a multi-year process, and some painful decisions on veterans of the defensive unit are coming.
Nevertheless, the Seahawks would also be a relatively desirable landing spot because they still have Russell Wilson, one of the top several quarterbacks in the league. In recent years, the Saints have rebuilt around Drew Brees and the Steelers around Ben Roethlisberger. A great quarterback is the hardest position to find and if you have that you’ll always have a fighting chance at a meaningful season, and, with the right few acquisitions in the draft and free agency, a Super Bowl.
If Pete Carroll returns to the Seahawks, it would delay the schedule for each of returning to success. They are, in my estimation, headed for a losing season next year if they stay the course. As someone who vigorously dislikes the Seahawks dating back to the Fail Mary game, I hope they don’t listen to me, and that Carroll returns.