What the Seahawks did this offseason may seem unprecedented, but for coach Pete Carroll, it simply reminded him of the turnover he watched every year at Southern Cal.
The 66-year-old Carroll’s enthusiasm is still high after an offseason of jettisoning (or otherwise losing) a number of aging stars and replacing them with new faces.
“This feels like when you’re in college,” Carroll told Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America. “That senior class graduated—those guys that did all the playing for you. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good team next time around. New players, new coaches. There’s new juice about everything that we’re doing. I go back and do all my teaching again. I’m really happy about it.”
Some of the former Seahawks admitted that the stories may have gotten stale after hearing them a few teams, but there’s little chance of that with this team. The turnover was significant on the coaching staff as well as the roster, and the Seahawks starting lineup in two weeks won’t be familiar to many.
That requires a different kind of leadership, and General Manager John Schneider said Carroll has embraced the challenge.
“You know Pete. He preaches competition, open competition, every single day,” Schneider said. “It’s hard to preach that when you got the best corner and the best free safety and the best strong safety and the best middle linebacker, all young, and you know those guys are locked in there. They were the youngest team to win it all. You don’t tear that apart.
“Now, this. It’s fun. Lots of enthusiasm. So much spirit, so much new. It’s pretty cool.”
Whether that translates into success on the field remains to be seen, in a loaded NFC field and a much-improved NFC West in particular. But at least they’re approaching it with the right mindset.