After watching Pete Carroll’s news conference on ESPN, I needed a nap. Listening to the man speak was akin to running full speed on a treadmill with an intimidating, steroid-infused personal trainer yelling at you to pick up the pace.
Forty minutes of Carroll talking and the only thing I really walked away with was a headache and a desire to sleep. I know the guy was, in his own words, “fired up.” I know that he really seemed happy to be in Seattle. I know that the not-so-subliminal advertising for O Boy Oberto! will forever have me thinking “beef jerky” at the sight of the Seahawks’ new head coach.
What I don’t know is where the team is headed. Carroll never really made that point clear, though he did state that he would be in control.
He told us about the way he did things at USC, told us about his past experiences in the NFL, and kept reiterating over and over again how excited he was. We get it, Pete. You’re bleepin’ excited.
From the moment Carroll walked into the room, feigned putting on a Seahawks helmet, shook his head jokingly, then walked to the podium, it was as if someone had released a child in the midst of a sugar high into the ball pit at McDonald’s.
Though he stayed relatively motionless throughout his delivery, Carroll essentially bounced off the walls with his raging enthusiasm. Substances like cocaine, Red Bull, speed, and Jolt soda came to mind in watching the man speak. He was zany, miscalculated, rapid, and far from mundane. If nothing else, he brought energy to a building that, one week ago, was sorely lacking in that department.
Who knows for sure how this super-dee-duper upbeat attitude will translate to the NFL, since, really, there are no other coaches out there quite like Pete Carroll.
He’s been labeled the ultimate “player’s coach,” but even that is a mold in which Carroll doesn’t quite fit. When we think of “player’s coaches” we picture affable, laid-back types like Wade Phillips or Dick Vermeil. Guys who can be friendly at times, but also maintain an air of seriousness about themselves.
Carroll, on the other hand, is like your goofy fun uncle who won’t hesitate to get you drunk or buy you a stripper. He might forget a birthday or two along the way, but he’ll make it up to you with booze and boobies. He comes across as a buddy, when really he’s supposed to be serving the role of authority figure. How the players will react to that remains to be seen.
To be perfectly honest, at this point in time I’m absolutely, 100-percent mixed in my opinion of Pete Carroll. He seems like a good enough guy, but his initial address hasn’t swayed me just yet. Unlike his protege, Steve Sarkisian, Carroll has work to do in winning over at least one fan.
It’s not going to be easy, but the former head Trojan will need to incorporate results and add wins to his good-guy demeanor in order to sell his style on a fan base desperately in search of victory, and completely immune from the fluff of promise and posturing.