By Brady Henderson
NEW YORK – Fully suited and chipper as ever, coach Pete Carroll stood at the podium Monday morning looking surprisingly put together for a guy who just hours earlier had won the Lombardi Trophy that stood on display at a table nearby.
"Sleep wasn't in order last night," he said.
"Everybody is enjoying the heck out of it," said Pete Carroll, who's pictured next to Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith. (AP)
"We had a great party that was rolling at our place," Carroll said. "I mean, how good is it when you have your owner up on stage playing guitar with his own band? Paul was hot last night. He was tearing it up. Big licks, you know? He had some notable artists with him, too, playing. So he's got a good roster also."
The Seahawks are world champions thanks to the strength of theirs, the ultimate testament to the job Carroll and general manager John Schneider have done since coming to Seattle four years ago.
They did it with an uncommon approach both in terms of Carroll's coaching style – which some doubted would work in the NFL – and the way they built a championship roster full of misfits, castoffs and physical oddities. Malcolm Smith, an undersized linebacker and former seventh-round pick, embodied it perfectly as he posed for pictures next to Carroll holding his Super Bowl MVP trophy.
Now the challenge is keeping that roster together, which Carroll believes Seattle is positioned well to do unlike past Super Bowl champions. Last year's Ravens are the most recent reminder of one of the realities in a league with a salary cap, which is that championship rosters often become too expensive to keep intact.
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"I think we are in a very fortunate situation," Carroll said. "John Schneider has done an extraordinary job of structuring this roster with contractually and the vision of looking ahead so that we can keep our guys together. One of the things that happens so often is that teams have a big fallout after they win the Super Bowl, and we're not in that situation."
That's not to say it will be easy. Several key players will become free agents this offseason while others will become eligible for new contracts, and the Seahawks have to operate knowing that the likely hefty bill will soon come due for quarterback Russell Wilson.
Those are concerns for another day, though. Now is the time to savor a moment that was a long time coming, both for a franchise that won the first Super Bowl of its 38-year existence and a city that has been the capital of sports disappointment.
"There's no fan base that deserves this more," Carroll said. "Nobody's worked harder at supporting their team with more passion and love and spirit and all than ours."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.