Updated Apr 4, 2011 - 7:55 pm
Jim Moore: Reluctant Pete Carroll fan
By Jim Moore
I wasn't excited when Pete Carroll came to town. As a Washington State fan, I've been rooting against this guy and his Trojans and the white horse and the "Conquest"-playing band for 10 years.
I still don't buy that he didn't know anything about the Reggie Bush ordeal. I found it comical that the Bush fallout, complete with sanctions, scholarship reductions and a bowl ban, coincided with Carroll's "Win Forever" book tour.
That's another thing I didn't like about Carroll - all of those catch phrases of his: "Win Forever," "Earn Everything," "All In," "Tell the Truth Monday," etc., etc.
Begrudgingly, I'm coming around. I sort of like Carroll now. Emphasis on "sort of." I don't know if I'll ever be a huge fan of his, not that it matters, but I have to admit that he's made a huge difference as coach of the Seahawks.
What matters is what his players think of him, and they've clearly rallied around Carroll. They appear to love him. They undoubtedly respect the heck out of him because of what he did at USC. They must like that he's a kid at heart.
I enjoy seeing him on the sideline, talking to officials, hugging his players and smiling a lot more than most coaches. He's animated and fun to watch.
He's also candid. Or seems to be anyway. He didn't dodge questions about his call at the end of the first half that cost the Seahawks a field goal in the San Diego game. The Matt Hasselbeck draw play didn't work, the clock ran out, and the Seahawks looked harried and disorganized. Carroll admitted that he blew it with that call.
You could criticize the call 'til the cows come home because the consequences were obviously severe - what if Hasselbeck doesn't make it, and you don't have a timeout, you run the risk of blowing a field goal opportunity.
But the call was so unusual that Carroll must have been thinking it would catch the Chargers completely off-guard. If that had been the case, it would have been a brilliant call. I can't fault him, nor will I ever, when he goes against the NFL book.
That might be what I like him about the most - he appears to be more than willing to try unconventional stuff that other coaches would never attempt to do. I'm looking forward to the next game in St. Louis or in some other game down the road when the Seahawks have a 4th-and-4 at the opponent's 38-yard line, and he says, what the heck, I'm going for it.
I look forward to his Wednesday lunchtime news conferences. He stands on a stage behind a podium in a theater-like auditorium while reporters sit below him, jotting down or recording his comments. He's up there, rat-a-tat-tatting his replies, machine gun-like in his delivery. I have a hard time keeping up with him. I don't think his lips can keep up with a mind that is going in so many directions all the time.
So reluctantly, yes, I'm starting to like Pete Carroll. This team would not be 2-1 without him.
Jim Moore also writes for seattlepi.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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