This morning, “the Mitch in the Morning” show on KJR crossed the line from being annoying to downright stupid. Mitch has always struggled with his grip on reality, but today’s rant was just stupid, even for him. How he can claim that Pete Carroll should be fired today, and not have every single person listening to him on their radio automatically change the station, is simply amazing to me.
I get some of the frustration with Carroll this week. He’s mismanaged some situations and made some very questionable choices (like going for it on 4th down with 12 seconds left in the first half last week instead of taking the FG) but to suggest that this is grounds for a complete organizational shakeup? seriously?
Keep in mind that Carroll is the VP of football operations, not just the coach. Firing Carroll means bringing in yet another person to run the organization. That person will want to hire their own GM too. There will be another major roster purge once that happens, and another year or 2 of guaranteed losing while the transition takes place.
Keep in mind the state of the team that was here when Carroll took over. The Seahawks roster was filled with Tim Ruskell players who were the opposite of the “bigger, stronger, faster” that Carroll, and every other NFL coach, wants on their roster. Carroll has had to replace over 90% of the roster in just 2 off-seasons in order for the Seahawks to be able to line up on Sundays and not just be blown off the ball on every play. Considering the team only gets 7 draft picks each season for which to facilitate that change, it’s going to take time.
I think most fans would rather have Brandon Browner starting at CB over Kelly Jennings. Browner is huge (6-3, 220 lb.) corner who has difficulty covering receivers. The man he replaced, Jennings, is a relatively tiny (5-9, 185 lb.) corner who could cover almost any receiver but was simply incapable of making a play on the ball once it got there. He was just too small, and got out jumped or out muscled on every occasion. The thing is Browner is nothing but a stop gap at CB. No one believes he’s a real NFL starter. He’s only here because Carroll needed someone, anyone, who actually play the position since it was obvious that Jennings wasn’t going to be able to. The Seahawks still need to find a starting CB.
This is just one example. Roster problems like this exist at almost every position. Remember Deon Grant? It took 2 seasons in order to get Kam Chancellor ready to be a major upgrade at that position. What about Jordan Babineaux? He had no business whatsoever starting in the NFL? Aaron Curry? Any of the DE on the roster when Carroll took over? And that’s just the defensive players that I can come up with off the top of my head.
What I’m saying is, this type of transformation takes time. The Rams’ roster was in a similar shape a few years ago, and they’ve gone through 4 straight very bad seasons as they try and rebuild. Compare that to Carroll won a playoff game his first season.
I know most Seahawks fans love Mike Holmgren, so I’ll use his time in Seattle as one final reference. After barely making the playoffs in 1999, his first season in Seattle, Holmgren then took 4 years before making the playoff again. And the roster that Holmgren inherited was much better than the roster Carroll inherited. At this point I simply don’t see any reason not to give Carroll at least a couple more seasons to turn things around.