Pete Carroll On Marshawn Lynch and the Challenge of Maintaining Excellence


The more you listen to Pete Carroll, the more you have to admire what he’s all about, at least if you’re a Seattle Seahawks fan.

While talking to Rich Eisen on the first day of training camp, Carroll spoke on an array of topics, from Marshawn Lynch‘s holdout to how the Hawks get back to focusing for the season ahead. I think the thing that sticks out to me most about him though is his approach. It’s not above anyone, he just goes about trying to make his team better the best way he knows how; competition.

That competition would be ramped up a bit if the star running back were in camp. Talking about Lynch to Eisen, Carroll had this to say.

"Well I’m disappointed not having him, ya know? He’s been a big part of our team, we like him around here, he’s our guy and we miss that he’s not here. I feel bad that he’s not here for him too. This is a fantastic time to be with us, this team is flying. They’ve worked so hard, they care so much about what we’re doing and he’s missing out on all that. And it’s by his choice…We made a big gesture to Marshawn a couple years ago and he was a big part of (this) plan, and remains to be… he’s at home and has chosen not to come, but we’re focused, as we would, on the guys that are here.”"

Carroll obviously thinks that even without Lynch the Seahawks should be ok, but the offense is a whole nother beast (if you will) with Marshawn in the lineup. Carroll took a little different stance while talking to USA Today:

"“It’s a contract for a reason. We made a decision and it was signed, by us and by them. We expect them to honor their contract just as we will. We’re going to honor it and we expect them to do the same."

Contracts in pro sports are fickle things though, and it’s very important to remember that when a player outperforms their contract (just as in any job), they may deserve a raise. In this case Lynch has performed as a top-two or three back the past two seasons but he’s still paid as only a top-five back. If he doesn’t get his extra money now, he probably won’t get it at all. He’ll be 30 by the time the contract is up.

Also, many contracts never actually reach their conclusion, just like when the Seahawks traded for him back in 2010 to relieve him of his contract in Buffalo. It’s just the nature of the thing. Business decisions are made, role players with expensive contracts are cut to create cap space for the stars, etc.

Bottom line, both sides probably have a case, but that’s how the NFL and other pro sports work. We can probably expect this to work itself out before the third game of the preseason, but it’s impossible to gauge just how long it might go in between.

One other interesting topic that Carroll talked about was the challenge of keeping himself and his players hungry for this season after accomplishing the ultimate goal last season.

"The great challenge… to do it one time is cool and all that, but the great challenge is to come back and show that you can maintain the level of excellence. It’s been very hard around the league, in the history of it. It’s a great challenge for us."

Always Compete(!) and on to the next goal. Pete Carroll to a tee.