Pete Carroll is preparing for his long, dangerous and difficult journey. His destination? A Superbowl Championship for the Seattle Seahawks. He sit’s alone in his shelter and thinks about what he should pack.. GPS? Yes, John Schneider must come along. Baggage? Yep, he’s got a ton of it. Sustenance? He’s packed the 12th Man fan base. Protection? Yes! Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, and a young, but talented defense is on board. A strike force? umm…Well, He had one guy to organize it, let him go, then got this new guy Bevell..umm.. Pete hopes this will work.
The road to Superbowl greatness seems to be different lengths for different teams. The Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers, Patriots, just to name a few, have been blessed with multiple Superbowl visits, and wins. The Seahawks have had just one, and that visit was so painfully disappointing the band wagon fans jumped off so fast they left a blazing trail of scorched earth behind them. Pete know’s this, and as he sets out, he dares to dream of doing what Mike Holmgren couldn’t…Finishing the journey.
Pete Carroll has decided this journey to greatness will start on defense. But Pete Carroll’s strength and focus in building and developing a defense, have also been this teams worst weakness. The two offensive coordinators that have attempted to assist Pete in his journey and have failed for a multitude of reasons. The hiring of Darrell Bevell was more of a mistake than the trade for Charlie Whitehurst. Pete Carroll’s willingness to defer in the matters of the offense, have left his young defense to pay the price for his transgressions.
A season and a half into this odyssey, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have been forced to think of success in relative terms. “We may be ranked 29th in offense, but at least we improved from last week” is the kind of thing Pete hears from fans, bloggers, and Seattle radio to soften the current reality of the voyage. But deep down he knows his Seahawks are a struggling football team who are in the middle of an awfully painful rebuild. He strives to make them competitive yet, the youthful and exuberant Seahawks lack the discipline to get out of their own way. Costly penalties, head scratching execution, and mind blowingly awesome plays make this mixed bag of football one part interesting, and nine parts excruciating on Sundays. Pete’s not a fan of silver linings because they are a mirage. He know’s what lies ahead, and relying on fool’s gold will be his downfall. The discipline issues, and unbalanced team building approach have relegated his team to fighting battles with one hand tied behind their back. He stares at the following stats and shakes his head in disgust:
OVERALL OFFENSIVE RANK: 29th
3rd DOWN %: 23rd
PENALTIES: 2nd behind the Raiders….
OVERALL DEFENSIVE RANK: 14th
VS RUN: 13th
VS PASS: 17th
He has sent for reinforcements before. He’s brought in several key players to help propel this offense forward. Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Leon Washington, Russell Okung, Doug Baldwin, and others have battled fiercely, but without a talented field general they have succumbed to better teams. Tarvaris Jackson, while serviceable, is not the answer Pete searches for, and Charlie Whitehurst proved himself to be what some thought he’d be..The ever important bench warmer. Pete know’s those decisions have hurt his chances, but his mind is strong. Maybe, just maybe, when the season is over, he can send for more reinforcements and his field general will magically arrive. Hope has become the only rallying cry now..Just hope for the field general who can save him. The general that will allow him to focus on what he know’s best. Defense.
As time has progressed, the ample sustenance provided by the 12th Man has begun to diminish. The positive energy by some has been replaced with apathy, and even anger, as another season has slipped away. Pete stares blankly at his map, and begins to wonder if he is on the right path. “Did we take a wrong turn somewhere?” he asks John Schneider. John assures him that they did not, but it doesn’t help Pete at all. He’s beginning to hear the faint whispers. The ones that creep into a man’s head when faced with this level of adversity. The ones that try to convince you that you are going to fail. That you’re not good enough, and that it’s time to pack it in and quit.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, and Pete believes that his way will lead the Seahawks to greatness as he promised. Pete crumples the map, and throws it to the ground. “Win Forever!” he exclaims as he heads out to rally his men.
The second half of the season has begun.