I was fortunate enough to attend Coach Pete Carroll’s annual Seahawks Town Hall Meeting this past Wednesday at Century Link Field. It required me to take a half day off work and make the 3 hour drive to Seattle, but it was well worth it. I attended the 2013 Town Hall Meeting, which was great. This year’s event did not have any players present. Instead, the Seahawks had the Super Bowl XLVIII Lombardi on display in all it’s glory, along with Sea Gals, and preview of the future home opponents/schedule for the upcoming season.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn kicked off the event by answering questions posed by sports radio host Danny O’Neil and members of the audience. I suspect Pete Carroll wanted his coordinators to partake in the meeting providing them the opportunity to hone their public speaking skills helping them be the best they can be.
Quinn was more comfortable at public speaking and would make a great witness in a jury trial. He engaged the audience with eye contact and glanced at the entire crowd. Bevell seemed a bit more nervous at the beginning, but eased into it after he broke down the 4th and 8 play in the NFC Championship game that led to a Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse touchdown catch.
“It’s all about the ball.”
As expected, Pete Carroll stole the show. The man is just “frickin” excited about what he is doing in Seattle.
The most important job for every player on the field, irregardless of position, defense, offense, or special teams, is to gain/maintain possession of the football. The offense must protect it with their life a la Secret Service style. The defense mission isn’t to go three (3) and out, forcing the opponent to punt. The defense’s must take the ball away from the offense by any means possible. These premises also hold true for special teams kick off and return coverage. The Seahawks are 21-2 when wining the turnover/takeaway ratio.
If you want to piss off Coach Carroll while on offense, try extending your arm out while holding the ball with only one hand in an attempt to make a first down or touchdown.
“We’re going to run it down their frickin” throats.”
One of the most important elements for being a leader of a football team, corporation, agency, etc, is to know who you are in terms of your identity. If things aren’t going well, you go back to doing what you do well. What does this mean for the Seahawks? They are going to run the ball and and physically beat down their opponents while on offense which allows them to maintain control of the ball. This can be done because the defense is so good at keeping the score low. As Coach Tom Cable once said, “We throw the ball to score, we run the ball to win.” Don’t expect to see the Seahawks increase their pass attempts this season because it is not who they are.
“Korey Toomer has looked fantastic. He looks like the hottest guy in camp right now.”
Toomer (#59), linebacker, was drafted in the magical 5th round in 2012 out of the University of Idaho. He has not played since then due to a shoulder injury. Toomer was not even invited to the NFL Combine, but Seahawks linebacker coach Ken Norton spotted him while attending Idaho’s pro day workout. Could he be another diamond in the rough for this Seahawks defense?
“It doesn’t matter where they come from, or who they are, or where they were drafted, or who they used to play for. It’s who are they now?”
Coach Carroll wants players with unique skills, sizes, backgrounds, and personalities. The coaching staff must recognize these attributes and draw the best out of them. This is done by building trust with each individual player. This trust is gained by developing a relationship with the player by proving to them that the coaches care about their development and advancement. Carroll wants to support the player so he can meet his full potential. This is done by pulling out the player’s unique strengths and skills. The coaching staff is not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
This philosophy rings out through the whole organization, not just the players. Carroll wants to draw out the best from everybody from the groundskeepers to scouts. When people know that an organization actually cares about them and wants them to succeed, those people will give that organization everything they’ve got. When that happens, the team is really hard to beat. And that’s what is going on in Seattle.