The 2009-2010 season left many Seattle fans disappointed, and with a lack of hope. It also left former Husky, and most recently former Seahawks’ head coach, Jim Mora, unemployed after only 1 season on the job. Finishing with a 5-11 record, Seattle was ushered into the top spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Miserable Sports Cities.
Now, with the Seahawks moving past their horrific season, the organization has entered a rebuilding phase – beginning with a change in the coaching staff, then of the general manager position, and finally the players on the roster.
Pete Carroll was hired back in January and slotted to be the ‘Hawks third head coach in three seasons with the expectation to revive Seattle back to playoff contention and put Seattle back on the map – something Jim Mora was unable to accomplish during his brief tenure as head coach. Seattle was able to pry Carroll away from USC after finishing nine seasons with an overall record of 97-19, along with two national championships. Everyone who knows football knows what kind of coach Carroll was in the college ranks, now everyone in Seattle is only hoping he can generate similar success at the next level.
Since Carroll’s arrival back to the NFL, skepticism arose as Seattle failed to make bold moves at the start of free agency. However, little did we know, good ol’ Pete had something up his sleeve.
Carroll’s finest moment came in the NFL Draft. Carroll, along with first-year GM John Schneider, made the right decision to go with a not so “sexy pick,” as former GM Tim Ruskell bluntly put it, and selected offensive tackle Russell Okung with the 6th overall pick – arguably the biggest need this offseason. The dynamic duo continued to turn heads as they selected safety Earl Thomas with the 14th overall pick and wideout Golden Tate in the 2nd round – all three players expected to have starting roles in 2010. Not only did the ‘Hawks address needs with rookies out of the draft, but the team also made low-risk,high-value trades that brought in RBs Leon Washington from the Jets and LenDale White (no longer with the team) from the Titans.
When the draft was over, skepticism quickly turned into assurance as the Seahawks became an immediate contender in the NFC West.
So, what’s next?
Carroll tells Globe’s Albert Breer that “I’m not gonna be one of those guys — build for the future, and by Year 3 we’ll be this or that.”
He went on to note, “I couldn’t care less about that type of thinking. We’re trying to win our division right now, and see how far we can take it.”
You have to respect Pete’s win-now motive but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. The ‘Hawks are a very young and new team with a nice mix of notable veterans – but realistically, Seattle will be lucky to win the division with a Niners team looking more hungrier and eager to claim the helm of the West. But for now…only time will tell.