Pete Carroll said revenge was never part of his thought process in beating the team he used to coach, the New England Patriots.
But he’ll take Sunday’s victory just the same.
“That was a long time ago,” Carroll said. “And there’s been a lot of games. I really love (New England owner) Robert Kraft. He’s a great man. He’s been great throughout the years about our separation. And I respect the heck out of him.
“But I’m a competitor. So, heck yeah, I want to win against those guys.”
Carroll was fired by New England more than a decade ago after three seasons as coach of the Patriots, including two trips to the playoffs.
But Carroll said that tough experience in New England helped reshape his coaching philosophy, leading to a successful run at USC in his next head coaching gig.
Seattle defensive lineman Red Bryant said Carroll was careful to show the proper respect for his former team and its accomplishments over the years, but also let his players know this was a game they could win.
“We respected the fact that we knew it was going to be this kind of game,” Bryant said. “And he showed a lot of confidence in what we do. I’ve been on teams with coaches where you’re playing a Tom Brady-like player, and they overemphasize how great the player is.
“And he did a great job of letting us know that he knew Tom Brady was that guy, but at the same time, relaying confidence in us that we could get the job done.”
New England coach Bill Belichick was gracious and to the point in defeat.
“They played better than we did today, so congratulations to the Seahawks,” Belichick said. “Pete, they did a great job. They outplayed us today, out-coached us. They were better than we were.”