SEATTLE, Wash. (Q13Fox.com) — Next Sunday marks the 10-year anniversary of the day Pete Carroll was introduced as Seahawks head coach.
Said Carroll that day, “I love setting our standards so high that maybe it doesn’t even seem feasible. That’s okay with me.”
Which means Carroll is perfectly fine with the lofty expectations set by fans – some, more realistic than others.
Pick apart the last ten seasons all you’d like – believe me, I have – and I’ve cringed at some of the forgettable moments that could’ve – should’ve – gone the Seahawks way. But there’s not a single team in the NFC that has more playoff appearances in the last ten years than Seattle. The eight postseason opportunities since 2010 is second only to New England, who’s made it every single year.
And there’s something you will always get with Carroll and the teams he coaches: Spirit. Enthusiasm. Optimism. And, most of all, Belief and Guts. The result of which has been an exceptional decade in this franchise’s history – and something we saw again today.
For all that was made about the Eagles injuries, the Seahawks were close to the top of the league in games missed due to injury this season. Take a look at the list of players who missed today, along with the 11 key players on injured reserve, another two on the suspended list, and tell me it’s not incredible that this team has reached the divisional round again.
Combine that with four divisional titles (two inches from a fifth) and a Super Bowl title (one yard from a second) and you have a consistently competitive and thriving organization.
Indulge me for a minute and imagine that we were sitting here in January 2030 looking back at the decade that was. And imagine the Mariners having made the playoffs eight of those ten years, with two World Series appearances including one World Championship. Then imagine a portion of that fanbase not feeling satisfied with their longtime manager, whoever that might be, who had led the organization to unprecedented success.
We have been spoiled. We continue to be spoiled. The Seahawks went 11-5 this year against the toughest schedule in the league. They went 7-1 on the road in the regular season for the first time ever. And they almost always gave themselves a chance to win.
And that’s because Carroll’s teams overachieve. They often win games they shouldn’t win. It’s a direct product of the culture that’s been built, of the leaders on this team, and the convictions that come straight from the top.
The point is this: Like any coach, Carroll has his faults. We acknowledge the questionable in-game decisions, clock and game management gaffes. They happen, and much to our chagrin, they will undoubtedly happen again. But if dealing with weekly frustrations is the cost of doing business for the overall work of the past decade, I’m still of the opinion that it’s a small price to pay.
On that day ten years ago, Carroll put it simply: “I hope we can do things better here than it’s ever been done before.”
The record shows: He’s lived up to that word. And has no intention of stopping any time soon.
The preceeding text is commentary from Aaron Levine who works as the sports director at Q13 Fox in Seattle.