Football is not a popularity contest, but when it comes to signing marquee free agents, having a popular head coach certainly doesn’t hurt. Pete Carroll has played a major role in turning the Seattle Seahawks franchise around and leading them to the Super bowl this Sunday to face the Denver Broncos.
Prior to Carroll taking over at head coach, the Seahawks were 7-9 and the NFC West division was the laughingstock of the NFL. Now the tables have turned and Carroll is in demand.
According to an anonymous poll taken by ESPN’s NFL Nation, players around the league recognize Carroll’s achievements, and would rather play for him over any other coach in the league:
“NFL Nation reporters surveyed more than 320 players on a wide range of questions over a six-week period in November and December. Carroll was the most popular coaching choice with 72 votes.”
When he was informed of the news, Carroll said was pleasantly surprised. He credited his positive reinforcement approach and showing respect for his players, rather than talking down to them:
“It’s something that I think I’ve always done naturally, in respect to the players… there are plenty of ways to adjust their play or be critical without doing it in the public eye… but we’re open around here. We’re honest enough and straightforward enough that we can talk right to our guys about any issue in front of the rest of the team.”
If they’re able to win the Super bowl this weekend, Seattle might very well become the premier destination for free agents in the league.
The last time the Seahawks made the Super bowl, they got an XL screwjob.