Is Seattle Seahaks head coach Pete Carroll on his way to the pro football Hall of Fame?
If the Seattle Seahawks have another year like last year, then the answer to that question is most definitely yes. If they struggle, but make it to the Super Bowl and win, the the answer is most likely yes.
Of the 13 coaches with two or more Super Bowl wins, seven are already in the NFL’s Hall of Fame – and Bill Bellichick and Jimmy Johnson are locks. Johnson, like Pete Carroll, won the National Championship in college, then went on to win the Super Bowl (Jimmy Johnson was in fact the first head coach to accomplish this). Winning in college, of course, should not count for making the pro football Hall of Fame, but the HOF selection committee members are not (as far as can be detected) androids.
Another factor is how DOMINATING these Lombardi-trophy-snatching teams were.
Head coach John Madden’s Oakland Raider teams only brought home a single Lombardi (Super Bowl XI 1976), but played in an era when they’d have to go through the legendary Chuck Noll Pittsburg Steelers. This brutal rivalry was the real Super Bowl of its day, much like the Dallas Cowboys versus San Francisco 49ers rivalry in the nineties (and, many believe, the Seattle Seahawks/San Francisco 49ers rivalry of the present day).
John Madden invented the template for the hard-ass defensive Oakland teams that would define them for decades, with defensive backs Jack Tatum and George Atkinson playing bump-and-run in-your-face man-to-man coverage all the way downfield. The Madden Raiders owned the AFC West and usually made the playoffs. The Raiders got to the AFC conference championship every year from 1973 to 1977. They featured eight Hall of Fame players to go with their HOF coach.
How many current Seattle Seahawks will be in the Hall of Fame? If all their careers ended today: Precisely zero.
It can not be ignored, when inducting a head coach in the NFL Hall of Fame, that he had a huge hand in building his own team. While not actually pulling the trigger on the trades, the head coach is the primary scout, and he gathers players to fit his system. Many, if not most, Hall of Fame players got to Canton through the luck of ending up in a system that suits their skill set. Of course a Lawrence Taylor would’ve destroyed anywhere he played, but those are the rare ones.
Where would Russell Wilson be playing if it weren’t for Pete Carroll? Would Wilson even be a starting quarterback? Will he be enshrined someday in Canton, Ohio? The Seattle Seahawks are loaded with late-round players (like Richard Sherman – the best shut-down corner in the NFL) who were undervalued by the rest of the league. The Seahawks might also be loaded with players who flourished in a system that knew what to do with them – and how to get them into the pro football Hall of Fame.
Along with their coach.