Car­roll sa­vors an­other play­off trip af­ter decade in Seat­tle

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Tim Booth AP Sports Writer

REN­TON, WASH. >> When Pete Car­roll was in­formed that nearly 10 years to the day had past since he was an­nounced as the Seat­tle Sea­hawks head coach, the nor­mally ef­fu­sive coach was mo­men­tar­ily stunned.

Partly be­cause it hasn’t felt like a decade. Partly be­cause he’s never been any­where for this long in his ca­reer.

“It seems like it just flashed by, re­ally,” Car­roll said.

It’s been nearly 10 years ex­actly — Jan. 11, 2010 is when he was of­fi­cially hired — since Car­roll left be­hind his reign over South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and em­barked on a re­turn to the NFL. His de­ci­sion to come to Seat­tle was es­sen­tially a sci­ence ex­per­i­ment to see if the lessons learned and pro­gram cre­ated in Car­roll’s time in col­lege could be trans­ferred with suc­cess to the pro­fes­sional game.

What seemed des­tined to be ei­ther a rav­ing suc­cess or com­plete dis­as­ter has turned out to be the for­mer. When the Sea­hawks face Philadel­phia on Sun­day in the open­ing round of the play­offs, it will mark Seat­tle’s eighth post­sea­son ap­pear­ance in Car­roll’s 10 sea­sons.

Seat­tle had just 10 play­off ap

pear­ances in its his­tory be­fore Car­roll’s ar­rival. He’s the win­ningest coach in team his­tory, pick­ing up his 100th reg­u­lar sea­son vic­tory with the Sea­hawks in Week 15 against Carolina.

He’s brought the fran­chise to two NFC cham­pi­onships and its first Su­per Bowl ti­tle.

“I thought you guys would have me for a cou­ple years and then kick me out of here,” Car­roll said. “I never dreamed that we would be here 10 years be­cause I’ve never been any­where 10 years. This was a first. It re­ally has been a flash. The amaz­ing thing to me is that we’ve been through a gen­er­a­tion of play­ers. Guys have come through the pro­gram, played their whole ca­reers and they’re on to the rest of their life. That’s an amaz­ing thing to see hap­pen. It’s been an amaz­ing 10 years. It’s been a blast.”

While he may be the old­est coach in the league at age 68, Car­roll still has the same youth­ful en­thu­si­asm that he brought from col­lege a decade ago. Some of his coach­ing de­ci­sions can be right­fully de­bated dur­ing that time, none more than the goal-line pass in Su­per Bowl 49 that was in­ter­cepted and cost Seat­tle a sec­ond straight ti­tle.

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