10 seasons deep, Pete Carroll never thought he’d be with the Seahawks this long

SEATTLE -- Q13 Sports Director Aaron Levine sat down with Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and chatted about the upcoming season and more.

This is a transcription of their interview:

Levine: Coach, it’s now your tenth season here in Seattle, thoughts on reaching that mark?

Carroll: Well I never, ever thought about coaching anywhere for that long. My whole career has been about bouncing around, going from one place to the next. I’ve always thought of myself as kind of a mercenary, fighting other people’s wars. But we’ve really dug in here, and it’s been a great 10 years.

Levine: Hard to believe you’ve been here longer than USC?

Carroll: Oh yeah. I never imagined being anywhere as long as USC. And coming here, honestly, I didn’t think you guys would want me this long. I’m really proud of the years we’ve put together, and it’s been a blast.

Levine: It’s not just you, it’s also John Schneider, you guys have been together for 10 seasons now. Describe why you think that relationship works so well?

Carroll: I think we started off with a really good thought. I was saying to John the fist meeting we got together after I accepted the job, I’m just going to try to help him become the best general manager in the history of professional sports. And I’m going to do everything I can to do that and support you in that regard. From that point, I was committed to the relationship, and I was hoping John would buy in too. I knew what I was thinking, and I was trying to get him to commit. And it’s been a marriage in a sense. There’s been all kinds of challenges to it – mostly highs, tons of good times, tons of fun, it’s been a joy competing with him.

Levine: What’s your best John Schneider story?

Carroll: There’s a million of them. One I would share with you is every draft, we have a meeting with the owner. Back in the day, we met with Paul Allen. And on Wednesday of the draft week, John was telling Paul what was going to happen – who we were going to draft, we had a couple number one picks – and John told him, “I don’t know what’s going to happen. It depends on who’s there.” And the more John kept talking, all of a sudden Paul would put his head in his hands and say, “This is going to be the worst Seahawk draft ever.” John and I look at each other and thought, “Oh, no.” We just sent him off the tank before we even started, and we haven’t even drafted anyone yet. So that’s where it all started, and fortunately, it all worked out, and it turned out a little bit better than that. But that was one story John and I will never forget. That’s where we began our relationship with .

Levine: You and John had a plan for this offseason, a lot of moving parts, evaluate the execution and results of that?

Carroll: Oh, I’m thrilled about it, I really am. Knowing every offseason is so difficult and so challenging because of the players that you’re losing and you can’t maintain, and all of the challenges with restructuring and rebuilding. But this year, coming off the season with an attitude that we were really excited about, these guys were really positive and upbeat and supportive with one another. We knew they got along. You could feel the kind of nucleus that it takes to build a championship club. That kicked it into high gear, but I think it’s the fact that we were able to get so much out of so little. We had worked some picks, and we were down to four picks and we didn’t know how it was going to go. We had major issues with contracts and stuff coming up. We were able to make some moves as we plotted it out. And one after another, it really fit together well. And John had a really great draft and maximizing 11 players out of a four-player entrance. And so, we’ve also been able to connect guys this offseason. We’ve done tremendous work with our contracts and the salary cap. We’ve positioned ourselves in a place where we feel really feel good about the future.

Levine: When you look at the current roster, what stands out?

Carroll: Depth. This is about depth. This is about challenges at key spots that are going to be so fascinating to see how they’ll turn out. We couldn’t tell you right now. As late as it is right now, we couldn’t tell you how it’s going to go. We have to go through every day of camp and through the preseason and these games, and let it play itself out and give these guys a chance to compete and show who they are and fit this thing together.

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