The unbridled passion Pete Carroll often shows on the Seattle Seahawks sideline poured out at the NFL Annual Meeting last week when he basically lectured owners they have to get used to the idea of hiring head coaches who don’t look like them — meaning minorities.
This report first came from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and was substantiated to varying degrees for OutKick Monday evening by one source who heard the comments but interpreted them his own way.
ESPN says Carroll “called out owners” and accused them of “living in their own universe.”
OutKick’s source says Carroll was just giving his opinion while stating a case for getting minority candidates in front of owners in settings in which they might not otherwise mix.
But there is pushback in the aftermath of this meeting because although no one challenged Carroll during the meeting, some people are dismissing the comments as unrealistic.
“So basically a billionaire who’s running not one, not two, but three billion-dollar businesses is supposed to go around having meet-and-greets with various potential future head coaches, even as his own coach is at his facility working to win enough games to stay employed?” said one NFL general manager.
“That’s fantasyland stuff, right there. These owners typically meet their job candidates for the first time when they interview them. But now we’re going to get all these coaches together with all these owners like Pete wants and have a mixer? Good luck with that.”
And this from a white NFL assistant with hopes of one day being a head coach:
“I’m sure Pete is coming from a good place. But I’ve never met an NFL owner besides the guy who signs my paycheck, and I’m not even sure he remembers my name all the time.
“I’d like to network with a bunch of rich guys too. But my understanding is Carroll didn’t suggest white guys like me could go hang out with these owners because I’m white.
“(Bleep) that. (Bleep) Pete.”
Carroll’s comments to his peers came one day after owners agreed every team will hire a minority offensive assistant coach for the 2022 season — an effort to add diversity hires on the offensive side of the ball where a majority of new head coach hires have come from in recent hiring cycles.
The new assistant job can be filled by “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority,” according to the policy and will be paid from a league-wide fund. The coach must work closely with the head coach and the offensive staff, with the goal of increasing minority participation in the pool of offensive coaches.
Interestingly, Carroll himself will benefit from adding a minority offensive coach because his record hiring them as coordinators or quarterback coaches — from which many coaches graduate to head coach jobs — has been poor.
Carroll took over as the Seahawks coach in 2010. He’s hired four offensive coordinators in that time. All are white.
Carroll has also had four quarterback coaches during his Seattle tenure. All are white.
Carroll coached the New England Patriots from 1997-99. He hired two offensive coordinators during that time with New England, both white. He hired two quarterback coaches during that tenure, both white.
Carroll served as the New York Jets coach in 1994, his first stint as an NFL head coach.
And during that one year before he was fired in January of 1995, Carroll employed Ray Sherman as his offensive coordinator and Walt Harris as his quarterback coach.
Sherman is black. Harris is white.
Actions speak louder than words — even when they’re uttered at an NFL Meeting in front of head coaches and general managers.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero