SEATTLE — Let me get this straight: Since his first season as head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll has had one losing season, came within a "Malcolm Butler" of winning two straight Super Bowls and most recently led the team to the NFC West title last season with a 12-4 record.
Nine months later and seven games into this season, there's talk of sending him packing? Ridiculous.
I'll be the first to say all good things must come to an end. Mike Holmgren is the best example for the Seahawks. All he did was win for 10 seasons in Seattle, but that great run was bound to end. George Karl averaged nearly 60 wins during his six years as head coach of the Sonics, including 61 wins in his last season, before his run in Seattle ended.
Those were fun rides for fans and all those who followed the teams. Their formulas for success were simple - great coaches teamed with star players. Karl had Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and a cast of others. Holmgren had the best offensive line ever assembled in Seattle along with an NFL MVP running back in Shaun Alexander.
In the Carroll era, he has done his winning with Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and the legendary Legion of Boom.
Successful coaches have star players. They win with those stars and lose without them.
Carroll openly admitted that fact this week, saying, "I've been here a long time. And if we didn't have Russell, I probably wouldn't have been here a long time."
The coach was speaking the obvious. We watched Wilson run over, around, and through teams during the last nine seasons wondering when the injury bug would finally catch up to him and his style of play. The answer came this season, number 10 at age 32.
He's still one of the top quarterbacks in the league and a future Hall of Famer.
So again, a quarterback of that caliber misses two full games, both close losses, and that's all it takes to bring on talk of firing the coach?
Sure, Carroll is the NFL's oldest head coach, but 70 years old looks like 50 on him. He's the second-highest-paid coach in the league at $11 million per season, and his current contract runs through the 2025 season. He's not going anywhere anytime soon. And he shouldn't.
I'm guessing what he'd like to do is recoup some of the money and draft picks his team has shelled out to certain teams and players in recent years. This franchise has made some mistakes, like all teams in the NFL, but it's a "win now" league. Sometimes you write the checks and hope your team can cash them immediately.
Those checks are still going out, but the return on investment is dwindling. The losses are clearly wearing on the head coach. You can hear it in his voice and see it in his face.
But he's far from done.
Winston Churchill famously said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
It's a gridiron hell for Carroll, but he won't let that slow him down or much less stop him.