Carroll revisits past with Seattle facing Patriots

Associated Press Modified: October 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012
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RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Pete Carroll feels no animosity where maybe some could be justified.

After just three seasons of trying to implement what he believed to be at the time a successful system with the New England Patriots, he was dismissed, cast aside in favor of a bigger name — Bill Parcells — and ultimately more success for the franchise.

While it was an embarrassing moment in Carroll's coaching career, his firing in New England more than a decade ago was the catalyst for the philosophy and system Carroll brought to USC with so much success and that helped land him another chance in the NFL in Seattle.

"What I learned from the situation is to be a really successful head coach you have to have control. Otherwise it's somebody else's job that you're dealing with. That's why everything that came out of that experience changed me and I haven't been the same ever since," Carroll said Wednesday. "It took me 10, 11 months before I got going on the next job, but from that time, everything that is the philosophy, the approach, the mentality, everything, the language, everything came out of that experience. It's classically one of those deals where you get kicked in the tail and you come out better. I hate to learn the hard way."

Carroll gets to revisit some of his past when the Seahawks host the Patriots on Sunday in a matchup between New England's top-ranked offense and Seattle's No. 1 ranked defense.

This is the first of two games this year where Carroll's past will catch up with him. Before getting his opportunity as the head coach of the Patriots, Carroll spent one season as head coach of the New York Jets, who visit Seattle on Nov. 11.

Carroll's time in New York was so brief it didn't have the same effect his three seasons in New England and his eventual dismissal did in forming the beliefs and philosophies he carried forward.

"Getting spanked and getting knocked out of there was a great chance for me to regroup," Carroll said.

Carroll's tenure with the Patriots started with great success, winning the AFC East in 1997 and reaching the second round of the playoffs before losing to Pittsburgh in the divisional round. New England went 9-7 in 1998 and finished fourth in the divisions but earned a playoff spot before losing to Jacksonville in the wild-card round.