Who’s On First ………….?

Who’s On First ?

Well it appears to be a certainty that the USC Trojans’ long time coach , Pete Carroll will be leaving the storied program to take another shot at the NFL . And it appears the lure has been billionaire owner , Paul Allen’s wish to have Carroll coach the Seattle Seahawks. Carroll will be given autonomous control over all player personnel decision making and no doubt as in line with the control given to Washington Redskins’ coach, Mike Shanahan , the soon to be installed coach will be paid commensurate on a scale befitting his worth.

In this Sept. 5, 2009 file phot, Southern California coach Pete Carroll watches his team warm up before a NCAA college football game with San Jose State in Los Angeles. The Seattle Seahawks fired head coach Jim Mora after just one season on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke flew to California this week to interview USC coach Pete Carroll for the job. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Chris  Carlson  .........
In this Sept. 5, 2009 file phot, Southern California coach Pete Carroll watches his team warm up before a NCAA college football game with San Jose State in Los Angeles. The Seattle Seahawks fired head coach Jim Mora after just one season on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010. The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke flew to California this week to interview USC coach Pete Carroll for the job. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Chris Carlson .........

Chris Mortensen initially broke the news , as he’s a close personal friend of Pete Carroll and their relationship goes back to the days when Carroll was a coach of the New York Jets. That being said stories such as this, more often than not when broken from this outlet tends to be filled with ‘truths’ and ‘half truths’. How many times before have we heard the likes of Mortensen and his cabal of colleagues come to the fore with a ‘ breaking story’ only in the end to find out that there was no substantive evidence that the story was in fact true ? Nor in the end does the outlet have the decency to apologize for the faux -pas. But then, we now live in the age where the news cycle of stories isn’t about bringing you a story. It has in essence become about sensationalism and the gravitas of seemingly making a story up only to garner attention .

For the Seattle Seahawks to describe this season as a disappointment would be to greatly underscore the fact that the team and its coaching staff were extremely poor in every facet of preparation when it came to this NFL season. Jim Mora Jr, is no more an average NFL coach than Sarah Palin can be considered to be a great politician. In essence both play the part but there’s no quality or substance behind the persona’s in question. Mora has been abject failure in Seattle and it’s not due to the fact that there injury problems with the team. In terms of real coaching ability his skills are line with that of a drunk being asked to handle high end explosives. You know for a fact that ‘no good ‘ can come from it all ! As to why Mora’s predecessor, Mike Holmgren named Jim Mora his successor, is as perplexing to some as the mathematical equation when asked to list pi beyond fifteen places. Mora’s success as a coach is tempered by the fact that as a coach in Atlanta , he had Michael Vick as the centerpiece to a team. But in terms of success and leadership the Atlanta Falcons had little, if anything tangible to show for it all in the end. And Vick’s own off the field troubles were certainly of no help to the organization. But what might be even more exacerbating was Mora’s own demeanor prior to , during and after the whole debacle went down. At no time did he show any type leadership or the qualities therein that would lead you to believe that he could handle any type of adversity thrown his way. So it should come as no surprise when he was fired Falcons’ GM Rich McKay.

This Jan. 13, 2009, file photo shows Seattle Seahawks head football coach Jim Mora, left, talking to reporters as Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, right, looks on during a news conference at Seahawks headquarters in Renton, Wash.  The Seattle Seahawks fired Jim Mora after just one season, leaving the former NFC West champs without a coach, general manager and president less than four years after they appeared in the Super Bowl.  picture appears courtesy  of ap/photo/  Ted  S Warren ..........
This Jan. 13, 2009, file photo shows Seattle Seahawks head football coach Jim Mora, left, talking to reporters as Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke, right, looks on during a news conference at Seahawks headquarters in Renton, Wash. The Seattle Seahawks fired Jim Mora after just one season, leaving the former NFC West champs without a coach, general manager and president less than four years after they appeared in the Super Bowl. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ted S Warren ..........

Mora’s handling of the Seahawks this past season has been about as exhilarating to watch as having several teeth pulled without the use of a relaxant . Painful is one word that comes to mind , so too are several others. But the use of those words aren’t such permitted or appropriate for such a forum.

Courtesy of The News Tribune

Carroll hire done deal, report says

Seahawks: Pete Carroll reportedly quits at USC, accepts Seattle job; his role, beyond coaching team, remains undetermined

By Eric D Williams , The News Tribune

Pete Carroll is headed to Seattle.

The University of Southern California head coach submitted his resignation Sunday evening and accepted an offer to become the eighth coach of the Seattle Seahawks, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.USC players and coaches learned the news from a text message sent out by an assistant coach, according to the report.

Although the Seahawks have not said the deal is final, an announcement could come as soon as today.
Carroll built an impressive résumé during his nine seasons at USC, winning 84 percent of his games, seven Pacific-10 Conference titles in a row and two national championships. But Carroll reportedly longed to return to the NFL to prove he could win at the highest level.

He compiled a 33-31 record as a head coach in the league, including one season with the New York Jets and three with the New England Patriots, making the playoffs twice in four seasons.However, Carroll’s tenure in the pros, which ended in 1999, is viewed as mixed at best.

The Seahawks created a head coaching opening by firing Jim Mora on Friday after he finished with a 5-11 record in his first and only season in charge in Seattle.

The Seahawks may be calling for Carroll at the right time, with the Trojans facing the possibility of NCAA sanctions and Carroll’s relationship with USC athletic director Mike Garrett becoming strained.

The Trojans reportedly were interested in bringing back former USC assistant Steve Sarkisian, now the head coach at Washington, but Sarkisian said he’s not interested and that Washington is his dream job.USC has another target in Oregon State coach Mike Riley, according to reports in Los Angeles-area papers.

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As to whether or not Pete Carroll can resurrect this Seahawks’ organization would be based on whether not you believe that coaching philosophy and style can be converted from the college game and transplanted into the NFL. Particularly the traits that there were part of the success that led to USC Trojans’ dominance of college football. If you believe that, then there’s no reason to think that he cannot have success with the team. If on the other hand you’re of the opinion that the format used by him can’t work in the NFL, then you’d have a valid argument to think that he’ll have as difficult time readjusting to the environment we know as the NFL. Carroll’s foray as an NFL coach could hardly be described as a success , with stops in New England with the Patriots and in New York with the Jets. There was barely any success attained and one easily understood why after having to relinquish both positions, he became disenchanted with the NFL. That being said his return to the NFL must have something to do with Carroll now believing that he’s now capable of attaining success at the highest level possible.

Personally, I’m treating it all with great deal of skepticism. I merely see this all, as Paul Allen merely throwing his millions around, in order to try and solve a problem that neither he or the Seahawks’ executives actually have an answer for. What a number of people seem to forget is that at the height of his success is that Carroll had former assistants Norm Chow and Steve Sarkisian. In Seattle, he won’t have that luxury at all , simply put, Carroll will have to establish a complete staff of his own and then work in conjunction with a new general manager. Easier said than done, don’t you think ?

The biggest problem here for the Seahawks might not be whether or not this is a successful maneuver but what should happen at the first sign of adversity, the disenchantment of the fans should things not live up to everyone’s expectations. This is exactly the same scenario that came about with both Nick Saban’s move from LSU to the Miami Dolphins and Steve Spurrier’s move from Florida to the Washington Redskins. Can we now say that in both cases those moves were abject failures and an unmitigated disasters of the ‘highest order’ ?

Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks’ owner , Paul Allen seen here at an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played at the Seahawks’ home venue of Qwest Field in Seattle , Washington. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ted S. Warren ……..

Seahawks’ fans and no doubt Paul Allen may well feel that this gives the franchise some legitimacy as a contender for the upcoming season. But he ought to contend with the fact that the franchise over the past five years have been little more than cannon fodder for the rest of the NFC and NFL as a whole. Much like with the Emperor who has new clothes. Dressing up the Seattle Seahawks and adorning them with a ‘big named coach’ does not make them look all the more alluring as a contender in the NFL. All that it will essentially do, is to garner a great deal of attention for the franchise and the publicity that comes with it in tow. What Pete Carroll will have to do and must do , is to reassess the whole organization from top to bottom … deciding who’s on first , who’ s on second and who the hell needs to be thrown out. An aging roster , lacking in leadership, lacking in competitiveness and most of all they were lacking ‘a coach who could actually coach’ ! If Carroll can turn things around with some immediacy then it augurs well for the franchise but if there’s nothing to show for it within two years, then don’t expect to see him still a coach of this team. More likely than not, either he’ll once again become disenchanted or he will in fact meet the same fate as his predecessor. Which is it to be ?

A Tale of Two Teams ……….

A Tale of Two Teams

As with the Dickens’ novel ‘ A Tale of Two Cities’ , here we have two teams in the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who seemingly are going in opposite directions. But we are talking about quite possibly two of the worst teams in all of the NFC and the entire league.

Bucs'  fans  in the  hope  of an  early  Christmas  wish  and gift  in the  team's  game  against the  Seattle Seahawks  on   Sunday  afternoon  played  at  QWest  Field  in Seattle , Washington,.    picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Ted S.  Warren  ............
Bucs' fans in the hope of an early Christmas wish and gift in the team's game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon played at QWest Field in Seattle , Washington,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ted S. Warren ............

On the one side, you have the inexperience of Raheem Morris as the first year coach of the Buccaneers and the more experienced but less consistent coach, in Jim Mora Jr. of the Seahawks. Both teams this season have definitely had their problems. Much of it has been self inflicted, in terms of both teams’ level of play and their inconsistency. But beyond that, it is now their immediate future that may well be the guide that will indicate the ultimate direction that both organizations are said to be heading in. Seattle is now without a general manager, as Tim Ruskell has now left the organization. And from what we’ve been led to believe,overtures were made to former coach, Mike Holmgren to return to ‘the fold’ and become the President of Operations for the Seattle Seahawks. Holmgren refused the offer and is now set to take a similar position with the Cleveland Browns.

Seattle -December 20th ,2009. Running back Carnell Williams (#24) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture  appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr,. ........
Seattle -December 20th ,2009. Running back Carnell Williams (#24) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr,. ........

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played their best football of the season in defeating the Seahawks 24-7, in a thoroughly lopsided display and victory. The Seahawks are a team lacking in confidence and ability. The play of the team’s quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck is showing his age, as he now looks more like an octogenarian in need of multi-vitamins, instead of a player who at his peak was one of the better and more reliable players at the position. But if you think that this was the only problem that Jim Mora and his team faces, then you’d be sadly mistaken. They’ve now seen a resurgent San Francisco 49ers within the division (NFC West), without having to see the triumvirate of Boldin , Fitzgerald and Warner, of the Arizona Cardinals now start to lay waste to the division with an alarming amount of ease. For Mora and the Seahawks this is a time for contemplation and regrouping. But one seriously doubts if Mora and his coaches actually know what it is they’re striving for. My own thoughts are that Holmgren wasn’t the person to be making the decision as to who his successor ought to have been. There were far more noteworthy candidates who could’ve assumed the vacancy. No ’Rooney Rule’ was followed here. Only the fact that the organization somehow acquiesced to Holmgren’s demands.

Place holder Jon Ryan #9 of the Seattle Seahawks fumbles the snap on a field goal attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr .........
Place holder Jon Ryan #9 of the Seattle Seahawks fumbles the snap on a field goal attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr .........

Courtesy of News Chief

Buccaneers prey on struggling Seattle for second win of the year

Seattle-Washington ,. Josh Freeman walked over to Tampa Bay’s sideline after his ninth interception in just over two games. The 21-year-old rookie looked first-year coach Raheem Morris in the eye and calmly said: “I got it.”

Morris’ reply: “Go get it.”

He did.

Freeman threw two touchdown passes in the second half, Tampa Bay’s battered defense forced five turnovers from Seattle’s reckless Matt Hasselbeck, and the Buccaneers rallied to a 24-7 win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

Tampa Bay (2-12) won for just the second time in 17 games, and won on the West Coast for the first time since beating Oakland in the Super Bowl on Jan. 26, 2003, in San Diego.

With maybe 500 angry Seattle fans watching by the end, the young Bucs smiled triumphantly pointed to the sky after the team’s first win away from Tampa in 10 tries, since Nov. 23, 2008, at Detroit.

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Quarterback Josh Freeman (#5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks downfield as he scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks.  The  young  rookie quarterback  would  lead  his team with  authority  on their  way to a rather lopsided 24-7 victory  over the  Seattle  Seahawks  in an  NFC match up  between the  two teams.   picture  appears   courtesy of  Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr  ..................
Quarterback Josh Freeman (#5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks downfield as he scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks. The young rookie quarterback would lead his team with authority on their way to a rather lopsided 24-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC match up between the two teams. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr ..................

With this win, the Buccaneers had finally stemmed the tide of losses, albeit that this was a game that was won away from home, away from their long suffering fans. For Raheem Morris and his Bucs’ team this was the best that they’ve played this season. Josh Freeman, the team’s starting quarterback showed a great deal of poise and he led this team with authority. Also following suit by example, was the play of Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward who ran with a great deal of gusto. Something that we’ve not often from Williams over the course of his career, so far. But most surprising of all ,may well have been the play of the Buccaneers’ defense as they stifled anything that the Seahawks tried to achieve during the game. Having attained just their second win of the season, this may well be something that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can build upon over the remainder of the season and show their fans that the tides may well be changing for the better. Certainly, it’s a great deal better than many of their woes that we’ve witnessed over the course of this season.

 Linebacker Geno Hayes (#54) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes an interception against the Seattle Seahawks on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.   picture appears  courtesy  of  Getty Images/  Otto  Greule Jr ................
Linebacker Geno Hayes (#54) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes an interception against the Seattle Seahawks on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr ................

This will be something that they (Buccaneers) can build upon and take into the off-season and into the next. With the upcoming draft in April, we’ll have to see the decisions that’ll be made by team GM, Mark Dominik, as to their needs. And mark my words their needs are many. On both sides of the ball the Buccaneers are in need of a playmaker and on appearance alone this roster is lacking a player in the assumed role. It certainly hasn’t come from either Kellen Winslow, Antonio Bryant or Michael Clayton. But from the start of his reign as the coach of this team, Raheem Morris has let it be known that he was happy with the players he had at his disposal. But at the halfway point of the season it became increasingly clear that not only had he misjudged the talent on the roster but also the players’ resolve to play as a cohesive and competitive unit. However, what was even more asinine was his outspokenness as to the merits of the team. Shamelessly making an ass of himself, he continued with the mantra that the team was merely lacking in the opportunities. What was that ‘lacking the opportunities’ ? No, in the NFL you aren’t afforded opportunities , you play to the best of your abilities. And if anything the Buccaneers’ record (2-12) reflects that. So whatever it is that Morris presumed it was that he saw in the team wasn’t forthcoming until late into the season.

Seattle Seahawks fans wear bags over their heads to  show their disgust  at the  team's  effort in the final minutes of Seattle's 24-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Seattle.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/ John Froschauer .........
Seattle Seahawks fans wear bags over their heads to show their disgust at the team's effort in the final minutes of Seattle's 24-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Seattle. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Froschauer .........

The 2010-11 NFL season will bring a great deal of turmoil to the league, if the game’s hierarchy and the players’ union (NFLPA) can’t come to some agreement as to the collective bargaining agreement. In all likelihood, if both sides can’t come to some sort of resolve in sorting out their issues, then the turmoil of an uncapped season awaits the league. Certainly not something that the vast majority of the teams would even contemplate, given the present economic climate. And though the NFL salary cap, at $112 million is at its highest it has ever been. The thought that next season could become all askew without the salary cap keeping everyone’s budget in ’check’. We will end up seeing the likes of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins spending money like drunken sailors on a weekend furlough.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris waves to fans as he walks off the field after the Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-7 in an NFL football game.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/  Ted  S Warren  ....................
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris waves to fans as he walks off the field after the Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-7 in an NFL football game. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Ted S Warren ....................

And now comes the hard part for everyone to think about. What happens next ? As to the fortunes of both the Buccaneers and Seahawks and the paths that they’re now said to be on. Well this has all been about the tale of two teams and their travels. Where do you see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks, as to their impending future ?