Although Pete Carroll is one of the top names on this year’s coaching carousel, the 14-year Seahawks leader has not met with a team about its HC position. It appears he is trying to change that.
Carroll had wanted to keep going with the Seahawks, admitting he made an aggressive pitch to stay on. The Seahawks instead kicking him to an advisory role leaves the energetic leader’s NFL future uncertain. But Carroll is believed to have attempted to land another gig. The 72-year-old coach has been making a behind-the-scenes push to land the Chargers’ job, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
While both the Chargers and Falcons have Jim Harbaugh on their respective radars, the Michigan HC is now most closely linked to the Bolts’ opening. The Chargers have made Harbaugh an offer viewed as “extremely strong,” and Harbaugh assistants are already circulating. The Chargers have satisfied the Rooney Rule, and although Harbaugh has been in talks with his current employer about an extension for weeks, it would not surprise to see him make Los Angeles his vehicle for an NFL comeback after nine years in the college ranks.
Carroll and Harbaugh coached against each other throughout the latter’s time in San Francisco, most memorably in a tightly contested 2013 NFC championship game the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks won. While Carroll has coached in two Super Bowls as a head coach and has a ring from Super Bowl XLVIII, his Seattle defenses have declined over the past several years. Over the past two, the Seahawks ranked 30th in total defense. That understandably interfered with his hopes of coming back for a 15th season, with longtime GM ally John Schneider now running the show in Seattle.
It would stand to reason teams would still be interested in Carroll, given his accomplishments, but the two oldest members on this year’s HC carousel — Carroll and Bill Belichick — have not received substantial interest. At least, not from multiple teams. Belichick remains closely linked to the Atlanta HC opening, interviewing twice. But the 24-year Patriots HC has not met with any other team.
Belichick, who is 71, is less than a year younger than Carroll, who was the NFL’s oldest HC last season. No team has hired a head coach older than 66 in NFL history, with only four coaches (Carroll, George Halas, Marv Levy, Romeo Crennel) in league annals coaching a game at 72 or older. Carroll’s age will undoubtedly impede his quest to land a fourth NFL HC gig. It is nonetheless interesting Carroll is trying to land in Los Angeles, where he spent nine years coaching USC in the 2000s.