Pete Carroll to an AFC Team Speculation Heats Up

Pete Carroll before a Seahawks-Chargers game in 2019.

Getty Former Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

As the Seattle Seahawks parted ways with longtime head coach Pete Carroll, the team announced he would transition into an advisory role.

But a former player under Carroll and two pundits are floating the idea that Carroll, 72, would be a good fit for the vacant head coaching position with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Seahawks great Richard Sherman raised the possibility on the January 11 episode of Fox Sports’ “Undisputed,” saying, “If the Chargers called him, that would be a match made in heaven.” Later that day, Sherman followed up the idea by posting on X, “Pete to the @chargers is the match that needs to happen. @PeteCarroll would change the culture and put more ppl in the seats than ever before.”

‘Does Pete Still Have the Cache as a Trojan?’: Schrager

Then, on the January 11 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” Simmons and NFL Network’s Peter Schrager suggested that Carroll could be the perfect coach to return to LA, the scene of his most successful years as a coach, with USC from 2001 to 2009.

“Pete Carroll being done, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, he’s going to be a senior advisor.’ He wants to coach!” Schrager said. “So, it’s like, where is his place? And I look at Southern California, where everyone was penciling in [Michigan’s] Jim Harbaugh to go with [quarterback Justin] Herbert, but … does Pete still have the cache as a Trojan?”

“Yes! Yes!” Simmons replied. “Come back. We’ll give you a podcast, Pete!”

“If you want to talk about moving the needle, Harbaugh makes sense and probably is the more splashier hire, but then Pete Carroll has the roots,” Schrager said. “That market for Pete, the needle would be moving in a totally different way.”

Carroll himself left open the possibility of returning to coaching during a January 12 interview on Seattle Sports radio.

“I’ve got plenty of energy for it and though and willing,” he said, according to a post on X by a producer on Seattle Sports’ “Brock and Salk” show, “but I can’t imagine that there’s a place that’s the right one. I don’t know. I’m open to everything but I’m not holding my breath on that.”

Why Pete Carroll & the Chargers Make Sense

There are plenty of reasons that Carroll’s becoming the next coach of the Chargers makes a ton of sense, but it really boils down to two things.

First, as January 12, the Chargers are one of (if not) the most championship-ready teams that also have a head coaching vacancy. The team has a young star quarterback in Herbert and talented veterans such as wide receiver Keenan Allen, running back Austin Ekeler, linebacker Khalil Mack, safety Derwin James and defensive end Joey Bosa.

Right now, this team just needs a steady hand on the wheel and someone to get the players to believe in the power of their talent after missing the playoffs twice out of three years under Brandon Staley, who was fired after Week 15. Carroll is the perfect rah-rah coach to get that done, as long as he hires the right coaches around him to make the Xs and Os work. To do that, he can even keep current offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on staff.

The second reason Carroll is a great fit for the Chargers is that he is one of (if not) the most popular football coaches in Los Angeles history.

After bringing two national championships to the University of Southern California, the city that was starved for NFL football for decades still regards the Trojans as the official football team of LA. The Rams have some history there and have made more inroads after winning a Super Bowl, but the Chargers still have no footing in the country’s second-biggest municipality.

The former Seahawks coach would immediately bring the Chargers more credibility than the franchise has had in years, and football fans in LA would finally have a reason to cheer for this transplanted team.

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