It is hard to imagine Pete Carroll as anything other than a coach, but there was a time when the Seattle Seahawks leader was getting after it on the football field. The Seahawks wished Carroll a happy birthday on Monday in the best way possible by uncovering rare footage of his playing career at the University of the Pacific.
To make the present even better, Seahawks general manager John Schneider broke down Carroll’s old tape from a scouting perspective. Schneider joked that the Seahawks were “super excited about this prospect.”
“We take pride in overturning every rock and looking in every nook and cranny to try to find a player here and there,” Schneider explained on the clip, per Seahawks.com. “We’re super fired up to find this guy. Now it’s smaller school film, it was hard to find, especially for a school that doesn’t even play football anymore. But we’re super excited about this prospect. I can’t wait to get into it.”
Here is a look at the rare highlights from Carroll’s career.
Carroll Never Played in the NFL
After his college football career, Carroll got an early start to coaching as he was unable to catch on with an NFL team. Given Carroll’s passion for working with cornerbacks and safeties, it is no surprise that he played in the secondary. Carroll may be an expert teacher but Schneider admitted that the coach’s form as a player could use a little work.
“A little bit stiff, but look at the raw enthusiasm of that guy,” Schneider noted. “You’ve got to love these guys who are just intense. You’ve got to love that about this guy. …Now he’s arguing with the ref. Some things have never changed I guess… Enthusiasm, intensity, I don’t know how you can go wrong with this guy. I can see why he’d be a hell of a prospect, and obviously a great coach. Legendary coach.”
Carroll turned out to be a much better coach than a player, and Seahawks fans are thankful he found coaching as the team has had one of its best stretches in franchise history. The Seahawks coach did have a workout with the Rams before he turned to coaching, but Carroll did not end up receiving an offer from the team.
“I went through the workout, and I never heard from him [Chuck Knox] again,” Carroll said in 2018, per Seahawks.com. “They timed me in the 40, they did this and did that, and I never heard from them again. That was my shot with the Rams. That was my brush with greatness.”
Carroll Squashed Retirement Rumors in 2017
Back in 2017, rumors circulated that Carroll was thinking of retiring, but the Seahawks coach quickly put an end to the speculation. Carroll took to Twitter to clear up the retirement rumors.
“People talking about retirement… I ain’t old enough to think about retiring! 🕺,” Carroll tweeted.
Carroll celebrated his 69th birthday this week but has not given any indication that wants to stop coaching any time soon. Carroll’s days as a player may be over, but the coach still loves to throw the football at every Seahawks practice.