Pete Carroll Reacts to Death of NFL Legend John Madden

Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks

Getty Pete Carroll received a call from legendary John Madden about the 'Hawk Tackling' video.

John Madden touched many lives in the world of football, on and off the field. He was best known as a legendary coach in the NFL, one of the biggest sports broadcasters, and later on an esports pioneer. He passed away on December 28th, 2021. He was a substantial advocate for player protection and safety during his professional career, which led him to praise Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll for a video on tackling.

Carroll and Madden’s paths never really crossed, even if they were only separated by about 16 miles when Carroll first started coaching. While Carroll was offered a job as a graduate assistant, earning his Master’s degree in physical education and working with wide receivers and secondary defenders at the University of the Pacific in 1976, Madden was leading the Oakland Raiders to a winning season and a Super Bowl championship.

When Carroll eventually made his way to the NFL in 1984, the voice of Madden was being heard in every direction as a color commentator for CBS Sports. Their paths wouldn’t cross again until Carroll released a video known as the ‘Hawk Tackling’ video.

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John Madden Called Pete Carroll After the Release of the Hawk Tackling Video

Pete Carroll grew up in the bay area as a San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders fan, and understood what John Madden meant to the football world. Carroll was asked about the legacy he left in the NFL and his thoughts on the legendary sports figure.

“My only real story with coach, I only talked to him a few times, but he called me after we sent out the ‘Hawk Tackling’ video,” Carroll said in a Press Conference on December 29th. “He called me out of nowhere … he said that was one of the coolest things he’d seen in a long time. He said getting the head out of football was where the game should go and he made a big deal about it.”

The Hawk Tackling video was released by Pete Carroll one of his former assistants to help show the football world how the Seahawks were so successful at tackling. It is an instructional video that helps teams, coaches and players alike improve their football skills. It was released in 2014 and has been implemented by many coaches, teams and players today.


Seahawks Tackling Teach TapeTecnicas de tackles utilizadas pelo Seatle Seahawks2014-08-05T14:05:59Z

The video taught how to effectively tackle with one’s shoulders to help minimize the impact of a tackle and to take the ‘head out of the game’. This was a concept that Madden had been advocating for, as said by Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk. When using your ‘head’ in football, this could lead to a concussion. Madden was a vocal supporter for taking a player out of the game if they could have sustained a concussion during a play. He compared it to how a boxer has to miss a month of action if they are knocked out. Concussion protocol became an important part of the game in order to make sure players did not compete when possibly having suffered a concussion.

“How iconic can you be? In this game, he’s everything. Everybody loves him.” Carroll said in the December 29th press conference. “His style crossed all lines. I’m sure there are a bunch of people that just wanted to watch the game just to see what he was going to say and how he was going to bring some kind of energy to it that made it more fun.”

Although they didn’t interact further connect than that, the level of reach Madden had on the football world was exponential. His reach spans decades of teaching, coaching, broadcasting, and the overall world of football. The Seahawks have been implying this rugby-style of tackling for years and its reach has also spanned across generations, further expanding the reach of the teachings and safety of football, just as Madden would have wanted.

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