Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll’s relationship with Seahawks owner Paul Allen “really couldn’t be better”

Pete Carroll apparently doesn’t have the same “recessive gene” Jim Harbaugh has.

You may have heard about 49ers chief executive officer Jed York tweeting this toward the end of the Seahawks beating his team 19-3 in Santa Clara, California, on Thanksgiving: “Thank you #49ersfaithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”

For the next three days the Bay Area was, um, a-twitter about the Niners’ CEO issuing such a indicting proclamation even before Thursday’s game had ended.

On Monday at Seahawks headquarters, the final day of four consecutive days off the field for the players before Seattle (8-4) returns to practice for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia (9-3), Carroll was asked how it would make him feel if his team owner tweeted what York did following a loss.

Carroll failed to contain a smile.

“Our owner would never do that,” Carroll responded.

He couldn’t have had it teed up for him any better or driven that softball any further, 850 miles down the coast to the Bay Area.

That’s where earlier Monday Harbaugh answered questions about his future with San Francisco. Carroll’s rival since he was at USC and Harbaugh was at Stanford years ago is 43-16-1 leading the 49ers, but 7-5 this season. Harbaugh’s contract ends after next season. In the wake of San Francisco’s latest dud performance and York denouncing it, speculation is as hot as ever the Niners won’t have Harbaugh back for 2015.

When asked Monday what he thinks might happen, Harbaugh said: “I think I have a recessive gene for worrying about my future.”

Meanwhile up the coast in Renton, Carroll sounds anything but recessive. He has a relationship with his franchise’s leadership that he said is beyond his best hopes.

So no, Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen hasn’t been tweeting his apologies to fans for Carroll’s product being unacceptable.

Carroll is 51-32 with the franchise’s first Super Bowl title as Seattle’s coach and executive vice president of football operations since January 2010. He describes his relationship with his owner, his general manager John Schneider and team president Peter McLoughlin as transcendent.

“I have such good support with all that John does, and Peter, it seems like it’s been effortless, really,” Carroll said. “We’ve gotten along so, so smoothly and see eye to eye on everything we’ve dealt with. … Paul has been so supportive, and the multitude of things that John’s in charge of, (Allen) really impacts what he does a great deal with all the money and all that kind of stuff. We just work together. The communication has always been open. Good dialogue in every turn, through all the years.

“I feel like we just work things out. Everybody is very respectful of the position and authority and titles and all that ... it really couldn’t be better. Our format and setup couldn’t be better, really — it’s right on. It’s turned out better than I could have imagined.”

“I really hoped that it would be that the freedom would be here. The freedom is here,” Carroll said, “to be what I want to do and to get things done in the fashion that I think I can do it best. That has been totally supported.”

Carroll noted how he didn’t know Schneider “at all” when the former Green Bay assistant executive arrived with Carroll as a first-time GM to start this regime for Allen almost five years ago.

“I’ve come to love the guy for all that he brings — his work ethic, his expertise, his vision and creativity and all that,” Carroll said of Schneider.

“We had to develop a relationship with Paul, and John has done a great deal of that in communicating with Paul on a regular basis. I see (Allen) once a week during the season but that’s about all.

“It’s really worked out beautiful and could not have been better. I think it transcends.”

Allen, usually in a blue team fleece-like jacket, often comes down to the field and talks to Carroll during warmups about an hour or so before home and road games. The owner also occasionally drops by the Virginia Mason Athletic Center to watch practices.

What does Allen say to Carroll in those chats?

“Yeah, he wants to ask the normal questions that curiosity would generate,” Carroll said. “He wants to know what’s going on. How the week’s gone. How the players are doing.

“Trick plays.”


Loucheiz Purifoy, the rookie cornerback from Florida claimed by the Seahawks off waivers from Indianapolis on Friday, failed his physical, so Seattle waived him.

That leaves the Seahawks with an open roster spot. Carroll said the team is having ongoing discussions on which position group to bolster before Sunday’s game.

The reason linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis went on injured reserve Saturday and ended his rookie season is because he is having shoulder surgery to repair damage to his labrum.


Carroll said center Max Unger may be able to return to practice next week, prior to the home game Dec. 14 against San Francisco. That means Lemuel Jeanpierre, Unger’s backup the past three seasons who was re-signed off an injury settlement two weeks ago, will make his second consecutive start anchoring the offensive line against the Eagles.

That line looked far more settled and in control from an organizational and communications standpoint with Jeanpierre making his season debut there Thursday, after fourth-stringer Patrick Lewis had replaced Unger in the previous two games.

Carroll said Unger’s high-ankle sprain and twisted knee is “still a little gimpy, but getting better. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get him on the field this week. The feeling is that he should be able make it back next week unless maybe we can get a surprise in the next couple days.”


Nickel defensive back Jeremy Lane (gluteus muscle, missed Thursday’s win at San Francisco) is likely to return to practice this week. … Carroll said tight end Cooper Helfet is “day to day” with the sprained ankle that had him out against the 49ers.