Pete Carroll now starts nibbling away at his second 100 NFL regular-season wins.
The Seahawks coach wasn’t aware of reaching the century milestone until somebody asked him about it last week, when the 26-15 beating of the Eagles pushed him to triple-digit wins in his 11th NFL season.
“It’s a nice deal, yeah,” Carroll said.
After truncated tenures with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, Carroll has gone 67-38-1 with the Seahawks since 2010 to bring his regular-season career total to 100-69-1.
Think 200 wins is impossible for the 65-year-old Carroll?
Don’t bet against it.
We may note that he’s picking up speed. It took him 101 games to get his first 50 NFL wins, and just 69 to get the second 50.
He’s averaged 11.5 wins in the preceding four full seasons, a pace that would get him to 200 early in the 2025 season.
He’d be 74 by then.
So many things could conspire against it. The NFL is structured to enhance entropy, to tear down teams over time, to upend the standings from year to year. If the Hawks’ golden age starts to tarnish, he’d be more likely to hang up the whistle.
But well-managed, well-coached teams can minimize or nullify those forces of disorder.
The Seahawks stay young and turn over the roster with cheap manpower that allows them to keep their expensive, veteran core of stars. (The average age of the Seahawks is roughly 26.5 years, with 24 undrafted players on their 53-man roster).
General manager John Schneider brings in young talent and Carroll gives them the chance to prove themselves.
The kids know they’ll get the opportunity, and the vets know they could be soon replaced. There’s nothing more effective at keeping players on their toes.
The franchise infrastructure is in place to keep Carroll effective, too.
Owner Paul Allen has shown the willingness to keep both Carroll and Schneider well-compensated and largely autonomous. Neither has to spend time looking over his shoulder.
As long as the productivity warrants, it seems likely that Allen will anchor Carroll with convincing salaries.
Will Carroll want to continue that long, though? Can he sustain the competitive fires?
Ha, good one. That will not be a limiting factor for the hyper-competitive Carroll.
Yes, it would be rare. Marv Levy coached into his early 70s, Don Shula retired at 65 and Tom Landry called it quits at 64.
Coaches now might be different. New England’s Bill Belichick is only half a year younger than Carroll and he seems to be still going strong, too.
These two might be meeting in Super Bowls for years to come.
When Carroll was asked about turning 65 this season, and being the oldest coach in the league, he responded as if he’d been challenged by somebody to a footrace, or to go one-on-one in basketball.
“I know you guys are wondering if this is what 65 gets you … I’m jacked up, I’m ready to go,” he said. “So, if you guys are worried about being 65 … look at me, it ain’t that bad.”
Seahawk Michael Bennett claimed that Carroll was like Benjamin Button, a movie character who aged in reverse, continually getting younger.
Carroll this summer signed a contract extension that would take him through 2019. Schneider is on the hook for five more years, so that part is stable.
The key on-field component to this would be quarterback Russell Wilson, who said he wants to play into his 40s, so 2025 would only be mid-30s for him.
“I’ve got no end to this,” Carroll said when his contract was re-upped. “I don’t see it. I’m just going for it. I’m going to go as long as it’s fun and it’s good and we’re winning games and all that.”
He starts after the second 100 wins against Tampa Bay today.
Yeah, as he said, it’s a nice deal. In fact, it might not take him nearly as long as the first 100.