High energy Carroll builds team in his image

Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:44pm EST
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With his unbridled enthusiasm, high octane energy and unusual motivational techniques, Pete Carroll was something of a new-age coach ahead of his time when he started out as an NFL head man nearly 20 years ago.

Now that approach is praised up and down the Seattle Seahawks organization as Carroll has the club within one win of their first Super Bowl crown.

Carroll, at 62 the league's second oldest head coach, still blares music during practice, encourages competitive basketball and bowling between the players, and exuberantly runs down sidelines during games to follow the gridiron action.

In his fourth year steering the Seahawks, he stresses intense competition as a basis for rewards and devotes himself and his assistant coaches to figuring out the best way to utilize the specific skills of each of his players.

Team owner Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and Seattle native, is a big fan of the coach, a former defensive coordinator whose team was dominant defensively this season in posting a 13-3 record.

"I have never been around such a positive, engaging coach that connects with each player at that level of intensity," Allen told the Seattle Times.

"It's really amazing. Pete really stands out because of his positivity and his ability to connect."

The still youthful Carroll has assembled the second-youngest team to play in a Super Bowl and groomed numerous Pro Bowl players from lower-round draft picks including cornerback Richard Sherman (fifth round), safety Kam Chancellor (fifth round) and quarterback Russell Wilson, a third-round pick.   Continued...

 
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll attends a news conference ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII at in New York January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid