Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has created and released a Power Rankings list of head coaches in the league. Pete Carroll comes in at seventh overall. Not only did Carroll not even crack the top five, he was placed below division rival Jim Harbaugh.
Harrison’s reasoning for Carroll’s placement on the list is that in his first two seasons with the Seahawks he went 7-9, and that Harbaugh has a slight edge over him in wins when their two teams meet, 3-2. I think what Mr. Harrison is undervaluing (somehow) is the importance of a Super Bowl win.
In addition, if he is looking over the coaches entire career with their respective clubs, then wouldn’t beating the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wildcard playoff game in 2011 count for something? Wouldn’t being a draft guru and collecting so much talent in the later rounds of the draft count for something?
When looking at the list, my initial reaction was to laugh and call it ridiculous. From first to sixth, the list went Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Tom Coughlin and Mike McCarthy. How Pete Carroll didn’t crack the top-five is beyond me, so I didn’t pay the list much attention.
Then I went back and thought about it. Pete Carroll finds himself in the same position the Seahawks somehow manage to find themselves in every year. Under-appreciated, under-valued and often overlooked. This is what makes Seahawks football so great. They are always playing the role of the underdog, even after coming off of their first Super Bowl win.
Two years ago it was Russell Wilson who had to perform at a high level to silence the doubters. Last year it was the receiving core that received much of the criticism. It looks like this will be the year for Pete Carroll to shine. Not that he needs to. Maybe a few skeptics out there feel he is unworthy of being labeled a great coach, but anyone in the great Northwest will tell you they are more than okay with him running the show.