Pete Carroll is the oldest coach in the NFL, at least according to his birth certificate, but he still coaches and lives life with the energy and enthusiasm of someone much younger.
For proof, Seahawks.com dug up video of Carroll's days as a safety at the University of the Pacific where Carroll was a hard-hitting safety, and the tape shows that in a lot of ways, Carroll is still the same enthusiastic, football-loving guy who, yes, might not always agree with the officiating.
And just for fun, we had Seahawks general manager John Schneider break down the film of this exciting "new" prospect. A big thanks to the University of Idaho for providing the film.
Schneider opens the video talking about "a really cool prospect we want to talk about… This Carroll guy," deadpanning as if this were a real prospect and not tape from the early 1970s.
"We take pride in overturning every rock and looking in every nook and cranny to try to find a player here and there," Schneider says. "We're super fired up to find this guy. Now it's smaller school film, it was hard to find, especially for a school that doesn't even play football anymore. But we're super excited about this prospect. I can't wait to get into it."
Schneider's first evaluation is that Carroll is "a little bit stiff, but look at the raw enthusiasm of that guy. You've got to love these guys who are just intense. You've got to love that about this guy."
Schneider also notes that Carroll plays, "A little high, he didn't really break down in space real well there," and points out his non-traditional stance: "He's got that odd stance though. Must be a UoP thing."
On a positive note, Schneider says, "You can see the range, and he's tough… Again, you can definitely see the enthusiasm with him… This guy will hit you"
After one big hit on a running back, Schneider says, "Holy smokes! He looks like Chuck Cecil right there, or Ronnie Lott."
Carroll's attempt at a big hit doesn't work as well later in the film, however.
"Oh, he fell off of that tackle," Schneider notes. "I don't think our coaches would consider that really good Hawk tackling right there."
Late in the video, Carroll gets into it with an official, demonstrating the same arguing-a-call posture that has served him well for decades.
"Now he's arguing with the ref," Schneider says. "Some things have never changed I guess… Enthusiasm, intensity, I don't know how you can go wrong with this guy. I can see why he'd be a hell of a prospect, and obviously a great coach. Legendary coach."
Despite his impressive tape, Carroll didn't make it in the NFL as a player, though he did attend a tryout with the Rams when they were coached by none other than Seahawks Ring of Honor member Chuck Knox.
"The Rams were holding a big workout down at the Coliseum, kind of an all-comers deal," Carroll said in 2018 after Knox passed away. "My coaches had sent them film of me playing so they'd know who was coming, and the GM kind of liked me and said, 'Well when you get to the workout, come find me and I want to introduce you to Coach Knox.' There's hundreds of guys there at this workout, so I felt pretty special—I was one of the only guys who gets to meet coach Knox. And he was a tough guy back in the day, but he was a real nice to me."
Knox might have been really nice, but he apparently wasn't as impressed with Carroll's tape as Schneider was, and that was pretty much the end of Carroll's NFL dream, as a player at least.
"I went through the workout, and I never heard from him again," Carroll said. "They timed me in the 40, they did this and did that, and I never heard from them again. That was my shot with the Rams. That was my brush with greatness."
Fortunately for Carroll, greatness was still out there, just not as a hard-hitting safety.
Check out photos of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll from throughout his first ten seasons with the team.