RENTON — It was, Mark Sanchez said, simply a disagreement. No different than any other among close friends.
“Friends do that,’’ Sanchez said, referring to Pete Carroll’s famous lack of support for his decision to leave USC after his sophomore season in 2008. “And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. ‘’
It’s a topic that bubbles to the surface every time the two meet again on a football field, as they will on Sunday in Philadelphia when the Eagles – now quarterbacked by Sanchez — take on the Seahawks.
The two have gone down this road before, most recently in 2012 when Sanchez came to Seattle with the New York Jets, a game won by the Seahawks 28-7.
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Then, as now, Sanchez said the idea that there was a rift between the two because Carroll publicly stated he did not agree with the decision was overblown.
“There was never any hard feelings,’’ Sanchez said Wednesday in a conference call with Seattle reporters. “It kind of took on a life of its own in the media.’’
Sanchez, in fact, said he took it “as a sign of respect’’ that Carroll would be so adamant in wanting Sanchez to remain at USC.
Carroll at the time said Sanchez was “going against the grain on this decision and he knows that,’’ pointing mostly to the fact that Sanchez had started only one full season at USC.
Wednesday, Carroll agreed with Sanchez that it was just “a difference of opinion’’ and said “that had nothing to do with our relationship. I mean, I love Mark and I’ll always be close to him.’’
Carroll’s intimation that Sanchez’s lack of experience might hurt his draft stock, though, proved unfounded when the quarterback was taken fifth in the 2009 draft by the Jets. And for a few years, Sanchez was regarded as a success story, leading the Jets to the AFC Championship Game his first two seasons.
A knee injury last season, though, kept him on the sideline the entire year. After the season, left to become a free agent by the Jets, he signed with the Eagles to back up Nick Foles.
But when Foles suffered a clavicle injury Nov. 2 against Houston, Sanchez took over and has led the Eagles to three wins in four starts, with eight touchdown passes in five games played overall.
Sanchez noted Wednesday that Carroll texted him during the preseason to tell him how much fun it looked like he was having playing for the Eagles.
“Mark looks really quick in the offense,’’ Carroll said. “He is very decisive and gets the ball out and they’ve got guys open so he’s making good use of the system.’’
Sanchez also recalled watching Seattle’s win over Denver in the Super Bowl last February with his father and recalling how he thought early on it looked like how USC often performed in bowl games (Carroll went 7-2 in bowls with the Trojans).
Sanchez said he told his dad that the Seahawks “are too excited (compared to Denver). They are too energetic. They are too excited and they are too prepared and it’s going to go bananas. And that’s exactly what happened. You could feel it and hear it happening.’’
• Seattle had one of its shortest injury reports of the season Wednesday. Listed as not participating were running back Marshawn Lynch (back), C Max Unger (knee/ankle) and TE Cooper Helfet (ankle).
Listed as limited was cornerback Jeremy Lane with a gluteus injury, the same injury that held him out of the 49ers game.