Turns out, Pete Carroll may have meant it literally when he told reporters who cover the New England Patriots he’s on a “five-year plan” when it comes to his coaching career.
According to a Sunday morning report from Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, Carroll does indeed want to coach at least five more years and he and the Seahawks are working on an extension of his current contract, which runs through the 2021 season.
Rapoport said the Seahawks “would like to extend him sooner rather than later, even if it means working on an extension during the season, something that rarely happens for a head coach.”
It happened with Carroll’s last contract, though.
Carroll signed that deal on Christmas Eve, 2018, getting a two-year extension that carried him through the 2021 season.
When Carroll signed that contract he had just one year remaining on his deal and there was some speculation about his future in the wake of the Seahawks’ 9-7 season in 2017, the only time the Seahawks haven’t made the playoffs since Russell Wilson became the quarterback in 2012.
On the day he signed his current contract in 2018, Carroll said of his future: “Every year I think the same in that regard. Take it really one year at a time with the projection of I’m kind of on a five-year plan. But that doesn’t have any statement about my contract, it’s just kind of the way somebody taught me to look forward, and it helps.’’
This week, Carroll was asked by reporters who cover the Patriots during a Zoom call how long he and Bill Belichick — who on Sunday faced off in what was the oldest coaching matchup in NFL history — who would retire first. Carroll turned 69 this week and Belichick is 68.
“I don’t know, ask him,” Carroll said Wednesday. “I’m feeling great, and I’m kind of on a five-year plan. Five years from now I’ll figure it out and I’ll reassess, I actually owe that to (author) David Brooks. He taught me that awhile back in something he wrote — why are you looking year to year, why don’t you just plan it out over a five-year period? It was five years last year, five years this year, we’ll figure it out when the time comes.”
Asked if that means it’s five years every year, Carroll said: “There you go. Kind of a rollover approach.”
Carroll’s extension in 2018 also meant that he and general manager John Schneider would continue to work together for a few more years — Schneider’s deal runs through the 2022 season.
Carroll is thought to make $11 million a season.
He is 101-59-1 with the Seahawks, the winningest coach in team history.
Diggs ejected for hit on Patriots receiver Harry
When the Seahawks acquired free safety Quandre Diggs in a midseason trade with Detroit last year, he immediately became one of the most valuable players on Seattle’s defense.
The Seahawks were missing that veteran presence Sunday night after Diggs was ejected in the first quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on New England receiver N’Keal Harry. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton wound up throwing for 397 yards and slot receiver Julian Edelman had eight catches for 179 yards, including a 49-yard over-the-shoulder catch down the middle of the field in the fourth quarter — a spot Diggs would typically be covering.
“He’s just such a steadying force, and he is so good on the back end, and he’s so good on the deep ball,” Carroll said. “We got out of whack a few times (without Diggs). So we have to clean that up.”
Carroll said he didn’t have a great view of the helmet-to-helmet hit from the field, but he didn’t disagree with it — and emphasized that tacklers need to take their head out of the tackle.
“I’m sure that they (officials) made the right decision,” Carroll said. “I mean, he knows he’s gotta keep his head out of those hits. He just got so jacked up … he just didn’t quite get his head the side like he needs to make a shoulder hit out of it.”
Blair injury ‘probably fairly serious’
While Carroll didn’t know the specifics yet, he indicated that a knee injury suffered by defensive back Marquise Blair in the second quarter is significant.
“It’s probably fairly serious because they had to help him off the field,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll said Blair will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.
“I’m sick about it,’’ Carroll said of the second-year player out of Utah who won the team’s starting nickel corner role. “Guy is just getting started, just getting going with us and pushing.’’
Blair was playing free safety at the time, filling in for Diggs.
When Blair went out the Seahawks went with Lano Hill at free safety and Ugo Amadi as the nickel.
With Diggs returning next week, he’ll take back the free safety role, and the Seahawks will likely go with Amadi as the nickel.
“Amadi had a really good game for us,’’ Carroll said. “We’re going to really ask him to step up and be an effective force.’’
Blair’s injury appeared to be the only serious one of the day for the Seahawks.
Bruce Irvin left with a sprained knee in the fourth quarter but Carroll noted he was walking around OK after and Irvin took to Twitter to state: “Im good! 12’s thank you for the support! Damn I love y’all!!’’
Offensive tackle Duane Brown “got rolled up on’ in the first quarter,” Carroll said, and briefly left but returned.
Seahawks again protest during anthem
The protest of players before the game for the anthem was similar to the opener at Atlanta.
Jamal Adams again stood with his right fist raised.
It looked like about 10 players sat, two knelt (Duane Brown, Will Dissly), and other Seahawks stood with hands on the kneeling players’ shoulders in support, and about 10 or so stayed in the locker room.
Carroll has said players will have free reign to express themselves as they wish for the anthem. Players are protesting racial injustice and police brutality.
Dorsett again inactive, won’t play against his former team
Seattle’s six inactive players for Sunday’s game included receiver Phillip Dorsett II, out for a second week with a sore foot that has plagued him since the middle of training camp.
Dorsett practiced on a limited basis earlier in the week, leading to hope he would be able to play. But he did not practice Friday and that foreshadowed that he would be unable to play. Dorsett played for the Patriots the past three seasons.
Seattle’s other inactives were running back DeeJay Dallas, linebacker D’Andre Walker, defensive end Rasheem Green, offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi and defensive end Alton Robinson.
Green (stinger) and Ogbuehi (pec) were each listed as doubtful for the game.
Dallas and Robinson, each rookies, were also inactive last week.
There was some thought Robinson might be active with Green out. But Seattle on Saturday elevated defensive tackle Anthony Rush to the active roster from the practice squad, and he was among the team’s 48 active players.
Among the Patriots inactives was running back James White, whose father, Tyrone, was killed in an auto accident Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Tyrone White was a captain in the Miami-Dade Police Department.
- After a pretty clean game last week in the opener at Atlanta, the Seahawks saw the penalty bug come back to bite them in a big way in the first half. Seattle had three false starts alone in the first two quarters on the way to seven penalties overall for 53 yards. A holding call on Duane Brown proved especially critical in helping to kill the Seahawks’ final drive of the first half. Seattle had six penalties for 46 yards in the opener.
- Left tackle Brown left the game for a few plays in the first quarter to have his knee examined. But after a few minutes in the blue tent, Brown was cleared to return. Jamarco Jones filled in on the plays Brown missed.