Pete Carroll, Cody Barton & the Benefits of Not Getting Hit in the Face

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, the Seattle Seahawks earned their first loss of the 2019 season in unpleasant fashion against the New Orlean Saints. New Orleans, without Drew Brees, understandably had trouble moving the ball against a relatively stout Seattle defense and relied on Alvin Kamara to move the chains. Despite a huge yardage deficiency, the Saints feasted on mistakes galore from the Seahawks and their staff. Pete Carroll was thoroughly outcoached, admitting after the game that he “particularly had a really bad day.” Errors in clock management and attempts to maximize win probability alike plagued his team for sixty minutes, drawing criticism from the masses.

But was this really Carroll’s fault?

As pregame warmups came to a close, Seattle’s head coach youthfully jogged off the field to prep for the contest’s start. Little did Carroll know that, with the simple toss of a football, rookie linebacker Cody Barton would change the entire complexion of yesterday’s game.

While it appears that Barton is conveniently flipping the ball to a staffer, the former Ute times his throw perfectly, allowing Carroll to run face-first into the projectile’s path. Was this act malicious? We may never know. But it clearly affected Carroll throughout the rest of the afternoon.

It may not seem like getting smashed in the nostril by an air-filled pigskin would wreak such havoc on one’s decision-making abilities. But according to Nathan Bishop, Tasteful Profanity’s resident medical expert*, it did more damage than we could ever know:

The patient, PETER CLAY CARROLL, appears to have suffered what is known medically as a severe “Bonk To The Hawnk”. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: a failure to understand time, confusion regarding units of physical measurement, thinking it’s 1987, and believing that a scholastic scholarship can be exchanged for your ma to pay her electric bill.

I would recommend some light reading, particularly the works of Marx, and maybe considering letting his all world quarterback off the god damned leash before his team is down by 20.

* Dr. Bishop is currently under review for the validity of his medical license by way of internal Beast Pode investigation.

Unfortunately for the Seahawks’ chances of victory, this simple happenstance had quite the impact — and not just of the nasal variety. Carroll’s state of mind was disjointed, and his team reflected that. Seattle, despite repeated attempts, couldn’t properly tackle their opponents, which is bad because that’s literally their main job. After the Seahawks’ special teams gave up a quick touchdown via punt return, the offense decided to take things up a notch. On the tail end of an explosive run, Chris Carson, who I presume to have been carrying the same cursed ball that had so violently assaulted Carroll’s visage, lost control and fumbled. Seattle didn’t recover, which is a nice metaphor for how the rest of the game went, as New Orleans returned this for a touchdown.

Sloppiness aside, the decisions made by Carroll and company were baffling at best. What follows is a list of moments that made you, me, and the entire Pacific Northwest want to tear its collective hair out:

  • Punting from the New Orleans 39-yard line on 4th and 4
  • Repeatedly insisting on running (unsuccessfully), leading to four consecutive 3rd and longs on Seattle’s first four sets of downs
  • Trotting out heavy set on 4th and short, running into a stacked box (unsuccessfully), and then expressing a postgame desire to have instead punted from the Saints’ 41-yard line
  • Not calling a timeout because of conservatism before halftime — because that is always a good idea — only to watch Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf on a deep scramble drill as time expires, leading to no points
  • Inexplicably kicking an extra point instead of attempting a two-point conversion when down 13 and then later admitting that it was indeed dumb as hell
  • Losing the football game instead of winning

Carroll played an active role in making each and every one of these choices and he has been rightfully criticized for each one. But again, I ask: is it reasonable to demand somebody who is clearly both concussed and befuddled to run a professional football team?

Carroll has expounded his mantra of “always compete” for years. Because of this mindset and the fact that he’s not a fucking coward, Pete stuck it out and coached the Seahawks against the Saints.

Luckily, none of Sunday’s causes for concern have been found in any other game that we’ve ever seen Seattle play, so the entirety of the blame should be thrust upon Cody Barton, despite his recovery of a muffed punt early in the third quarter (praise for this should actually go to Carroll, as Deonte Harris was so fixated on the coach’s grotesque snout-wound that he couldn’t properly focus on securing the catch). If the Seahawks’ fourth linebacker decides to not peg his coach in the face with what equates to a leathery rock on a regular basis, the Seahawks should be fine and totally not infuriating throughout the rest of this season.