I'm an admitted and notorious seamhead first and foremost, though I do keep tabs on the other major sporting events, particularly football. Due to my employer, I won't even discuss basketball. I still love live hockey but my interest has waned since Messier led the Rangers to the Cup in 1994 (yes, I have polaroids of me with the Cup; I'll try to get them scanned). I'm clearly not a Saturday football fan, mostly because I went to school in the Big East and my team was in a dome.
That being said, I am just stunned to find that Arthur Blank, the incredibly successful co-founder of the Home Depot and also owner of the Atlanta Falcons, has cast his gaze upon the visage of Pete Carroll, head coach of the USC Trojans. SAY WHAT?
Let's recap a few of the events, sans Mike Vick-related things, for the Falcons:
- Jan. 7, 2007: Almost one year ago to the day, Bobby Petrino accepts a job to become the Head Coach of the Falcons. Comment of note:
Less than six months after signing a 10-year, $25 million contract with the Cardinals and saying "this is where I want to be", Petrino made the decision public.
- Dec. 12, 2007: After just 13 games, Petrino abandons his team to take a job at Arkansas. Comments of note:
"I knew I wanted to come back and coach in college football," Petrino said. "I'm very excited to get back and work with the student-athlete."
and this one:
Safety Lawyer Malloy: “I feel like I’ve been sleeping with the enemy…. This league is not for everybody. This league is for real men. I think he realized that he didn’t belong here.”
- Jan. 9, 2007: And now this, today, word that former NFL Head Coach and Current USC Head Coach Carroll is interested in returning to the NFL. Notable quotes from that article, but I flipped the order, intentionally:
The Falcons suffered a bad experience this season with a coach hired from the college ranks, when Bobby Petrino, formerly of Louisville, resigned with three games remaining to fill the Arkansas vacancy. But unlike Petrino, who had been an NFL assistant for three seasons, Carroll has prior head coaching experience in the league and was an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for 12 years as well.
In his first NFL head coaching stint, Carroll lasted just one season with the Jets, taking the team to a 6-10 record in 1994. He coached the Patriots for three seasons, 1997-99, and was 28-23, with one division title and two playoff berths.
Here's what I just can't wrap my feeble brain around: why on Earth would Arthur Blank want to take another dip in the collegiate coaching pool? From the Sporting News (12/7/07):
After what he just went through with Petrino, I don't think Blank goes near Carroll, a coach who already has been fired twice in the NFL, a coach who looks much more comfortable in college.
Does he not remember all other other "genius college coaches" that have failed miserably in the last few year making the leap to the NFL, including Petrino, lil' Nicky Saban, Butch Davis, Dennis Erickson, Steve Spurrier? Guess not. For a really smart and successful man, Blank is making my head hurt.
Here is Pete's story. Now, Pete had a decent run, nothing great, with the Patriots before bolting to USC. And since he's been there, he's had almost a Belichick-like run, turning USC back into a national powerhouse, winning 2 national titles. He's a demi-god in LA, who has no pro team but has the Trojans instead. Why would old Petey leave this heaven for the morass in Atlanta? Money. Flat out money. Remember the name of this blog, friends: It IS about the money, stupid. Think this will end up well? Me either.
Memo to Arthur Blank: Go find Mike Singletary and let him whip your organization into shape. Avoid the NCAA as a source for a head coach. Go find a guy with the passion of Singletary and let him craft a new "Atlanta Falcon way". Don't be suckered into overpaying for the sexy name who's only going to get disenchanted with coaching a team that's years away from competing.
UPDATE 1/10/07 11:45am: Shockingly enough, Carroll has no interest in the Falcons. I can't imagine why.
Last week, Carroll told reporters his name would be mentioned in speculation for NFL jobs. Carroll said then he wouldn’t fuel speculation by making comments.
“There’s nothing going on, no reason to even talk about it,” Carroll said last week.
Before USC's 49-17 rout of Illinois in the Rose Bowl, Carroll dismissed the Falcons job as a possibility while speaking to the Los Angeles Daily News.
"They've had a lot of problems there," Carroll said. "It's not the most sought-after job."