Sticking to the plan

As different as this morning’s team meeting may have seemed, when it comes down to it, it was really just much of the same.

At least for Coach Pete Carroll and the staffers he brought with him from USC.

The message, the philosophies and the catchphrases were all identical to what Carroll had been preaching during his nine seasons with the Trojans. Literally identical.

“It was exactly the same message I heard 10 years ago in our first staff meeting,” said head strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle, who worked with Carroll at USC for nine years before coming with to Seattle. “I took the same notes, and it was the same message. You don’t have to change it because it is so clear and so pertinent.”

The unchanging nature of Carroll’s philosophy is actually one of its cornerstones. If it changed with the winds, it would lose its effectiveness and power. But instead, it’s etched in concrete, living on through ups and downs and changes.

“You’ve got to know exactly what you believe and then live it out,” Carroll said. “There should be no other way to do it.”

Carroll’s talk this morning highlighted his foundational aspects of football — and life. It was the same action-packed, high-energy lecture he gave to his USC teams at the start of every spring and fall, but like always, it carries a freshness every time you hear it. It’s never dull or uninteresting, even though it’s almost a word-for-word mirror of the talk he’s given dozens of times before. But it hasn’t needed to change, most likely because of the success that has followed, as it’s the same address that laid the foundation for seven conference titles, two national championships and a 97-19 record in nine years in college football. And to top it off, the importance of a philosophy translates beyond the game as well.

“It shows that no matter if you’re a person working 9-to-5, an NFL player or in college football, it all rings true,” Carlisle said. “If you hold a philosophy and stick to it, you will be successful.”

That success is exactly what the Seahawks are striving for. And with Carroll’s introductory philosophy talk this morning, they’ve taken a big step in that direction.

“We’re not looking at things the same anymore,” Carroll told the players today.

The Seahawks aren’t. But Carroll is. And that should mean awfully good things for the organization.


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