Just three years ago, Pete Carroll was a Shaughnessy punchline:
"Now 70 years old, [Bob] Kraft has been the face of the Patriots since Jan. 21, 1994 when he bought the franchise from James Orthwein. He went through some growing pains in the early years - announcing he was moving the team to Hartford, publicly feuding with coach Bill Parcells, and sometimes getting a little too involved with football operations. His first coaching hire was Pete Carroll.
But Kraft proved to be a quick study ...."
Fast forward to today, and now it's "Carroll was the victim of the Patriot owner’s learning curve."
Sorry to say, we remember the past. Here's what The CHB said of Carroll in 1999, while he was still the Pats coach: "Leaderless, clueless, simmering on the edge of mutiny, the Patriots lurch toward December facing a series of winnable games. "But it's hard to make a case for them. It feels like the window is closing in on the young, talented group that made it to the Super Bowl just before Carroll's arrival."
Here's what's funny. Carroll shot Shaughnessy down in 2007, pointing out what an utter reject of a sportswriter he is: "It’s too bad you didn’t get it. You didn’t figure out what I could have brought you. You guys never knew. You never asked me any questions. You guys never figured out who I was. You never even asked. We talked about hamstrings and shoulders and stuff. You guys never did figure it out. It was terrible and it didn’t have to be like that. But all of that having been said, we were just a couple of football decisions from being on the other side of it.”
Wonder if Shank still thinks the Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl?
In any case, let's just wait for the column Monday, where he calls the Carroll firing Bob Kraft's worst decision.