There should be a statue of Pete Carroll at Patriot Place. He should have a place in the Patriots Hall of Fame alongside Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, and Troy Brown. Pete is on a short list of folks who can claim responsibility for the Patriots winning a Super Bowl.Like most of Shank's columns, this one has a negative angle:
Pete did not do this by conventional means. He did not coach the Patriots to a championship. He did not design a defensive scheme that enabled them to beat the Rams, Panthers, or Eagles.
No. Pete delivered a Super Bowl to New England with the worst in-game coaching decision in the history of sports. Worse than Fourth and 2. Worse than Grady sticking with Pedro. Worse than Johnny Mac leaving Bill Buckner on the field in ’86. Worse than Joe McCarthy starting Denny Galehouse in the one-game playoff in ’48.And like most of his columns that discuss local championships, they must be discounted:
Less than two years ago, when good fortune (and some great plays) were about to hand Pete Carroll a victory in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz., Pete said “no thanks” and handed the Lombardi Trophy to the New England Patriots.
Sorry, fanboys. I know you hate hearing this. I know the brilliant, ever-prepared Patriots practiced their big defensive stop two days before the game. I know cornerback Malcolm Butler made a sensational play, picking off Russell Wilson’s slant pass. I know that Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams masterfully maneuvered the clock and suckered Pete into putting the wrong package on the field. I know there are no sure things in sports and that Marshawn Lynch was sometimes stopped on 1-yard runs in 2014.Left unmentioned, naturally, is luck that runs the other way, like the David Tyree helmet catch.
But we all know that the Seahawks would have won Super Bowl XLIX if Pete had not panicked, let the defense dictate his offense, and called a high-risk slant pass into traffic instead of going Beast Mode for at least one or two carries into the end zone.