Pete Carroll has surely received dozens of congratulatory phone calls this week, after taking the Seattle job.
One came from the last man to fire him. Patriots owner Robert Kraft took a moment on Wednesday to reach out and wish Carroll well. The two men had a cordial 10 minute conversation, and Kraft was reminded how much he likes his first coaching hire.
“It was actually a real treat having him here and working with him for three years,” Kraft said the other day. “In some ways, I think the experience with (Bill) Parcells made it more difficult for me to allow him to have the authority he wanted here. And I was definitely making sure we had checks and balances until I knew I had the right person. I gave the personnel autonomy to Bobby Grier, and I think there were some disagreements on how we should spend our money, between personnel and he, and I probably let the personnel people have more influence.
“I’m not sure that was fair to him. He was a heck of a coach.”
Kraft got the chance to reconnect with Carroll during the coach’s USC years, saying he wasn’t surprised in the least as the coach’s star rose. He also brought up the story of Jake Olson as a good one to describe Carroll, saying “he’s one of the finest human beings you can meet in this business.” More than just that, the Patriots owner thinks the Seahawks made the right call here.
“I think Seattle is very lucky to have gotten him at this point,” Kraft said. “He’ll be a lot of fun to be around, he’s had great experience, he’s a real good leader and he’s been toughened up. I’m glad they’re in the NFC.”
I’ll have more on this in my Sunday Notes tomorrow, so check it out.