Pete Carroll, who will coach the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, received the most votes in an anonymous ESPN survey of more than 320 NFL players that asked: "Which head coach would you most like to play for?"
"I'm surprised by that," Carroll, who received 22.5 percent of the votes, said when told about the results. "But, hey, free agency is a big deal to us. Maybe that can help us down the road."
Carroll received 72 votes, while Steelers coach Mike Tomlin finished second with 44 (13.8 percent). John Fox, who will oppose Carroll in the Super Bowl, was third with 7.8 percent of the votes, the Jets' Rex Ryan was fourth with 7.2 percent and the Patriots' Bill Belichick and Chiefs' Andy Reid were tied for fifth with 6.9 percent.
"We all make mistakes, but with Pete, it's about learning from it. He's not a talk-down-to-you or yell-at-you kind of coach," said Seahawks linebacker Heath Farwell, who is a team captain.
Carroll, the second-oldest head coach in the league at 62 years old, is 42-28 in four seasons with the Seahawks, including playoffs, after going 6-10 with the Jets in 1994 and 28-23 in three seasons with the Patriots from 1997-99.
He was 97-19 in nine seasons at USC and won two national championships, one of which was later vacated. SI WIRE: Jay Glazer of Fox Sports says he nearly came to blows with Peyton Manning in GQ profile