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In 'Great Shape,' Pete Carroll Confident He Will Continue Coaching Seahawks in 2022

Though he's the NFL's oldest head coach, Carroll remains full of energy and doesn't look ready to step away from the sidelines just yet. After finishing the season with four wins in six games, he's eager for the chance to bounce back in 2022.

While many coaches across the NFL will receive pink slips on "Black Monday," after leading the Seahawks to four wins in their final six games to finish an otherwise disappointing season on a strong note, Pete Carroll expects to be back on the sidelines in 2022.

Speaking with reporters after Seattle's 38-30 upset win over Arizona at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, when asked if he had any cause for concern in regard to his status moving forward, he immediately bristled at the notion he may have coached his last game with the organization.

"No, I'm in great shape," Carroll said.

Despite holding the franchise record for combined regular season and playoff victories by a head coach (128) and leading the Seahawks to the postseason in nine of his 12 seasons at the helm, speculation about Carroll's future has mounted as the franchise struggled through their first season with double-digit losses since 2009. At one point, the team had a 3-8 record, the second-worst in the NFC ahead of only the then-winless Lions.

Carroll, 70, received a five-year contract extension during the middle of the 2020 season as the Seahawks raced towards a 12-4 finish and an NFC West title. Little else remains known about his contract, but it's believed to be north of $10 million per year as one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL. Normally, contracts for head coaches are fully guaranteed, so if the organization wanted to move on from him, they would likely have to eat upwards of $40 to 50 million left on his deal.

Carroll, who has final say in all personnel decisions working in conjunction with general manager John Schneider, reports to Jody Allen, who took over as owner following the death of her brother Paul Allen. He told reporters he didn't expect anything out of the ordinary when the two meet in coming days.

“Like we’ve always had. Really pointed, figuring things out," Carroll said. "She’s very analytical and she wants to make sure that we’re doing everything we can possibly do to get everything right. She’s a terrifically competitive person in that regard and she doesn’t want any stone unturned. Exactly the way I look at it. I just feel so connected to that thought that that’s what we do.

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"To have your owner talk that same way, that’s a competitive perspective and it goes back to the old line we used to have: ‘We’re in a relentless pursuit of finding the competitive edge in everything that we are doing.’ That’s what it is, that’s what she represents. We’ll try to do a great job of exchanging the information and setting course for making sure that we give ourselves the best chance to be champions.”

As far as how Allen feels about the way the Seahawks season unfolded, Carroll cut off reporters at that point, saying she could "speak for herself" and he wasn't going to offer any inside scoop.

Looking back at the Seahawks disappointing campaign, an injury to quarterback Russell Wilson sent the team into a downward spiral in mid-October. They lost two of their three games without him as he recovered from right middle finger surgery and upon his return from injured reserve, they lost each of his first three starts as the signal caller struggled with uncharacteristic accuracy woes and didn't look healthy.

Unlike previous seasons under Carroll, Seattle also struggled mightily to finish close games, as the team went 3-5 in games decided by eight points or less. In the past two years alone, they went 18-5 in such contests. The ball simply didn't bounce in their favor as it typically has.

"We've been so close throughout the whole season," Carroll remarked on Sunday. "The biggest difference that everyone had to suffer through was the close games that we didn't win because we've been winning those games for years... That's the whole season, that's it. You can look at all the millions of things, criticize this and that. That's where it really went to, and there's reasons why."

Considering many of those games easily could have gone the other way and resulted in wins for the Seahawks, it would make sense why the organization would want to retain Carroll for at least one more season, especially after the team netted wins against two playoff teams (49ers, Cardinals) in the last six weeks. The foundation still appears to be in place for them to bounce back next season as long as Wilson stays under center and they can add a few more quality pieces around him.

After treating the last two games as Seattle's NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl, Carroll believes ending the season on a two-game winning streak gives the organization much-needed momentum heading into the offseason. Confident the team will rebound and then some, he's eager for the chance to steer the ship back towards title contention.

“It’s really important. It’s an important step. We needed to respond and feel right about it. Our guys know how we can play, it just took too long, unfortunately.”