Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Carroll already looking ahead

NEW YORK — Less than 12 hours after winning the Super Bowl, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll already was talking about getting started on next season.

"The first meeting that we'll have will be tomorrow. … Our guys would be surprised if we didn't," Carroll said Monday morning. "We really have an eye on what's coming, and we don't dwell on what just happened."

He appeared at a news conference at a Manhattan hotel with linebacker Malcolm Smith, the MVP of Sunday's 43-8 victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

Carroll oversees a team with the fourth-youngest roster for a Super Bowl champion, with an average age of 26 years, 175 days, according to STATS. The youngest champs were the Steelers in the 1975 Super Bowl, and they repeated the next year.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw for two touchdowns, just ended his second pro season. Jermaine Kearse (in his second season) and Doug Baldwin (his third) caught those scores. All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and Smith, who at 24 is the fourth-youngest player to be the Super Bowl MVP, also have played just three seasons.

"We've seen the effort that it takes to get to this point, and, obviously, we'll try to replicate that and do it again," Smith said. "We're looking forward to the next challenges and guys having a target on their back and people trying to come after us."

Carroll said general manager John Schneider has positioned Seattle to avoid the problems that can make it hard to repeat as NFL champions. Since Denver repeated in the 1999 game, only one team has won two Super Bowls in a row, the Patriots in 2004-05.

There's the need to replace players who leave via free agency. The need to pay other players with new, bigger contracts.

"John Schneider has done an extraordinary job of structuring this roster contractually, and with the vision of looking ahead, so that we can keep our guys together," Carroll said. "One of the things that happens every so often is teams have a big fallout after they win the Super Bowl. We're not in that situation."

Carroll was reminded during Sunday's game of some of his blowout victories in college bowl games when he was a championship-winning coach at Southern California.

"It felt like it. It looked like it. The score was like it," he said Monday.

"I really can't tell you exactly what it is, but something's going on, because I sat back there at the end of the first quarter and said, 'Shoot, here it goes,' " he said. "Bang, bang, bang, bang, and it's 22-0 at halftime."

Carroll described the lopsided nature of the game as "kind of like an avalanche," an interesting phrase given the hubbub over whether the first outdoor Super Bowl at a cold-weather site would be affected by snow.

Instead, weather wasn't a factor Sunday at MetLife Stadium, where the temperature was 49 degrees at kickoff and only some light rain fell.

Monday morning, driving snow hit the area and forecasts called for up to 8 inches.

"I don't know how (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell) pulled it off, but he pulled off the weather in perfect fashion," Carroll joked. "The NFL is powerful."

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