Pete Carroll: Owners' patience with coaches is often rewarded

Pete Carroll: Owners' patience with coaches is often rewarded

SANTA CLARA – Despite just one losing record in his first four seasons as an NFL head coach, Pete Carroll was fired twice.

More than a decade after being canned from the New England Patriots – and after a successful run at USC – Carroll began making the most of his third chance in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.

The NFC West-champion Seahawks will finish the regular season on Sunday against the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers are 2-13, and Chip Kelly’s status for next season remains up in the air.

While Carroll declined to specifically discuss the 49ers’ situation, he said there is a lot of value for an organization to hold on to a good coach and not be so eager to start anew after every bad season.

“This is a very complex job. It does take time for guys to figure out how they’re going to organize their approach and how they communicate – the dialogue that’s extended to the players and the fans and the administration and all of that,” Carroll said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters.

“It takes time to develop all of that. You’re never as good in your first couple years as you are later on. There’s so much to be gained through the experience of it – how you handle your business, how you handle your players, how you handle your staff, the rigors of the season, the ups and downs, the ins and outs. There are so many things that go on. Coaches get way better as they’re doing it. So I do think patience is rewarded as guys grow through these jobs.”

Carroll was fired by the New York Jets after a 6-10 season in 1994. Then-owner Leon Hess said he did not have the time for patience. He died five years later at the age of 85.

After two seasons as 49ers defensive coordinator, Carroll got his second chance at an NFL head-coaching job in 1997 with the New England Patriots. After going 10-6, 9-7 and 8-8, Carroll was fired and ended up at USC.

“The appreciation for how complex this job is, is not well understood,” Carroll said. “And I don’t think you can really understand it until you’ve been in it and done it. Sometimes people act quickly and they get to do what they want to do because they’re the owners and they’re the ones pulling the strings. But we all get so much better at this as we work at it. I’m a pretty good indication of that, I think.”

Carroll said he believes Kelly is a good coach. Kelly built Oregon into a national power. After the Philadelphia Eagles went 10-6 in each of Kelly’s first two seasons, he was fired after his team dropped out of playoff contention last year with a 6-9 record. His first year with the 49ers has been a disaster, as the club set a franchise-record with a 13-game losing streak.

“He’s an extremely successful coach,” Carroll said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s been at the top of the game when he’s had his opportunity. He’s shown it in the NFL and college and all of that. I don’t know him very well, but I’ve really admired the work he’s done and the innovations he’s brought to the game and the impact he’s had on it.”

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.