There are many similarities and differences between Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Both currently dominate the NFC West division of the NFL. They both have experience coaching in the Super Bowl (Carroll having won one). One is an offensive mind and the other is a defensive mind.
But there is one person that ties the two together, and that is cornerback Richard Sherman.
The 32-year-old Pro Bowler and nine-year veteran was drafted by Carroll and the Seahawks in the fifth round (No. 154 overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft. After a successful seven years in Seattle, Sherman negotiated his own contract and signed as a free agent with the 49ers in 2018.
Both Carroll and Shanahan took Sherman to a Super Bowl.
In an article from Jim Trotter of NFL.com, eight NFL players shared what they think are the most valuable traits of an NFL coach.
Those eight players are: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff; New York Jets running back Frank Gore; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce; Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Jack Conklin; Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell; New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis; and San Francisco 49ers corner Richard Sherman.
The three qualities Sherman looks for in a head coach are:
(Carroll) has a way of coaching, a way of talking to his coaches, a way of having his coaches talk to his players. They don’t do the whole rah-rah, curse-you-out style. He would never hire a coach like that. — Richard Sherman on Pete Carroll Sherman
Kyle is similar in that he has a philosophy of the best man plays. He doesn’t care about your draft position or any of that. He’s more of a straight shooter than Pete. Pete has a way of making sure everybody feels good, making sure he pushes buttons with certain players and not pushing buttons on other players. Kyle is different. He’s one size fits all. — Richard Sherman on Kyle Shanahan
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times].
2. KNOWLEDGE OF THE GAME
Kyle is one of the best offensive minds we’ve ever had in this game. That comes into it. With Pete, it’s the Cover 3 he brought to the league. It seems so simple, but nobody can run it like we ran it. The way both of them implement what they do — they talk to others on a personal level, then have the great coaches around them who believe in their philosophy. — Richard Sherman
It’s been known around the league that Sherman is one of the smartest to play the game. His defensive mind and technique is why quarterbacks rarely throw to the left side of the field. Having a coach that can mirror that only makes Sherman better is why he is still so successful in his ninth year in the league.
Let’s also not forget to mention the Legion of Boom, which will go down as one of the greatest secondaries in NFL history.
3. STAFF ASSEMBLY
Kyle's guys have been with him since he's been an assistant or a graduate assistant. How you pick the staff is a big part of their success. That's what makes the team great. It's not just the head coach; the head coach gets all the credit, but it's the pieces he puts around him because they still have to deliver his message, and they deliver it on a day-to-day basis. We might sit in a meeting with the head coach for 30 minutes a day, but I sit in meetings with the assistants for five to six hours a day. So the staff is critical. — Richard Sherman
Shanahan is in his first stint as a head coach in the NFL after spending the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. Carroll has been the head coach in Seattle since 2010.
Should the 2020 NFL regular season begin on time, the Seahawks and 49ers are schedule to face off on Sunday, Nov. 1 in Seattle, WA and then again on Sunday, Jan. 3 in Santa Clara, CA.