April 25, 2010
Taylor Mays vs. Pete Carroll
Sometimes I used to watch Coach Bobby Knight on the sidelines and think, wow I would do anything to play for him. That is right. Bobby Knight. He was stern but fair. He was loyal and committed to his players and to winning. I think about other great coaches like John Wooden, Coach K, Jerry Sloan and of course Ozzie Guillen (and the little basketball coach from Saved By The Bell in the episode where Zack goes to the hospital). These are coaches who people rally around.
But you know who I wouldn’t want to play for….Pete Carroll. I know he has won championship after championship. He is a great recruiter. But for the second year in a row he threw one of his players under the bus.
Last year it was Mark Sanchez. Carroll was critical of Sanchez’s decision to go pro. Very rarely do you see a coach publicly bash his player’s choice. Did Callipari dis DRose? No, because good coaches are there for the team and the players.
Carroll stepped over the line once again. Last year, Taylor Mays (Jewish mother, Bar Mitzvahed, TGR Obsession) had an amazing junior campaign Carroll advised him not to go pro. Mays was a lock to be a top 10 pick. He was the preseason god of awards. But Mays, and the Trojans for that matter, had a less than superb year. Mays fell hard into the second round costing himself millions of dollars.
Carroll, who is now coaching the Seattle Seahawks, began the draft he needed help in the secondary. So when the 14th pick came around, Mays felt that his coach, his mentor, his “Adviser” would surely scoop him up and show Mays he did the right thing. Instead Carroll picked Earl Thomas out of Texas. Is Thomas better? Maybe. Did Carroll have a moral imperative to pick Mays? You be the judge. But I say yes.
If Carroll ever goes back to the college game, if I were Mays I would make it known to everyone of Carroll’s track record. Mays had this to say: “I thought, I definitely thought from the relationship that we have, from the things that [Carroll] had told me about what I needed to be, what the draft process is, things that I needed to do, I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took,” [Mays said.] “There were things he told me I needed to do as a football player versus the actions he took and who he took as a safety. I understand it’s a business, but with it being a business, honesty is all I’m asking for.” [...]“I look forward to playing for Coach [Mike] Singletary 16 games a year than I look forward to playing against Coach Carroll twice a year.”
If I can leave you with two thoughts. 1) Pete Carroll pissed Taylor Mays and myself off. Sports should be about loyalty and Carroll has none. 2) How scary is the hard hitting Taylor Mays going to be with coach Mike Singletary. The 49ers just became my second favorite team.
And Let Us Say…Amen.