Pete Carroll has the Seattle Seahawks a win away from a Super Bowl title.
But that may not be the main reason he ran away with an ESPN poll that asked more than 320 NFL players which coach they'd most like to play for.
After all, look at some of the guys he beat. Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin was a distant second, and Tomlin has a Super Bowl victory and another appearance. New England's Bill Belichick came in tied for fifth, and he has won three Super Bowl rings in five appearances.
New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin has won two Lombardi Trophies. He didn't even crack the top five.
Now take another look at Carroll, who got 72 votes, or 23%, and think back to those glory years when he was coaching here at USC. Doesn't he just seem like way more fun than guys like Tomlin, Belichick and Coughlin?
Still, he says, don't confuse that with him being soft or easy on his players.
"We're doing it with standards and expectations that are as high as you can get," said Carroll, who has gone 38-26 in four seasons with Seattle. "I'm glad we've found a way to do it that guys appreciate it."
Tomlin received 44 votes, followed by Denver's John Fox (25), New York Jets' Rex Ryan (23) and Belichick and Kansas City's Andy Reid (tied with 22).
"We practice hard on every play and we work as hard as any team, or harder," Seahawks linebacker and team captain Heath Farwell said. "But it's a fun team to play on because Pete's always so positive. He's the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines. He coaches with passion, and that's why guys play hard for him."
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