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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



January 11, 2010 at 3:54 PM

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Pete Carroll named head coach, vice president of football operations

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Pete Carroll will be the Seahawks head coach and vice president of football operations, according to Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke.

Leiweke clarified Carroll's role on Monday afternoon, explaining what will constitute a "collaborative relationship" with the general manager.

Basically, there will be three people who report to Leiweke: Carroll, whomever is hired as general manager and then the person in charge of salary cap and contract negotiation, which is John Idzik at this time.

Leiweke said he doesn't anticipate a change in Idzik's position.

As for the hiring of Carroll?

"We knew that other teams had made runs at this man, given his record," Leiweke said. "He was interesting to us because he was in the NFL, and it's clear to me that this man has a chip on his shoulder that he also can win at the NFL level.

"He had a .500 record and he has been paying for that. But this is a guy that went on and did things in football that no man has ever done. After the last two seasons, those are things that really resonate with us."

So was the decision to fire Jim Mora independent of having the possibility of hiring Carroll or was Mora fired only when the Seahawks felt they could hire Mora?

"I did stand up in front of the media when we announced that we weren't going to renew Tim's contract, and said we anticipated continuing on," Leiweke said. "Fact is, what we did seven days a week is we were really studying this organization and trying to break this cycle of losing we were in.

"We won nine games the last two years and with all due respect, four of those were to the St. Louis Rams," Leiweke said, "And that's not acceptable to our fans, it's not acceptable to Mr. Allen, and it certainly isn't acceptable to me.

"Some have said that this isn't fair. I'm not going to debate that point, but the status quo was simply not an option. From that feeling of the last game to the feeling to the feeling I have now, I am filled with hope."

Well, if that was the case -- the team was seeking a clean slate -- why not fire Mora on Monday instead of letting him hold a Wednesday press conference?

"I think perhaps might be fair, but you must realize that this has been a series of progressive revelations," Leiweke said. "It wasn't too long ago that we really didn't anticipate that happening. There was a feeling that this might be the time to have a clean slate. I now, in retrospect, think it was absolutely the right decision. But there was a chance as of a week ago Monday that we wouldn't have proceeded down this path.

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"We had a discussion with the owner at a very high level, we then did talk to Pete, we then looked at another candidate whom I had a phenomenal discussion with this weekend - a guy named Leslie Frazier, whom I believe soon will be a head coach in this league - and then I flew to L.A. last night, we clarified some very important points with Pete, which were open issues. Specifically, how we were going to structure this. He signed off on that plan, and here we are."

OK, now there has also been the characterization that this was a change handed down from the top, something Leiweke took exception to.

"One of the things that came out today was that Paul was insistent we fire Jim Mora," Leiweke said. "Well, that's not true. At the end of the day, Paul trusts us. That was an organizational decision. It wouldn't have happened without Paul's support, but I'll take that, and that's on me. And let me tell you, that's a hard decision because Jim Mora is a really good man and he's a friend. I climbed Rainier with him this summer, and you get to know a guy different.

"But my job here isn't to maintain the status quo when things aren't working. My job is to make tough decisions and we made them. Letting Tim go, and saying we're not going to renew your contract was a really hard deal, and that's just who I am as a person. I am somebody that wants to get along with people and see the best. Telling Jim Mora he was no longer the coach, that's on me. And conversely, this guy coming in, I couldn't be more excited. I think that we have a truly special coach coming in to take the reins, and now, the key is finding a great GM. Somebody who is going to come in and understand our personnel and take the opportunity of two first-round picks between No. 1 and No. 14 and make the most of it."

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