No NFL coach embraces the "compete" mantra as ferociously as Pete Carroll. Every position. Every snap. Compete to win.
The offseason overhaul that saw the Seattle Seahawks move on from several veterans has helped underscore that core mantra. In an interview with Albert Breer of The MMQB, Carroll admitted the changes have allowed him to get back to preaching competition.
"I'm not saying I'm not more challenged this year than some other years," Carroll said. "But I always feel like, 'Man, this is my whole deal, to try to figure out how to recapture that.'"
Carroll moved from USC to Seattle in 2010, importing his compete concept. The Seahawks didn't take long to build a dominant team. Beginning with a big rise in 2012, earning a Super Bowl victory in 2013, and coming one play from back-to-back Lombardi Trophies.
Over the past several seasons, however, Carroll feels like his team lost a bit of that competitive edge.
"It's pretty plain to see, that when guys have established themselves for four or five or six years at a spot, and they've been really effective at what they do, it's hard to convince the next guy that he's going to take their spot," Carroll said. "That's for sure. So when opportunities are more open, it does create, in the truest sense, the best connection to what the philosophy and the approach is all about.
"And it feels like four or five years ago. It feels fresh and wide open, it's more of an open competition for some of the spots. And that's a really good thing for us, because it does feed into the whole approach."
The Seahawks traded Michael Bennett to Philadelphia. Richard Sherman was cut and landed in San Francisco. Cliff Avril is mulling retirement. Kam Chancellor isn't sure if he's returning to play. Earl Thomas plans to stay away until he gets a new deal.
All the change has led to a renewed feel in Seattle, one that reminds Carroll of that 2012 squad.
"It does feel like that," Carroll said. "There was a time when our star players weren't star players yet, they were just coming up, and it was exciting to see that emergence. That's what we're counting on in the next year, seeing these guys start to come to prominence and make a spot for themselves. I'm not even concerned about it. I just want to see what the timeline is. I hope it happens now. I want to see it happen right away."