Pete Carroll might not get everything he wants in Seattle
I just got off the phone with John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, the organization that makes sure NFL teams hiring coaches and/or executives abide by the "Rooney Rule" and give minority candidates a fair chance to compete for those jobs. That's an issue now because it's evident the Seahawks had targeted Pete Carroll to become their next coach without first interviewing any minority candidates.
Here's the news: Wooten gave Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke the go-ahead this morning to interview Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, which would satisfy the Rooney Rule and clear the way for the Carroll hiring. Leiweke is in Minnesota interviewing Frazier now.
However, Wooten and his group wouldn't give their blessing to the process unless Leiweke agreed that Carroll will not have complete control of the football operation.
"Our position is, if Pete Carroll comes there as the head coach, he will only be in charge of the 53-man football roster," Wooten said. "That's the extent of his authority. Because of their commitment to swear that to us, we have agreed to let them interview Leslie Frazier.
"They can hire Pete Carroll if they want. But he cannot be anything more than a head coach. He does not have control of the draft. He does not have control of the trades. He does not have the last word on anything other than the 53 men he puts out on that field each and every week.
"If there's any violation of anything else, you can rest assured -- and I've already alerted the NFL office on this -- it would mean that Tod Leiweke would have been dishonest with us and would have violated the Rooney Rule."
Having full control of an organization has always been a huge factor for Carroll, who didn't have that in his previous stints as an NFL head coach. It will be very interesting to see if or how this might affect a deal with the Seahawks.
"From what I understand, [the Seahawks] have told Pete Carroll that they will give him til Monday to decide what he wants to do," Wooten said.
Wooten said the alliance has recommended two general manager candidates to the Seahawks: Will Lewis, the team's current director of pro personnel who was interviewed Friday by new Browns President Mike Holmgren for the GM opening in Cleveland, and Marc Ross, director of college scouting for the New York Giants.
Wooten also recommended the Seahawks talk to San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera about the coaching vacancy. Because the Chargers are in the playoffs, the interview would have to take place by midnight tonight, and the Seahawks contingent would have to travel to Rivera rather than having the coach travel to the team.
-- Sam Farmer
Photo: Pete Carroll. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire