Tony Gonzalez to Pete Carroll and the Seahawks: ‘Get back to basics and rebuild’

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Tony Gonzalez, Danny Kanell, Charlie Weis and join Colin Cowherd to discuss Pete Carroll's future in Seattle after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

COLIN COWHERD: Danny, can Pete now reinvent and thrive in Seattle?

DANNY KANELL: I don't think he can. I think this roster has been imploding over the last couple of years. And maybe you can pinpoint it back to the Super Bowl, when Russell Wilson throws the interception, and nobody really takes responsibility for that. Darrell Bevell still says it was the right call. The following year, Richard Sherman is yelling at Darrell Bevell.

But even if you don't point it at that, money changes everything. When Russell Wilson becomes a $100 million contract, when the defensive players who are some of the youngest, cheapest players in the league are the face of that franchise while they're winning Super Bowls and taking the team to the Super Bowls, now they're all millionaires and they're looking around saying where's mine, or how come I'm not the highest paid player.

I think what he has always thrived on has been controlled chaos, and I think he's lost control of that chaos with the personalities that are in that locker room.

Now if Michael Bennett, who kind of hinted that, hey he might be done, his time in Seattle, is gone and maybe you have one voice in there that's a little bit brash and loud and kind of the voice of that team, then you can manage it. But I just feel like it's gone, and it's gone out of control for Pete Carroll and Seattle.

COLIN COWHERD: I largely agree. There's two things that I think are working against Pete. Number one is the division has gotten really good. Garoppolo and Jared Goff, with their respective coaches, they're not going away. They're young, they're talented, they're driven, they're smart. You gotta pay them-- that's four games a year.

- And Arizona will get re-energized here, too, you know. I don't know who they'll bring in, but they'll get re-energized under them.

COLIN COWHERD: The other thing is is that Pete kind of worked the system, and I give him credit for this. So when he came out of college, he was one of the few NFL coaches with really a college resume. He knew these kids.

Well, he cherry picked that-- those drafts, those first three drafts. Look at this graph. He went into the NFL draft, and he knew more than the Belichicks or Andy Reids. He knew all these college players. He recruited them. But since that first three years, now as he separates from college football, he's not making steals in the draft.

DANNY KANELL: And they got to manage the salary cap.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

COLIN COWHERD: To your point, no salary--

- That isn't the biggest problem, though. The biggest problem is they got a lot of old guys tied up with big money, and not much room on the salary cap. And guess what? When you have no flexibility, when you have no or little flexibility, it's tough to make your team better.

COLIN COWHERD: In a really good division now. I mean, here's the other thing I want to throw out at you, is that Pete's always been a very emotional guy. I mean, I can remember, before, when Pete got hired at USC, you know, the knock on him was he's kind of a flake. OK, he's not really-- he's kind of a flake. And then he goes to USC, and the bravado and the emotion, it works. But at the end, it kind of fizzled out. OK.

These two guys came into PAC 12 Chip Kelly and Harbaugh. He wasn't so great anymore. Well, now two guys have come into a division, McVay and Shanahan. And his emotional culture, I think it has a lifespan. There's too much politics. There's too much non football. Michael Bennett. I think Pete's system, I'm not sure if it's built for 20 years like Belichick's. I'm not sure it is.

- Even though in my case he beat me on a regular basis--

[LAUGHTER]

- OK, so let me first say the positives. I mean, I think Pete, you know, before he left USC. I mean, he had it rocking and rolling, and they were really, really good. I mean, he might have got out of Dodge before the problems hit, but he did, he was smart enough to get out of Dodge.

So he gets up to Seattle, and then did exactly what you said. He built this up quick. And they got good in a hurry. But that's fine as long as you're winning.

OK, when all of a sudden you're not winning, guess what? You know, those pro players-- I've dealt with these guys-- they see through you in a heartbeat now. I mean, if you're sending out rah rah stuff with most of those players, they're looking at you, what the hell's wrong with this guy?

You know, they really want the-- just tell me what to do. Just teach me what to do. OK, what do you want? What are we doing? Show me that. Make me, help me be better so that I can make myself the best player I could possibly be.

COLIN COWHERD: So what you're saying is that that culture, that emotional culture when you lose-- you've told me, when you lose, it's not the same.

TONY GONZALEZ: When you have an emotional coach, and I've had those before, and you're getting used that speech, I told you earlier on your show, I can't stand motivation. I'm done with that. Just tell me a routine, and let's go out there and stop wasting time. I don't need the fire and brimstone speech every time from these emotional type coaches.

And when you're losing, and you're having that emotional speech, you get really frustrated and you get bored. And you're like, you start you start saying to yourself, I'm going to pull my hair out, because it's not working. You're talking to me, and you're trying to motivate me, and it's not working.

What I think they need to do-- first of all, I do think he can coach. I think he's the second best coach in the league. Bill Belichick's the number one coach. If he still feels like he has it, I trust him. He just needs-- it's time. Everything has its course. And the beautiful thing about Bill Belichick is that they keep, like I said, they're like Bruce Lee. It's water. They keep going out. They keep refreshing all the time. He needs to refresh.

Some of those guys are not right. They've gotta make some tough decisions. You've got to cut a couple of those guys. The first three years that Pete Carroll was in the NFL, he had the highest turnover in the whole NFL. That means as cool as he was and fun, but if you weren't playing and buying into what he was saying, you're out of here. He needs to get back to the basics, push implode, and let's start rebuilding this thing.

DANNY KANELL: Being the player's coach is great, and it creates a great environment. But when the players take advantage of that and you don't send them packing, because you can't, because of the salary cap, that's when you have the issues and some of the warning signs you're seeing in Seattle

COLIN COWHERD: And by the way, San Francisco and the Rams have a lot of salary cap flexibility.

- I mean, the 49ers got $100 million.

COLIN COWHERD: Yes, they do.