A naturally curious mind, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has expressed some skepticism about a two-team NFL market in Los Angeles.
The former USC head coach has a unique connection to Los Angeles, having arguably been the last coach in any sport to truly transform and engage a non-Lakers fan base in Southern California (I would personally stack up the Reggie Bush years against any recent sports phenomenon in the area, though the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup wins in 2012 and 2014 and the expensive revival of the Dodgers deserve consideration).
“I think it’s hard having one (team), so it’s going to be harder having two,” Carroll said Thursday, via The Seattle Times. “(StubHub Center is) a beautiful stadium, just not very big. It’ll be interesting. It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens and I think it’s an extraordinary challenge for the people of the area to figure out their allegiance and what they’re doing. There will be a strong pull, I’m sure, from the southern part down by San Diego and all through that. It will be fascinating to see what happens. It’s an enormous experiment.”
An experiment that Carroll has, and will continue to have a front seat for. While the Seahawks and Chargers are not due to meet in the regular season for some time, the Seahawks have to dip into Los Angeles yearly for games against the division-rival Rams.
As the Rams‘ director of football operations Bruce Warwick told me back in September, operating a franchise in Los Angeles is worlds apart from anywhere else in the NFL universe. Everything from traffic planning, police escorts, opposing events like the Golden Globes or Oscars, and flight schedules are vastly different and require immense thought. Now, those efforts will be doubled.
Carroll, who immediately denied any interest in the Rams‘ head coach opening when Jeff Fisher was fired, should be a valuable resource for both teams as they get used to the area. This fantastic 2007 profile done of the coach while he was at USC should serve as a blueprint for anyone looking to make an impact there.