USC’s Pete Carroll, with his Jets and Patriots tenures firmly in mind, as quoted by the New York Times’ Pete Thamel.
Carroll again proclaimed his love for Southern California by signing a contract extension this week. If he ever leaves, he will probably not return to the East Coast, he said. After practice Wednesday, Carroll discussed the difference in attitudes on the East and West Coasts.
He said pessimism in the East prevented people from understanding that fun and discipline could coexist on a football field. He said he had proved that at U.S.C. by running disciplined teams that won big games and handled pressure well.
“Because your perspective doesn’t understand how you can do that and smile and have a good time,” Carroll said about those in the East. “You don’t get it because people walk around New York kicking each other and looking over their shoulder. They don’t get it. They think you have to be miserable to accomplish stuff.
“My mentality is something good is about to happen. What does a normal New Yorker think? We don’t see eye to eye. I’m never going back. They won’t have me, and I’m not going out there.”
Carroll went 6-10 in his only year as head coach of the Jets, 1994, and he later succeeded Bill Parcells in New England, coaching the Patriots from 1997 to 1999.
Carroll now says that it was foolish to follow Parcells. He said he had also struggled to understand the fans in Boston, until he saw the movie “Babe,” starring John Goodman. When he saw fans at Fenway Park heckling an aging Babe Ruth, Carroll had a moment of clarity.
“I thought, ‘It ain’t me,’ ” Carroll said. “They did it to the Babe. They do it to everyone. I thought: ‘Ohhhhhh, this is O.K. They just want to win.’ “