Bill Belichick won't pile on, covers for Pete Carroll

Mike Reiss, ESPN:
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has heard the criticism of the Seattle Seahawks' play calling at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, and he believes it is "totally out of line."

Pete Carroll "does a great job" and the criticism of the Seahawks' final play call is "totally out of line," Patriots coach Bill Belichick says.

Belichick's team obviously benefited from the Seahawks' decision to throw on second-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 26 seconds remaining, a now hotly debated play call that resulted in Malcolm Butler's game-saving interception. Still, Belichick questioned the credentials of those panning the decision by coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

The play call was part of the process for Seattle Seahawks' head coach, Pete Carroll. He had plenty of opportunity to change the play, use a timeout, run Russell Wilson to the left, roll out to the right, or do what 99.9% of the world's population would have done. In the Green Bay game, when things looked bleak, Seattle handed the ball to RB Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks did not deviate from the game plan. With 26 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX, Pete Carroll fell asleep.

It is admirable that the head coach who benefitted the most by the bizarre play call would be so emphathetic for the Seahawks' heartbreak. It is unheard of for any head coach to crucify their opponent. Bill Belichick held the coaching fraternity line in praising his embattled opponent. The usual comment that "they're a great football team, and well-coached" was an automatic response.

Oakland Raider's head coach John Madden kept quiet following the 1976 playoff game with New England on the "phantom" roughing the passer penalty. Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Chuck Noll said nothing on the Houston Oilers' TD catch by Mike Renfro that was ruled out of the end zone. The only head coach who has crossed the line in the past 35 years was Miami's Don Shula following the Snow Plow game from December 12, 1982. Shula recalled protesting the "unfair" act by Mark Henderson, Patriots' stadium attendant who cleared a path for K John Smith to boot a 33 yard field goal for the only points of the game.

For Pete Carroll, falling asleep is not a problem. Staying asleep is the issue. The same holds true for those of us who watch the games. Sleepness nights? Try this. Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone, Grady Little, Bill Buckner, Bob Stanley, Reggie Jackson, Marlin Jackson, Ben Dreith, Magic Johnson, David Tyree, Mario Manningham, Plaxico Burress, too many men on the ice, and Babe Ruth. Experts suggest replacing top-quality pillows every two to three years. The average New Englander should change theirs every couple of months!

I have to agree with Pete Carroll that the call was not "the worst ever.". The result was.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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