What Defines Success?

Michael Lev looks back on Pete Carroll's comments from Jan. 15th.

So far, Mark Sanchez’s decision to forgo his final year of eligibility at USC looks like pure genius. Sanchez worked his way up to the top five in the 2009 NFL draft. He went to the team he wanted to play for. And he will play in a city that will afford him the best marketing opportunities America has to offer.

All of which begs the question: Was Pete Carroll wrong in advising Sanchez to stay in school?

The reflex reaction is a resounding yes. But that wouldn’t be true to Carroll’s premise.

Remember, Carroll never said Sanchez wouldn’t be a high draft pick. Carroll’s point was that Sanchez was hurting his chances of having a successful career.

“The plight of the early-app quarterbacks, even first-round draft picks, is less than 50-50 (for) them being successful,” Carroll said on that awkward Jan. 15 day when Sanchez announced he was leaving. “When it’s like that, it’s really hard to champion the cause.”

Although some believe Carroll’s agenda extended beyond Sanchez’s best interest — specifically, that the coach had a mouthful of sour grapes — let’s assume Carroll really was looking out for Sanchez. The next issue becomes: What defines success?

If it’s all about the Benjamins, then Carroll was wrong. Based on Matthew Stafford’s contract, Sanchez is going to get at least $20 million in guaranteed money.

But Carroll’s argument wasn’t about money, and I doubt Sanchez would measure his career in those terms either.

I said something similar shortly after he declared. We all knew Mark would make a boatload of cash but because he such a competitor the bigger question was would he succeed in the NFL like he did in college?

We won't know that for a couple of years but again what defines success? People will claim Caroll's remarks are self serving but if you look at the last few NFL drafts I think its safe to say that Carroll knows what he is talking about...

Plenty of coaches have been disappointed when players leave early, Pete was just vocal about it. Take it anyway you want...I appreciated his candor.

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