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The Carroll Philosophy

I don't know how he does it, all I know is that he is driven. He has his system which is a dash of mad scientist, a pinch of Zen, and a whole lot of determination. Sure there are rough spots and things don't always come out as planned, but can YOU think of another person you want coaching this team right now?

There are XX keys to Carroll: he tries to learn more about how to win, he focuses on competition inside the team as a key motivator, he focuses on the team rather than the individual, he tries to instill his hatred of losing, and he tries to keep continuity in coaching to make up for the steady turn-over of college players.

Carroll is not is not afraid to approach the greats and pick their brains about how they did it, as he did with John Wooden.

Pete Carroll regretted asking the question as soon as the words came out.

"How much did you change your philosophy from one year to the next?"

Carroll asked it of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who responded by giving Carroll a quizzical look. Carroll said he felt like a 10-year-old. But Wooden's answer helped make Carroll a wiser man.

"Coaches don't change their philosophies," Wooden said. "It's the players that change."

He will use what fits his personality to move this program forward.

As a fan I approach every new season with caution as there is always a new face in a key position. Team chemistry is key to any organization's success and Carroll always finds a way to bring it all together, even if it comes from a little known tennis book. Yet every season I am pleased with where SC finishes. Sure, it would be nice to go to the BCS title game EVERY year but that is just unrealistic.

Ted Miller, when he was at the Seattle P.I., found that out first hand just how intense Pete Carroll is.

It would be easy to reduce USC's going-on five years of dominance to a simple formula: Great players plus good coaching equals victory.

It's more than that. USC is a cult of competitiveness.

"One of the key statements that I make to the team is that we're going to do things better than it's ever been done before," Carroll said. "That mentality has to be throughout. It has to be woven through the fabric that we will not rest, that we will not settle, that we will be relentless in pursuit of a competitive edge."

I'm sure other coaches say the same things, but you need to produce results and Pete consistently produces results. So when others question his reasoning about the amount of tailbacks he has on the roster or why he rotates his players, I simply shrug and and say if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Carroll has admitted when he is wrong like after the Stanford game and it was appropriate for all interested parties to question why things were done the way where in that game. As pissed as I was over it I realized that you can't make a an omelet without breaking a few eggs. As painful as that loss was I think it served as a message that nothing should be taken for granted.

Everyone seems to have an opinion as to how Carroll should do it, so when I hear the likes of Petros chastise Carroll for not sticking to a one back set I just shake my head.

Papadakis isn’t a fan of USC’s tailback rotation. Not because he believes the Trojans lack talent, but because they have too much.

The ex-running back said it’s hard for running backs to get into a rhythm when they’re getting only a handful of hand-offs per game. That can lead to the wrong mindset, where the backs become consumed with their touches.

“They probably have a 1,500- to 1,600-yard rusher in there, and they’re never going to find out,” Papadakis said. “They’re just going to have to hurt somebody’s feelings. By trying to please everybody, they’re not going to please anybody.

I give Petros credit, he played the game and I didn't, so he has more experience than I do, but what he misses is that his "experience" is that of a player - and Carroll's job is to get the team to win games. You don't win games by becoming too reliant on "the guy," and you don't win games when "the guy" gets hurt by rushing in a couple of back-ups with limited real-game touches. Petros should let those who are winning year in and year out continue to do what works best for the team and their results, and just enjoy the ride.

Petros needs to go back and re-read Miller's piece so that he can understand why it is the way it is.

It's not just about getting the best athletes, though that's obviously exactly what Carroll does. He emphasizes evaluating competitiveness almost as much. He wants great athletes who want to beat out other great athletes. He also wants them to hate losing as much as he does, so they buy into the idea of team over individual.

Continuity in coaching from season to season helps as well. Until the last minute departure of Sam Anno, the coaching staff has stayed pretty much intact from last season, so hopefully there will be continuity in getting the team focused and on the same page. Sure, others have and will question how Carroll does it but you can't argue with the overall results. Yes, there have been some real humdinger losses but consider the alternative...relative obscurity like they have been living across town. I don't know why it works, but it does, and as long as Carroll is running the show he will continue to do it this way.