Pete Carroll doesn't have fond memories of his time with the New York Jets, and that's understandable. He went 6-10 in his only season as the head coach and was unceremoniously fired, replaced by Rich Kotite.
Now Carroll returns to New Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII, coaching the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. On Monday, he was asked if it's a "full-circle" moment for him.
"I think my first time in New York as a head coach was kind of in the middle of the circle somewhere or maybe it wasn’t even a circle, it might have been some other shape," Carroll joked. “It was kind of a hairy time."
Carroll's abrupt firing, and the infamous Dan Marino fake spike play that triggered the late-season collapse, overshadowed some good work as the Jets' defensive coordinator. From 1990 to 1993, the Jets ranked 23rd, 12th, 16th and eighth in total defense, respectively. They were even better in points allowed, finishing 17th, 10th, 18th and sixth.
Carroll demonstrated promise as a coach and then things got ... well, hairy, when owner Leon Hess decided he absolutely had to hire Kotite. The Jets went from hairy to scary.