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updated: 2/2/2014 10:27 PM

Ah, for a coach with energy of a Pete Carroll

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  • Seahawks coach Pete Carroll holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his team steamrollered the Broncos on Sunday night.

      Seahawks coach Pete Carroll holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his team steamrollered the Broncos on Sunday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

The NFL always has been a league of copycats.

If the Super Bowl winner has wide receivers with 50-inch inseams, defensive linemen who wear bedspreads for sport coats and owners with handlebar mustaches well, that's what other teams strive for.

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Fortunately for the Bears, Seattle owner Paul Allen doesn't wear a handlebar mustache because Virginia McCaskey isn't about to grow one. Unfortunately, the Bears never seem to want a head coach like Pete Carroll either.

Carroll has a pulse, and that's the contrast to the Bears that most applies today, which is a point I have been stuck on for years.

The Seahawks trounced the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII by reflecting Carroll's personality and presence.

Carroll is a live wire. He's 62 years old, looks 42 and bounces around like he's 22. He is visibly enthusiastic and energetic and his team plays that way.

A lot of football fans don't like Carroll because he left USC with a variety of NCAA violations when he fled to Seattle.

Too bad for the Trojans and oh so good for the Seahawks.

Carroll's college rah-rah has transitioned well enough to the NFL that he is, according to a survey of pros, the coach they would most like to have. The way Seattle plays, players look like they're having fun and like they have the same kind of fun in practice.

The Seahawks aren't afraid to take a chance that might lead to a mistake. Yet they play with discipline. Nice combination.

Seattle plays with abandon but with structure. The Seahawks are individuals within a team concept. Their defense has been compared to the '85 Bears defense, isn't quite as good but is similar in both style and substance.

Which raises the question of when was the last time the Bears had a head coach like Pete Carroll?

Certainly not currently with Marc Trestman, not with predecessor Lovie Smith, not Smith's predecessor Dick Jauron and not with big lug Dave Wannstedt before that.

No, this isn't a cry to return to the model established by Mike Ditka, the raging outrage that won the Bears' only Super Bowl championship. But it is a cry away from the button-down model the McCaskey ownership has preferred since disposing of Ditka more than two decades ago.

Not even the good Bears' teams this century -- losers of the Super Bowl and the NFC championship game -- were very compelling.

Contrast that with Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle running back who made more of a statement by protesting the NFL's must-speak policy by hardly speaking. Lynch was Super Bowl week's bad boy. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was the bad boy the week before. In the Carroll culture they're allowed to be bad boys within reason.

Look, not many NFL teams have a head coach like Pete Carroll. In his own way, he might be as unique as Ditka was in his own way.

So maybe nobody around here should complain about not having a Carroll. The Bears have had their one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime coach.

Bothersome, though, is that the Bears aren't even interested in somebody as outgoing as Carroll. They have gone the professorial route that doesn't seem to fit this franchise's tradition.

These are supposed to be the Monsters of the Midway, not the Brainiacs of Beardom. The Bears should be a group of tough-talking, roughshod running, maverick-acting funboys on the field, not prim, proper, polite choirboys.

The Seahawks have become what the Bears should be but what the Bears don't seem to want to be anymore.

In other words it almost looks like the Seahawks are copying the old Bears when the Bears should be copying the new Seahawks.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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