Carroll led the Patriots to the playoffs in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but was fired after the 1999 season when the Patriots were 8-8. Patriots owner Robert Kraft hired Bill Belichick to replace Carroll and Belichick has been there ever since leading the team to three Super Bowl titles.
“It’s really fun because there’s a little personal stuff,” Carroll said on his 710 ESPN Radio show Monday. “It’s a great place and great respect for what the Kraft family has done. The last 15 years, they’ve been the best of the best.”
Carroll said there are no hard feeling between him and Kraft.
“We’ve remained good friends and he’s been very gracious,” Carroll said. “And [New England] is a wonderful place. They’re great fans and it’s so similar."
Most people see Belichick and Carroll as polar opposites as coaches. Belichick is viewed as a curmudgeon while Carroll is seen as an easy-going guy.
“I think we have a lot in common," Carroll said. “We both grew up looking at the game in a different way. His dad was a coach and I was raised thinking about coaching. Hopefully, someday I can be closer to his numbers, but I don’t know if I’ll last that long.”