RENTON, Wash. -- Outside expectations for the Seattle Seahawks, including those of Las Vegas oddsmakers, are lower entering the 2022 season than they have been since before Russell Wilson was the team's quarterback.
Pete Carroll says he doesn't agree with the pessimism nor does he care about it.
"I don't feel like that at all," Carroll said Monday, a week before Seattle's opener against Wilson and the Denver Broncos. "I don't feel like any part of any of that is what's true other than the fact that that's what people think. I'm not in that business now. I'm in the business of helping these guys get ready to play with all of the work that we do and all of the mentality and the culture and the environment that we're in. We've been averaging 10 wins a year for the last 20-something years [dating back to 2001-2009 run at USC]. You think I could think anything different than that? I don't. I don't see any reason my expectations should change at all."
During Carroll's and general manager John Schneider's 12 seasons in Seattle, the Seahawks have won a Super Bowl, appeared in another, made the playoffs nine times, won the NFC West five times and never finished with fewer than seven wins. Their 119 regular-season wins in that span are sixth-most in the NFL.
Most of that success came during Wilson's 10-year run with Seattle, which ended in March when he was traded to Denver. With Wilson gone and Geno Smith emerging as the winner of a quarterback battle with Drew Lock, the Seahawks are a popular pick to finish last in the division. Per bet365, their projected win total of 5.5 is tied for the second-lowest in the NFL. It's two wins lower than any other team in the NFC West.
"I don't care what anybody says," Carroll said. "People have been saying stuff about teams for years. They don't know. They're just guessing at this point, and then we go and prove it and we see where we are ... Win a big game in the opener or struggle and not win a big game in the opener, you've got to come back and get going again and back on track regardless."
Asked a similar question last week about the low outside expectations, Schneider offered a reminder of how many of the players who emerged as stars on their Super Bowl teams weren't well-known from the get-go. And he described some of their current core pieces as underrated.
"When I have things on in the background and I see guys like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett not mentioned in the NFL Top 100 players, it blows my mind," Schneider said. "Jordyn Brooks and what he did last year. I was listening to something while I was working and somebody's talking about, 'Oh, they have nothing on defense. They got Jamal Adams and that's it,' and I'm thinking to myself, 'What about Quandre Diggs?' There's a lot of fun stuff that we have. Al Woods is an incredible leader."
Asked if observers are sleeping on the Seahawks, Schneider said: "I just think we're chasing instead of being chased, which I think is cool. I think it's exciting."
Carroll has called this the fastest team he's had with the Seahawks. He noted their speed again Monday when asked how he feels about the team.
"We're very hopeful and excited about it and see nothing but good stuff happening," he said. "We have to go prepare like it and make sure that we're ready and then go perform like it. So I'm really excited about this team. I love the makeup. I love the way that they've come together from way back when. I love the leadership. I love the speed. I love our style in all aspects and now we need to go out and show it and live up to what the expectations are. My expectations are very high."