For many reasons, football fans and experts are predicting a season filled with more losses than wins for the Seattle Seahawks. They traded star quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason to the Denver Broncos, a major loss for the team as a whole.
They will now go forward with Geno Smith leading the offense, a quarterback who has yet to prove himself as a consistent player in the league.
Despite the doubters, head coach Pete Carroll is confident in his team.
NFL media may be doing research and making predictions that have Seattle struggling this season, but none of that holds any weight in Carroll's mind.
"I don't care what anybody says. People have been saying stuff about teams for years. They don't know," Carroll said, addressing the "haters." "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."
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When asked about people thinking the Seahawks could have the worst record in the league, Carroll said, via ESPN, "I don't feel like that at all. 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."
Rather than worry about what outsiders are thinking, Carroll is focused on getting ready for the season.
"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," he said. "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."
It would take a miracle for the Seahawks to win their division or even make the playoffs, with the defending champion Los Angeles Rams as well as the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals all in the NFC West.
Carroll is taking this rebuilding year with a positive approach and has great expectations for the 2022 season.
"We're very hopeful and excited about it and see nothing but good stuff happening. 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," Carroll said. "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."
The Seahawks will kick off the season with a highly anticipated matchup against Wilson and the Broncos on Monday Night Football, on Sept. 12. A win against his old quarterback in Seattle would be a big statement from Carroll and company.