Different Styles Suit Carroll, Carr
Dec 30, 2003
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Football Writer
It came earlier this year when the coach got so fired up he risked injury toteach a lesson, diving over the offensive line like a running back.
'We were doing goal-line drills, and Coach got so juiced up for the playthat we looked up and saw this aged man flying,' Udeze, an All-American, saidTuesday.
'We're in full pads thinking, 'He can get hurt. What kind of a coach isthis?' He definitely has the best vertical leap of any coach I've seen. It wasnice to see a coach with so much energy.'
The 52-year-old Carroll is a new-age kind of coach. He makes points withoutyelling, plays pickup hoops with his players and even will throw himself intodrills if necessary.
It's a refreshing change from previous regimes at Southern California. Hisplayers say it's a big reason why Carroll returned the Trojans to the top ofthe polls and led them to a Rose Bowl berth Thursday against No. 4 Michigan.
Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr has a different - yet effective - style. Cutfrom the same cloth as Michigan legend Bo Schembechler, Carr used his intensityto build a consistent winner in nine years.
The two styles fit their teams perfectly - Carroll's California cool andCarr's hearty Midwestern approach.
'He comes from the same mold as Bo Schembechler,' said Michigan receiverBraylon Edwards, who had his run-ins with Carr this season. 'He's more of adisciplinarian, and Pete Carroll is more of a players' coach, which is cool.Coach Carr runs a tight ship.'
When Carroll arrived in Los Angeles, he brought the same style that NFLpeople thought was too soft. He was fired twice from head coaching jobs in thepros.
In one of his first team meetings at USC, he brought the players to theColiseum late one night, prompting some to wonder what the new guy was doing.
He pulled out a rope and started a tug of war between the offense anddefense. With neither side having much of an advantage, Carroll then had hisplayers all move to the same side and pull the rope together.
'Then we all stood back-to-back on the 50-yard line, and he said, 'Rememberwhat happens when we all come together,'' defensive line coach Ed Orgeronsaid.
It took time - USC lost five of Carroll's first seven games - but soon theTrojans began playing as well as the powerhouses that won shares of threenational titles in seven years in the 1970s.
The Trojans have won 26 of their past 30 games. They finished fourth in thenation last year and are in line for a share of a national title for the firsttime in 25 years.
They'll have to beat Carr's Michigan, though.
'USC is one of those programs with a great tradition. Pete Carroll deservesa lot of credit for restoring that around here,' Carr said. 'He's instilled agreat attitude and he's been able to capitalize on the pride here.'
Carroll has won his team over with his backslapping, low-key approach. Heputs together 3-on-3 basketball games in the summer, and Udeze says the coachhas the best jump shot on the team.
But Carroll bristles at the suggestion that he runs a loose ship. He pointsto the lack of off-field problems and the way his team plays on the field toshow that he is a disciplinarian - albeit not in the traditional footballcoach's manner.
'A lot of people just don't get what we are,' he said. 'We take care ofthe football. We're the best team in America taking care of the ball, and to methat's the biggest sign of discipline. We don't commit a lot of penalties. It'snot about how you dress and what you say - it's about how you play.'
Carr has a different approach.
His players cite his intensity when they describe him, while the Trojans usewords such as 'fun' when they talk about Carroll.
Carr jokingly described himself as a 'flamboyant guy' but that's not thepersona he shows publicly.
It's more stomping on the sideline, yelling at officials and cutting short anationally televised halftime interview during the Ohio State game.
That attitude is not surprising coming from a man who spent 10 years as anassistant to Schembechler, who was so intense that he had a heart attack on theeve of his first Rose Bowl as a head coach at Michigan.
Carr is 'an unbelievable man,' tight end Andy Mignery said. 'He's a man'sman. He's an intense, intense football coach on the practice field. When hesteps off it, he's the king of Michigan football.'
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