And then one ill-fated play call put an end to it all — for a moment.
But, as Carroll tweeted Thursday, “One moment does not define you; the journey does. We will outlast this.”
He’s right, of course. The Seahawks are built to last. They have more Super Bowls in them.
“This is a championship organization,” Carroll told Matt Lauer of “Today.” “It’s an extraordinary time for us. We’re right in the middle of all the good, positive things that we can do. So this is what we have to deal with, and of course it’s going to make us stronger.
“Think how strong we’ll be coming out of this. Think how powerful our togetherness will be, our mindset will be as we know that we’ve shouldered this and we move forward and get back to what we want to do. … It’s a great challenge, but nothing could make us stronger.”
But first Positive Pete has to re-instill those good vibes in everyone — his players and fans — and gain back the trust he momentarily lost when he chose to pass rather than run and Malcolm Butler served up a dish of humble pie in Super Bowl XLIX.
In the “Today” interview, Carroll admitted, “I don’t think at this point everybody’s on the same page about that sequence necessarily. But that’s OK.
“Everybody’s allowed to feel exactly how they want to feel — how they respond, how they reacted. There’s nothing wrong with that. When you finally gather and are ready to take that next step, we’re going to go places that are extraordinary.”
Just the magic words everyone wants to hear.
Asked if the players trust him, Carroll said, “Yes, they do. I have no problem with that.”
That might be a little wishful thinking at the moment. Plenty of players, defenders in particular, were questioning Carroll’s decision on that fateful final play. But the coach is confident they will shake it off.
“I believe in time we’ll be stronger than ever,” he told 710 ESPN. “(After the game) there was a great sense of where we’re going and what we’re doing in the future. They know … we want to move to the next thing. Even if you win, you’ve got to move to the next thing. Because if you get trapped in it and get lost in it, you’ll lose your way. It’s just the other end of the spectrum this time around.”
Carroll and most of the key defenders are all signed through 2016, and Russell Wilson will soon join them, so the Hawks figure to challenge for Super Bowl titles for at least two more seasons.
“This is a team that’s built for the future,” Carroll told 710 ESPN. “It’s a very young team with tremendous leadership. … We’re in the middle of this. This is not like the end. This is just the middle of this. Maybe this is the occurrence that make us so strong that we can do things that will surprise everyone.”