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Seahawks Carroll and WSU’s Leach Exemplify the Brutality of the Business

Jim Mora, fresh off his first season since inheriting a gutted veteran Seahawks squad that had been declining since their prime of 2005, sat at a post-season press conference.

His 5-11 record although an improvement, is still nothing to be proud of, and he sat up there for 45 minutes and took it for his team and the job he called his “dream job”. Mora was a former Husky football player, a Seattle resident since the age of 13.

As this was actually going on, the Seattle brass were down in Southern California courting now coach Pete Carroll. Mora completely unaware his job status was anything to even contemplate worrying about, would soon learn the brutality of the NFL the hard way.

Fired after one season where he actually improved upon the previous seasons campaign, the Seahawks sought Carroll enough that in addition to his $35 million deal they were willing to pay Mora $12 million to take a hike.

Fast forward to November 16th 2011, and you would find Washington State AD Bill Moos in the living room of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. 2 days before a still bowl-alive Cougar squad was slated to host Utah, Moos was already pulling the strings in the background.

This explains the rapid pace at which the news broke, and it does seem that WSU beat everyone to the punch of the hottest coaching candidate available. We can’t be sure exactly how many teams wanted him, but you can be sure fan bases of teams with open or potentially open coaching sure did.

Bill Moos preparation paid off, as Wulff blew his WSU coaching career with a botched fourth down call at the end of the game against Utah. Instead of going for the win with a couple ticks on the clock inches from the goaline, he opted for the game tying field goal; obviously losing in overtime.

In fact, that fourth down call may be looked at the very thing that brought Leach to WSU in the first place; who knows if the team would have played differently with an actual bowl game literally on the line against the Huskies? Moos stated himself that he told Leach he wanted “his guy” to finish strong and if he did that was the direction he was going to go; which would have meant an extension for Paul Wulff and Mike Leach never arriving in the Palouse.

Each situation is a tad different, as Wulff has been on the coaching hot seat for awhile now and his atrocious four year record of 9-40 is an obvious strong point to call a firing logical. Mora never had a chance to get on any sort of “public” hot seat after just one season.

Both exemplify just how cutthroat the business is. While Mora was taking the heat for an eroded Seahawks team courtesy of his boneheaded General Manager and Paul Wulff was just on the cusp of finally getting a previously much more downtrodden Cougars squad over the hump after one full recruiting cycle their bosses were toasting with Pete Carroll and Mike Leach about glorious futures behind their backs.

The Seahawks method seems much more brutal, and how they handled the situation was not met with many positive remarks. You can’t really fault Moos for reaching out before the season ended with immediate recruiting ramifications and considering he had a four year body of atrocity to look back at. He had every right to fire Paul Wulff at anytime during the season based on that; not quite the same can be said for Mora though.

Regardless, I can tell you that the majority, if not all of the Seahawks and Cougars fan base would tell you they would rather have Pete Carroll then Jim Mora and Mike Leach instead of Paul Wulff as their head coaches.

That just goes to show that winning matters, at all costs, and if Pete Carroll can take this Seahawks team to an NFC Championship Game in the next two years and Mike Leach can take the Cougars to a Bowl game next season, no one will really be thinking about Jim Mora or Paul Wulff.




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