It's NFL coach hiring season, and that means Pete Carroll is once again in demand. ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reports that the Atlanta Falcons have contacted Carroll about their coaching vacancy.
On the surface, it doesn't seem like the Falcons and Carroll are a great fit for each other. The Falcons have already been burned by one college coach in Bobby Petrino, so I'm a bit surprised that they're pursuing another. We know that Carroll would demand complete and full control over any NFL team he takes over, but it appears that Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to hire a general manager. Blank would need to change his stance on that if he really wants Carroll.
Also, the Falcons have an awful team. They went 4-12 in 2007, they were built around Michael Vick who is obviously in jail right now, Warrick Dunn is well past his prime, they have no impact receivers, and they had the 29th ranked defense in the NFL this season. I'm not certain if Carroll has the patience for the type of rebuilding project necessary in Atlanta, because it's going to take several years for the Falcons to be competitive again.
Still, numerous USC fans are quietly worried by what more might come out of the Reggie Bush story, and if that could potentially lead to NCAA sanctions. And if that's the case, would Carroll want to jump ship now before the program takes a serious hit? As long as the Falcons don't have a GM, Carroll could theoretically be offered full control. It's unlikely that Carroll will seriously be considered for other NFL openings this season though. He probably doesn't want to work for Bill Parcells in Miami or Dan Snyder in Washington. And the Baltimore Ravens have a fine general manager in Ozzie Newsome. So if Carroll doesn't go to Atlanta, Trojan fans may get nervous again next January when a new set of NFL jobs will become open.