The Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII with a pass rush on Peyton Manning that bordered on startling. Coach Pete Carroll has been in touch the MVP of Super Bowl XX — Hall of Fame and former Bear defensive end Richard Dent — about making that rush even more ferocious.
They haven’t been able to coordinate schedules yet, but Carroll and Dent, tied for No. 8 on the NFL’s all-time sack list with 137.5, have talked about having Dent in to work with Carroll’s defensive linemen as a pass-rush consultant. “It’s been hard to find times that work for both of us but I would like very much to work with Pete and what they’re doing,” Dent told CSNChicago.com on Saturday at the annual Bears Care Gala.
It all began the Sunday morning before the Dec. 22 Bears-Philadelphia Eagles game, with Dent appearing on NFL Network’s early pre-game programming. Not long after the broadcast, Dent got a phone call.
On the line was Carroll, whose Seahawks had a late game that Sunday at home against the Arizona Cardinals. But Carroll, who had a defense already among the NFL’s elite, particularly against the pass, wanted to talk pass-rush specifics.
They were on the phone for nearly an hour-and-a-half, Dent on the East Coast around 9 a.m., Carroll on Seattle time. At the end of the talk, it was Dent who may have been the more impressed.
“That really tickled me to death,” Dent said. “It was an honor. We were talking about alignments, different things, situations, and at the end he said, ‘I think we should see about getting something done.’
“I told Coach, ‘I got you winning [the Super Bowl] a blowout.’ And he started laughing. But I did text that out anyway way before the game.
“The fact that I was only on the network right then, and you don’t know who’s watching, and that’s real early in the morning for Seattle. So hey, he had to be up at 5, 6 in the morning to be seeing this. And I’m thinking, ‘This is a guy who really loves what he does.’
“He’s got one more game, he’s doing great, and he’s still trying to get better. That says a lot about the guy, and a guy like that is someone you want to work for, you want to be a corner with.”
Dent’s thinking was governed by the timing of that phone call and the mentality behind it.
“I didn’t want to do anything at that time, because he had one more game left,” Dent said. “But here was a man still trying to get better, and he only had one more game. That says a lot about an individual. It says a lot about what he thought of what I was saying, and it says a lot about the kind of man he is, ‘I’ve only got one more game left and I still want to get my players better.’”
“I was so impressed that he would call. Great conversation, great ideas, and then I watch the Super Bowl and his defensive linemen were all pushing the offensive linemen back into Peyton Manning’s face.”
Carroll’s priority for pass rush is established. The Seahawks brought in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett for what would be the run to the Super Bowl in 2013 and invested $28.5 million to keep Bennett for the next four years. Carroll’s interest in Dent is to help take a good rush to another level.
“As a player, you really appreciate someone who looks for anything that can help you,” Dent said. “If you think you’re the smartest guy in the room, then that’s where you fail. You can’t get everything you need from one place or one person. You can suck up as much as you can but if it’s not in your house, you have to go seek it. Because your clock is ticking.”