In a Monday morning interview with the Los Angeles Times, Carroll said that he didn't expect the offer. "I had given up on it," he said about the possibility of coming back to the NFL, "but it came out of nowhere."
He understood what his departure would do to USC during recruiting season, but felt no conflict about bowing out now, leaving text messages with his players and coaching staff. "I've given everything I've had," he said to the Times. "There was never going to be a good time."
Carroll's next challenge will be to assemble his pro staff. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is expected to join him in Seattle, as is linebackers coach/assistant head coach-defense Ken Norton, Jr. Reports also indicate that USC offensive line coach Pat Ruel will most likely join Carroll's new staff.
Carroll is primarily known as a defensive mastermind, and there is no specific knowledge at this point of who his defensive coordinator might be, though Kevin Carden of SCPlaybook, Scout.com's USC football site, told NorthwestFootball.net on a Sunday night podcast that New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker would be Carroll's first choice. Walker served as Carroll's secondary coach in 2001 before moving on to coach the secondaries of the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Walker was UCLA's defensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008.
It is not confirmed that Carroll will also be the Seahawks' team president, though most speculation points in that direction. Seattle's next step is to hire a general manager to help deal with personnel. This week, they have interviews with Pittsburgh Steelers football and administration coordinator Omar Khan, New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross, and New England Patriots senior football advisor Floyd Reese.
Stay tuned to NorthwestFootball.net for more news as it becomes available.