Pete Carroll always thought John Lynch performed his former job as a FOX Sports analyst well. But he figured all the probing questions Lynch asked in production meetings would some day land him a job in the Monday Night Football booth, not in the general manager's chair for a division rival.
"He wanted to know why and what you think and all that stuff," Carroll, the Seahawks coach, said on a Wednesday conference call. "I didn't really put it together. I thought he was going to be doing the Monday Night Football or something someday.”
Lynch, who spent eight years as a color analyst and handled four Seahawks games last year alone, was fascinated with the Seattle team culture and how the defense worked. Carroll said he didn't know how much that's gone into Lynch's and Kyle Shanahan's rebuild of the 49ers.
And he didn't sound overly concerned. After all, several of his former proteges, including 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, have gone on to coach elsewhere. Saleh was a defensive quality control coach in Seattle from 2011-13 before leaving for Jacksonville the next season with one-time Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
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"I'm not surprised at all that he's arrived here as a coordinator in the league," Carroll said. "Great worker, brilliant guy, good communicator. He gets it. Great demeanor about him and a lot of energy. I'm not surprised at all."
Carroll said he's ultimately not surprised about Lynch's new role, either.
"He's really smart, was an extraordinary competitor," he said. "He's got all the grit in the world. And he was just adding up his background and his reservoir of information at the time that it makes sense that it came out to get him a GM job."