In fact, Carroll has an overall winning record in four seasons as an NFL coach -- he had a one-year stint with the Jets -- with a 33-31 mark.
The recent history of college coaches going to the NFL isn't good, but Carroll isn't Steve Spurrier or Bobby Petrino. His roots are in the pro game. The USC job was a back-to-school sidetrip, and it worked out very well as Carroll restored the Men of Troy and built one of college football's most dominant programs.
But you always knew he wanted one more opportunity to prove himself in the pros, just like Rick Pitino. Carroll can succeed if he surrounds himself with the right people. He'll need to find a GM he can work with, unlike Bobby Grier during his stint here, and he'll have to find an eventual replacement for Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, as injuries have take their toll on the former BC QB.
I'm sure people around here will be rooting for Carroll to fail, much the same way people in Cleveland rooted for Bill Belichick to fall on his face here. Sometimes a good coach deserves a second, or in this case, third chance. Hey, if Wade Phillips can be an NFL coach three times, why doesn't Pumped and Jacked Petey deserve another shot?
...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.