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Coach Pete Carroll teaches rugby
Courtesy of NBC Sports

It is common knowledge that rugby is father of American football, so it makes perfect sense that the smartest and most successful NFL coaches are turning to their patriarchal roots to improve the team's on-field performance. The most prominent proponent of this rugby/football trend has been Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. 

In the early part of his NFL career, Carroll spent 15 years holding defensive coordinator positions with several NFL teams, including the Buffalo Bills, NY Jets, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers, before landing the head coaching job of the New England Patriots. After a 33-31 record with the Patriots, many believed Carroll was better suited for college football, and in 2000, he was hired as the head coach at USC. 

Carroll spent the next five years at USC, where he led the now-NFL star and rugby fan, Reggie Bush, to two national championships.

In 2010, Carroll left college football and was hired by the Seattle Seahawks as their new head coach to replace Jim Mora. In four short years, Carroll turned around the Seahawks program and led the team to a memorable Super Bowl victory in 2014.

Carroll, whose coaching style is known for his aggressive and unorthodox approach, is constantly looking to gain a competitive edge against his opponents; he always keeps his team healthy.

Given rugby's rapid growth in America -- thanks to the inclusion of 7s in the 2016 Olympic games, along with NBC's national broadcast coverage of the USA Sevens and Collegiate Rugby Championship -- Coach Carroll became aware of the benefits of rugby's unique tackling technique. Currently, he utilizes the special rugby approach to lead Seattle's Super Bowl champions into the future.

So, the question we have for our readers is: What impact will this have on rugby in America? 


The 2013 Seahawks were one of the best defensive teams in the history of the NFL. They were known for their open field tackling - and bringing people down at first contact. Combine this with the news that the NCAA has settled its head injury lawsuit, and I would think any forward-thinking football coach would have to start looking to rugby to improve his players technique and safety. Here's the barrier (at least here in the south): the dialogue between the rugby and football community is literally zero. We bear some of the fault, but football won't even broach the subject. In my Georgia county alone, there are approximately 3,000 6-18 year olds playing football, and probably less than 10 playing rugby. Almost every football playing young man would benefit from our sport, but there is zero willingness to even have the conversation. I hope videos like this will help open those doors.