The Seattle Seahawks take on the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend in a game that sees 'Hawks head coach Pete Carroll come up against Mark Sanchez, a quarterback he coached during his time at USC.
Sanchez's time as a Trojan ended in controversial circumstances when Pete Carroll publicly criticized the QB for heading to the NFL draft in 2009 rather than spending another year in NCAA football.
Five years on though and Carroll was today at pains to show that any bad blood between the two is now water under the bridge.
"I love Mark," Carroll explained to the News Tribune as he explained exactly what went on all those years ago.
"We just had a difference of opinion at the time, in that regard. I wasn't going to hold him back.
"He was awesome with us, had a great career. Kind of grew up with us, was there even before he came to school. His family was close to the program. I was very, very close to the family during that time - and felt like I was representing an opinion that was coming out of the household, too, because they could see reasons why they wanted Mark to stay."
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Sanchez of course went ahead and make his way to the pros, regardless of Carroll's trepidation.
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Drafted by the New York Jets, Sanchez immediately became the starter - holding the position for four straight seasons despite rising criticism (and a butt fumble).
Sanchez left the Jets during the past offseason to play second fiddle to Nick Foles in Philadelphia. But since Foles went down with an injury in Week 9 Carroll's former QB has stepped in and impressed for the Eagles.
As such, his presence on Sunday will be far greater than perhaps Pete Carroll originally expected when the schedules were released. Judging by the Seahawks coaches comments though he isn't at all surprised to see just how hard Sanchez has fought to reignite his NFL career - even if it did cause a little tension during his USC days.
"The main thing was, he was really forthright and he was very determined to take on the challenge....But that had nothing to do with our relationship or anything.”
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