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Former Seahawk Cliff Avril: Pete Carroll’s Super Bowl pass started Seattle’s decline

According to free agent defensive end Cliff Avril, the Super Bowl play that ended Seattle’s quest for back-to-back championships caused the team to start doubting Pete Carroll’s coaching.

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Someday in the future when we have flying cars, debit cards that magically get teleported to your house if you forget it at the bar, and wallpaper that plays video in our TV rooms, a replay of Malcolm Butler’s goal-line interception in Super Bowl 49 is for sure going to be on repeat in any Patriots fan’s house. Heck, it might be already. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving in more ways than one.

Aside from breaking a 10-year streak where Tom Brady got agonizingly close to a 4th Super Bowl ring (and the Patriots’ first post-Spygate championship, cause if you’ll think back a bit, at one point it WAS a thing that Bill & Tom “couldn’t win without cheating”), the interception that ended one of the wildest Super Bowls in history has the found-$20-in-my-jacket-pocket bonus of eventually blowing up one of the brashest, loudest, and most brilliant defenses in NFL history. The Legion of Boom.

That’s according to more than one former Seahawk, and while you’re out celebrating Memorial Day weekend in whatever way you see fit, because that’s what Americans do, defensive end Cliff Avril confirmed on the Dave Dameshek podcast that - wait for it - calling for a goal-line slant pass instead of handing the ball to Mr. Beast Mode on second down is where things started going south for the Seahawks.

Here’s the full convo:

(referring to the interception)

Dameshek: “Does that stick in your craw more than the pleasure you get out of looking at the (Super Bowl) 48 ring?”

Avril: “Sometimes it’s tough, because 2 is better than 1, obviously, so you think about what could have happened. If we had one that Super Bowl, I think we probably would have won another one within the two years that went by”

Dameshek: “Really?”

Avril: “Yes”

Dameshek: “Because people are now buying in, they know they’re a part of something special so they’re maybe even willing to give a hometown discount to continue to be on this ride?”

Avril: “Well, I don’t know about the hometown discount. (Laughs) But I do think, you know, that the team would have bought in more into what Coach Carroll was saying, instead of, you know, going the opposite way of ‘This is what we thought the foundation of the team was, and that’s not what happened on that particular play, so I think guys kind of started questioning him a little more, more so than actually following his lead, if we would have won the Super Bowl”

Dameshek: “Boy, that’s interesting, and it makes perfect sense that it would be, but they did their best to try and shift responsibility, although Pete Carroll, to his credit, did own that, he didn’t let Bevell wear it.”

Avril: “Yeah, the situation sucked regardless of who took the blame. It’s just the fact that, we were so close, and we weren’t able to get it, so I think a lot of guys were turned off by the message”

Ah, what the heck, you guys like videos? I like videos. Let’s watch that on video!

And backing Cliff up on Saturday morning was none other than former Seahawk pass-rusher, current Oakland Raider, and Class of 2018 college graduate Bruce Irvin:

Here’s the Pro Football Talk tweet that Irvin’s quoting:

It’s like for every joke that comes up about Bill Belichick and the Patriots living rent-free in 31 other teams’ heads, there’s another story like this that just proves that’s actually what happens in real life.

As for the Seahawks, they’ve all but blown up the LOB after failing to advance past the Divisional round of the playoffs in 2015 and 2016 and were eliminated from the playoffs altogether in 2017 when Seattle finished 9-7 and the Falcons beat the Panthers to knock the ‘Hawks out. You all know how this offseason went in Seattle.

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend, everyone.