PHOENIX - And, just like that, Pete Carroll endorsed Chip Kelly's coup.
After only two seasons in the NFL, the Eagles' wunderkind coach reacted to general manager Howie Roseman's excision of Kelly's front-office ally, Tom Gamble, by forcing owner Jeffrey Lurie to remove Roseman from personnel evaluation and allow Kelly to structure the department to his liking.
The move cemented Kelly's contention that he had final say in building the Birds all along.
"I think it's what every coach needs to be at his best," said Carroll, who was asked to compare his power with the Seahawks with his power with the Patriots, who fired him in 1999.
Carroll went to USC and, like every college coach, shopped for his own groceries . . . and built a powerhouse. He insisted that the Seahawks give him that power before he was hired in 2010.
"It's been really instrumental. I think it's made all the difference in the world."
Certainly, every coach would like that sort of power. At least, he thinks he would.
"The format and the structure that is generally accepted in the league is not that. I understand why, but this is a football game that we play," Carroll said. "There's a business that goes along with it, but the football, I think, has to be run by the football people."
Carroll and Kelly share a slew of similarities, having been successful Pac-12 coaches who have used innovative approaches to quickly succeed in today's NFL.
But let's be honest.
Having total control doesn't always work.
Andy Reid bit off too much when he was the Eagles czar, as did Mike Holmgren in 1999 when he left Green Bay to lord over the Seahawks.
Kelly is the least experienced coach in NFL history to be crowned Franchise Sovereign.
Besides, it isn't working perfectly in Seattle or New England.
Both got lucky. A lot.
Bill Belichick transformed from being Bill Parcells' annoying protege to being a Mount Rushmore coach when a sixth-round pick named Tom Brady replaced injured franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Parse it any way you like, but the Pats would not be seeking a fourth Super Bowl title in six trips since 2001 if Brady wasn't the best quarterback of his generation.
Carroll morphed from being a failed NFL coach (who, it turns out, benefited from cheating at USC) into a late-in-life NFL Lazarus when fifth-round picks Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor cemented perhaps the best secondary in NFL history, and undersized, third-round quarterback Russell Wilson turned out to be his generation's Brady.
Top receivers Doug Baldwin (2011) and Jermaine Kearse (2013) were undrafted.
You don't get credit for finding diamonds buried this far.
You get credit for polishing them - for coaching them, for developing them - but not for finding them.
If the Seahawks thought Wilson would have gone to two Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls by the end of this third season, they wouldn't have waited until the third round to draft him.
If they thought Sherman would be the league's best cornerback they wouldn't have waited until pick No. 154 in 2011, nearly 50 picks after they took receiver Kris Durham, who has 55 catches with three teams. That's 141 fewer catches than Baldwin.
The Seahawks have made plenty of good picks - Bobby Wagner, Russell Okung, James Carpenter, Golden Tate, Jordan Hall, Luke Wilson - but point to running back Christine Michael and linebacker Bruce Irvin as evidence of imperfect evaluation.
And, if Carroll gets credit for finding stars late in the draft, he gets crucified for the disastrous Percy Harvin deal that cost the team a first-round pick, a third-round pick, a seventh-round pick and almost $20 million for six regular-season games.
It might be tempting, considering Carroll's recent coaching virtuosity and Belichick's dominance on the NFL scene for a decade and a half. Still, it is flawed to use the Seahawks and Patriots to argue that coach-as-GM is the only way to go.
However, it is easy to see what Carroll, Belichick and Kelly seek in players.
They love players who consider themselves unappreciated victims whose insecurities fuel a competitive desire that leads to team-first sacrifice . . . or, most of Seattle's best.
Baldwin, for instance, said he saved a chart on his smartphone that shows how little faith America has in the Seahawks:
"It says only people in Washington and Oregon think we're going to win this game."
For the record, the Seahawks entered last night 1-point underdogs.
No one ever accused the Seahawks of being rational.
Belichick, Carroll and Kelly love the irrationality of players with persecution complexes.
For the Patriots, that currently means Brady and receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
For the Eagles, that means Pro Bowl linemen Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce, as well as linebacker Trent Cole, tight end Brent Celek and cornerback Cary Williams. All were drafted late - Peters, not at all - or had been cast aside.
The teams also look for free thinkers, unafraid to give coaches input, voice opinion or try new things. Consider Eagles rookie receivers Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff: Matthews independently incorporated yoga and sports psychology in his weekly routine during the season, and Huff twice (correctly) refused to take blame for special-teams failures that happened on his watch.
No Bird squawked like Williams, who criticized the Eagles' practice pace and skipped a voluntary workout to shop for sconces.
Sherman, of course, will riff on anything: from the team's alleged, perpetual disrespected status to the chummy relationship between commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft (which, Sherman somehow cannot understand, is normal, not inappropriate).
They have coaches who, generally, let them run, as long as it doesn't affect team chemistry. Sherman's unsophisticated criticism of Goodell won't hurt the Seahawks, but, Carroll promised, "We will talk about that."
Carroll likely will encourage more of the same.
"Coming here, it's so much more chill," said defensive end Cliff Avril, a Lion for five seasons before landing with Seattle this year. "They allow you to be yourself as a person, as an athlete . . . allowing each individual player to be themselves."
That sort of freedom fosters fanatical commitment from most players, and a congenial survival-of-the-fittest team ethic.
"Pete Carroll has an environment where you compete every day," Baldwin explained. "Whether it's on the football field, in the classroom, playing basketball. Every day we watch highlights of practice from the day before, and you don't want to be on the highlights for something bad. Nobody wants to be embarrassed."
It is a testament to parents and managers who believe kids and workers crave structure and discipline. Confronted with the chance to earn marginally more money and improve their profile, some players opt to stay. That's what oddball defensive end Michael Bennett did in March, when he spurned the Bears to return to Seattle, with its familiar system, surroundings and considerably less pressure.
"They offered more money," said Bennett, who got $28.5 million over 4 years, "but this is more like family."
The Eagles might find themselves in the same situation with receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is facing free agency, and they might have an easier time restructuring the unwieldy deals of Cole and LeSean McCoy.
Maybe it's easier to get player discounts with Carroll and Belichick holding the scepter.
Maybe it will be easier for the Eagles with Kelly alone on the throne.
Without question, Carroll thinks so.
On Twitter: @inkstainedretch