Look back on Pete Carroll’s tenure as Patriots coach from 1997-1999.
Carroll arrived in New England on Feb. 3, 1997 as the replacement for the departed Bill Parcells. Team owner Robert Kraft handed him a team that had just lost to the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.
Carroll came to the Patriots with just one season of NFL head coaching experience, in 1994 with the Jets. He went 6-10 that year, and 1-1 against Parcells' Patriots, including this 24-13 loss in Foxborough.
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Carroll, though unproven on his own, inherited a team with a Pro Bowl quarterback in Drew Bledsoe that many expected to continue as an AFC force.
Carroll teamed with personnel chief Bobby Grier, left, to make up the Patriots' post-Parcells brain trust.
The first draft pick of the Carroll era, cornerback Chris Canty, turned into a bust. He was out of the NFL after four seasons following his selection as the 29th overall pick.
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Carroll's debut came in a preseason Super Bowl rematch against the Packers in Green Bay. The Patriots lost, 7-3.
Carroll was known for his upbeat personality and his enthusiasm, but also could get fiery with officials at times.
The Patriots slumped during Carroll's first year, at one point losing five of seven games to the chagrin of fans at Foxboro Stadium.
But the 1997 season turned around when Carroll led the Patriots to a 27-24 win over Jimmy Johnson's Dolphins in November. The Patriots would win three of their final four games to claim the division title with a 10-6 record.
The good times rolled for Carroll into the playoffs when the Patriots defeated the Dolphins again, 17-3, in the wild-card round. Their run would end the next week, however, in a 7-6 loss to the Steelers.
Carroll was dejected at this October 1998 session with reporters during a stretch where his Patriots lost four of five games.
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The 1998 season was salvaged when Carroll tapped backup QB Scott Zolak to play for an injured Drew Bledsoe. That keyed a 24-21 win over the 49ers at home to clinch a playoff berth.
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Carroll's teams included a number of players who would contribute to the Patriots' Super Bowl wins under Bill Belichick. Tedy Bruschi, right, played in all three of Carroll's years with the Patriots.
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Carroll's final season began on a high note when he defeated his predecessor Bill Parcells' Jets on their home turf, 30-28, in 1999.
But after a 6-2 start, the Patriots' season spiraled out of control. At one point, Carroll's team lost six of seven games.
Carroll saluted the Foxboro Stadium fans after winning the finale of the 1999 season. That brought the Patriots back to .500 at 8-8, but still left them on the outside of the playoff field.
Carroll was fired early in January 2000 with a 27-21 record in three seasons as Patriots coach. He would go on to lead the University of Southern California to an NCAA title and an 83-19 record in nine seasons before returning to the NFL with Seattle in 2010.