this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Thursday, August 02, 2007 By Mike Triplett JACKSON, MISS. -- Saints quarterbacks coach Pete Carmichael Jr. has one of the sweetest gigs in the NFL, working with Coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees on a daily basis. It is ...
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Carmichael: 'It was the right idea to stay here'
Thursday, August 02, 2007
By Mike Triplett
JACKSON, MISS. -- Saints quarterbacks coach Pete Carmichael Jr. has one of the sweetest gigs in the NFL, working with Coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees on a daily basis.
It is such a terrific opportunity for the rising 35-year-old assistant that he turned down an offer to become the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator in the offseason.
For Carmichael, football is a family business. His father was a longtime NFL assistant and former defensive coordinator at Boston College, where 12-year-old Pete Jr. got a front-row seat for one of the greatest plays in college football history.
Carmichael talked with the Times-Picayune about growing up as a coach's son, his reasons for staying in New Orleans and the baseball career that didn't quite pan out, among other topics.
How can you teach Drew Brees to be a better quarterback?
Well, I'll tell you, he's hungry to hear everything you have to say. He takes it for what it's worth. And in the meetings he writes everything down that he hears. He's super. He's really great to have in there, and he does an excellent job.
What about working under Sean Payton. Did you envision that would be a big break for you, so to speak, when he hired you away from San Diego in 2006?
I didn't know Coach Payton before I got here, but I knew someone that worked with him who recommended me. And the nicest thing, he gave me an opportunity. Working with him is unbelievable. He's a great family person, he's a great football coach. And whatever he says I'm writing down, just like the quarterbacks, taking everything in. We're all in it together, and I'm looking to get better every day, just like they are. And Coach Payton is a wonderful teacher.
What's a brainstorming session like in the offensive coaching room?
Everybody's got their input. Coach Payton hears from everybody, and he includes everybody. It's fun to be in there, it's not like it's a drag, and it's valuable. . . . This offense that we're in right now, it's ideas from places that we've all been, and a lot of it is just Sean's offense. I'm real comfortable in this offense.
You had an opportunity to become Cam Cameron's offensive coordinator in Miami this season. What made you want to stay in New Orleans?
The organization here has just been great, and I'm in a great situation here. I love working with Coach Payton, I love the ownership here, I love Mickey Loomis. And the room of guys that I have, the quarterbacks, you can't beat that. I took all that into consideration, and I took my family into consideration, and it was the right idea to stay here.
Was it hard to pass up that kind of promotion in job title? Or do you feel like your experience with this offense will open as many doors for you?
I think the experience here and what we have going on here, I can't pass that opportunity up.
You played baseball at Boston College. What position did you play?
I was second base my first two years, then I ended up playing the outfield my last two years.
Were you any good? Did you have a chance to go down that road?
When I went to college I thought maybe I'd have that opportunity, but it never presented itself. And I'm glad to be here. I'm glad things worked out the way they did.
Football was kind of the family business?
Yes it was. I grew up around it and I loved being a part of it. You know, I've been to some great games watching my father coach. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
He was there with Doug Flutie at Boston College, right?
He wasn't Doug Flutie's coach, but he was coaching there at the time. And I was there at the Miracle at Miami. Back then the head coaches had the headsets with the wires, and I was holding the head coach's wires. That was a great experience to be a part of. . . . That was a fun and exciting time. I was 12 years old. It was interesting to listen, but I was told never to repeat anything I heard. The players were great. It was fun to be a part of. And I loved every minute of it.
What else did you kind of soak in during those years?
My dad has been coaching since, I believe, 1955, and this is his first year not coaching. . . . He has his philosophies and what he believes as a football coach and as a person. And I like to think I think the same way as him.
Tell me a little bit about Jamie Martin, and the two young guys (Tyler Palko and Jason Fife) that probably have a little more to learn.
Jamie's a true professional. He works hard at it every day. He's in the classroom taking notes himself. He's smart, and he's just fun to be around. It's important to him, and that's what's so nice about having him. He's back there taking it all in; he's seeing things. He's helping from his experiences, so it's great to have him around. And the two young kids, it's training camp and they're working hard to get better every day, and we'll see where that goes.
Is this the hardest life in the month of a quarterback, being a rookie trying to learn a new system?
Yeah, and we're throwing a lot at them. They've just got to take in everything they can, and they can't put their books down at nighttime. And I know these guys aren't. I know they're working at it. It's a real commitment to football while you're here in training camp. There's not much else going on.
We don't hear you yelling at players like (linebackers coach) Joe Vitt out there. Is there a fine line between letting these guys know they can't screw up and letting them know they can?
(Laughing.) I'll tell you, I take more of the quiet approach than Joe Vitt. But these guys want to know. They want to know what they did wrong, if they did something wrong. They want to know what Coach Payton and we are trying to teach, and they want to do it the right way.