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Cliff Avril: Seahawks players ‘questioned’ Pete Carroll after Super Bowl XLIX

After years of boasting championship-contending squads, the Seattle Seahawks appear to be on the demise; and the case can be made it was set in motion by their heartbreaking Super Bowl XLIX loss to the New England Patriots.

After Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line, Pete Carroll’s decision not to not trying to stuff the ball into the end zone by running  Marshawn Lynch will go down as one of the most puzzling decisions in the history of football.

Years later, former Seahawks defensive lineman Cliff Avril, now a free agent, suggests Seahawks players “questioned” Pete Carroll as a coach in the wake of the stunning loss.

Avril, who was released by the Seahawks earlier this month, discussed the conclusion of Super Bowl XLIX during a podcast Thursday with the NFL Network, adding that Seattle would have won at least one more championship under Carroll if not for Malcolm Butler’s goal-line interception.

“I do think the team would have bought in more to what Coach Carroll was saying,” Avril said, “instead of going the opposite way of, ‘Hey, this is what we thought the foundation of the team was.’ That’s not what happened in that particular play.

“So I think guys started questioning him more, more so than actually following his lead if we would have won that Super Bowl.”

From what Avril says, the case could be made the controversial decision was the beginning of the end of the Seahawks’ run of excellence. The Seahawks have since released Richard Sherman, traded Michael Bennett, cut Cliff Avril and let Jimmy Graham walk in free agency this season.

The Seahawks’ offseason moves are a signal that the team believes an overhaul, or at least a rebuild, is necessary. The Seahawks will still have familiar faces such as Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin coming into camp, but changes going forward in the franchise do not seem to be slowing down.