"It was the worst result of a call ever," Carroll told The Today Show's Matt Lauer on Thursday morning. "The call would have been a great one if we catch it. It would have been just fine, and nobody would have thought twice about it."
Carroll knew he was going to throw the ball at least once in that goal-line sequence because he didn't want to leave enough time on the clock for Tom Brady to drive down the field with an answer. If the second-down pass had fallen incomplete, Carroll planned to run on third down -- and again on fourth down, if necessary.
We discussed the legacy-altering interception on Thursday's edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, crediting Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler with the greatest defensive play in Super Bowl history rather than lampooning the Seahawks for an unfortunate byproduct of their successful coaching philosophy.
In Carroll's defense, no NFL quarterback had thrown an interception from the 1-yard line all season.
"I made the call that comes out of the process of the preparation and the practice," Carroll continued, "along with the mentality that I've been coaching with as long as I remember about preparing us to do right in the situations."
Even if Carroll's decision came from a natural place, it's going to be debated for decades because it allowed New England's decade-and-a-half dynasty to roll on while potentially stonewalling Seattle's own nascent dynasty.
Carroll revealed that he cried in the aftermath of the devastating loss, but remains adamant about regrouping for a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
"We did so many beautiful things to get to that point and so many positive things that happened and so many players have played so well and coaches coached so well," Carroll emphasized. "That moment isn't going to define this team and who we are. This is a championship team, it's a great team that plays great football and plays as a team in a wonderful way."