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Pete Carroll at the Postback conference in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / John Cook)

Could we one day see robot quarterbacks on the gridiron or automaton catchers behind home plate?

One guy thinks that could be pretty cool. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll envisions a new world of sports where the athletes — helped through new technologies — don’t get hurt.

Speaking at the annual Postback mobile marketing conference in Seattle Thursday afternoon, Carroll mentioned a high-tech future of sports. Tune CEO Peter Hamilton asked the legendary football coach about the one technology that he’d like to see developed sooner.

“One thing that I look forward to is that someday sports will be played by,” Carroll said before an audience member yelled out “robots.”

“Yeah,” said Carroll. “There will be a way, whether holographic or whatever, where players could play the game but they are not the ones to get hurt.”

That line brought a big applause line from the crowd of nearly 1,000, which gathered at McCaw Hall for the 2-day technology conference in which Carroll was the surprise speaker.

Carroll, who is a big believer in sports data and analytics, said there could be another benefit of holographic players.

“Then, they could play forever,” he said.

Carroll’s comments were interesting, in part because the NFL has been plagued with controversies over career-ending concussions and other injury issues for players.

During the 30-minute interview, Carroll also offered some sage advice on leadership (have a personal philosophy that drives you); his favorite stadium to play in outside of CenturyLink Field (Lambeau Field); players using social media (some found out the hard way that Tweeting is not texting); the job he’d most want to have if he were not coaching (archaeologist) and the tech rivalry between Carroll’s birthplace of San Francisco and Seattle (both are great tech hubs with an amazing innovative spirit, though Seattle has better music).

The biggest laugh line, however, occurred after Carroll’s remarks on leadership.

“We are seeing some interesting illustrations of leadership in the country right now,” Carroll said. Later, Carroll mentioned that he checks his mobile news app each morning, just to see what the president had said the night before.

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