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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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January 15, 2008 3:56 PM

Deion Branch, torn ACL

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Coach Mike Holmgren said receiver Deion Branch suffered a torn anterior-cruciate ligament in his right leg. The injury was diagnosed by the Seahawks physicians and confirmed by James Andrews, the doctor who will perform the surgery.

Holmgren estimated recovery time for the injury as nine months. Cincinnati Carson Palmer suffered a torn knee ligament in the playoffs two seasons ago and returned in time for the season-opener.

Other Seahawks who will undergo surgery: Shaun Alexander will undergo a procedure because the crack in his left wrist never fully healed. Holmgren also said Walter Jones will probably undergo some type of procedure on his shoulder.

Holmgren conducted a season post-mortem meeting where the dominant topic was his future. The near future is easy. Holmgren will leave for Arizona with his wife, Kathy, on Wednesday evening. He'll report back to the team headquarters on Tuesday for meetings with president Tim Ruskell. As for the long-term future? That's still undecided. Holmgren said he'll discuss that with his wife.

The assumption has been Holmgren will either return for the final season or step down as coach, but he said at the end of his press conference that this is not necessarily an either-or decision. The possibility remains that a contract extension could in the cards if he decides to return.

One more update: Holmgren confirmed that assistant coach Jim Mora will interview for the Washington job. Wait. That requires a clarification given Mora's alma mater. This is Washington's NFL franchise.

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Posted by Schawk

8:46 PM, Jan 15, 2008

I hope Coach Holmgren returns for a few more seasons. The Seahawks have done well under his guidance. Some smart offseason moves and some luck with players moving up in the depth chart and in the draft and we could be a mighty mean team next year.

We luv ya Mike. Don't go anywhere!

Posted by ethan

3:28 PM, Jan 16, 2008

hey ...at least the Patriots are still suffering from his departure...

Posted by Stay w/ it Mike

8:24 PM, Jan 16, 2008

I think Holmgren has a lot left in the tank. Matt has a few good years and so long as the offense retains its shell Holmgren has a chance to help Seattle to another Superbowl. The key is getting that first round bye so they don't have to play in Green Bay for the divisional playoffs again.

Posted by Free Beer

9:20 PM, Jan 16, 2008

Holmgren will be back, at this stage of his life why not, he loves his football! I can see him sitting at home at 59 years old and the season starts...he ain't gone no were's, he couldn't take it, me I'm glad!!!!

Posted by KG

11:53 PM, Jan 16, 2008

Danny's latest piece was really well done - I think it proves that Holmgren should still be making personnel decisions, especially on the offensive end. It's frustrating to me what Ruskell has done to our offense, and it's got be frustrating to coach Holmgren.

As Danny put it, "Offense was the signature of Holmgren's tenure in charge of the Seahawks football personnel. He drafted Shaun Alexander and Steve Hutchinson, traded for Matt Hasselbeck and applied the franchise tag to Walter Jones three years in a row to keep the big fellow as the cornerstone of the Seahawks' offensive line.

Seattle scored a franchise-record 452 points during Ruskell's first year as president, but that offense was assembled by Holmgren, piece by piece."

Ruskell got credit for 2005, but it was Holmgren's team. Ruskell came in and tore apart a lot of that great offense. He made one of the worst GM moves in our city's sports history by letting Hutchinson go over a stupid technicality, he hated D-Jack and traded him (Matt could throw to him with his eyes closed), he overpaid an unproven Branch who has been out more than D-Jack ever was, he hasn't been able to acquire a top-end tight end for an offense that requires one, he has not added veteran quality depth to an aging offensive line, and overpaid an aging 30 year old back to way too long of a deal.

I think Ruskell gets let off the hook too much - we have one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, and I wish he continued to have the opportunity to be involved in the personnel decisions (especially on offense) because Ruskell has destroyed this at one-time potent, unstoppable offense our great coach created.

Ruskell has strengthened the defense (even though they are grossly undersized), but needs consulting advice from Holmgren on the offensive end.

Please stay Holmgren.

Posted by HawkFan206

10:27 AM, Jan 17, 2008

Now that Branch is out for some time, resigning Hackett seems way more important.

Posted by Mike

12:09 PM, Jan 18, 2008

Oh KG, where to begin..............

"Offense was the signature of Holmgren's tenure in charge of the Seahawks football personnel. He drafted Shaun Alexander and Steve Hutchinson, traded for Matt Hasselbeck and applied the franchise tag to Walter Jones three years in a row to keep the big fellow as the cornerstone of the Seahawks' offensive line."

Of course he also used first round picks on Koren Robinson, Jerramy Stevens, and Chris McIntosh. How'd that work?

"Ruskell got credit for 2005, but it was Holmgren's team. Ruskell came in and tore apart a lot of that great offense."

Oh yeah because that great offense led to such great things from 1999-04, wait..............

BTW he (TR) also signed J-vicius, who was pretty important in that SB run, don't you think?

"He made one of the worst GM moves in our city's sports history by letting Hutchinson go over a stupid technicality"

Letting Kevin Mawae go and signing a washed-up Kevin Glover was worse. Besides, you don't always need a Hutch-type (as far as name value) at LG to win, how the hell do you think Ryan Lilja and Kris Dielman are/became such highly-sought FAs?

"he hated D-Jack and traded him (Matt could throw to him with his eyes closed)"

So? How'd D-Jack do this year? Besides that's Matty's fault. See below.

"he overpaid an unproven Branch who has been out more than D-Jack ever was"

Yep, all that success in the playoffs doesn't mean a damn thing. BTW, when the Pats win the SB, Brady will have had his third different set of WRs in that span. Favre doesn't seem to miss Javon (apparently GB wasn't so bad) Walker, so what's Matty's excuse?

"he hasn't been able to acquire a top-end tight end for an offense that requires one"

True, of course we would have had Daniel Graham had not Holmgren tried to be cute in 2002. Not that I wanted Graham either, really.

"he has not added veteran quality depth to an aging offensive line"

Um, Tom Ashworth didn't prove to be a quality addition obviously but you can't say he didn't make any less of an effort than Holmgren did when he brought in Randle, Eaton, and Robertson back in 2001.

"and overpaid an aging 30 year old back to way too long of a deal"

True, meaning he's obviously not perfect. But he's not Holmgren or Bob Whitsitt either, thankfully.

"and I wish he continued to have the opportunity to be involved in the personnel decisions (especially on offense) because Ruskell has destroyed this at one-time potent, unstoppable offense our great coach created."

Newsflash, most of Holmgren's personnel decisions as GM were terrible (not only are we not trading Michael Sinclair for Brad Johnson but we're taking Lamar King with our first round pick when Kerney could have been ours all along) and guess what came along with that "potent offense", a lousy defense. I didn't see anything, except say maybe Mebane whiffing on Favre, that resembled Randall Godfrey getting bowled over by Ahman Green in 2003 at least.

"Ruskell has strengthened the defense (even though they are grossly undersized),"

Undersized? Yes. But you know what's usually common about those big run-stuffing DTs that you
always want? They're spending more time on the injured list (you know, the same one you're ripping Branch for) than the field; Anthony McFarland, Tommie Harris, Marcus Tubbs to name a few. Hell, we even tried that with Norman "Lunch Bunch" Hand, how'd that work out? Besides, same formula as Tampa, nothing wrong with that.

"but needs consulting advice from Holmgren on the offensive end."

Um, no, hell no, and DEAR GOD NO.

It's whining like this that honestly makes me never wanna hear about Bill Bavasi again..................

Posted by 12thmanforlife

2:42 PM, Jan 18, 2008

Damn, that was the longest, most useless blog I have ever read. I can't even believe I went through it all. Mike Holmgren knows offense as good as anybody in this league. Tim Ruskell knows how to put a good team together that has character, which goes a long way in the NFL. They have both made mistakes. Nobody is perfect.

Letting Hutch go was the biggest blunder because he didn't have to do much to keep him. He was trying to save a few thousand bucks (not even enough to sign a punter) and it totally back-fired on him. Ever since then our running game has been in shambles.

Bottom line is they have both made bad decisions, but they have made more good than bad and keep us with a winning ball club each year. It sounds like Holmgren is going to come back and finish what he started here.

Posted by Mike

5:09 PM, Jan 18, 2008

Even if you believe Hutch was the disaster (it's not like there's been a ton of injuries the last two seasons or anything, and exactly how many playoff games has Hutch been in with Minnetonka?) it's been made out to be, the list for Ruskell reads about 3:1 (at worst) good to bad. I'll take that any day of the week.

Hell TR's made worse moves, like signing Kelly Burndon for one (good christ I thought at one point I could do a prime Jerry Rice on him). Sure Holmgren knows offense, but so does Marty Schottenheimer--let's not go there, shall we? Truth be told I don't have a big problem with him coming back as I do with Marshall and to a lesser extent Laveroni.

Posted by Mike

6:50 PM, Jan 18, 2008

Just remember, for those of you that think Ruskell's such a dumbass: Wes Welker played one game as a Charger in 2004 (the opener) before being waived.

Yes, this was the same awesome Charger receiving corps that had such greats like Ricochet Caldwell.......................

Posted by KG

8:27 PM, Jan 18, 2008

I don't know about keeping Marshall next year either. Ruskell has spent some big bucks on the D, with poor results:

15th in total defense - 321.8 yds/game
19th in passing yards - 219.1 yds/game
12th in rushing yards - 102.8 yds/game

They had some great games (at home), but on the road...the O-line they face doesn't have to worry about crowd noise so getting off the line at the same time hurts an undersized defense. Speed is great at home, but can hurt on the road getting off the line at the snap so I think scheme has to play a larger role on the road and I think Marshall hasn't been able to adjust to that yet which is troublesome.

We saw that against the Pack - Marshall's schemes were questionable where we even saw Kerney dropping back into pass coverage a few times...that's just weird to me.

Offense wasn't too bad if you take out the running game:

9th in total offense - 348.9 yds/game
8th in passing yards - 247.8 yds/game
20th in rushing yards - 101.2 yds/game
9th in scoring - 393 points scored

I think Holmgren did a pretty damn impressive job overall with having absolutely no running game -- which shows the difference in how scheme can affect that. Holmgren made effective adjustments, Marshall showed he could not.

I agree, I think Marshall needs to be replaced as the defensive coordinator.

Posted by Jawood

8:20 PM, Jan 20, 2008

I was going to post a comment but Hawkfan206 beat me to it. Need to sign DJ Hackett!!! Something is ALWAYS wrong with Branch.

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