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

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January 22, 2008 2:54 PM

Holmgren returns

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Ten. It's the perfect number on some scales.

Coach Mike Holmgren decided that'll be just fine for him in Seattle, saying he intends to coach the final year of his contract. This is the exception in sports where the saying goes that every coach is hired to be fired. Oh sometimes, they get to resign, but usually there's very little that's voluntary about it.

Coaching out a contract is something that very few coaches get to do.

Holmgren downplayed the discussion of a contract extension during his press conference last week. He said the choice was a matter of walking away now and coming back for one more season. It came down to getting his wife, Kathy, to give her approval for taking another go-round.

There will be some changes to the coaching staff. Holmgren said he will be looking for an offensive line coach, presumably meaning Bill Laveroni is out of that spot. Keith Gilbertson will move to coach wide receivers, taking the spot vacated by Nolan Cromwell's departure to Texas A&M to be offensive coordinator. The Seahawks must also hire a quality-control coach for the offense to replace Gary Reynolds, who also went to A&M.

Holmgren said the defensive staff will stay the same.

Asked about a potential successor, Holmgren said he's the wrong person to be asking.

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Posted by Lake Tapps

3:10 PM, Jan 22, 2008

Quality Control Coach? Done. Shane Day. My High School OC now holds the same position with the niners. Anyways, was there any mention if Seattle is deffinately his last stop on the coaching go round or might we see him elsewhere in the future? Similar to how Tuna retired virtually 15 times.

Posted by Keith C

3:55 PM, Jan 22, 2008

That's my man. He said he is def going to take his time off and enjoy it. Who knows what he'll be up to if and when he returns to football. He is way more focused on this upcoming season more than anything else it sounds like.

I am more than happy he is returning. I think he is going to make it count. Pieces finally will fall in place.

I believe in him and the team. I am going to make it out to a game next season for the first time in my life (I live in Baltimore). Been a fan of the Seahawks since his first year coaching. It was the first year I started to pay attention to football. The Seahawks have always been special to me, and the fact that the same coach has been here since i have been a fan is special to me too. When I think of football and the Seahawks, I think Holmgren. He has made me appreciate the game and his coaching style is so impressive. Always helped us stay positive. He is a winner.

Can't wait to watch him try to get a super bowl with his team. I don't know if Seahawks fotball will ever be the same after next year!

Posted by DB

5:16 PM, Jan 22, 2008

I think Holmgren is the best coach we've ever had in Seattle, any sport. We're truly lucky to have him, but the little voice in the back of my head says, "How hard are the coaches and GM going to go for it" in his last year? Do we offer bad contracts or trade draft picks to try to put all the pieces together for a coach who won't be here beyond 2008. I fully think Ruskell will make smart decisions, but that is a nagging concern.

Posted by JMA

6:43 PM, Jan 22, 2008

I'm glad he'll be back, but a bit disappointed he's not likely to be around after next season. (As Yogi would say, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!).

Holmgren is just a class guy and a great match for our city. Will be interesting to see if Mora succeeds him.

Posted by ethan

8:21 PM, Jan 22, 2008

i cant wait for his face to have a heart attack when shaun "antique china dishes" alexander falls down and breaks his pinkey with a five yard loss.

Posted by deadintheeye

9:11 PM, Jan 22, 2008

mora huh?

Posted by 12 man

11:03 PM, Jan 22, 2008

So, we can speculate that Mike Holmgren will raise the 12 man flag on the last home game of 2008. You heard it here first!

Posted by Tariq Ahmed

6:36 AM, Jan 23, 2008

On his words that he is going "hard" for 2008 season, his last, with "O"line dressing-up,makes me feel interested and happy.
We wish him well and look forward to the next season and its Superbowl.

Posted by free beer

8:34 AM, Jan 23, 2008

do you think nine million bucks for his last year had any influence on his wife's decision....keep working honey bunch!

Posted by Fan

9:14 AM, Jan 23, 2008

Holmgren's character stock just went way up in my book. In "real" life, if you sign a contract, both parties are held to it, and in sports, too many coaches and players quit or demand a new contract before their current contract expires. Contracts work both ways; have you ever seen a player or a coach give back money when they didn't perform as expected? It is great to see someone honor their word and commitment. He showed real class.

Posted by Southeast Seahawk

9:47 AM, Jan 23, 2008

Like many of you here, I too am very pleased Coach is coming back for one more shot. He gives us the best chance right now to make it all the way. Sure we all know some changes will be made, especially on the offensive side. I honestly think Coack Holmgren will pull out all stops in the upcoming season.

While I try not to think too much about it, I do feel that the door is starting to close. Matt will be in his 11th season, Bobby will be 35, Walt 34, Brach may never be the same. Getting a little long on the tooth at some key defensive spots as well. We still have some very good, young players also so the core is there certainly.

That being said, as fans, as the 12th Man, we need to step it up as well for the '08 season. I've never been to Qwest field but like Keith C said, this will be the year I make it our there.

Thanks Coach, for one more ride!

Posted by gotoma8

10:48 AM, Jan 23, 2008

Too bad Mike H. will be back...
As a life long fan...I've seen the likes of Hard Knox stick it out for years hear, then it was that Flores guy...then Ericson....Now being here for a number of years, I think the team under Mike has been preditable, lifeless and well, ordinary... His play calling is bad and conservative. For example during the GB game, how can you punt when you're down 22 in the fourth quarter???? Take a chance, live a little and let the athletes on your teams use their skills!

Stop the preditable play calling and get rid of him!

Too bad...this team will go no-where again in 2008. Win the horrible West and lose in the first or second round.


Posted by Tarn

11:31 AM, Jan 23, 2008

Mediocrity is the ultimate more year of it. Holmgrenball..ugh.

Posted by Everett fan

11:33 AM, Jan 23, 2008

To gotoma8 - I can't tell if you were drunk while writing, or not; but here's a suggestion - write in Word or some similar program, and use spell check; then paste it into the blog.
I remember the punt - at that point we had lost the game; there was no need to do anything but run out the clock.
PS - which of those other coaches got us to the Super Bowl? I seem to have forgotten. . . .

Posted by Joe

12:03 PM, Jan 23, 2008

gotoma8 - your a moron. Flores did a bang up job, so did Erickson. We have gone to the playoffs for five years in a row, won our division for four and have the best NFC record since 2003. You don't like his play calling? I like the fact that he actually wins, unlike those coaches. Knox was before my time. And he was considered the most successful coach until Big Mike came in and changed the atmosphere, direction and expectations of the Seahawks. I sat through the bad seasons, and when Holmgren came, he turned this team into a winner. Gave all of us fans hope. Gave us expections of playoffs and Superbowl every year. Conservative play calling? Get over it....

Posted by Scott (Redmond)

12:15 PM, Jan 23, 2008

This is good news for sure and a good sign of what's to come. I am more worried about how the personnel decisions will take shape than I am about coaching. If we don't retool that offensive line in a big way this off-season, we will not be an elite team. I'm tired of this drafting-a-cornerback-at-any-price strategy with our first pick... we need 1 or 2 free agents AND our first 2 picks on the o-line! Holmgren should focus hard on this if he wants one last shot at the big one.

Posted by Jeff

12:43 PM, Jan 23, 2008

This is good news for me. Now Ruskell can't do anything stupid like transition tag Trufant or draft a 4'7" cb with his first pick...

Posted by Everett fan

12:55 PM, Jan 23, 2008

To Scott - O line for sure - but, we also desperately need a productive TE - maybe we could sneak in Brockman. Yes, we need a RB, but it seems like there are those available in later rounds.
If only Tubbs and Bernard were healthy. . . .
BTW, I'm confident Ruskill will not ransom the 'farm' just because it is Mike's last year, but rather continue to improve for the long term as well as short. Maybe we can get some love from NFL refs (ala Bettis) for Mike's retirement.

Posted by Jeff

1:09 PM, Jan 23, 2008

If one of those draft picks for the oline is for a TE, I'd be happy with it, but since Ruskell has shown a habit to go with best athlete available (I can't say best PLAYER available) then I can't see him passing on Stewart or Mendenhall if they are there when we pick. I wouldn't be unhappy with either player.

This draft may be good to us this year because the deepest positions happen to be what we actually need.

Posted by spec dude

1:55 PM, Jan 23, 2008

How's this for speculation? Tim Ruskell steps down at the end of 2009, then after a year off, Holmgren takes over as GM.

Posted by KG

2:40 PM, Jan 23, 2008

To the Holmgren haters - numbers say it all:

Without Holmgren:
23 Seasons with 4 playoff berths and 3 playoff wins. With a 45% winning record. And only one division title in 23 LONG years.

With Hall-of-Fame Holmgren at the helm:
In ONLY 9 Seasons, he gave us 6 playoff berths and 4 playoff wins - oh, and taking us to the Super Bowl. He has also gotten us 5 division titles in only 9!

So, compare what we had for 23 years, to what we have had in the last 9. Um, most or none at all can change a franchise this much. We are lucky to have Holmgren - he is considered the best play caller in the game and he always give us a chance to win.

If you want to continue to hate, find something else - looking at these numbers - you look like an idiot to hate on a Hall of Fame coach that has finally giving us Seattle sports fans something to cheer about.

Thanks Coach - glad to have you back.

Posted by 12thmanforlife

4:32 PM, Jan 23, 2008

KG- I couldn't have said it better. It will be a sad day when he is gone. I like Mora and think he will be a good coach, but it will be like when Sweet Lou left. Mora will have some big shoes to fill. Some of you out there have no idea how good you have it.

Posted by vegashawkfan

8:23 PM, Jan 23, 2008

I remember how great it was when I heard the hawks had hired coach. He took us to the playoffs his first year with a young Kitna at qb, I remember he then blew up the team to get his type of players in and I wondered why he would overhaul a team that had just went to the playoffs. Not only did he build a better team but he built our beloved Hawks into one of the best sports franchises in the world. Sure I used to get upset with coach sometimes and I had my doubts about Matt when coach brought him in, but I would always look at the pre Allen, Holmgren era and that would make it all better. I truly think that he built some very good teams as the GM/Coach and never should of had that postion taken from him. Sure he had a few bad picks but he turned this franchise around and took it to a level no one could of thought. The playoffs used to be a once a decade thing if we were lucky, now not reaching the championship game/superbowl is a disapointment. Coach has done so much for this franchise that I dont even want to think where the hawks would be without coach. He should see an extension for however long he decides, IT IS TIME TO LOOK AT WHAT COACH HAS DONE FOR THE HAWKS AND START TREATING HIM LIKE THE HALL OF FAME COACH HE IS.

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