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

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February 1, 2008 1:36 PM

Holmgren's former boss laments lack of adjustments vs. Broncos

Posted by Danny O'Neil

We're getting in the way-back machine here, looking to the Super Bowl that the Packers lost 10 years ago to the Denver Broncos. Mike Holmgren was the coach and the Packers were favorites to win a second consecutive Super Bowl.

A decade later that loss to the Broncos still stings, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a story today with comments from Ron Wolf, who was in charge of the Packers' personnel back then. The story states Wolf was interviewed in August, and the Packers' lack of adjustments that game must still stick in his craw because he lamented the team's failure to adjust to Denver's blitzes in that game.

Certain calls were to be made that weren't made. Mike Holmgren refused those calls. There would have been an adjustment on the blocking scheme and it would have been over.
      -- Ron Wolf to the Journal-Sentinel

Here's a link to the whole story right here.

Holmgren coached one more year with the Packers after losing that Super Bowl and then left to come to Seattle where he had control over personnel.

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Posted by Jeff

6:29 PM, Feb 01, 2008

Wow. And Stealer fans say WE'RE bad about not letting go of a super bowl loss...

Posted by Free Qwest Beer

8:54 PM, Feb 01, 2008

I like Mr. Mike but it sounds about right! In some games the Hawks don't or can't defend against the pass, nor do thy blitz, I've all said CHRIST do one or other, but they don't and they lose, isn't that right Mikey?

Posted by Tony Soprano

12:52 AM, Feb 02, 2008

WOW! Makes you wonder what kind of stuff is going to come out about 2005 in 8-10 years?

Posted by Blah

8:28 AM, Feb 02, 2008

Would you like another lump of bitter with your coffee, sir?

Posted by Idaho Invader

9:27 AM, Feb 02, 2008

Holmgren overall has obviously done a nice job with the 'Hawks and is a Hall of Fame coach. But unfortunately, "lack of adjustments" is hardly a new theme w/ Holmgren, even THIS year. If someone is killin' us early, expect the same thing to be happening in the 4th quarter too. (See Ryan Grant for example).

How many terrible 3rd or even 4th and one plays be called in one season?

Posted by Mike timmons

3:39 PM, Feb 02, 2008

During the season, I try to keep my criticisms to myself.

But giving Holmgren a last season is just plain stupid. No professional league coach should have a lame duck season, no matter how much he has done for a team.

The fact is, the Seahawks are going to fall hard in the next few years. They should have realized this, and let Holmgren go, if he was just willing to finish his contract. If Holmgren signed on for another three or five years, fine. But this one year thing is going to cost the franchise down the road.

Posted by salemdawg

9:04 AM, Feb 03, 2008

They are letting Holmgren finish his contract. This is the last year of it.

I'm glad he's here one more year.

Posted by Tariq Ahmed

1:18 PM, Feb 03, 2008

Wolf's words are asking Mr. Holmgren to adapt.Survival of the fittest actually means adaption to survive. LAST season this particular shortcoming was visible. Please, Mr. Holmgren, adapt and shut all the wolves.Your retiered life will be without hounding of the wolves.

Posted by Mason

9:12 PM, Feb 03, 2008

Am I the only person who thinks Holmgren is in the top 3 of NFL coaches right now? We would be nothing without him.

Super depressed after watching this Superbowl

Posted by ferrilicious

9:33 PM, Feb 03, 2008

Bud Light...Suck one.

Posted by Jeff

8:21 AM, Feb 04, 2008

Although Holmy has driven me crazy the past few years with his stubborness, and I have on occasion said, "The game has passed him by..." I have to admit that before each season starts, when I converse with friends about what the teams' record will be, I very often find myself saying, "9-7, because Holmgren coached teams almost always finish above .500 somehow."

I don't know if I'd say that about many coaches out there.

Posted by thunder67, Rancho Cordova CA

10:18 AM, Feb 04, 2008

Mike Holmgren says this season will not be a “swansong,” that he will work as hard as ever to put together a championship season.

My first thought on that is I don't want to hear the excuse that “the NFC West is so weak that we should still win it.” That is a given. You don't know how many times I read that quote after the Hawks lost a game (games in Arizona, Cleveland, Carolina, Atlanta, home game vs. New Orleans), that they had no business losing.

My point then is the same as it is now. It's not about winning the division and going to the playoffs. IT'S ABOUT WINNING THE SUPER BOWL!

In order for that to happen in 2008, first the Hawks need to look closely at the upcoming schedule. No one in the NFC East finished with a record below .500. The NFC East is the best division in the conference.

Guess what, we're playing every team in that division this fall. Furthermore, we are playing the NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys and the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants ON THE ROAD!!!!!! We also get to visit Tampa Bay and Buffalo, as well as Miami and the three division opponents. This is the toughest schedule the Hawks have had in quite some time. New England (I think they're still pretty good) highlights the home schedule, which also includes Green Bay, Philadelphia and Washington among others.

When retooling this team, the Hawks need to keep that in mind. The defense was much improved this year, but has to stop giving up first downs on critical third downs, especially third and long (see Green Bay playoff game for prime example, but this has been a problem with the Seahawks since their inception, with a few exceptions). The D doesn't need an overhaul, just maybe some tweaking with the schemes.

The offense as a whole this year was abysmal. Yes the team starting clicking when they focused on the pass, but that wasn't going to get the job done. The 2005 Hawks went to the Super Bowl with a well balanced offensive attack. That's what you need.

Stop whining about the team not signing Hutch. Financially, we would not have been able to do it, no matter what. Yes the O-Line has suffered since, but the way you compensate for losing your best offensive lineman is to go out and find a formidable replacement. Hutch may be one of the best in the business, what what have the Vikings done since he got there? Faneca from Pittsburgh would be a good pickup.

I like the idea, if we can, of drafting a top-level running back. This person would be the heir-apparent to Shaun Alexander. Whether Shaun reworks his contract or not, isn't a huge issue to me. If we bring in someone that can make an immediate splash like Adrian Peterson did with the Vikings, that might light enough of a fire under Alexander, that he could turn in another season like 2005. Remember, Shaun had something personal to play for that year, a big contract.

If Mike wants to fade off into the sunset with a Super Bowl championship, he's got to make some adjustments. I think re-tooling the team around next year's schedule is the way to start.

Next order of business is playing on the road. Even in 2005, the Hawks struggled on the road. Reference wins at Tennessee and San Francisco that were much closer than they needed to be. The main gripe against the Hawks is that they have trouble playing the early games on the east coast because it equates to 10am pacific time, but even in late games on the road, they seem to have their problems. The New York Giants only lost one road game this past season. The New England Patriots did not lose away from home until the Super Bowl (yes I know they were the designated home team, but the game was in Arizona). I realize these are east coast teams that don't have the early game issue like teams on the west coast do, but somehow, both teams figured out how to win on the road. It's rare that teams (i.e. the Giants) have a better road record than home record, no matter what part of the country they play in. Holmgren needs to figure out a solution to this problem. Should that occur, there shouldn't be any concern about playing a playoff game in Green Bay.

Anyway, that's my rant for now. This offseason is critical for the Hawks if Holmgren wants to go out with a ring.

Posted by Joe

11:55 AM, Feb 04, 2008

If you read the article all of those guys commenting are guys who are sitting on their butts doing nothing right now, living in the past. Meanwhile, Holmgren is still coaching, still winning championships, not too mention making about $8M/year...

Posted by Terrance

11:16 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Posted by Blah
8:28 AM, Feb 02, 2008
Would you like another lump of bitter with your coffee, sir?

In Seattle, it's another lump of bitter with our beer, thank you.

I agree with much of what thunder67 had to say...except about drafting a running back in the first round. Denver proves every year that there are plenty of good backs out there, you just collect a ton's worth and then shave a few pounds worth after the preseason. No, I believe our first priority in the first round is for the offensive line, not just cuz Hutch still hasn't been replaced, but also cuz Jones is getting up there in age. Hasselbeck's weak side needs to be strengthened up, and we've got to get lanes open or it doesn't matter which running back we have...he ain't gettng much yardage.

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