Yesterday another NFL franchise had its end of season post mortem and it was with one of the most successful coaches in the NFL Mike Holmgren. For about 45 minutes he spoke as carefully as a coach could speak covering everything from personnel, to his future, and everything in between. The cool thing about the internet is you can tune into these things from 3,000 miles away. Seattle is at an interesting place as a franchise. After years of 7-9 and 9-7 Mike Holmgren has helped transform that franchise into perennial contenders in the luke warm NFC West. The playoffs are now expected in Seattle instead of hoped for prior to Holmgren’s arrival. Now his time as GM was awful and only Shaun Alexander remains from his selections during the drafts he oversaw as a GM. Soon Shaun Alexander might be shown the door as well. Holmgren discussed how his decision process works with wife Kathy Holmgren in consult. They will leave for Arizona today and take about 3-4 days to bang around as he says the pros and cons of continuing as the Head Coach in Seattle. Maybe this is all posturing for a long term extension? He did leave that possibility out there as well. As a Seattle fan I hope he stays on forever to be honest. Yes his team is not perfect.
He addressed two areas yesterday 1) running the ball and its need for major improvement and 2) holding 4th quarter leads. Also he addressed the injuries as Deion Branch has a torn ACL and will be lost for 9 months and Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones need surgeries. Some in Seattle wonder if Shaun Alexander will be released. Holmgren thinks that Shaun can return to form. Not the 1800 yard form but a good back. Look how Jamal rebounded this year in Cleveland! Alexander if cut would cost the Hawks about 6 million on the cap if it’s done prior to June 1. If he’s a post June cut he’ll cost them 2 million this year and 4 million in 2009. Maybe he restructures maybe not. Anyway those decisions including do they franchise Marcus Trufant in a contract year, which had his best year as a pro. Seattle made the mistake of giving Alexander a huge contract post his contract year. Will they do the same with Trufant in his contract year? I think he gets tagged and they have him at least one more year. Also Josh Brown (k), Right tackle Shawn Locklear, and receiver DJ Hackett’s contract need to be addressed. The draft which has been defensive heavy in Seattle the last few years must focus on the offensive future. I’d say a back is taken in the first round to be the future of the Seattle running game and then a TE and an offensive lineman in rounds 2 and 3.
All of these decisions will impact Holmgren’s future this year and beyond. Seattle should know next week if their Hall of Fame coach is returning or not. In listening yesterday I’d bet a dollar he’s coming back but I think this will be the last go round. Whether that’s 2 or 3 years I’m not sure. I think if he is coming back they will try to extend his contract at least 1 more year. As we have seen in Baltimore it’s easier to lose a good coach then it is to hire a good coach. For Seattle let’s hope this good coach stays around and maybe, just maybe, goes out on a high note for a franchise that has now come of age.