Mike Holmgren talked for almost an hour in his final press conference as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
He still has the urge to work in the NFL again, and said he would be surprised if he did not return to the league in some capacity, either as a general manager or head coach, or both.
Among the highlights during his 10-year tenure in Seattle, he says the Carolina game where Seattle won the NFC Championship and advanced to the Super Bowl was one of his most memorable moments.
“Had we won the Super Bowl, that would have been the highlight,” Holmgren said. “But the experience of getting there and all of the hard work it took. I had the same feeling at that time as I had in my earlier Super Bowl experiences.”
Holmgren also talked about the state of the team, and said that the Seahawks will be good again next year. Holmgren said the Seahawks fell so quickly this season because of the injuries that befell the team. However, Holmgren said when he addressed the team he told them that was only part of the reason for the team’s 4-12 record.
“I did tell the players this,” Holmgren said. “If you think that was the only reason that our record was what it was, then we’re making a huge mistake.”
Holmgren reportedly had conversations with NBC about doing something for them during the playoffs, but said he currently has no plans to do TV as of right now.
Holmgren had this to say about Jim Mora taking over as head coach.
“He has great enthusiasm and he’s a great teacher,” Holmgren said. “And to me, when I’ve hired coaches over the years, those are the things I looked at first.”
Holmgren went on to say Mora has a great work ethic and is a good communicator, loves Seattle and has a sense of place here as a UW graduate.
Holmgren said Mora will have his first meeting with the team’s staff on Monday, which will be the official handing over of the coaching duties. Holmgren said he’ll take a couple weeks to gather his things at the practice facility and then head off to Arizona.
Among his proudest achievements as general manager, Holmgren mentioned the Joey Galloway trade to Dallas, with the Seahawks receiving two first round draft picks in return. One of those picks turned out to be Shaun Alexander. Holmgren also mentioned the trade bringing Matt Hasselbeck to Seattle, in which Seattle received a first-round pick that ended up being Steve Hutchinson.
“Maybe not everyone would have messed up, but I messed up,” Holmgren said about his time as general manager. “But I did learn. I don’t think I made the same mistake twice. And I think we did some good things there.”
The only time Holmgren got choked up was late in the session when asked about his final conversations with some of the players that have been around the longest.
“There wasn’t a lot to be said,” offered Holmgren, his voice trailing off as he swallowed hard.
At the end of the press conference he shook hands with several media members as he headed out of the room.