Seahawks Insider

Report: Ruskell to resign

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 2, 2009 at 11:34 pm with 73 Comments »
December 2, 2009 11:58 pm

The Seattle Seahawks have sent out a press release stating that they will have a press conference on Thursday morning, which it’s presumed that team president and general manager Tim Ruskell will announce his resignation.

Ruskell is in the final year of a five-year deal with the team, and was reportedly informed by the team that he would not be given an extension a the end of the year, according to a report by Pro Football Weekly earlier this week. Ruskell reportedly asked for clarity on his role with the team after the report surfaced stating he would not be back at the end of the year.

With Ruskell stepping down, former Seahawks head coach and general manager Mike Holmgren likely will be one of the top candidates for the position.

Ruskell made some key moves to help Seattle reach the Super Bowl in his first year with the team in 2005. But after the Seahawks finished 4-12 last year in Holmgren’s final year as coach, Ruskell came under pressure to help turn things around this season. And he came under more scrutiny with the team struggling to a 4-7 start under new head coach Jim Mora’s first season with the team.

I’ll provide more details when I know more.

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 73
  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh boy here we go…………

  2. Hawkfan1951 says:

    Yeah… I wondered why the Seahawks didn’t put a quick end to the rumour of him leaving.

    It’s a bit of irony… the guy that forced good people out of the team, is now out of the team. Sorry, I can’t be too disappointed here. This is a good move!

    Now… let’s see how long it takes to get the new GM in here… unless he already lives here….. =!)

    GO HAWKS!!

  3. BobbyAyala says:


  4. BobbyAyala says:

    Listen, with all due respect to the former GM, there is no reason why the Seattle Seahawks, with all of their resources and venues, should ever be considered in the same sentence as Detroit and Cleveland.

    Kudos to Vulcan and Mr. Allen for recognizing failure and deciding to cut the chord, and best of luck to Mr. Ruskell, I’m certain there’s a high school team in Tampa that could use your efforts.

    Mike, please. Just say “I do.”

  5. BobbyAyala says:

    Now, here’s the next question…. Gruden? Shanahan? Which Holmgren disciple will be stepping in next season?

    Does Holmy hook up Mora with another year?

    Should he?

    I feel like the Wookies at the end of Jedi right now.

    It’s like this unending party in an unending circuit of luscious treehouses, and Sweet Lou, Mr. Karl and Holmgren are the three Jedi Ghosts nodding approvingly from the great beyond.

    Tonight, dear Seattle, the sun shines brightly upon thee.

  6. Wow, I am actually looking forward to the 3rd down draw play again.

  7. richardfg7 says:

    I for one kind of liked having a team that was free of the rapist tight-ends of the NFL. Thanks for keepin it clean Tim. I’ll miss you.

  8. BobbyAyala says:

    d stands for douche, no?

    Holmgren = wins.

  9. BobbyAyala says:

    “I for one kind of liked having a team that was free of the rapist tight-ends of the NFL. Thanks for keepin it clean Tim. I’ll miss you. ”

    Yes, and please, let us bring in another character-heavy loser.

    That comment typified Seattle sports. Losses upon losses, but at least we have dancing grounds crews and hydroplane races!


  10. Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy!

    In all seriousness, the M’s lost Lou Pinella under similar circumstances to that of Holmgren leaving. Let’s not repeat the mistake. I want Ruskell’s head on a platter for driving Holmgren out of Seattle if for no other reason. As a long term Hawks fan (since day 1), we’ve had 2 quality head coaches: Chuck Knox & Holmgren; both who 100% deserve HOF.

  11. nidhighe says:

    Good riddance!

  12. Re Mora: I hope he goes also. My choices would be Gruden, Cower, Shanahan, Holmgren in a dual role, or several that haven’t crossed my mind yet as long as they’re not named Mora or Knapp.

  13. BobbyAyala says:

    I’m kinda diggin that Holmgren in a dual role as well. I think big man still wants to stomp those sidelines, and, honestly, as a teacher, that’s where he belongs. I don’t know if he could coach this team under another Ruskell anyway. Gruden may be the only other dude that can fit here in a coaching role, Shanahan’s ego is way too big.

  14. BobbyAyala says:

    “Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy!”

  15. riot613 says:

    Sweet!!!! I don’t have to be an embarrassed Seahawk fan to start next season. At least there’s something to look forward too.

  16. bye bye Ruskell this is a great day to be a hawks fan.
    Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy! Holmy!”

  17. Dukeshire says:

    I… I don’t know what to say. When I first read this, I read it as re-sign. I think the F- Bomb I dropped woke up my neighbors. Lol. I’m nervous and excited. It’s the kind of anticipation that comes form finally getting what you want. Wow! There will be an extra bounce in my step this morning, that’s for sure.

  18. Clarktribnet says:

    Give Mike full control of this franchise. He has the winning attitude. He turned it around 10 years ago after the team almost left, he can do it again.

  19. pabuwal says:

    Ruskell didn’t do a good job. This team is historically bad. There is no doubting this.

    However, no one is acknowledging that he was a victim of the tougher schedule and the emergence of the Cardinals as an elite team. The 08-09 teams are playing 2.5 more games a year on the road against teams with winning records AND the Cardinals are now a tough home game. The 03-07 Seahawks were 1-16 in road games against teams with winning records.

    The 03-07 teams averaged 10 wins a year. You can make the case that would fall to 6-7 games with the 08-09 schedule, about where they will be this year.

  20. MadSweeney42 says:

    Ewoks buddy, Ewoks. Not Wookies. Don’t let the abomination prequels cloud you mind.

    All I can say about this is….Awesome. Not only is he gone but he’s gone before the season’s even over. I wonder how much Cleveland’s interest in Holmy had to do with this.

  21. Southendzone says:

    The Cardinals getting better is not a mitigating factor in Ruskell’s performance. For 1, the Rams have gotten worse to take the place of the old crappy Cardinals.

    The Cards are succeeding now because they hired the right coach and made smart personnel moves while we failed to do both of those things. This in no way should give TR a break for what he’s done with the Seahawks.

  22. eyeland says:

    This miserable season just became palatable. Thank you Paul for making it seem like an 8 and 3 season at this point. I like the thought of Chucky or Dungy. I’ve never been a fan of the Jaw he spits too much. I’d love to be in the locker room right now. I bet the team is excited and inspired. Watch us just bludgeon the 9ers. I’ll never get tired of Holmgren winning and that he doesn’t throw the team or individual under the bus. He takes the hits and keeps the pressure off his team. He’ll make a great GM. The rest of the season and off season could and should really be exciting.

    Go Hawks!!!!!!

  23. monmornQB says:

    At 1st I wanted to cry when I thought the headline read re-sign.
    Thank you Santa… this is the best Christmas ever!

  24. The irony here is that many players, Hutchinson included, complained that TR let their status linger until the season ended and did not show any love to them, and they never knew where they stood with the team. Now TR is experiencing that same treatment and he is stomping out like a big baby. All I can say is, don’t let the door smack you on the butt on the way out.

  25. Before we crown the Cardinals for being a model organization, lets not forget that they fired Denny Green. He’s the man responsible for drafting Boldin and Fitz. Where would the Cards be without those two? And they aren’t the only two core pieces that Green brought in either.

  26. Eric – who should I contact about the GM job? Do you have their number or have access to getting it? Can I use you as a reference?

    Go ahead, everyone, laugh at me. I deserve it. But I have more confidence in myself than what we’ve had for 5 years (not that that is really saying anything).

  27. Does anyone know the specifics of the Mora contract? I bet he’s feeling a bit uneasy himself right now? That’s right, he “lives in a cave” so he doesn’t even know what’s going on…

  28. ElPerroGrandeIII says:

    Thank goodness, Ruskell was the worse GM in the history of the NFL.

    Bring on the Walrus … we love you Holmy …

  29. Dukeshire says:

    Bobby – This should clairify Mora’s contract.

  30. From the above link

    February 6, 2008
    “This makes a lot of sense for the organization,” Holmgren said in a team statement. “Jim is a talented coach who already had a measure of success in this league and has all the tools here needed to succeed.”

    Am i suppose to write the last 2 seasons off to injury? At least TR has been shown the door – 4 years after I ordered his head on a plater! Wow, he leaves the team without one stinking pro bowler. Four years and not one. I credit Holmgrens scouting dept. for Tatupu ( whose post is this anyways! – besides it states; 4 years:) ).

    Mr. Ruskell, take your happy arse out and entertain offers. We’ll then see if we can match it.

  31. pabuwal says:

    Dennis Green also signed Kurt Warner.

    “So if you want to crown him, then crown him!”

  32. hellomouthbreathers says:

    Coaching Interview

    “So, it’s third and 15, less than a minute left in the game and you’re down by six. You have three time outs. What do you do?”

    “Break down that 15 yards on third because I already know I’m going for it on fourth, after I call a timeout.”

    “No! No! No! No! C’mon! You run a draw up the middle with your fullback. You have your team lazily huddle up. Then, to trick the other team, you run another draw up the middle with the fullback again. You let the clock run down, if you get the first down, and ignore your timeouts because you’ll need those for OT. Do you not understand football?”

  33. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to discount Lofa as a Ruskell pick. He was the GM at the time and he should get credit for his lone pro bowl pick in 5 years just as he received criticism for the picks that haven’t worked out.

  34. Cornutt says:

    Wow! I really didnt think theyd announce anything in-season. And I feared that this wouldnt be the announcement when it was announced.

    Kudos to the organization for seeing that change was needed.

    Next step will be…?

  35. Dukeshire says:

    hellomouthbreathers – Does the divisional playoff loss in ’06 still sting a bit?

  36. IdahoHawk says:

    Don’t look now where on a WINNING STREAK.


  37. Duke, both Holmgren and TR were to have been seen courting free agent LB Sharper in a limo. They were after line backers, thus Tatupu followed by Hill in the draft. Spencer in round #1 should suggest who controlled the draft.
    And I do believe Holmgren is as much to blame for Branch as TR.

  38. Mr Ruskell—–Bye!!!!! Come on back Mr. Holmgren and bring John Gruden with you. Happy New Year!!!

  39. Cornutt says:

    I cant help but feel a little pang of sympathy for Ruskell.

    I’m excited about change coming, but I would never wish failure on anybody…

    Well…except maybe the Yankees…

  40. IdahoHawk says:

    Please no Gruden…
    Cower or Dungy

  41. tylakewalker says:

    Please don’t bring Holmgren back. Especially not as a coach. He always lost his cool on the sidelines. I often thought he was going to have a heart attack. You can not make good decisions when you are that emotional and Holmgren could not keep his emotions in check. Additionally, The play calling under Holmgren was terrible, boring and predictable.

  42. Dukeshire says:

    excile – Based on what you just said, it’s sounds like Ruskell was certainly involved.

  43. brigadeer says:

    I’m off to the ER. I think I hurt myself doing cartwheels.

  44. rramstad says:

    I think this is a great move overall.

    Mora has said for weeks that if someone can’t do a job correctly and consistently, that he’ll find someone else.

    Well, Paul Allen has just agreed with him…

    It sends a great message to the players and the coaches that they are all in it together, even the administrative staff is in the same boat.

  45. Audible says:

    Apparently, Paul Allen has been watching the games!

    Thanks Eric for scaring the hell out of us the title on this post. A bunch of us fell for it.

    Are the Seahawks the first team to dump its GM this season? Smart move by Allen because he’ll have plenty of options to fill that role, if he’s undecided, but the timing on this move makes it seem pretty clear that he has a candidate in waiting.

    I think Mora’s only chance to keep his job is Holmgren, but expect other coaching changes, starting with Knapp.

    The problem with Mora and Holmgren working together is that Mora is a defensive-minded coach, whereas Holmgren favors the offense. That could give us a more balanced team or cause problems.

    I don’t think Allen would hesitate letting the new GM pull the plug on this coaching staff because whoever he hires is going to be a proven winner and you can’t hire the caliber of GM that we’re going to have and then tie his hands with a coaching staff he doesn’t like. This is going to be interesting.

    Firing Mora would not relfect badly on him because he can just point to the GM change and the fact that he only had one season to turn things around for a GM who ruined the team. He’ll find work elsewhere and possibly at the UW.

    If Holmgren takes over, expect Knapp to get fired at the end of the season.

  46. Audible says:

    It sounds like Ruskell is resigning, effective immediately, which suggests that our next GM is not currently working for another team. By removing Ruskell, our new GM can take over and get a head start at evaluating this team and the coaching staff, so he can hit the ground running when the season ends.

  47. Audible says:

    We should be an incredibly attractive team to any of the top GM candidates out there:

    One of the wealthiest owners in the NFL
    Hands-off ownership
    New stadium
    State-of-the-art training facility
    Beautiful city with a mild climate on the coast
    Great fan base
    Two #1 drafts choices to work with next year

  48. mkelly534 says:

    Lets be careful what we wish for. Many people were complaining about Holmgren during his tenure. I believe he is smarter now and will be a good GM. I do not know if any changes at coach should be made. We need to give Mora a chance to succeed or fail on the field. I am sure they can work together and Mora really wants to do well here.

    As for coaching, Holmgren is 60+ years old and I remember reading an article about coaches of 55 having a hard time winning because of the physical commitment required in todays game. Let holmy be the brains in the suite and let the young guys put in the 100 hur weeks.

  49. dasco54 says:

    ONCE and for all, LOFA was Ray Rhodes choice, Holmy backed Rhodes and they forced it on TR. That is fact!!! TR has the wrong defensive philosophy, we need mauler studs at one DE and DT tackle position and then a NT type at other DT and then finally you can have your speed guy at the other DE. Then get us a corner ,a safety then a RB . AND PLease quit spending all the dough on LB’s ,they are the easiest position on D to fill. BUT start first at the O-line . Can’t win without the big uglies.
    If you listened to KJR this morning, Holmy was paraphrased as admitting his mistakes the first go round and how he would improve if given a second go.
    He will do a great job,for he is a super smart football mind.

  50. Audible says:

    The problem I have with Mora is that he’s unproven. As Holmgren said, he had a “certain measure of success”. Allen can afford proven winners. If Holmy takes over, he has the connections and the credibility to pull together a great coaching staff and scouting department. I don’t think Allen would hire Holmgren as GM and Coach…been down that road when he was a lot younger and it didn’t work out very well.

  51. nighthawk2 says:

    Thank God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now maybe all the people with the “In Ruskell We Trust” slogan and their lips surgically attached to his lower cheeks will admit he was a failure and ruined this team?

    I don’t care who the new GM is as long as he’s effective, can judge talent (especially offensive line talent) and works with the head coach instead of being an empire builder with a colossal ego. We’ve had two guys like that, Whitsett and Ruskell, enough already. Get a front office that works in the best interest of the team, not themselves, and can all get on the same page. Let’s build a Super Bowl team again. Won’t be easy and won’t be done overnight, but this is a big step in the right direction.

  52. Dukeshire says:

    That’s all well and good but Ruskell is responsible for the players brought in. Whether they are “his” guys or someone else’s is irrelevant. He signs them to the contract, therefore he’s responsible, for good or ill. He made the trade happen to move up in the second to get Lofa (based od Rhodes’ recomendation, perhaps). Sorry, he get’s credit for Lofa coming aboard during his tenure.

  53. MikeBinUP says:

    Anyone watching closely at the end of last weeks game saw Mora, before embracing his team and sharing in THEIR win, leave the sideline and walk to a back corner and shake hands with Ruskell who was standing by the tunnel. It sure seemed wierd if you ask me…. Mora’s fate was in Tims hands at the time and he kissed his butt when he should have stayed with his boys who won the game for him.

    So if were gettng a fresh new look why not clean house completely and give the fans something to get excited about. If Mora stays on through this it will leave everyone wondering what if anything will change.

  54. MikeBinUP says:

    Hey I have an Idea….If they really want to torch the team… The new GM could be WALLY WALKER!

    Thats for my buddy Dean Tolson ex- SuperSonic

  55. FireRuskellNow will have to change his name to HireHolmgrenNow or FireMoraNow….the repercussions of this move are far-reaching!

  56. stigmata says:

    It’s clear to me that many, many people commenting in this thread have undergone some kind of “eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” treatment to wipe away their memories of Holmgren as GM. Do none of you remember Holmgren completely and utterly ignoring the defense, or drafting complete bust after complete bust for the D? Our defenses under Holmgren were nothing short of pathetic. Bringing him back as GM is essentially stepping backward and guaranteeing that even if we fix the offense, we’re going to remain a mediocre team because of the atrocious D.

    Don’t interpret this as a defense of Ruskell, though. He needed to go because he was just as incompetent with the offense as Holmgren was with the defense. I know this is a novel idea, but maybe we could pursue a completely different GM with a decent track record for balanced teams. Just a thought.

  57. I’m not sure Holmgren could be GM without being coach. Or at least get a guy he can control. Remember a couple of years ago, he said that the one guy on his staff that deserved a head coaching gig was Gil Haskell. Do we want him? Holmgren is notoriously loyal to his guys. Sure he found Hasselbeck, but he coached Hasselbeck. Could he just get the players and not coach the players, or leave it up to someone else? That is the big question.

  58. Holmgren has unfinished business in Seattle. As GM before, he was trying to hold-down both GM and head coaching positions as a first-time GM. NFL coaches often put in 100-weeks for just their coaching duties.

    I believe Holmgren learned from his mistakes and would make a great GM if that’s where he were to concentrate his energies. He knows what a winning team should look like and he knows what winning coaches need to do. I would trust him to learn from past mistakes and carry the same excellences into his full-time GM job as he did for so many years as a winning coach for the 49ers, Packers, and Seahawks.

  59. Holmgren has the respect, credibility, and resources to surround himself with one of the best personnel and coaching staffs in the NFL.

  60. FireRuskellNow says:

    “Do none of you remember Holmgren completely and utterly ignoring the defense”

    Who CARES about defense? This is NOT the 80s NFL, OFFENSE wins games, and HOLMGREN created an ELITE OFFENSE. Look at EVERY SINGLE ELITE TEAM right now, they all have super OFFENSES.

    Defenses DON’T win games, look at the Ravens year in year out with a great defense but ONLY HAVE SUCCESS WHEN MCNAIR OR FLACCO KICKED BUTT

  61. Dukeshire says:

    Holmgren as GM will cast a very long shadow. I too would be concerned he would’nt be able to allow Mora or whomever the HC is, to do their job without interference. Additionally, that coach will have to be secure enough with himself as his position that he is not always feeling second guessed.

  62. It might not be such a bad thing to have Holmgren poking his nose into the coaches office.

    What have we been complaining about this year? Players not knowing their assignments? Bad play calling by Knapp? Mora stubbornly refusing to start Forsett over Jones? Comments that make it look like the coaches are still evaluating players and don’t know how to use them?

    I’m pretty sure Holmgren would have strong opinions on those matters and would not have a problem letting Mora about it. Holmgren is a coaching legend…it’s not a bad idea to let him “mentor” Mora, should we decide to keep him around.

  63. I can see how a GM with no coaching experience like Ruskell could be a distraction for a head coach if he wanted to offer his opinions, but how could someone not welcome Holmgren’s input, no matter who you are? Maybe there are some coaches out there who are too arrogant to work with Holmgren, but a smart coach will welcome his input.

  64. I think Holmgren has the background and has earned the respect and the right to walk onto the field to see the team and the coaches that he put out there. He knows what a winning team looks like from the inside-out. Talk about accountability! How many of you guys have been pissed this year when Mora talks about accountability but there seems to be nobody around to hold him accountable? Why does a GM, and especially a GM with Holmgren’s pedigree, have to be relegated to a corner office somewhere?

  65. I think Holmgren’s hands-on approach to being the GM is exactly what this team needs and especially if we retain Mora. If a coach doesn’t have enough confidence in himself to deal with it, he doesn’t belong in that role. Period.

  66. Dukeshire says:

    Because no one likes to be second guessed. I think it would be a terrible thing for all parties if he were to “pop his head in” unsolicited. Holmgren sure as hell didn’t want Ron Wolf or whomever, doing it to him. And Holmgren would have strong opinions about all those things, but that what the HC is, in part, here for. If the play on the field reflected a lack of control or discipline, he would make the appropriate change, I have to believe.

  67. stigmata says:

    FRN, “who CARES about defense”?!?

    Anyone who wants Seattle to win a SB, that’s who. The Colts, for all the offensive firepower they’ve had for the last decade, didn’t win a SB until their defense stepped up in the 2006 postseason.

    Check the rankings of every single SB winner of the last 44 years. Only 4 teams have won it all with a defense that ranked outside the top 10 in points allowed – the ’07 Giants and each of the Raiders’ SB wins.

    For comparison’s sake, since 2000, 4 teams have won it all with an offense that ranked outside the top 10 in points scored – the ’00 Ravens, the ’02 Bucs, the ’03 Pats, and the ’08 Steelers. Guess what they all had in common.

  68. stigmata says:

    Edit to my above post: It’s 5 teams that won it all with a defense outside the top 10. That ’06 Colts team did it, as well. But if you’ll remember, many people expected them to get blown out in the first round by KC because they hadn’t been able to stop the run that season. Their remarkable defensive turnaround was the story of the ’06 playoffs.

  69. “One of the wealthiest owners in the NFL
    Hands-off ownership
    New stadium
    State-of-the-art training facility
    Beautiful city with a mild climate on the coast
    Great fan base
    Two #1 drafts choices to work with next year ”

    Good points – Seattle is down, but it’s far from the train wreck that is Cleveland or Buffalo in my mind. Will be real interesting to see who they go with – and of course, the next big question, whether Mora sticks or not.

  70. adamtoth says:

    As much as I would love to have Holmgren in as GM, I worry that he would want to see different coaches, which would again switch our blocking scheme, running style, play terminology, etc etc. I don’t think you can be successful if you keep changing the way you do things every year.

    I also felt that Holmgren was overly loyal to his coaches, and to some of his players. Cutting the punter (Ryan P) after a lousy special teams game against Buffalo last year, instead of getting rid of Bruce Dehaven is a prime example. Our special teams play the last two years have shown us that the problem is truly with the coaching.

  71. Defense is at least as important as offense and don’t forget special teams loaded with hopefully quality back up players. Ruskell was suppose to be a defensive specialist. WELL I haven’t seen it. He has gone about his free agent signings and draft picks all wrong. STOUT is the word of the year for our needs on defense not good character and speed. Yes speed is needed but angry mean tough SOB’s is better yet.
    With all our injuries we have seen that on the lines and D back field we don’t have quality nor depth needed to produce a playoff team. Thats on Ruskell!!!
    How many saw the Baltmore /Pittsburgh game ,now there was a tough physical gameand until we play like that ,forget about it.

  72. I like to think I follow the Hawks just as much as the next die-hard, but I haven’t heard the talk about Holmy/Rhodes “forcing” Tatupu on Ruskell. The story I thought was true was that Ruskell liked Tatupu so much that he almost drafted him over Spencer in the first round.

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