Seahawks Insider

Holmgren on KJR: He’s interested in vacant Hawks GM position

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm with 36 Comments »
December 17, 2009 3:10 pm

Count Mike Holmgren as being interested in the Seahawks’ GM job.

The former Seahawks head coach made his weekly appearance on KJR-AM with Dave “Softy” Mahler and Hugh Millen and said he would be interested if the Seahawks wanted to talk to him about the vacancy.

Holmgren was asked to address the recent departure of Tim Ruskell, and to weigh his interest in the now-vacant position.

Holmgren joined the show from a studio in Phoenix, where he and his wife Kathy are staying in their home in Arizona.

“Absolutely I would like to talk to them,” he said. “I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I would like to go back to work after this season. I didn’t know where. This is a little bit of a surprising development in Seattle.

“But then that is an opening. But I’ve also said this — the people on the team have to want you. The situation has to be right, the opening has to be right. And so that’s why I’ve tried to just keep an open mind and not get too emotional about it.”

Holmgren said that although he has interest in the opening in Seattle, he also wants to keep his options open. And he does not want to be a ceremonial hiring; he wants to make sure that he has enough input in making decisions that help move an organization in the direction he wants to see them go.

“It kind of boils down to how owner and how the organization wants to set it up,” Holmgren said. “And that’s what I’m going to be listening to. I don’t have to make every decision in the world, but I absolutely have a vision and have an idea on how an organization should be built, and I wouldn’t have much fun doing it any other way. So think I’d have to assured that I’d have a fair amount of input in the major decisions.”

As far as Seahawks head coach Jim Mora and his future with the team, Holmgren said he believes it would be unfair to let someone go after just one season.

“Having one year under your belt and not being able to continue on is kind of unfair,” he said. “Now as an management person, when you come into an organization you might have to make a very difficult decision that way if, in your opinion, you think it’s absolutely going in the wrong direction, but those situations are few and far between.”

Holmgren admitted he made a poor decision in drafting Jerremy Stevens, in that he stretched for a need of the team at the time for a tight end, and perhaps lessened the value on the character issue. Holmgren said that’s an example of a mistake he learned from as a general manager.

As far as Seattle’s needs, Holmgren said the offensive line needs to be addressed, along with the Seahawks needing to get bigger at different positions.

Holmgren said the Seahawks also need to look at considering drafting a quarterback of the future to begin to groom to replace Matt Hasselbeck.

And he said he doesn’t mind going through the hiring process – to a point.

“IIf Mr. Allen and the Seahawks want to go through a process that’s what will happen, because he’s the owner of the football team and that’s what he wants to do,” Holmgren said. “If I’m part of that process, I trust that I have been thoroughly vetted so far already for 10 years,” Holmgren said. “But I’ll go through whatever is necessary to go through, as long as it makes some sense.”

You can listen to the entire interview in this audio link.

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. Audible says:

    It seems that Holmgren thinks we’re okay at linebacker!

  2. wabubba67 says:

    The sun also rises in the east and sets in the west.

    Just get this done ASAP so that the organization can move forward…I would love to see what Holmgren can get done as a GM without the distraction of coaching. I think this challenge would completely suit Holmgren at this stage of his career and most likely be slightly easier on his family.

  3. Hawkfan1951 says:

    IMHO, I think the “process” the Seahawks face is simple.

    “Who would be BETTER than Holmgren?” Put every other candidate on the list vs. Mike Holmgren and see who would fit best. Period!

    As Holmgren said himself, he’s had “10 years of being vetted” by the Seahawks, so there shouldn’t be any surprises.

    I also agree with wabubba… “get this done asap so the organization can move forward.”


  4. chuck_easton says:

    A couple of things in this interview which also coincide with some articles in other publications.

    1) The Seahawks must interview numerous people (and at least one minority). Remember the Rooney rule.

    2) There is talk in an article by Art Theil of the PI that Tod Leiweke isn’t a fan of bringing back Holmgren. Depends on how much pull he has over Allen.

    3) It sounds like Holmgren thinks he shouldn’t have to go through too many hoops because his record speaks for itself.

    The team has to meet league rules and do interviews.

  5. Audible says:


    Do you have a link to that article by Thiel?

  6. chuck_easton says:


    Here it is:

    It also mentions the point that I brought up earlier that there is an issue with ‘someone’ inside VMAC leaking the rumor to PFW that brought Ruskell’s early resignation.

    This is why I have the feeling that there’s just too much ‘taking sides’ going on inside the FO for Holmgren to be an automatic. He may still get the job but it isn’t going to just be handed to him.

  7. I think Holmgren would be good mostly because I think Mora needs a little mentoring from someone. Mora has made some dumb mistakes (like publicly blaming Mare for a loss) and he really could use someone like Mike who has a good understanding of what it takes to be a head coach. I think the guy who would be in the greatest danger of losing his job if Mike were to be hired would be Greg Knapp. Holmy is going to want someone who has the same offensive approach he has.

    Another thing that Holmgren has going for him is better continuity. He is still familiar enough with the team that he would likely be able fit right in and contribute the most for getting things back on track next year. Another GM would have to learn a lot.

  8. If I’m not gonna get the job, then I am pulling for Holmy. You live and learn and I think he’s learned from the Stevens misake (and KoRo) and won’t compromise character to a certain extent. I can guarantee Holmy will get to work on the OL, that’s for sure. It’s only been a broken record for 4 years…

  9. chuck_easton says:

    So bobby, what’s this about you and the OL? I don’t recall you ever bringing that up before! :)

    But a new franchise LT has to be the top priority no matter who gets the GM job.

  10. I am so sick and tired of bringing up the OL that I could puke. Four years of saying the same dang thing. I am so frustrated. And then I’ll watch the game on Sunday and see us get physically manhandled again and the pattern repeats itself (of my getting riled up). Maybe I should just accept how bad we are up front? Maybe I shouldn’t take the Seahawks so seriously? You’d think if the OL is so terrible that we’d have had time to add to have a good defense.

  11. Dukeshire says:

    Listening to Holmgren’s double speak is music to my ears. I don’t know that he’s the most qualified or the best fit, but he would certainly be an improvement over Ruskell. And Webster is too similar to Ruskell for me to be comfortable with. If Leiweke and co. intend to go with a first time GM again, I certainly hope he has qualifications outside the Tampa Bay franchise.

  12. What Holmgren brought to the Hawks from the first day he came to town, and what he would bring back if he returns, is credibility. He’s a cornerstone guy in this league – not quite Belichick/Parcells, but right in that next level, and there’s not many of those guys floating around. I’d definitely bring him back.

  13. Audible says:

    This is the ideal time to bring him back too because we’re in the market for a franchise QB and I can think of none better at evaluating QBs than Holmgren. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zorn replaces Knapp as OC, should Holmgren take the helm.

  14. madpunter88 says:

    It is almost like Holmgren is a shadow GM already commenting on the needs of the team, decisions he would make, etc. Quite unusual. Sort of like how last year the Seahawks had a coach already designated looking over the previous coaches’ shoulder. The Seahawks don’t like smooth transitions, do they?

  15. Yes. I can’t think of a better guy to come in and find our next QB of the future. It’s the most important position on the field, and we’re to that point of needing him to learn under Matt for a few years. Ideally, if we draft a QB, it’d be nice to get him in the 2nd round. That gets rid of the huge financial requirements and gets rid of the pressure of being a #1 pick. If Matt is playing at a high level in three years, thanks to an OL with credibility, then it gets rid of “forcing” him to leave so we can let the new guy play. As I’ve said before with Tony Romo, he sat the pine for four years before taking over. That’s not a bad thing is Matt plays at a high level. And I believe he would/could if the OL gets fixed. I have no problems spending big bucks in FA on the OL and waiting to address everything else during the draft. We’d obviously still have more than three needs (our main draft picks) but there’s always a scenario or two where we can trade down. It’s tough to trade those early first rounders, but once you get in the middle of the first, late first, and early second… those picks are much easier to deal. I hope something works out…

  16. Dan Rooney, the league “chairman of diversity”, here’s some diversity Rooney, let’s find some white running backs.

  17. Audible says:

    And, while you’re at it how about some black punters and place kickers.

  18. damn right audible.

  19. Someone else mentioned it – but having two #1’s this upcoming year is definitely a nice thing for a new GM to walk into.

  20. to funny

    each team must keep 1 white CB on there practice squad. 1 mexican QB. and 1 black punter. and the person who fils water bottles must speak english as a 2nd lang.

  21. this site isn’t diverse either… it says you posted at 5:15, and I am on the east coast, so you actually posted at 8:15 my time :(

  22. Audible says:

    “He’s a cornerstone guy in this league – not quite Belichick/Parcells, but right in that next level”


    I would argue that Holmgren is in the next level up from both Farcells and Belidick

    Holmgren took both the Seahawks and the Packers (smallest market in the NFL) to the superbowl a total of three times. One superobowl victory, one loss, and one victory that was totally botched by the referees. And, he didn’t cheat his way to any that success. I rest my case.

  23. Either way, we must improve our talent level. All three of those coaches didn’t win the big one with a bunch of scrubs. They all had cornerstone players to build around. Granted, at the time of Billy Boy winning his first SB, we didn’t know Seymour, Brady, or Tedy were those cornerstone guys… but they were and that’s a main reason they won.

  24. rramstad says:

    Two things.

    First, Thiel is a hack. He often writes things just to stir up trouble. I know this from experience. When I’ve emailed him before, when he’s written something ridiculous, and I’ve called him on it, he’s literally responded “hey, I’m an entertainer, if you are outraged, at least you are paying attention.” (Now, that’s not an exact quote, but it’s a quote from memory.)

    Second, absolute ditto on an earlier poster, I think you have to say “OK, we could have Mike Holmgren, now, who can we find that might be better… and let’s get them in here pronto.” Realistically the hiring process is probably pretty simple as the list has got to be short. Mike has long and deep experience in the league, and I think his issues when he was coach and GM revolve around the 1 guy in 2 jobs problem. A good head coach can easily spend 100 hours per week during the season. A good GM will spend 50 or 60 hours a week most weeks during the season, and around draft and free agency time it’ll be more like 70 or 80 hours a week. There aren’t enough hours for one guy to do both jobs well. I think it’s pretty easy to give Mike a pass on how he did as a GM the first time around (frankly, he wasn’t all that bad, and considering he was also head coach, and had no GM experience, he did fine) as I think we’ll see a much different Holmgren if he comes in for a 2nd try with only GM on his plate.

    Hell, if we could find the bodies, I’d hire Mike as “quality control” and hire a GM besides. Let him work with the GM on personnel, and the coaching staff on schemes, and be the person who makes sure that the bodies coming in match the plans for what’s going to be on the field.

  25. I’m thinking a GM, the week of the draft, would easily put in well over 100 hours. And what about the weeks leading up to the draft? That’s ALOT of work. Heck, if you’re the Seahawks GM right now… you should be at as many college games as you can on Saturday, and at the Hawks game on Sunday(s). Granted, it’d be fun… but it’s still “work.” Sometimes you get a much better feel for a player seeing/alalyzing them in person. I was kind of high on the Illinois RG Jon Asamoah earlier this year (since our OL is terrible) and was thinking he could be our 2nd rounder… after going to a Gopher/Illinois game and spending plenty of time watching him… I did not come away impressed. Sure, I’d potentially take a flyer on him later in the draft but certainly not with a 2nd rounder (granted, if I were in a position of higher power I would not judge him on 1 game… and still could consider him… but most of us have the job thing in the way where we can’t dedicate 80 hours per week to a “hobby”).

  26. longco44 says:

    BobbyK; if you dont get the job and somehow Holmgren sneaks in ahead of you, we can throw out the suggestion of a personal assistant to the GM for you?! Either that or you can replace Divish or Williams.

  27. As I’ve posted before, I’d very much like Holmgren to be the guy. Despite the fact it didn’t work before, I’d PREFER to see Lewicke move to pres with Holmgren being GM & Coach (or Hire Gruden , Cower or Shanahan as coach0 & see Mora terminated.

    I hope to god they fire Knapp at minimum.

  28. vichawkfan says:

    it takes years – and failure to be truly great in this league. I don’t think there’s anyone out there more qualified than Holmgren. That’s to say he’s weathered storms and sunny days…..he has a clear vision of what it takes. Heck, anyone seen that team/x-mas pic of his staff in GB back in the early 90’s???? It’s a who’s who of football minds….ala Gruden/Mooch/Reid etc…..He has created a significant impression on the league. We could be much worse off getting a non-football guy as GM.

    I love Crowne Royal

  29. LOL.

    Holmgren would be fine by me, as long as he has learned something from Ruskell about drafting for “character.” At least in the early rounds.

    I did not like the way Holmy would draft guys like Stevens and KoRo.

    However, I did not like the way Ruskell would totally eliminate a player because of minor character flaws (at least that’s what is seems) or not care for them if they went to a small college.

    If I have to choose the philosophy of a player, I’d rather have the Ruskell approach of good character over the Holmy approach of winning at all costs.

    Still, I believe in Holmy and think he’d be fine, as we all learn from the past… He’s one of the better options out there…

  30. longco44 – FYI – I wrote my letter to Leiweke earlier tonight. It’ll be in the mail by Monday:)

  31. nighthawk2 says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Tod Leiweke needs to go too. He’s part of the problem, not the solution. He hired Ruskell, he sat back and let Ruskell stick Holmgren with his boy Mora and then make him heir obvious, with no search process for a head coach. And he sat back and let Holmgren be pushed out the door as he watched Ruskell’s ineptitude and cronyism destroyed this team. We can do better than Leiweke. Personally, I’d like to see Holmgren in Leiweke’s position, let him hire a GM, and let the GM hire a real coach who can put together a good staff.

    What “leaking”? Was it supposed to be some secret that Ruskell’s contract was up at the end of the season and he hadn’t been offered a new one, i.e. he wasn’t going to be retained? That was news? Ruskell just quit on the team instead of being fired in the form of being told his contract wasn’t being renewed and he’d get to “explore new opportunities”.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    BobbyK – Holmgren admitted mistakes in giving guys like Stevens a pass on their character, in the KJR interview. A good sign that he has learned from his mistakes. I think there is a feeling he’s too stubborn to admit mistakes or learn from them. It wouldn’t appear that way, however.

    And no offence, but if anyone replaces Eric or Divish it’s gonna be me. Don’t worry though, we’ll find something you. :)

  33. LOL. Sounds good.

    I saw the Holmy interview and I think he’s learned from those mistakes too. I only hope it wasn’t a PR move to help get back the GM gig. And once he has power, wouldn’t be willing to draft a moron like Chris Henry with a high pick. I don’t mind taking a chance with a bad apple here and there… but not with a huge FA contract or a top pick that’s going to eat plenty of cap space.

  34. Holmgren is willing to come aboard as President of Player Personnel/General Manager allowing Mora to continue as Head Coach until a fair evaluation can be made. Whats not to like?

    I’ll laugh my arse off if his first move is to trade Lofa Tatupu for a Guard… or other positon of need. There won’t be enough room on the field for 2 MLB’s and Hawthorne is cheaper. younger and healthy.

    I hope he shows Knapp and Griffith the door as well. Kirkland impressed me more so than the later and losing Weaver still doesn’t set well. Long as I’m at it, I wish Holmy to disolve anything Ruskellian! lol Realize that isn’t possible but would be a good start.

    No need to delve into the Salary Cap as 2010 hasn’t one just yet. Unless a new CBA is reached, Sky is the limit on FA’s. Seahawks have 2 #1’s. One could be used on Chargers LT McNeill. I’m sure Holmgren will make this an entertaining off season. It’s third and long, the draw is shelved and the Walrus goes for it!

  35. FireRuskellNow says:

    art thiel’s article is a bunch of crap, just like everything else he writes when it comes to nfl

  36. Is Desmond Trufant Marcus’ brother?

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