Seahawks Insider

Holmgren on KJR: There’s a time crunch

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm with 22 Comments »
December 18, 2009 2:53 pm

Former Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren appeared on his weekly spot on KJR-AM this afternoon, amid reports that the Cleveland Browns had offered him the job as head of the team’s football operations and the Seahawks front office had reportedly told him they are not interested.

Here are a few of the comments from Holmgren, who joined KJR’s Dave “Softy” Mahler and Hugh Millen on the radio from a studio near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Asked about the situation with Seattle’s open general manager position, Holmgren said he has not been contacted by anyone from the Seahawks organization that he is out of the running for the Seahawks job. But he did say there’s a timing issue because of what is happening in Cleveland.

“There is a little bit of a time crunch here involved with Cleveland and some other people as were getting down to the last two weeks of the season,” Holmgren said. “Maybe I was hoping for a few more positive signs (from Seattle).”

Asked if believes that he’s been campaigning for the Seahawks job through his weekly appearances on KJR, Holmgren had this to say.
“I’m a big boy,” he said. “Organizations make decisions and if we’re employees, or coaches or general managers, or whatever, you’ve got to live with them, because a lot of the decisions are out of your hands. I don’t regret saying that I would love to be with the Seahawks.”

Holmgren said contrary to some published reports, he has not talked financial contract details with Cleveland.

“No money was talked about, it wasn’t like that,” Holmgren said. He went on to say that his meeting with Cleveland head coach Randy Lerner was more of a fact-finding trip and a chance for both the Browns ownership to get to know him and Holmgren to get to know the organization.

So does Cleveland want Holmgren?

“I had a pretty good feeling when I left,” Holmgren said. “As I said, I had a lot of dealings with the owner. It was very refreshing. He’s an honest man and a good guy — I just liked everything I heard. And so I think I’d have a real good chance, yes.”

Holmgren said the structure of the Browns’ gig, if he were to take the job, is still to be determined.

“It would be any and all I would say,” he said. “It’s a pretty wonderful opportunity for anybody. Exactly how the setup will be regarding me, that’s something that I’m still thinking about. And it’s my obligation then to let the Browns know what I’m thinking that way.”

Holmgren said he wanted time to think about the Cleveland job offer and talk about it with his family, and that’s where he’s at now. He didn’t give a specific timetable on when he would make a decision, although it’s been reported that he would like to have a decision made by Christmas.

“I would say sooner than later,” he said. “I think in fairness to the Browns and their organization, I think you have to do that, whether it’s me or anybody else.”

Asked if head coach Eric Mangini would stay in Cleveland, Holmgren said if he took the job he would make sure to give everyone a fair opportunity and evaluate them before making a decision, rather to let Mangini or anyone else within the Cleveland organization go.

Asked if he still wants to coach, Holmgren didn’t answer the question specifically, but said the real appeal of the Cleveland job is the chance to build something from the ground up.

“The challenge of rebuilding is kind of in my blood,” he said. “So I might look at jobs or look at situations a little differently than someone else — it’s hard to explain, but that’s kind of how I’m wired. And so I think with Cleveland the biggest attraction for me honestly so far is ownership. I think Randy Lerner really would like his team. …. He wants the team to play well and do well for the city. He likes the area. And he wants to do this for a lot of reasons. And he’s really a genuine guy when you talk to him, and I’ve just been very, very impressed.”

Front office
Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. I wonder if Steve Kelley’s article in the Seattle Times is going to affect Lieweke’s strategy. It seems like this is a potential PR nightmare in the making, and especially as several people have pointed out, if Holmgren is more successful in Cleveland than our new GM is here. Lieweke better get this one right because his head is the next one to be on the chopping block.

  2. What a bone-headed move by Tod Leiweke to let Ruskell resign before the end of the season, if there were no plans to consider Holmgren. His firing really started a lot of speculation, which is now turning into a firestorm with the way they’re handling Holmgren. Holmgren could have been happily in bed with another team had TL waited until the end of the season, thereby avoiding all of this drama.

  3. mariner3469 says:

    Seahawks need to be called by all of us.


    Corporate office – (425) 203-8000

    A Seahawks Exec that seems to listen 425-203-8117

  4. mariner3469 says:

    I am starting to think TL wants Holmgren and the offended party of Mike’s public comments is Paul Allen

  5. IdahoHawk says:

    This waiting game sucks.

  6. IdahoHawk says:

    I like Holmgren as much as the next guy, but does everyone really think that if he’s not hired all is lost? I just don’t buy the hiring an agency to fill the GM position. Sounds like a lot of good buddy back scratching to me.

  7. I don’t think it was a bad move by Leiweke to tell Ruskell the truth (he won’t be back). The writing was on the wall with respect to the won/loss record that Ruskell wouldn’t be back. Add the unacceptable record with the lack of overall talent and it was pretty obvious to let him go when they did.

  8. variable575 says:


    I don’t think all would be lost if Holmgren went somewhere else–The big question is can they hire the right guy? The last one they hired was Ruskell and we all know how that worked out. So they have failed in hiring an up and coming GM already. That, to me, does not evoke a lot of confidence in the FO finding the right guy, through a firm much less, when the right guy could easily be standing right in front of you yet they can’t see it, perhaps. Obviously none of us know jack #$% right now–but its fun to speculate.

    Again, i wouldn’t mind seeing Graves on the list of 10!

  9. Thanks for the numbers…I just called both numbers explained our concerns about the direction we’re going about about how disrespectul it is that the Seahawks are just dismissing Holmgren. I tried to submit feedback at but they’re feedback page is broken. You can also email Vulcan at

  10. kinger12 says:

    For $$$ sake the average “executive agency fee” is around $250,000 for C (CEO, CFO) level candidate.
    And if they are involved they should be looking around the local environs first.
    But also know they get paid regardless if they find the candidate or not.
    If they dont consider Holmgren they would be sorely missed since he has history and tenure.

  11. variable575 says:

    does anyone have O-Line predictions for this weekend?

  12. I know people like to make fun of the Browns… but they have a bunch of draft picks in this upcoming year (along with a bunch of young guys from this past draft)… and a lot of us talk about OL as being so important… Holmgren is going to have LT Joe Thomas and C Alex Mack (who many of us wanted to fall in the 2nd round last year). He’s got two great building blocks on the OL. I think he’s set up to succeed in Cleveland and is going to do well. They will instantly become my 2nd favorite team.

  13. raymaines says:

    Is Jack Zduriencik available?

  14. princeaden says:

    I would like to see Mora work MacIntosh into the rotation somewhere. Was there no mention of this in his re-shuffling? It seems to me if he wants to look for the best 5 lineman and he’s giving Gibson an audition he may as well put some pressure on Lock and Willis as well.

  15. I don’t think McIntosh fits into the long term plans of the team. No need to get those type of guys into the rotation anymore. We’re playing for ’10, ’11, and ’12.

  16. There’s not a single person or player who is going to change this team. They’re weak. All of them.

    Should any of the Seahawks — on any level — actually read, here’s a heads up: You remind me of my girlfriend’s mother. Yeah, U SUCK!

  17. princeaden says:

    If that is the case,I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that Spencer, Sims or Willis fit into the long range plans either. I was just hoping that maybe by at least saying that they were going to look at MacIntosh it may get Lock and Willis’ attention.

  18. Good point and I agree. At this point, I don’t think they have a total of 5 legit NFL OL. Frustrating. 5 years ago we were blessed with Walt/Hutch… and now we’re down to a 2nd year Max Unger at Center for ’10 (who will NEVER be anywhere near those two… but at least he’s a good/solid player, or will be).

  19. Hawkfan1951 says:

    I took the afternoon off today specifically to watch Softy’s show with Hugh MIllen and Mike Holmgren. What I got out of it was:

    When specifically asked if he had been contacted by “other teams,” MH said, “Yes. Next question!” So, the Seahawks MAY have had contact with him or possibly another team(s).

    He specifically spoke out FOR Tod Leiweke, saying “he’s a really good guy.” This leaves me with the impression Leiweke ISN’T the road block… it’s higher up.

    MH went on, and on about how organizations have to make business decisions and he understands that. He spoke professionally, and with nothing but class about the Seahawks management, players and fans. It was almost as if he was saying “My family and I REALLY enjoyed our time in Seattle, but life goes on… and IF this be the case, then THANK YOU for all the memories, the Seahawks will do well, and good-bye.”

    IMHO, The Seahawks NEED Mike Holmgren. It’s been said time and again that everywhere he goes, he WINS! Hugh Millen (10 year NFL QB), who’s main job now seems to be football statistics of EVERYTHING… said that of the current Hall of Fame Coaches, MH was already 2nd, ONLY behind John Madden, in percentages of wins and play-off appearences. Millen also said MH was an outstanding talent evaluator, especially of QB’s.

    The Seahawks NEED MH. It’s not Tod Leiweke… it may just be someone with NO football talent or experience… making a “business decision” for this organization.

    This will be THE CRITICAL DECISION for THIS ORGANIZATION for YEARS TO COME… and the clock is ticking!

    Come on Mr. Allen… cut the BS. Hire THE BEST MAN for your team. If you don’t how will you explain THAT to your fans?

  20. I think what tips the balance towards Holmgren is his ability to spot QB talent. I love Matt and think he’s got 2-4 good years left in him but the fact is that we’re going to need to find our future replacement either in this upcoming draft, ’11, or, by the latest, ’12. There is NOBODY in the NFL I trust with bringing in our new franchise QB than Mike Holmgren. And since that is the single most important position on the football field, Holmgren’s talent is especially needed here in the next few years.

  21. 1951 – You’re right, it seems as if Leiweke isn’t the problem. As I wrote before, I don’t quite understand all the hate being directed his way. I thought the organization did the honorable thing by informing Ruskell that he wouldn’t be back instead of keeping it a secret (if they already had their minds made up). And if Paul Allen is the guy who doesn’t want Holmgren, well, it’s “his” team and I have appreciated him so much as an owner that he can do what he wants. He’s earned my trust.

  22. BlueTalon says:

    I think Holmgren’s ability to select QB talent has reached legend status, and I don’t think it is merited. Holmgren may be a top-notch QB developer, but his ability to find QBs is overrated.

    QBs Holmgren has drafted for the Seahawks: Brock Huard, Josh Booty, Jeff Kelly, Seneca Wallace, David Greene. If you want to say that Holmgren had 0% input on the David Greene draft, that it was all Ruskell’s idea, I would disagree, but my point remains the same whether we include Greene or not. Holmgren’s track record is as hit-and-miss as anyone’s.

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