Green Bay Packers: Surreal in Seattle
When the 1-1 Green Bay Packers face the 1-1 Seattle Seahawks in Seattle on Monday night, there will be a surreal feeling to the game. Not quite the same feeling that Packer Nation felt when Brett Favre wore a Minnesota Vikings uniform and was facing the Pack, but this game still has a Twilight Zone feel to it.
I say that for a number of reasons. And not just because of the current conditions of the teams either. The Packers and Seahawks also have many connections that date back many years.
Let's look at all the ways Green Bay and Seattle are tied at the hip.
Rod Serling would be proud.
Mike Holmgren was just inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame this summer. And for good reason. Holmgren was hired in 1992 by Ron Wolf and was 75-37 in the regular season, with three NFC Central titles and six straight playoff appearances as head coach of the Pack over seven seasons.
In the postseason, the Walrus was 9-5, which included two NFC championships and one Super Bowl win.
Holmgren left for Seattle after the 1998 season and became executive vice-president/general manager and head coach. Holmgren was later stripped of his GM duties in 2002. Holmgren was 86-74 in Seattle in the regular season, plus won five divisional titles (one in the AFC West and four in the NFC West).
In the postseason with the Seahawks, Holmgren had a 4-6 record, including two losses to the Packers at Lambeau Field, and also won a NFC championship.
Ted Thompson was hired in 1992 by Ron Wolf to be part of the scouting department of the Packers. Thompson had many roles from 1992-1999. In 1992, Thompson was assistant director of pro personnel, then from 1993-1996 was the director of that same department and finally was named director of player personnel from 1997-1999.
From 2000-2004, Thompson went to Seattle to work with Mike Holmgren. Thompson was the vice-president of football operations for the Seahawks. The Seahawks went to the Super Bowl in 2005 with many of the players which Thompson had acquired by either draft, waivers or trade.
Thompson returned to Green Bay in 2005 as executive vice-president, general manager and director of football operations. Since then, the Packers have gone 67-45 in the regular season with two NFC North titles.
The Packers have gone 5-3 in the postseason in that time, with one NFC championship and one Super Bowl title.
Thompson has also twice (2008 and 2011) been named NFL Executive of the Year by the Sporting News.
Matt Flynn last game as a Green Bay Packer was a memorable one. Flynn was the starting QB on New Year's Day this year, as head coach Mike McCarthy decided to sit Aaron Rodgers before the playoffs started.
All Flynn did was to throw for 480 yards and six TDs, which established new records in the illustrious history of the Packers. It seemed that type of performance would serve Flynn well, as he was going to be an unrestricted free agent.
The market wasn't as hot for Flynn as some had figured, but still Flynn was able to sign a three-year deal with the Seahawks for $19.5 million, with $10 million of that guaranteed.
Even with that fairly costly signing, Flynn was beat out by rookie Russell Wilson to be the starting QB of the Hawks in 2012.
I realize that Russell Wilson doesn't have any history with the Packers, although some of us wanted the Pack to take him in the 2012 NFL draft. Still, most in Packer Nation are also part of Badger Nation and it was there where Wilson delivered the greatest season ever by a QB in Wisconsin history.
Wilson transferred to Wisconsin from North Carolina State and put up Heisman-type numbers in his only year in Madison. Wilson threw 33 TD passes compared to just four picks for 3,175 yards. Wilson also ran for 338 yards and six more TDs in 2011.
Wilson led the Badgers to their second consecutive Big Ten championship and their second straight Rose Bowl.
The Seahawks surprised some during the 2012 NFL draft, when they selected Wilson in the third round. Wilson would later beat out newly signed free agent Matt Flynn to become the starting QB for the Hawks.
John Schneider is entering his third season as executive vice-president/general manager of the Seahawks.
Schneider started his NFL front office career with the Packers in 1992 as an intern under Ron Wolf. Then from 1993-1996, Schneider was a pro personnel assistant before leaving for Kansas City to become director of pro personnel for the Chiefs.
Then in 2000, Schneider went to Seattle to become director of player personnel for the Seahawks, hooking up with Ted Thompson and Mike Holmgren, who he had worked with in Green Bay.
Schneider then went to Washington to serve as vice president of player personnel in 2001. The next year Schneider returned to Green Bay where he became the personnel analyst to the general manager. Schneider was then promoted in May of 2008 to director of football operations for the Packers before he returned to Seattle in 2010 to become the big boss.
Schneider is also a De Pere, Wisconsin native.
Ahman Green was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round of the 1998 NFL draft. Green then was traded to the Green Bay Packers along with a fifth-round draft choice for CB Fred Vinson and a sixth-round draft pick in 2000.
All Green did with the Packers was to become the franchise's all-time rushing leader with 8,322 rushing yards. Green also caught 350 passes for an additional 2,726 yards. Green also had 68 career TDs for the Pack.
Green was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro for the Packers.
Eugene Robinson became a Green Bay Packer in 1996, when Ron Wolf traded DE Matt LaBounty to the Seahawks for him.
Robinson solidified the Green Bay secondary that year, as the Packers had the number one ranked defense in the NFL and also won Super Bowl XXXI.
In two years with the Packers, Robinson had seven interceptions for Green Bay and the Packers went to two straight Super Bowls.
Matt Hasselbeck was drafted by the Packers in 1998 in the 6th round of the draft. Hass spent the 1998 year on the practice squad and then became Brett Favre's main back up at QB in 1999 and 2000.
Hasselbeck was then involved in a trade between the Packers and the Seahawks prior to the 2001 NFL draft. Hasselbeck was traded to the Hawks along with a 1st round pick, so the Packers could move up in the 1st round to select DE Jamal Reynolds and also received a 3rd round pick which later became LB Torrance Marshall.
Hasselbeck became a three-time Pro Bowler and a one-time All-Pro for the Hawks and also led them to Super Bowl XL, although the Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
John Dorsey & Eliot Wolf
John Dorsey and Eliot Wolf have both spent time with both the Packers and Seahawks.
Dorsey first spent his time with the Pack as a player. Dorsey was drafted in the 4th round of the 1984 draft out of Connecticut. Dorsey spent five years with the Packers at LB. Dorsey's 35 special teams tackles in 1984 is still a club record.
Dorsey then was hired as a scout by the Packers in 1991, primarily focusing on linebackers. Dorsey worked his way to the top of the college scouting department in 1997.
Dorsey then left for Seattle to become the Seahawks director of player personnel in 1999. However, Dorsey's stay was short as he returned to the Packers in 2000, where he has been ever since and is now the director-football operations for the Packers.
Wolf is currently the director of pro personnel for the Packers. Wolf has been in the personnel department since 2004 for the Packers. Wolf is Ron Wolf's son.
Wolf has worked 20 consecutive NFL drafts for the Packers and also had nine NFL internships, including one with the Seahawks.
Wolf is just 30 years old and is the youngest director of pro personnel in the NFL.
Winston Moss was an 11-year NFL veteran in the NFL, playing LB for three teams...Tampa Bay, Oakland and Seattle. Moss spent the last three years of his playing career with the Seahawks. Moss then became a coach with the Hawks in 1998.
Moss' coaching career led him to Green Bay in 2006, when he became linebackers coach. Assistant head coach was added to his title in 2007. Moss now handles that duty along with coaching the inside linebackers.
Evan Dietrich-Smith made the roster of the Packers in 2009 as an undrafted rookie out of Idaho State. Was waived in the final cutdown in 2010 and spent the first part of the season with the Seahawks and then was released when he re-joined the Packers. Was on the active roster for the 2010 postseason for the Pack.
Dietrich-Smith is the primary back up inside offensive linemen for the Packers, as Dietrich-Smith started three games for the Packers in 2011.
The Packers and Seahawks have met twice in the playoffs, with the Packers winning both games. Both games were at Lambeau Field.
The first was 2003 NFC Wild Card Playoff when the Packers beat the Hawks in overtime 33-27 behind Al Harris' 52 yard interception of former Packer Matt Hasselbeck.
Ironically, Hasselbeck had told the official at the OT coin toss that, "We want the ball, and we're going to score."
The Hawks came to Lambeau Field again for 2007 NFC Divisional Playoff. Seattle jumped to a 14-0 lead before the Packers roared back and whipped the Seahawks 42-20 in a game in which the weather looked like a snow globe was covering the frozen tundra.
The losing head coach in both games was Mike Holmgren. Ironically, Holmgren was 5-0 in the postseason at Lambeau Field as head coach of the Packers.