The Green Bay Packers are fresh off their biggest win of the 2009 season after a 17-7 win over Dallas Sunday afternoon and on Wednesday rumors started to surface about former head coach Mike Holmgren.
Could the Packers be looking to go back to the future?
I was told (via e-mail) that Holmgren had bought a house (or property) in Green Bay. It was then posted on PackerChatters.com (check my links to the right for their link) and later on a variety of Packers websites. I then received a e-mail that said the following:
...word is circulating that the Packers are quietly talking with Holmgren. The conventional wisdom is Cleveland will hire Holmgren but they said Green Bay has had some interest.
The content also included the names Mike Solari (Seahawks current OL coach) and Jim Lind (Tight Ends) coming with Holmgren (whether it is Cleveland or Green Bay)
Well, that is my rumor sun of the day. I have read nothing in print.
I have also heard that Mike McCarthy's job security is as hot as ever. Multiple people have told me that the Packers Board of Directors want the team in the playoffs this year and if they fail to make it, McCarthy could very well be fired.
Bringing back Holmgren makes sense for the Packers in many different ways. Holmgren brings a résumé that players have to respect. He has a Super Bowl win, and two other appearances. He is a proven winner in Seattle and more importantly in Green Bay. But perhaps the most important aspect to this rumor is Holmgren's working and personal relationship with Packers GM Ted Thompson.
Holmgren is known for his offenses. He would have some nice, young, talented toys to play with in Green Bay in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, receivers Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson and the ageless one Donald Driver. He would also have a budding star in promising tight end in Jermichael Finley.
His defense would have some really good pieces as well with BJ Raji, Cullen Jenkins, Johnny Jolly, Nick Barnett, Clay Mathews III, AJ Hawk, Al Harris Nick Collins and Charles Woodson. He would also have a very solid defensive staff led by Dom Capers.
He would have to address the Packers offensive line, running back and strong safety, but my point is the Packers have talent and are not that far off from being a team that can compete for a Super Bowl title.
But the Packers are not the only team that wants Holmgren. http://profootballtalk.com is reporting that former Cleveland Browns great Jim Brown said "At this moment, right now Randy Lerner is meeting with one of the great football minds in this country," Brown said at a Tuesday luncheon. "And if things work out, that person will come in to run the football side of the Browns."
When asked if it was Holmgren Brown replied "You said it . . . and I heard it.
But I have a hard time seeing Holmgren going to Cleveland because of the type of house cleaning that would have to be done on his part. He has question marks at almost every position, including head coach were Eric Mangini says he will have input on who the new GM would be.
If the Holmgren to Green Bay rumors are true, one could assume that Solari would be the offensive coordinator (even though Holmgren would call the plays) and Lind the tight ends coach. Jimmy Robinson and Edgar Bennett would more than likely be kept while Tom Clements, the current QB coach, would be up in the air.
As for Mike McCarthy, I think it is somewhat unfair that these rumors are popping up right now. His team is still playing hard for him and they have a chance to go into the Monday night game against Baltimore 7-4 and in the Wild Card hunt.
But it seems McCarthy is feeling the heat. It was reported last week that a maintenance worker was fired after he said something to McCarthy. I also reported last week that he was "short, distant and seemed out of it" during the taping of his T.V. show.
Holmgren was quoted recently in the Chicago Tribune "I had to see how I'd feel about not working and what I've learned about myself is I miss it," Holmgren said. "I'm a football coach. It seems the league is cyclical and hiring young guys ...but experience in the NFL still means a heck of a lot."
Many people think Holmgren may replace Ted Thompson as the Packers GM, but I don't think that is the case. The working relationship the two men have works in Thompson's favor. Also, Holmgren didn't set the NFL world on fire as a GM in Seattle. Holmgren would have more of a say with personnel then McCarthy currently has.
There are six Super Bowl winning coaches available this off-season. Holmgren, Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, Brian Billick, Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan. You can also add Mike Martz and Marty Schottenheimer to the list of high-profile coaches that is available. You don't often have a crop of head coaches like that available to run your team, either on the field or in some cases in the front office.
Out of all the names listed above, Holmgren is the best fit. His relationship with the Packers Board of Directors and his place in Packers history make him a logical fit. He was a major part of a team that resurrected the Packers after years of being a team stuck in the Lombardi era.
When it is all said and done it will more than likely come down to Holmgren. If he wants to go to work right away, then he will end up in Cleveland as the GM. If he wants to wait until the end of the year then it would look as if Green Bay could be the landing spot.
But one thing is for sure, since the rumor is out there and there apparently has been a discussion by the Packers, something may happen. Whether it is Mike Holmgren or not, and that is not a good sign for Mike McCarthy, because where there is smoke there is usually some type of fire.