What Would Mike Holmgren's Return Mean For the Seattle Seahawks?

Chris CluffCorrespondent IINovember 30, 2009

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 21: Head coach Mike Holmgrem of the Seattle Seahawks waves to fans after his final home game as head coach against the New York Jets on December 21, 2008 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Jets 13-3. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

If the Pro Football Weekly report regarding Tim Ruskell is correct, could Mike Holmgren really be on his way back to Seattle after just one year away?

And, if Holmgren is indeed coming back, what then of coach Jim Mora? What would Holmgren’s return mean for the franchise?

It would certainly be another odd turn of events in a front office that has been full of turmoil this decade, going from Holmgren to Bob Whitsitt/Bob Ferguson to Ruskell and now possibly back to Holmgren.

As we have pointed out before, Holmgren was no better than Ruskell as a personnel guy. But he also certainly learned from his mistakes, and he has indicated that he would do things differently if given another chance to build a team.

In a weekend interview with Steve Kelley, Holmgren did not address his potential return to Seattle, but he previously has said he would love to come back someday if circumstances permitted. If he weren’t interested, he would have told Kelley. So his silence says he is interested.

Certainly, Holmgren knows the Seahawks’ personnel and knows as well as anyone what the team is lacking. He could come in as the general manager and, considering the Seahawks need a new offensive line and possibly a running back, the old offensive coach would certainly be the man to get those players.

But, what about the safety and pass rusher? Has he learned the importance of a decent defense?

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

As for the coaching position, it really would be bad form to come in and fire Mora after one injury-bothered season.

Under most circumstances, a new GM and holdover coach would be a bad marriage (see Holmgren/Ruskell). But in this case, Holmgren and Mora already have a previous superior-subordinate relationship upon which this new arrangement could be based, considering that Mora was Holmgren’s assistant head coach in 2007 and 2008.

In this scenario, Holmgren would be Mora’s boss again, just with each guy one step up the ladder from where he was before. And if Mora failed in 2010, Holmgren would have the power to reclaim the coaching job in 2011.

One good thing that would come from Holmgren returning is that the quarterback position would be taken care of. Holmgren definitely would extend Matt Hasselbeck’s contract, which expires after 2010.

Hasselbeck was his hand-picked franchise quarterback, and, after a rough start, Holmgren turned out to be right about him. Holmgren also has said he thinks Hasselbeck has a handful of very good years left.

So, it’s a sure thing that Hasselbeck would remain the Hawks’ quarterback for the next few years, and that would be a very good thing.

Holmgren would not be so foolish as to dump a franchise quarterback. And when the Hawks’ O-line is revamped in the offseason, Hasselbeck will get the extra couple of seconds per play that have been missing all season.

For those who think Holmgren would decide to use one of the team’s first-round picks on a quarterback, it’s possible but not likely considering (1) he thinks Hasselbeck has several good years left and (2) the Seahawks have more pressing needs. 

That said, Holmgren was at the Apple Cup last weekend, and he surely was scouting Washington quarterback Jake Locker, whose stock has skyrocketed this season under first-year UW coach Steve Sarkisian. Holmgren will end up somewhere in the NFL next year, and maybe he thinks Locker has a little Favre in him.

If Seahawks owner Paul Allen and CEO Tod Leiweke do not plan to bring back Holmgren, here’s a list of potential candidates we listed last week at the end of a piece that talked about how Ruskell should stay.

Others have thrown out the idea of Randy Mueller returning, but if the Hawks are going to go back to the past they’ll probably stay a little more recent and get the guy who helped build a Super Bowl team.

And how weird would that be?

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!