Mike Holmgren always said that when the 2008 season was over he wanted to return to his home in the Phoenix area and ride his motorcycle.
Thanks to the club for which he walked the sidelines for the last 10 seasons he’ll have a new bike to break in.
After Holmgren’s final full practice as coach of Seattle on Friday, eight-year Seahawks’ veteran Bobby Engram stood up to address the team.
As Engram was talking, injured guard Mike Wahle roared into the indoor practice complex on a brand new, limited edition 2009 Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson to the cheers of the players.
“They told me (Engram) wanted to talk to the team at the end of practice,” Holmgren said. “I thought it was going to be a pep talk. I didn’t think it was this.”
Holmgren then hopped on the bike for a short test drive with the team roaring in approval. Each position group then circled around the bike for a photo with the coach.
“It’s a good thing to be a part of and coach deserves it,” Engram said. “As a guy who has been around him a lot, just talking to these guys, we felt we had to do something special.”
Engram signed with Seattle in 2001 when Holmgren was both coach and general manager and has been part of all four of the Seahawks’ West titles.
According to a local Harley-Davidson dealership, the model retails for close to $40,000.
“It’s just a token of our appreciation and just thank you,” Engram said.
After practice last Friday, before his final home game last Sunday, the team presented him with the Steve Largent Award, an honor usually given to a player.
“I thought the Largent Award was enough, that was plenty,” Holmgren said. “That itself was enough, but this was – I don’t know what to say – it’s really something.”
His players felt that he deserved more.
“What do you give a guy who you feel has it all?” Engram said. “We didn’t want to give him anything cheesy, but something that can be remembered and something memorable that he’s going to honestly appreciate for a lot of years and think about it.
“We wanted him to have that association with this organization and these guys and what we kind of went through and what we accomplished together.”
The Seahawks made the playoffs in six of Holmgren’s 10 seasons as coach and reached the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history in 2005. His .541 winning percentage is second in team history only to Chuck Knox among coaches with at least one full season.
“I’m touched by it,” Holmgren said. “This is really a nice Christmas present.”
Notes: Matt Hasselbeck did not practice Friday and was questionable for the season finale against Arizona on Sunday. Holmgren said earlier this week that Hasselbeck would be Seattle’s emergency quarterback and would not be available to start. … Seneca Wallace will get his eighth start of the season will start in place of Hasselbeck, the first time since 2000 that Hasselbeck hasn’t started the majority of the Seahawks’ games. Jon Kitna started 12 games for Seattle in 2000, the year before Hasselbeck came to the team from Green Bay. … Will Herring will get his second consecutive start at linebacker with both Leroy Hill and D.D. Lewis out because of injuries.Seahawks 12th Man Army has now gone mobile! Go to http://www.noticeorange.com/r/Seahawks12thManArmy to get an app for your phone. It's free and it has alerts so that you'll know whenever Seahawks 12th Man Army has anything new. What could be better?
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