Holmgren's farewell includes tears, humor

Published on January 6, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

Life without an alarm clock begins for Mike Holmgren this month.

He concluded 10 seasons as the Seahawks coach with his final news conference, which lasted an hour and was a vintage finale.

He was humorous, joking that he won’t be fixing anything next season except for maybe a squeaky door. He was self-deprecating, referring to himself as a U.S. history teacher who got lucky. And Holmgren was emotional, tearing up as he talked about what he said to players like tackle Walter Jones and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

“The actual conversation was probably as short as any of them,” Holmgren said. “Because there wasn’t a lot that needed to be said.”

And then Holmgren stopped himself, preventing his voice from cracking. He sipped from a bottle of water before answering the next question, saying that Walter Jones was the best offensive lineman he has ever seen and the best offensive player he has coached.

Holmgren made no announcements about his future other than to say he wouldn’t be part of any television playoff broadcasts this weekend.

“I’m fighting a cold I had for about four months,” Holmgren said.

He was asked if it would surprise him if he never coached again.

“I think it probably would because it’s hard for me to think right now I can’t do it anymore,” Holmgren said. “But I’m going to see. I’m going to see how this works this year. And there’s a chance that I won’t.”

Holmgren’s successor Jim Mora will hold his first staff meeting on Monday at 9 a.m. Holmgren said he might be in the building at the time, but only to pack up his office.

“It’s his meeting,” Holmgren said. “So that transition will effectively take place then, kind of for me. That’s his meeting. I’m not going in there.”

Holmgren expects to be out of town by the middle of next week, headed to Arizona and the great unknown of a life without football … at least for now.

“I made the comment at home the other day where I’m not setting the alarm anymore,” Holmgren said. “My whole life has been pretty regimented that way, on the clock.”

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