Though Holmgren always said he was only taking one season off and then would look at his options after stepping away from the Seahawks, this week’s news has made it crystal clear to every NFL team. The Big Show will be in play for every job opening in 2010 and his name will hang over any franchise pondering a change in either its head coach or general manager.
That situation rings loud in San Francisco, where the story is already getting play. But the question pertains to the Seahawks as well. Jim Mora surely will get more than one year to do his thing as head coach, but would owner Paul Allen be interested in bringing Holmgren back as general manager?
Holmgren didn’t exactly cross the Seahawks off his shopping list during a KJR-AM radio interview Tuesday, which has already led ESPN.com’s Mike Sando to raise the question of whether such an idea might fly.
Tim Ruskell is entering the final year of his contract as Seahawks’ president/GM, so this one will be ripe for speculation until or unless someone steps up and quashes it.
My thoughts. Ruskell has done a marvelous job this offseason in putting the pieces together for a Seahawks’ rebound season. He also was in charge of the front office when Seattle went to the Super Bowl in 2005.
But Ruskell has made mistakes as well, Steve Hutchinson being Exhibit A. The Deion Branch trade has been disappointing and his previous first-round draft picks have been mediocre at best — Chris Spencer, Kelly Jennings and Lawrence Jackson.
Holmgren was far from perfect in his own GM attempts, which is why the Seahawks took those duties away four years into his dual role. He hit big on the trade for Matt Hasselbeck and drafting of Shaun Alexander, missed on Chris McIntosh and Lamar King, took chances on Koren Robinson and Jerramy Stevens.
In other words, like every GM in any sport, both Ruskell and Holmgren have had mixed results with their major decisions. But the big picture is the only fair way to judge general managers and it should be noted the Seahawks have had the best run of playoff success in franchise history in recent years and both men can take credit for that.
If the Seahawks fall on their faces again in the coming season and decide Ruskell’s time is up, I’d love to see Holmgren get another shot to work in Seattle. He’s a smart football mind, a wonderful guy and an integral part of the franchise’s history.
But in the end, my hunch is Holmgren really is going to want to return to coaching and there will be more alluring — and fresher — opportunities that intrigue him elsewhere.
Sometimes it’s just time to move in new directions and ultimately that seems like the decision that will be made by both Holmgren and the Seahawks.