October 18, 2011

Closing the Book on the Holmgren Era

With the move sending Marcus Trufant to IR (and almost certainly ending his tenure with the Seahawks), and with Seattle preparing to meet the Browns on Sunday, now is a perfect time to take a look back at Mike Holmgren's Seahawks legacy.

Trufant was the last really significant Holmgren-era contributor left on the Seattle roster (with the possible exception of Leroy Hill)- With his departure, an era defined by "The Big Show" is clearly confined to our memories, and to history. Let's look at some of the raw numbers...

In ten years coaching the Seahawks, the team went 90-80 under Holmgren (including the playoffs). In addition to the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, on Holmgren's watch the Hawks accumulated 5 of their 7 divisonal titles, 6 of their 11 playoff appearances, and 4 of their 8 playoff victories. At the moment, he is CLEARLY the greatest coach in team history, and a lock for the Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame- If not for the incompetence of Leavy and Company, he'd probably be the only head coach in NFL history to lead two different teams to Super Bowl victories.

Outside of the Pacific Northwest, Holmgren is remembered for his time with the Packers, but he actually coached (and won) more games with Seattle. In addition, while he's unquestionably the #1 coach in Seahawks history, he's at best #2 behind Lombardi in Packers lore (and might fall to 3rd by the time Mike McCarthy retires). Without his successful run in Seattle, Holmgren wouldn't be the sure-fire Hall-of-Famer he is today.

Holmgren and Walter Jones are the two Seahawks from this era that seem bound for Canton eventually- Hasselbeck, Alexander, Strong, Trufant and Tatupu will probably all join them in the Seahawks Ring of Honor someday as well (and probably in that order). Coach Holmgren's legacy is one of success on the field and class, charity and grace off of it- Nothing he does in Cleveland (or anywhere else) can tarnish that legacy. He didn't just win in Seattle- If such a thing is possible, he won the "right" way.

Holmgren was less successful in Seattle as a GM/Coach than as strictly the Head Coach, and while I wish him luck in reviving the moribund Browns, that sentiment is on hold until next week. Even though I'm sure he'd love to see Cleveland blow the Hawks out of the building, if I got the chance this Sunday I would personally thank him for the joy he brought to my life over a decade leading my Seahawks- As every Twelve should if they ever get the opportunity.

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