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Seahawks Mailbag: Put Mike Holmgren In The Hall Of Fame Already, Secondary Depth & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.


The Seahawks opened preseason play last week with a win over the Vikings, and next up is a Saturday night game against the Cowboys at Lumen Field. And with players enjoying a day off on Monday, now is a great time to open up the mailbag and answer some questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around. And remember, in addition to submitting your questions on Twitter or X or whatever it is we're calling it now, you can also ask questions anytime inspiration hits you by going to

Daisy from Tyndall, Florida asks, "Which eligible former Seahawks do you want to see inducted next into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?"

A: The world "eligible" is an important disclaimer here, because we're a couple years removed from a lot of interesting Hall of Fame discussions as players from last decade's Super Bowl teams become eligible. But we'll save those debates for later and focus on those who are currently eligible.

And for me, the first person that comes up isn't a player, but rather former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who once again is a semifinalist for the 2024 class in the coach/contributor category. Holmgren has been eligible prior to this year, and somewhat inexplicably when you consider his resumé, has been passed over. It's long past time for Holmgren to be enshrined in Canton.

In recent years, coaches with fewer wins, less playoff success and, arguably, less of a long-term impact on the game, have gone into the Hall of Fame ahead of Holmgren, and while I'm not arguing against those coaches' inclusion, it's hard to understand why Holmgren is still waiting.

In 17 years as a head coach of the Packers and Seahawks, Holmgren compiled a 161-111 regular-season record, and won 13 more playoffs games against 11 losses, taking his teams to three Super Bowls, winning one in Green Bay. In all, Holmgren took his teams to the playoffs 12 times, winning eight division championships.

Those numbers alone are Hall of Fame worthy if we ended the discussion right there, but there's even more to Holmgren's candidacy than that. While NFL fans now think of Seattle and Green Bay as two of the league's top franchises, but go back and look at where they were before Holmgren took over in each city. Actually, I'll save you the trouble of looking…

Before the Packers went 9-7 in 1992, Holmgren's first year in Green Bay, they had recorded just five winning seasons, one of them a strike-shortened 1982 campaign, since winning the Super Bowl in 1968. And before Holmgren took the Packers to the playoffs for six straight seasons from 1993-1998, they had been to the playoffs only twice since that 1968 season, and again, one of those was the strike-shortened 1982 season.

After Holmgren led Green Bay to all of that success, including back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, Paul Allen made a franchise altering move not long after buying the Seahawks, bringing Holmgren to Seattle. And just as he did in Green Bay, Holmgren changed the fates of a long-struggling franchise after coming to Seattle.

In his 10 seasons with the Seahawks, Holmgren led his teams to six playoff appearances, five division titles, including four straight from 2004-2007, and the first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. Prior to Holmgren's arrival in Seattle, the Seahawks had reached the playoffs just four times, winning one division title, and hadn't had a winning record since 1990, or reached the postseason since 1988.

But wait, there's more.

If, somehow, all those wins and playoff appearances and division titles and Super Bowl appearances and a Lombardi Trophy aren't enough for you, and if turning around two long-struggling franchises doesn't do it for you, how about his role in modernizing NFL offenses with his version of the West Coast offense? Or maybe his coaching tree, which features numerous head coaches and multiple Super Bowl winners, including Kansas City's Andy Reid, is that enough to convince you? No, still need more? OK, how about the way he helped develop multiple Hall of Fame and Pro Bowl quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre an Matt Hasselbeck.

In a letter to the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee supporting his former coach's candidacy, Favre wrote, "I know without a doubt I would not be where I am today without him. The three MVPs I was fortunate to win are a direct result of his coaching and leadership. He taught me how to play the QB position."

Young, who had Holmgren as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in San Francisco, wrote, "Mike Holmgren really reflects all these great quarterback whisperers that are around the NFL today. They all come from that Mike Holmgren tree and the way he approached and coached the position."

Even Montana, who was already an established star before playing under Holmgren, saw his game elevate to a higher level under Holmgren, winning both of his MVP awards after Holmgren became the 49ers' offensive coordinator.

"Mike Holmgren is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, who belongs in the Hall of Fame," Montana wrote to the selection committee. "… Mike was like Bill Walsh in many ways, especially the way he demanded perfection."

So yeah, let's get Holmgren in the Hall of Fame already.

And if you want to talk about a deserving player who so far hasn't gotten very far in the voting process, I would point to running back Shaun Alexander.

During his Seahawks career, Alexander became the first, and so far only, MVP in franchise history, was a three-time Pro-Bowler and two-time All-Pro, and was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade team for the 2000s. From 2001, his first year as a starter, through his MVP-winning 2005 season, Alexander averaged 1,500.8 yards 19.6 total touchdowns over a five-year span, and by the time his Seahawks career ended, he set the following franchise records that all still stand:

o Career Rushing yards: 9,429

o Single season rushing yards: 1,880 (2005)

o Single game rushing yards: 266 (2001 vs. Oakland)

o Career carries: 2,176

o Single season carries: 370 (2005)

o Career total touchdowns: 112

o Single season total touchdowns: 28 (2005)

o Single game touchdowns: 5 (2002 vs. Minnesota)

o 1,000-rushing yard seasons: 2001-2005

o 100-yard games: 37

o Longest run from scrimmage: 88 yards, two times

With 100 rushing touchdowns and 112 total touchdowns, Alexander is tied for eighth all time in rushing scores and 17th in total touchdowns, and in both categories, every player ahead of him is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame except for Adrian Peterson, who is not yet eligible. In fact, other than Alexander, every eligible running back in the top 14 in rushing touchdowns is in the Hall of Fame, as are every eligible player with 100 or more total touchdowns. Alexander also averaged 76.9 rushing yards per game in his career, tied for 25th all time and more than the per-game average of Hall of Famers like Tony Dorsett, Gale Sayers, Jerome Bettis, Franco Harris and Marshall Faulk.

Holmgren and Alexander both went into the Seahawks Ring of Honor in recent years, hopefully the Pro Football Hall of Fame is next.

Mel from Woodbridge, Virginia asks, "Since the Seahawks have an abundance of depth at defensive back, do you see one of them getting traded for other roster needs?"

A: You are correct that the Seahawks currently have a lot of depth in their secondary. As Pete Carroll noted on Saturday, the Seahawks currently feel like they have four players capable of starting at the two outside spots in Riq Woolen, Michael Jackson, Tre Brown and rookie Devon Witherspoon, though Witherspoon has also been getting a lot of work in the nickel spot, so he very well may end up playing there to start his NFL career, meaning the Seahawks could have three of those four on the field at once. Then there's Coby Bryant, who played in the nickel spot last year, and is now also working at safety in this year's camp. The Seahawks also have Artie Burns, who was a starter earlier in his career and was working with the No. 1 defense in camp last year before injuries opened the door for Jackson and Woolen to take over starting roles they held onto throughout the year.

At safety, the Seahawks are expecting a trio of Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Julian Love can be a strength of their defense once Adams is back, and they also have young depth they like there in Bryant, Joey Blount and rookies Jerrick Reed II and Jonathan Sutherland.

That's 12 players I just listed, and if you're familiar with NFL roster construction, the Seahawks likely won't be able to keep 12 defensive backs on the 53-man roster without leaving themselves thin at other positions.

And that brings us to the initial question about a possible trade. While the Seahawks probably aren't actively shopping players in the middle of camp while competitions are still ongoing, John Schneider and company are always going to listen to any offers that could come up, particularly as we get closer to the start of the season and the deadline to reduce the roster down to 53 players.

Trades are somewhat common just before roster cuts as teams put out feelers to gauge interest in players they are preparing to release, though those trades usually only result in late-round picks as compensation, or perhaps a player swap with a team that has depth at a different position.

And of course, having a lot of depth is always a good thing as some level of injuries is all but guaranteed throughout a season. Because of that, the Seahawks aren't going to look to offload good players just because they can't all start, but again, Schneider will always listen if teams are calling, so a trade at a position of strong depth is always a possibility.

@aaaveleyrahawk asks, "What will Dareke Young's role in the offense be? I'd like to see a lot of him, but it'll be hard considering the competition."

A: First off, there is the question of Young's health before focusing on his role in the offense. Carroll said the second-year receiver is dealing with a groin/hip injury, and while he is improving, they had not, as of the last time Carroll talked to the media, ruled out a sports hernia issue that could require surgery.

If Young can avoid that fate and return soon, he would head into the season a safe bet to make the roster, especially given his standout play on special teams as a rookie, and would be competing to be the No. 4 receiver behind DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Dee Eskridge would be in that mix as well but will serve a six-game suspension to start the season).

As we saw late last season as Young started to earn more playing time on offense, the Seahawks would like to find different ways to get Young the ball in his hands. A former running back in college before moving to receiver, Young has a combination of speed, size and playmaking ability that potentially makes him a fun chess piece for offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. In limited playing time last year, we saw Young carry the ball on jet sweeps and even line up at fullback. The addition of Smith-Njigba makes it harder for Young and any other receiver not named Metcalf or Lockett to get on the field, but when he's healthy, Young will definitely be in the mix to carve out a role on offense.

@SeattleSeaThink asks, "Devin Bush career resurgence?"

A: We shouldn't overact too much to one preseason game, especially one in which both teams rested most of their starters, but Devin Bush was indeed one of the best players on the field on Thursday night.

"He played a really good football game," Carroll said. "One of the real standout guys. He played really well on special teams too, which he doesn't have any experience in, he hasn't done that before. So his first time out was really impressive."

So, what lies ahead for Bush in 2023? The Seahawks hope that an opportunity with a new team can help Bush take a leap in a career that started with a lot of promise for the former first-round pick. In 2019, Bush set a Steelers rookie record with 109 tackles, finished third in defensive rookie of the year balloting, and looked well on his way to a great career, but a torn ACL early in his second season derailed that momentum. Bush recovered to start 28 games over the next two seasons, but became a free agent after the Steelers declined his fifth-year option, and the Seahawks saw him as a perfect fit to pair with Bobby Wagner at inside linebacker. Yes, whenever Jordyn Brooks returns from his own knee injury, there will be some things to sort out, but for now Bush is expected to have a big role in Seattle's defense and has been making a good early impression. It also can't hurt that Bush, who is still only 25, is learning from a future Hall of Famer in Bobby Wagner.

"He's one of those guys you kind of just sit back and watch, you just watch how he works," Bush said. "He's one of the first ones in the building. His prep is everything, the way he gets ready for practice the way he gets ready for meetings, the way he gets ready for games. You can just tell that he's one of those guys; he's a do-it-right guy. He's always got football on his mind."

Steve from Upper Marlboro, Maryland asks, "Which Seahawks coach could make a transition to managing an English soccer team ala Ted Lasso?"

A: I've covered this in past mailbags, but there’s definitely some Pete Carroll in Ted Lasso—the endless optimism, the focus on helping players be their best selves as humans before players, the reverence for John Wooden—and in fact Jason Sudeikis has said in interviews that Carroll is one of the many coaches he drew inspiration from in creating the character. I asked Carroll about that at the combine last winter and he joked that he was not consulted on this, but liked the idea of a fictional version of himself coaching soccer… er, football… across the pond.

So yeah, that's the obvious answer. Oh, and since our coach needs a loyal assistant coach to go with him if we're sticking with the Lasso formula, Carl "Tater" Smith would be a heck of a lot of fun in this imaginary scenario. And if we need a veteran player to transition to a coaching role in later seasons, Nick Bellore would be a fun addition. Ted Lasso is a comedy, after all.

@TodaySeahawks asks, "What are the chances Jamal Adams is ready for the season opener, and is there going to be a massive rotation at DB throughout the year with all the talent we have?"

A: When it comes to Adams' health, Carroll repeatedly has said that he and linebacker Jordyn Brooks are doing well in their rehab, and that they're able to run hard, cut, etc., but are still working their way back into football shape before they start to practice. With almost four weeks until the season opener, this is still time for either player to get back and get ready for the opener, but until they are off the physically unable to perform list, it's impossible to say if the opener is realistic or not.

As for the depth at defensive back and possible rotations, I don't see the Seahawks constantly rotating players into one position, e.g., rotating players throughout a game at, say, left cornerback. But having a lot of versatile defensive backs who can play different safety spots or play in the slot, I do think we could see the Seahawks utilize multiple variants of nickel and dime packages. But more than anything, having that much talent and depth at cornerback and safety should help the Seahawks maintain a high level of play on the back end of their defense if injuries come up during the season.

Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seahawks' preseason debut against the Minnesota Vikings on August 10, 2023 at Lumen Field. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.

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