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Seahawks Mailbag: Why Mike Holmgren Belongs In The Hall Of Fame, Deepest Position Groups & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.


The Seahawks wrapped up preseason play over the weekend with a 27-0 win over the Chargers, and now they turn their attention to their September 12 regular-season opener against the Colts. Players return to practice on Tuesday after enjoying a couple of days off, and teams also must trim rosters to 53 players by Tuesday afternoon, but before all of that takes place, it's time once again to open the mailbag and answer question 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.

Duke Gressett from Puyallup asks, "Why isn't Mike Holmgren in the Hall of Fame?"

A: Well, Duke, that's a great question, because Holmgren definitely has a Hall of Fame-worthy resume, and yet he is still waiting while coaches with less impressive credentials are in the Hall of Fame or are finalists for next year's class.

It was announced last week that Holmgren, as well as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, will go into the Seahawks Ring of Honor this season, which is a very high honor in its own right, but a coach with Holmgren's record, and who had the kind of impact on the game that he did, deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well.

Let's just do a little comparison of three head coaches without attaching names:

  • Coach A: 149-90-1 regular season record, 12-9 postseason record, two Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl win, 10 playoff berths and 11 winning records in 15 seasons.
  • Coach B: 15 seasons, 120-109 regular season record, 6-5 postseason record, two Super Bowl appearances (with two teams), one Super Bowl win, six playoff berths and seven winning records in 15 seasons.
  • Coach C: 161-111 regular season record, 13-11 postseason record, three Super Bowl appearances (with two teams), one Super Bowl win, 12 playoff berths and 14 winning records in 17 seasons.

If you haven't figured it out, Coach A is Bill Cowher, who went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, Coach B is Dick Vermeil, who last week was named a finalist for next year's class. Coach C, of course, is Holmgren, who will apparently have to wait a little longer despite more wins, playoff berths, winning seasons and Super Bowl appearances than the other two.

And look, this is not meant to be a takedown of Cowher and Vermeil, both of whom were great coaches who deserve all the accolades they get, I just can't wrap my head around the lack of recognition for Holmgren. And that's before we even get into his impact on the game and on two franchises that go beyond the aforementioned numbers.

We all think of Green Bay as one of the league's most successful franchises now, but all of that success over the past three decades makes it easy to forget that after wining three straight tiles in the 60s, the Packers made the playoffs only twice from 1968 until Holmgren led them to six straight playoff berths in the 1990s, winning back to back NFC championships and one Super Bowl. That success convinced Paul Allen to do what it took to bring Holmgren to Seattle, where he took over a franchise that hadn't won a playoff game since 1984, and that had only one winning record in 10 seasons prior to his arrival. After Holmgren took over the Seahawks reached the playoffs six times in nine seasons, won five division titles, and reached the Super Bowl for the first time in team history. Holmgren is one of only five coaches to take two different teams to the Super Bowl and win at least one championship.

Holmgren also mentored some of the best quarterbacks of his era, including future Hall of Famers Steve Young and Brett Favre, as well as Hasselbeck. And while Joe Montana was already an established star before Holmgren became the 49ers quarterbacks coach, then offensive coordinator, he did win both of his MVP awards with Holmgren running the offense.

Holmgren also has one of the most impressive coaching trees of any recent coach, one that includes Super Bowl winning head coaches Jon Gruden, Andy Reid and Doug Pederson, as well as coaches like Todd Bowles, Dick Jauron, Steve Mariucci, Jim Mora, Marty Mornhinweg, Ray Rhodes, Mike Sherman and Jim Zorn.

From the success of the teams that he coached to the Hall of Fame quarterbacks he helped develop to the successful coaches who learned under him, Holmgren's fingerprints are all over the modern NFL, and you can't tell the story of the league in the 1990s and 2000s without him, so yes, Holmgren definitely belongs in the Hall of Fame. He'll get there eventually, but hopefully he doesn't have to wait much longer.

@IamN1k0 asks, "What is one position you think will surprise fans most with its depth?"

A: If you've been watching preseason games, this might not be a surprise, but I'd point to the defensive line, which has looked really good despite some of its top players not playing like Carlos Dunlap II, Benson Mayowa and Poona Ford. Particularly encouraging has been the edge-rush depth with Dunlap and Mayowa not on the field with players like Alton Robinson, Darrell Taylor and Rasheem Green making a ton of plays over the past three preseason games.

After that I might point to running back, particularly with Alex Collins and DeeJay Dallas playing so well in the preseason, and with Rashaad Penny looking like his pre-injury self in training camp. Chris Carson will be the starter, but what happens beyond that is really tough to predict. More often than not the Seahawks would only keep four running backs, plus fullback/linebacker/special teams ace Nick Bellore, but with Carson, Penny, Collins and Dallas all looking good this summer, and with Travis Homer, a special teams standout and the best pass-protecting back, coming back from the PUP list, its entirely possible they keep all five of those backs.

@hollberry03 asks, "What position are you most worried about still heading into the regular season?"

A: I wouldn't necessarily say I'm worried, because I think there's a lot of talent there, but in terms of the most uncertainty heading into the season, I'd point to cornerback, simply because we still don't know who will be on the field in Week 1. The plan all along was to have open competition for both starting jobs, and that has been going on throughout camp and the preseason, but with D.J. Reed, Tre Brown and Damarious Randall all missing time at various points with injuries, it's been hard to get a good feel for who will win the starting jobs. Again, there's talent there and I think the Seahawks will be in good shape once the dust settles, we just don't know right now who the starters will be when the defense takes the field in Indianapolis.

@McneilWebser asks, "Who do you envision starting at tight end once Colby Parkinson is good to go?

A: We don't yet know when Parkinson will be back from his foot injury—Carroll said he hasn't ruled out a Week 1 return—and when he's healthy he'll definitely have a substantial role, but with or without Parkinson available, the top two tight ends in terms of playing time and targets are almost sure to be Gerald Everett and Will Dissly. Who actually starts more games won't matter much, and as was the case on Saturday, the Seahawks could have both on the field to start the game, but my guess is both will see pretty even playing time, with Parkinson being a not-so-distant third once he's all the way back.

@HolliWinters asks, "Do the Seahawks have best kicker-punter duo in the NFL?"

A: Well, considering the fact that Jason Myers hasn't missed a field goal since the 2019 season and has a huge leg that helps on long attempts as well as field goals, and seeing as punter Michael Dickson appears to be practicing some sort of sorcery when he punts the ball, I'm going to go ahead and say yes.

Wil Jagod from Tacoma asks, "Are the Seahawks going to implement any razzle dazzle plays in their playbook?"

A: I'm sure there will trick plays in the offense, though they're not going to show too much of that in practice or preseason games. What will be more significant than actual trick plays, however, will be the type of misdirection that the offense can use on a more regular basis, such as the fly-sweep run we saw from Dee Eskridge on Saturday night. Not only can that play be a weapon because it gets the ball in Eskridge's hands, but even showing that motion can affect the defense and open things up for more traditional runs up the middle, as defenders have to account for Eskridge until they know if he took the handoff or not.

Craig Miller from Tacoma, in a follow up to last week's mailbag's discussion on beer, asks, "How about sour fruit ales? I had a cherry sour ale that was amazing?"

A: I don't drink them often, but I definitely enjoy a good sour as a change of pace. And if I can shamelessly plug my neighborhood brewery, Flying Lion often has great sours on tap, not to mention great beers of many other varieties.

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