Holmgren deflects San Francisco rumors
RENTON – Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren says he’s not going anywhere – for now.
Holmgren addressed speculation coming out of San Francisco that has him eyeing either a general manager or head coaching position with the 49ers, saying he doesn’t want to talk about imaginary scenarios.
However, Holmgren did not deny he would further inquire about the position after the season ends.
“Right now the plan is to stay with the plan I told you,” Holmgren said during his Wednesday press conference with Seattle-area reporters. “I’m going to take a year off, find out a little bit about myself, and that’s the plan right now. That’s how I’m thinking. And I think I’ve been consistent with that. Right now that’s how I’m looking at it.”
Holmgren reiterated he plans on taking a sabbatical from football and will spend some quality time with wife Kathy. However, his team’s nightmarish 1-5 record in his final season in Seattle, along with San Francisco firing head coach Mike Nolan this week and naming Mike Singletary interim head coach, has fueled talk that Holmgren could be the next head coach or general manager of the 49ers.
Holmgren says he’s focused on the present.
“I’ll stick with what I said and I would rather not deal in hypotheticals right now,” he said. “One, Mike Nolan is an acquaintance and a friend of mine, and I feel bad for him. Two, we are going to go down and play the 49ers, and the important thing is the game with the 49ers. … Let’s hold off on all that stuff right now, OK?”
Holmgren’s name has naturally come up with the San Francisco coaching job opening because of his ties to the 49ers, and the fact that he grew up in the Bay Area. Holmgren was quarterbacks coach for the 49ers (1986 to 1988) and their offensive coordinator (1989 to 1991), learning the West Coast offense from Bill Walsh. He honed it into his own effective offense and has used it as head coach at Green Bay and Seattle.
Holmgren knows San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan as well; McCloughan was director of college scouting for the Seahawks under Holmgren until he went to the 49ers after Seattle’s 2005 season that ended in the Super Bowl.
Also, Holmgren said he’s building a new home in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Following Holmgren’s lead, Seattle players said they’re not concerned with the rumors about their coach.
“Guys know what’s going on,” Bobby Engram said. “We watch the news, we hear things. But that’s none of my concern. I could care less what’s going on in San Fran, other than studying their defense right now.”
Holmgren had to answer the same rumors in a conference call with members of the San Francisco area media.
“For years, that was my dream job and it never quite came to fruition,” Holmgren told the Bay Area media. “But times change and right now, I think it’s been stated, and I stated it to my own guys (beat reporters) for the 27th time, the plan for me and Kathy is to take a year off after this time in Seattle.
“We’ve been here 10 years, and we love it here, and that’s the plan. More importantly, right now, I have to figure out a way to beat the 49ers. So that’s first and foremost. While I’m flattered – we have a lot of friends in the Bay Area – that’s the plan right now.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437
Seahawks coach’s corner
Highlights from coach Mike Holmgren’s weekly Wednesday news conference:
• On whether there are unexpected consequences from announcing his intention to retire after this season then working with head-coach-in-waiting Jim Mora on his staff: “I don’t think so. I’ve been asked that. The situation kind of begs the question. But I don’t think so. I don’t sense it with the players. I certainly don’t sense it on the practice field or during the game or the times it might show. I think the assistant coaches we did hire … they are really doing a great job.”
• On whether he had to warn the players about the effect the San Francisco coaching change may have on the game: “Yeah, I talked about that with them. Under normal circumstances I would talk about it more. But I find myself talking about other things. We have our own issues here to deal with first.”
• On cornerback Kelly Jennings’ psyche: “He is a tough kid, but you have to be to play the corner position. You have to know that you are going to be picked on on occasion and stuff happens. I still think that the play he got beat on the other night was unfair to Kelly Jennings. I’ll argue that point with anybody. I don’t agree with how that was handled. But he is a tough guy. When bad things happen, you have to bounce up off the deck and keep playing.”
Frank Hughes, The News Tribune