Mitch Levy of KJR-AM got first crack of former Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, who of course now serves as Cleveland Browns president, with Seattle traveling to Cleveland to face the Browns this weekend.
Levy touches on a wide range of subjects in a 25-minute interview with Holmgren, so it’s definitely worth a listen. Check it out by clicking here.
Here are a some highlights.
On how long Holmgren plans on staying in his current position: “It’s hard to tell for sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be 10 years. We still have our home in Seattle. And like I said, the kids are there, the grandkids are there. And I don’t think they are going to be moving anywhere too soon. So our vision is to kind of get back to that area at some point. Exactly when that is (I don’t know). I would like to see improvement here and lay the foundation here so they can feel good about their team again before I make any changes at all.”
On the type of team Seattle will face on Sunday: “You’ll watch us play, and we’re a young football team. You combine the youth that we have on the team really and a new coach, and at times we kind of look young out there. And then at other times we execute very well. I think we play pretty good defense. Dick Jouron, who is the defensive coordinator. … is doing a heck of a job. … Offensively we’re inconsistent. And that comes with having a young quarterback and young receivers and rookies starting at left guard and all of those things. But when we can eliminate our own mistakes, we’re not bad.”
On how he deals with the emotion of the game not being on the sidelines: “I do get a little fired up there now. But I also know this – it’s not my role anymore. And that’s maybe what has been the most difficult thing for me after being on the field for so long, and feeling like you have some control over the outcome, or what’s happening out there. Now I’m upstairs and I have no control over anything really. And so I’m working through that. I think I’m better this year than I was last year. But that’s a tough thing.”
On what happened with Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans when they came to town a few weeks ago: “The Tennessee Titans are run by Mike Reinfeldt, who’s a good friend. Lake Dawson, who’s a good friend, they worked for me. And Ruston Webster, who was with me in Seattle near the end. And so before the game, I don’t usually go out on the field for too long before the game, I go right up to the box and I’m kind of low-key and behind the scenes.
“But I wanted to see those guys and say hello as much as anything. So I walked out there – this is early – and I saw them. And then I was going to say hello to Matt. I hadn’t talked to Matt. And I love Matt and he’s doing a heck of a job. …But I wanted to say hello to him, and congratulate him really and tell him how proud I was of him. And so I was talking to Reinfeldt and those guys before the game, and I said, ‘Where’s Matt? I want to say hello.’ And they go, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ And I said, “What do you mean I can’t do that?’ And they said, ‘We don’t want you talking to him.’
“And now I’m getting mad, and it’s going to be like the three stooges, I’m going to bang all of their head together. … They think I’m going to get into head – that I’m going to do something. And I just want to say hello and tell him how proud I was of him. And they’re like, ‘You can talk to him after the game.’
“So we lose the football game and he plays very well. So I say they’re not stopping me. So I walk into their locker room, and I see those guys and say, ‘Can I talk to him now?’ And they weren’t going to stop me anyway, and they say sure. So they grab him and he comes over and I say nice going. And I told him I wanted to talk to him before the game, and he said, “No, I was told I couldn’t talk to you before the game. And that was your rule. You didn’t want anybody talking to anyone before the game.’”
On whether or not he considered coaching after he fired Eric Mangini: “I said we’re going to create lists now who are candidates for the head coaching position. And we started putting our lists together of former head coaches, coordinators, college coaches or whatever. And then we were about to break up the meeting, and Tom (Browns general manager Tom Heckert) said what about you? And I said what about me. And he said you should be on the list.
“And then we talked about it a little bit, and I asked them what do you guys think about at that? And they encouraged me to at least think about it. So I went home, thought about and talked to Kathy about it. And the next day I came back and said, ‘Look, I’m not going to do this. But I appreciate you suggesting that I do it.’ Basically it allowed me to think about it one more time. And I think coaches will tell you they don’t think about that once they stop coaching, but I don’t think they are being honest because it’s in your blood. But I made the decision, hired Pat. Interviewed three really top candidates. … So I think yeah, I’m not going to coach anymore. I’m going to do this, and then when this is done, probably ride my motorcycle more and get involved in something.”