Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mike Holmgren: Genius or Not?

by: Michael Steffes

I think that most of us in Seahawkland agree that Coach Holmgren is pretty smart guy. He, in fact, is a coach who should end up in the Hall of Fame. However, this doesn't mean he is without flaws.

Many times each season, everyone from radio hosts to blog readers have a few choice words to say about coaches decision making in critical situations. Now you have something to back it up. Here is an article in Gelf Magazine, talking about a computer program called Zeus. Zeus analyzes coaches decision making on situations like 4th down (going for it vs punting), PAT's, and kickoffs. These are labeled "critical". Zeus says the Seahawks rank 27th, and lost 1.06 games due to decision making error last year. In a non-linear sort of way, who knows what would have happened had the Seahawks had one more victory heading into the final quarter of the season. Things might have been a lot different, for the entire NFL.

Now, I give Mike Holmgren all the credit in the world for knowing how to get the most out of an offense. But when it comes to making these types of "critical" decisions, some times his choices are baffling. Was it the New Orleans game where he could have kicked a field goal and then gone for the onside, when instead he went for it on fourth down? It seemed last year there was about 4 or 5 questionable decisions that fall into this "critical" type element. Pittsburgh was another one, at the end of the half.

So what do you think, first about Zeus, and second about Coach? And does this really matter.... The Rams finished at the top and they were plain awful last year. Maybe they should have made some different decisions. Also, what other Seahawk games do you remember questionable decisions being made?

Holmgren might be lucky, he might escape before they program a computer to rate his clock management skills....