Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holmgren's Legacy as GM

by: Chris Sullivan

I'll start by saying that this is by no means a comprehensive post--in fact, it's not even close. I was reading through this piece by Eric Williams detailing Holmgren's last full press conference as a member of the Seahawks squad. At the press conference, Holmgren was asked what he felt his high point was in his time as general manager; he mentioned a couple of things:
Among his proudest achievements as general manager, Holmgren mentioned the Joey Galloway trade to Dallas, with the Seahawks receiving two first round draft picks in return. One of those picks turned out to be Shaun Alexander. Holmgren also mentioned the trade bringing Matt Hasselbeck to Seattle, in which Seattle received a first-round pick that ended up being Steve Hutchinson.
It could be argued that those three players (Alexander, Hasselbeck and Hutchinson) were three of the four main reasons the Hawks made it to the Super Bowl in 2005 (along with big Walt). That's not to take anything away from the defense, who had a lot to do with it too, but our offense drove that season for the most part.

Perhaps Holmgren's mistakes were obvious quickly, while his successes took longer to develop; he had his GM duties revoked at the end of the 2002 season while the fruits of his labor did not hit a crescendo until 2005. This is not necessarily intended to say that Holmgren was a GM genius, but perhaps a number of fans (myself included) have not given him a fair shake.

Also, I'm not writing this article with the intention of pitting Holmgren against Ruskell. Ruskell enters his fifth full season as GM in 2009, the same year that Holmy never quite reached. It will be interesting to continue assessing Ruskell for the next year or two and see which of his mistakes (Hutchinson, Pollard, etc.) remain and which successes come out of their development phase (offensive line, WRs, etc).

Anyway, how do you guys view Holmgren's run at GM with the Seahawks?