Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How Will Things Differ Under Mora

by: William P. Tomisser

In the last couple of days there has been speculation by some of the players about what to expect under Mora's leadership that will differ from the way things were under Holmgren's tenure. Some players like Kerney and Peterson have played under Mora before in Atlanta and San Francisco and have first hand knowledge of how he conducts himself and practices.

One thing that was noted was that Mora is a more hands-on coach than Holmgren and should be much more involved with drills and conditioning than Holmgren who was more of an overseer sometimes, watching things from afar. Expect the practices to be much more up tempo and the players to be running from drill to drill instead of walking or jogging. Expect Mora to be right there running alongside his players.

Mora is known as a fiery coach who likes getting up close and personal with players. His aggressive style is something that attracted Grant to the Seahawks two years ago. He says that Mora's young personality contrasts with his experience--at only 47 years old, Mora still boasts 25 years of coaching experience in the league. Grant wanted to hook up with Mora in Atlanta, but Mora moved on to Seattle before he could arrange it. Mora was instrumental in getting Grant to Seattle.

Kerney talks about Mora in Atlanta inspiring players to play hard for him by taking an above and beyond the call of duty approach to players' careers and well-being. For example, Roddy White was drafted by Atlanta in 2005 and the receiver struggled in his rookie year. Mora took to tutoring White on Tuesdays by playing catch with him. It's pretty unusual for a head coach to take the time to work one on one with a player, as usually a position coach is assigned that kind of duty.

For White, the hard work paid off as he had 88 catches this season and is headed to the Pro Bowl. It wouldn't surprise me if White would do anything to play again for coach Mora, the guy who took a personal interest in his career and gave him the special attention needed to jump start that career and get him on track to become the elite player in the league that he is now.

I've heard many of you Addicts say that you wanted a young, fiery, intense, high-energy, hands-on kind of guy to be the next head coach for the Seahawks. Well, isn't that a coincidence? That's just how the players who have worked for Mora before describe him.

If the Seahawks take on the look of their new head coach next season, look for them to be more active, more intense, infused with enthusiasm, and ready to walk through walls for their new head coach. I have a feeling that Mora is going to be like a breath of fresh air when he takes the reins. He says he won't make any public statements until mid January.

I can't wait for it all to begin. After two years of position coaching and reflecting on how his first head coaching job turned out in Atlanta, Mora has to be chomping at the bit to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty again. I can't imagine how difficult it was to keep a low profile last year with all the crap going on, but Mora was good to his word. The mufflers are coming off in a couple of weeks though and we'll see what he has to say.

Meanwhile, I wonder how long it will take for heads to start rolling among the assistant coaches and coordinators?