Thursday, June 18, 2009

Revitalized Mora Ready for Another Shot

by: Mike Parker

Steve Wyche at has put up a great story and video revolving around all things Jim Mora.

By now, we're all pretty familiar with the man we've come to know as the new Seahawks head coach. We know he's has his past success, failures and learning experiences largely as head coach of the 2004-2006 Atlanta Falcons, with the high point of that stint coming in 2004. (His first year with the team. Hint hint?)

It could've gone better, of course, as the 2004 conference championship game ended in a loss for the Falcons. But in a first year as a head coach of a franchise not exactly known for high-flying success until that point, that's admirable.

Wyche also takes a more personal look at Mora, and why the decision came down from Falcons owner Arthur Blank to cut ties with him.

In firing Mora, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Mora's mistakes -- such as violating league rules by using a team employee's cell phone during a game against Tampa Bay to check on playoff scenarios, riding to a team event in cornerback DeAngelo Hall's sports car, and that fateful radio interview -- were reparable. Just not in Atlanta. If only Blank knew then that Mora's firing was just the first push of the snowball that only grew worse with the hiring of Bobby Petrino, the downfall of Michael Vick and the implosion of his team that prompted Petrino to quit during the season.
Atlanta didn't know what a great thing it had until it went away, if you ask me. Mora's focus is perfectly aligned with that of Tim Ruskell, and this is glaringly obvious for two reasons that coincide:

-Ruskell and Holmgren weren't in agreement about many decisions being made with the team;

-Ruskell and Mora are both in a "win-now" frame of mind.

Mora also has the added advantage of working with a few familiar faces on his second go-round as a head coach, including FB Justin Griffith and DE Patrick Kerney. The chemistry picked up right where it left off, and the players who hadn't played for Mora before now are getting a taste of how infectious the man's energy and attitude really are.

Mora himself is humbled, he says, by the chance to give coaching in the NFL another shot.
"I've had opportunities to coach elsewhere the past two years, even head-coaching opportunities, but had I stepped right back into a head-coaching spot, I wouldn't be as humbled as I am and I don't think I'd be as prepared as I feel now," Mora said. "When I say humbled, it's not in a way where I lack confidence. I just don't think I'd be as aware of the pitfalls of the things that could happen, still, if I hadn't gone through what I have in the past."
Even if you don't have time to read the entire story today, I'd recommend any Hawks fan watch the video. Consider it one small echo of the roar of the 12th Man at Qwest Field, but an equally resounding and satisfying echo no less.