Sunday, July 19, 2009

Did Holmgren Mail It In Last Season?

by: William P. Tomisser

According to Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio, Holmgren mailed it in as the Seahawks skidded to a 4-12 season. Mike Sando comments on the allegations here.

Said Cowherd on Holmgren:

"A source told me late, like Week 13 or Week 14 in the NFL season, a source that does not want to be identified on this network, that Mike Holmgren had essentially mailed it in. Very little energy, looking forward to retirement.
Putting in 9-5 hours. Bill Belichick is going 5-9 p.m. There was very little
cohesiveness. He was on his way out before Jim Mora took the job over. And it was sort of a un-energized last year in Seattle. Not that he mailed it in by
your standards or my standards, but by NFL standards, 17 hours a day, Holmgren wasn't there emotionally."

Did any of you Addicts feel that Holmgren had lost the fire later in the year when it became apparent that he wasn't going to be able to salvage the season? In your eyes, did Holmgren give up and just play out the rest of the season?

Another point that Sando brings up is that Holmgren was a teacher and much more interested in teaching new players his system than trying to tailor his system to the specific talents of his players. Sando suggests that as the reason it took Holmgren so long to get it going in Seattle. He needed to get players who could play his system on board and trained and it took him a number of years to do that. Says Sando:
"Holmgren was much more concerned about teaching his system than adjusting his system for the upcoming opponents. I thought this hurt the Seahawks during Holmgren's first few years with the team, before the talent level was sufficient to make that system work."

It was pretty obvious to everyone that Holmgren was worn out by the end of last season. You could see it on his face and that haggard look just didn't go away during the last few games. For a coach who had known great success wherever he went and in Seattle particularly, that must have been a huge weight to bear. It was supposed to be his swan song but it became his death march instead as far as coaching went. It would have been an almost superhuman effort to continue to push himself as hard as he could under those circumstances.

The question remains. Did Holmgren mail it in early last season when he saw that the season was lost? Sando concludes his piece with this thought:
"The last thing to remember is that the 4-12 season definitely wore on Holmgren. It wore on everyone. By the end, he didn't have a whole lot left. It was probably the most draining year of his career from a football standpoint. I'm sure that affected his energy levels during the season. Throw in his lame-duck status and I'm sure he wasn't as effective as he'd been in the past. I would not necessarily call that mailing it in."

So I'd like to hear from you Addicts. Did Holmgren mail it in last season as Cowherd suggests? Or did he just wear out and have an all too human letdown?