Can the Seahawks Find the Grit to Deliver Holmgren a 2nd Super Bowl Winning Team?

Mike Holmgren has spent his life teaching, currently as Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

Holmgren started out coaching and teaching at his high school alma mater in San Francisco. Now, after 36 years of coaching in high school, college and the pros, he begins his last season with the Seattle Seahawks in quest of a second Super Bowl victory with a different team after winning Super Bowl XXXI (31) when his Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots, 35-21.

For Holmgren, already acknowledged as one of the very best coaches in National Football League history, it would be the icing on the cake as no coach has ever won the Super Bowl with 2 different teams.

Holmgren is part of a select group of only 5 coaches who have taken 2 teams to the Super Bowl and won once but not twice. The others are Bill Parcels, Dan Reeves, Don Shula and Dick Vermeil. Parcels and Shula are genuine legends in their own right Super bowl live stream.

It has been quite a ride for Mike Holmgren. His influence in the NFL is nothing short of awesome. He will be in the NFL Hall of Fame at some point in the future, the only question is will he be the first to coach 2 different teams to Super Bowl victories and world championships?

That triumph, should it happen in his final year as coach of the Seahawks, would be a long way from losing 22 straight games as a high school coach in San Francisco, a streak that almost led him to quit coaching. Thankfully, he continued on, not knowing the success he would eventually achieve.

Like touchdowns coming one after another when his West Coast Offense hits its stride, his legacy will include:

Molding future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana, Steve Young and Bret Favre (pronounced Farve) during his tenures as a quarterback coach with the San Francisco 49ers and head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

In 6 years with San Francisco as the quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator, the 49ers went 71-23-1 (75%) in the regular season and reached postseason play 5 of 6 years, won Super Bowl XXIII (23) over the Cincinnati Bengals and Super Bowl XXIV (24) over the Denver Broncos. His offense was No. 1 in the NFL in 1989.

In 7 years as head coach of Green Bay, the Packers went 75-37 (67%) in the regular season, 9-5 (64%) in the postseason, had 2 Super Bowl appearances and won Super Bowl XXXI (31) over the New England Patriots. By winning at least 1 game in 5 consecutive postseasons, Holmgren joined John Madden as the only coaches to ever do so.

At his apex, he led Green Bay from 1995 to 1998 to an NFL-best 48-16 (75%) record, finished 1st in the NFC Central Division 3 times, and had a 7-3 playoff mark. He led the Packers to 6 consecutive postseasons, setting a franchise record with a team that had just 2 winning seasons in 19 years prior to his arrival.

In 9 years as head coach of Seattle, he took the Seahawks to postseason play in his first year, breaking a 10-year playoff drought. Since then he has won an AFC West Division title, an NFC Wildcard berth, won 4 consecutive NFC West Division championships (2004 through 2007), an NFC championship, and taken the Seahawks to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance in 2005.

In Seattle’s stellar 2005 campaign, Holmgren’s Seahawks were 13-3 (81%) in regular season play (a franchise record), won a team record 11 consecutive victories, and won their first playoff game since 1984. He molded Matt Hasselbeck into a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl quarterback, and coached Shaun Alexander to the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award and an NFL-record 28 touchdowns in a single season.

Holmgren is just the 3rd coach in NFL history to lead his team to 7 straight postseason appearances (6 in Green Bay followed by 1 in Seattle), joining two all-time legends-Tom Landry and Chuck Noll.

In short, in 21 NFL seasons, Mike Holmgren has a 218-116-1 record (65%), has 12 double-digit win seasons, made 16 postseason runs, won 3 Super Bowls and competed in 2 other Super Bowls.

Gone from Seattle’s 2005 Super Bowl team are two mainstays-MVP Shaun Alexander and Pro-Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson. New arrivals include wide receivers Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, defensive backs Deon Grant and Brian Russell, defensive end Patrick Kerney, and running backs Julius Jones and T. J. Duckett.

Seattle does not have a world-beater team. It has a few Pro-Bowl players-quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, tackle Walter Jones, defensive end Patrick Kerney, linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson, and cornerback Marcus Trufant-and some seasoned veterans.

Seattle will not be picked in pre-season polls to win the Super Bowl, and it begs the question: Is this a team that has the grit to deliver Mike Holmgren another Super Bowl victory and help him go down in history as the greatest NFL coach ever?

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Read my other detailed, knowledgeable, outrageous articles on football, including:

“Famous Quotes by Vince Lombardi, Knute Rockne and Lou Holtz During Football’s Annual Bowl Season”

“How to Predict When Teams Are Overrated and Due for an Unexpected Loss”

“The Sagarin Ratings: What They Are, How to Read Them and What to Do With Them”

and my 14 consecutive weekly wrap-up articles on the 2007 College Football Season as well as wrap-up articles on all 32 College Bowl Games. Be bold and audacious, read my stuff, exercise your eyeballs as well as your brain. And, yeah, don’t forget the brewsky, tacos, sauce and chips. Find them all in my Sports link.

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