Still a one-way street for Mike Holmgren's team
Holmgren Way is a street in Wisconsin that ends at Glory Road. Holmgren way in Seattle is something less concrete yet rigid. Very, very rigid. Something...
Seattle Times NFL reporter
RENTON — Holmgren Way is a street in Wisconsin that ends at Glory Road.
Holmgren way in Seattle is something less concrete yet rigid. Very, very rigid. Something he reminded his team of Wednesday when he explained that there was exactly one way out of this 1-3 mess: his way.
"I put people on notice," Holmgren said. " 'Please attempt what I ask you to do, then if it doesn't work, it's on me.' "
It should be noted that it's highly unlikely the coach used the word please when talking to his players.
Holmgren's adherence to his system is about all that's left of his offense. He could be down to third-string quarterback Charlie Frye and his wide receivers for today's game could be billed as "Bobby & The Improbables." It's Bobby Engram and three guys who weren't with the team when the season began: Koren Robinson, Billy McMullen and Keary Colbert.
Matt Hasselbeck couldn't practice this week because of a sore knee and Seneca Wallace re-injured the calf muscle he hurt while warming up to play wide receiver as Murphy's Law continued to hold jurisdiction over Holmgren's final season in Seattle.
But Holmgren still sees a way through this mess. It's his way, which bends about as easily as cast iron. And what if a player tries to take some liberties with a play, tries to freelance to make something happen instead of executing it as called up?
"If they tell me that, duck," Holmgren said. "Because I want them to do it a certain way."
The man may be a grandfather, and he grew up in San Francisco and was in his early 20s during the summer of love, but there's no free-speech movement here. At least not while he's coaching the Seahawks, and certainly not when he's coming off the worst loss in his 10 seasons in Seattle.
We're about to see just how much the iconic coach can marshal out of his players against the franchise that was resurrected under his coaching tenure.
He made believers out of those in Green Bay, a skeptical bunch when he arrived. Holmgren has joked that the people in town expected this pass-first fellow from California to show up with a surfboard strapped to his car. He remembers more than one person pointing out to him that it gets cold up there in Wisconsin. Real cold.
The coach just nodded, as confident his offense would work then as he is now. Green Bay had one winning record in the 10 seasons before Holmgren arrived. He never had a losing season and took the team to a Super Bowl.
It's a little emotional when he goes back to Green Bay, a place where he won a Super Bowl, coached the team to another and has a road named after him.
But here, the Packers are like another opponent who just happens to be wearing cheddar-yellow helmets.
"The game is special because we've got to get going here," Holmgren said. "That's what makes this game special."
And Holmgren is going to try to get his team to play the only way he knows how. His way. That clenched-fist insistence upon getting his players to execute his plan is the reason there's a street named after him in Wisconsin, and it just might be the only hope the Seahawks have left for this season.
Even with all the injuries that have riddled the offense, Holmgren hinted Monday he was running out of patience in compromising what he would call because of the circumstance.
"I'm going to reach a point here where we just kind of have to not worry about it so much and just call the game," Holmgren said Monday.
Two days later, he was asked if he had reached that point.
"Yeah," he said.
Turns out, Holmgren's way is a one-way street here in Seattle.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
firstname.lastname@example.org | 206-464-2364
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.