The Seahawks will visit Green Bay for the third time – the 27-year-old franchise was a perennial guest at County Stadium before all home games were moved to Lambeau in 1995. Mike Holmgren's "homecoming" to the site of his first head coaching job and Green Bay's glory-filled ‘90s will be his second. As the first-year Seattle coach, he presided over the Seahawks' 27-7 whipping of the Packers on Monday Night Football Nov. 1, 1999.
One first experienced today will be the coaching matchup – Holmgren vs. his former assistant and protégé Mike Sherman. The fourth-year Packer coach was Holmgren's tight ends/assistant offensive line coach and left GB for Seattle with his boss following the 1998 season. The last time the teams met, Sherman was still on the Seattle sideline and Ray Rhodes (another former Holmgren assistant) was at the Green Bay helm.
Another first: Running back Ahman Green will meet his former team for the first time. Green was on the Seattle roster for the '99 contest and played on special teams but did not have a carry. About 6 months later, he came to Green Bay in a pre-draft trade that sent cornerback Fred Vinson to Seattle. The Holmgren "cast-off" has gone on to re-write the Packer record books and forge a spot among the current NFL elite rushers.
Seattle starting QB Matt Hasselbeck also may experience Green and Gold flashbacks when he takes the field today. Hasselbeck served as Favre's backup in 1999-2000. Selecting Hasselbeck late in the sixth round of the '98 draft was one of the last moves made by the Packers with Holmgren on board. The coach was already ensconced in Seattle when Hasselbeck won a reserve job here in 1999, but Holmgren eventually brought the Boston College product to the West Coast.
So far, the Seahawks haven't shown a lot of respect for their "elders." Despite the fact that the Packers were embarking on their 56th NFL campaign the same year that expansion brought Seattle to the league, the Seahawks grew up fast. Green Bay won the first three contests of the series ('76. '78, '81) but the Seahawks have taken four of the last five. Green Bay's lone win vs. Seattle in the past 20-plus years came under Holmgren during the 1996 championship season.
Maybe a good omen can be found in that one. The last time the Packers topped Seattle, they snapped a 3-game Seattle winning streak with a 31-10 win.