Holmgren's return always a possibility

It was just like old times Saturday night. Edgar Bennett was the first member of the team's 1996 Super Bowl championship team to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. Looking on among the 1,000 in attendance in the Lambeau Field Atrium were former general manager Ron Wolf and former coach Mike Holmgren. It was a fun atmosphere as Bennett was honored, along with Don Majkowski, who reflected on his magical 1989 season.

But the scene also made you wonder a little about if Holmgren would ever return to Green Bay to coach the Packers. Judging by the impromptu applause (including some who gave him a standing ovation) he received when he and his wife, Kathy, entered the Atrium just before the program began, Packers fans still have a great respect for the former coach, who came to visit from Seattle.

Holmgren, very humbly, showed a great respect for Green Bay and the Packers Saturday night. During his speech to present Bennett into the Hall of Fame, Holmgren spoke fondly of Green Bay and its fans. He and Kathy arrived in Green Bay late last week to spend some time, visit a few friends, drive around and reminisce a little. It seemed clear that he had as much fun being in Green Bay to visit as he did while coaching the Packers.

It's a given that any coach in any city will say that their fans are "the best" in the NFL. But Holmgren, who coached Green Bay from 1992-'98, was truly sincere when he said that Green Bay was a "special place" and its fans are the best in the NFL. Holmgren, who spent a good portion of his presentation reflecting on his time here and describing his admiration for the Packer organization, has great respect for Packers president Bob Harlan. He clearly has not burned any bridges in Green Bay, and the street named after him, complete with an engraved plaque in a huge stone near an intersection, still stands.

Will the Packers consider rolling out the red carpet along Holmgren Way and ask him to return to Green Bay? Probably not because it is difficult to "go back" to a place where you've been successful. Ask Joe Gibbs. But with Ted Thompson as general manager, who knows? During his speech, Holmgren described himself as John Wayne fighting off the enemy with nothing but his shotgun that ran out of bullets when Thompson left for Green Bay in January. He misses Thompson. Will Thompson want to reunite with Holmgren in Green Bay? Will Thompson consider the same coach who molded Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Young and others to work with Aaron Rodgers?

What if Holmgren's Seahawks don't make the playoffs this season? He may be asked to leave Seattle. And if the Packers stumble under Mike Sherman? The door may be open for Holmgren in Green Bay.

Todd Korth

Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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