Behind Enemy Lines: Mike Holmgren

The Seattle coach talked about Jim Zorn, his efforts to keep him as well as his final season in Seattle.

Q: What do you think of the job Jim has done?
A: How about that, huh? It's good to see him do that; he's one of my favorite guys of all time. He's doing a great job and I'm proud of him.

Q: Did you think he had it in him?
A: Oh, sure. I think all of us were maybe surprised because of the way it happened, but he had worked very hard to position himself to at least get a chance and that's all any of us could ever do. At the same time in the years he was with me he got better and is clearly doing a good job.

Q: Did you fight to keep him?
A: I did. I brought him in my office and said Seattle is your place, you've got to be here. But they had made some decisions and he wanted to call plays and he would be the coordinator and that wasn't going to happen here. He came in and said I'm taking the job as coordinator and I said, well, good luck because I know it's what he wanted to do. If I had had any more bullets in my gun I would have fired them [to keep him], but I didn't have any more bullets.

Q: Do you think you could have kept him if this wasn't going to be your last year?
A: I'm not sure about that because if I came back, my staff20would be intact and I have a coordinator and he wanted to call plays. I would have tried to talk to him some more and pay him more money and do what we could to keep him here. I did that with Reid and Gruden, to keep them on the staff another year or two. But he wanted to call plays. That was a big thing with him and, shoot, he ended up being the head coach.

Q: Do you recognize some of the plays?
A: I recognize some of the stuff, I sure do. Jim always had a million ideas. He's very creative. His challenge was to funnel all that creativity into a young quarterback.

Q: Did you ever look at his drills and think, ‘What the hell is this?
' A: All the time. I'm not a big props guy and he has balls and brooms and all sorts of stuff. I was just hoping no one ever gets hurt. I used to say all that is great, does it have anything to do with playing quarterback or are you just in the park playing? He assumed me and he had a reason for doing all that stuff. The players like it and it broke up practice for them and plus they get some good stuff out of it.

Q: Are you having any fun this season?
A: Uh, yeah, I think it's been painful but the idea of going on the field and coaching and working, I've always enjoyed that part of it. The wins and losses, this is new territory for me. But I'm learning stuff about myself and I hoped this last year would be different. But I'm one of the fortunate ones. I have no complaints. The game has been awesome to me. I feel bad for the players and fans because we had such high expectations this year.

Q: Will it be strange to see Shaun Alexander playing for another team?
A: It's a little different. It wouldn't be the first player that that's happened to with me. But certainly a player of his caliber, that doesn't happen all that often. He's one of the good guys in this business. I wish him well.

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