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Baltimore Sun

Holmgren has Seahawks twisting

And now comes Mike Holmgren again opening the discussion about possible retirement. Or maybe staying for a final year. Or even re-upping for the future.

There used to be a time when, if a team made the playoffs, the last thing on the organization's agenda was looking for a new coach.

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This year, though, Washington's Joe Gibbs unexpectedly quit. That was followed by the annual Tony Dungy soul-searching. And now another chronic leave-stay vigil is on in Seattle with Holmgren. So we could have as many teams that did make the playoffs (Washington, Indianapolis, Seattle) needing a new coach as teams that did not (Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami).

The fact of the matter is that coaching an NFL team it is an immensely wearing profession. I recall Bill Parcells before Super Bowl XXV -- we're talking more than 15 years ago -- appearing at a news conference on what was nearly the eve of his team's win over Buffalo. Parcells wasn't actually talking about quitting (even though he did, as it turned out), but there he was moaning that being in the playoffs and the Super Bowl had his team already behind the rest of the league in preparing for the league's version of free agency, called Plan B. The NFL offseason wasn't nearly as complicated then as it is today, but Parcells was dreading it so much, he couldn't even enjoy the fact that his team was in the Super Bowl.

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After Seattle's Super Bowl loss a couple of years ago, I read where Holmgren and his wife went to Las Vegas, where they saw the musical Mama Mia to help unwind. Hey, Spamalot is in town now. Monty Python always works for me.

Photo credit: John Froschauer/AP


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