Ensure Stability at Head Coach
How to reconcile my gut reaction about the actions of last week with this:
While both coordinators and assistant head coach Jim Mora are still around, Mike Holmgren is a lame duck, Matt Hasselbeck's Linus-like security blanket, Jim Zorn, has been signed away by the Washington Redskins and a potential power struggle may already be brewing behind the scenes. Or, maybe more accurately, coming to a head.
From day one, Tim Ruskell has been ruthless reshaping the roster in his own image. Holmgren, Seattle's former GM, and he have never seen eye to eye. But winning, as it can only do, has bridged the division and allowed Seattle to more or less peacefully transition from one very strong and starkly different personality and philosophy to another. The danger is in the hungry ones beneath the pile, the one's less willing to acquiesce in the name of solidarity, the one's with much left to accomplish and even more to prove. Specifically, I'm talking about wannabe head coaches Gil Haskell and James Lawrence Mora.
I picked this out of Clare Farnesworth's recent column, the bolding is my own.
If Mora is considered the coach to be, something we can't be certain about and has not been spoken of directly, but seems at least a very real possibility, then Zorn and everyone else is preemptively out of the running. Everyone else includes Haskell, who's 63, has been in the league 25 years and is known to covet a head coaching position. Haskell, who handled much of Holmgren's head coaching duties in 2007, might feel slighted by Ruskell recruiting from outside the organization a former head coach and all but named successor. The question is, then, would Mora feel comfortable working under Haskell? Would Haskell feel comfortable working under Mora? Does Haskell consider this a fair contest, or does Mora's youth, head coaching experience and ties to Ruskell make him a shoe in? And, perhaps most importantly, does Holmgren's lame duck status create a power vacuum that allows all this dust to kick up?
Zorn likely knew that the Skins' offensive coordinator job was his, and the sizable raise it promised, but flew back to Seattle because he wanted to stay with the Seahawks organization. His ties to Seattle and the Seahawks are stronger than Haskell's, whose ties are mostly to Holmgren. While much of this is idle speculation, the Hawks coaching situation as it is now and as it likely will be entering the 2008 season looks anything but stable. Seattle has two assistant head coaches, one on offense, one on defense, one a Mike Holmgren loyalist, another with strong ties to Tim Ruskell, each with aspirations of being Holmgren's successor, but maybe only one with a legitimate shot. That's a lot of tinder sticks. I only hope that class and winning keep this fire from starting.