Ensure Stability at Head Coach
A short, subdued press conference. There's probably a better word for it than that...
Kidding aside, here are my notes, somewhat fleshed out.
The Conference was hosted by GM Tim Ruskell and CEO Tod (one "d") Leiweke
Mora Will Receive a 4 Year Contract
5 including 2008. That's pretty standard, but I ask you, what is a contract? Webster's defines it as "an agreement under the law which is unbreakable." Except in the NFL. The contract itself tells us little about Ruskell's opinion of Mora. What does, though is...
He invoked the name of Bill Belichick
High praise. It's obvious Ruskell is very high on Mora, and has been for a long time. He emphasized that Mora is a "hands on" guy, while Holmgren was more of an "overseer". He also mentioned Mora's energy, a half dozen times. Are you ready for some wacky press conferences?
This was a point of emphasis, and Ruskell went so far as to say that "enlightened companies" do likewise. Frankly, I agree. In my Offseason Checklist I listed Ensure Stability at Head Coach among my priorities. We can now check that off the list, oh, I already did.
The Hawks will be active players in free agency
A bit of a surprise to me, but Ruskell mentioned free agency multiple times. Look for some older players to leave/retire/get cut to free up some room. I have no idea who Seattle might target, but if anything is clear about Ruskell, it's that he functions from a plan. He wouldn't mention the benefit of coaching stability in attracting free agents if he didn't plan on going hard after a few.
Mora's a PNW guy
Don't know exactly what that means, but thought it worth noting. Ruskell said that Mora is a Pacific Northwest guy and implied that Holmgren is not. This could mean that Ruskell hopes to retain Mora for a long, long time.
Coaching hires are already in the works
Ruskell was elusive about this, but made it clear that at least one coach has already been contacted. It's simply speculation on my part, but I've made it clear that I think Greg Knapp may be the Hawks future quarterbacks coach and, maybe, offensive coordinator (2009).
Holmgren is likely done, done.
And I mean done. It was mentioned that Cathy Holmgren was rather vocal about Holmgren retiring, so don't put much stock into rumors about Holmgren's post-Seahawks plans. If true, good for him.
Not much else to add. Ruskell made some jokes about his and Holmgren's relationship. He also denied that Mora was preordained the head coaching job, but c'mon.
I've something, I think, pretty cool in the works for tomorrow. Just a season retro, but I'm doing something different with the format, which, with any luck will be revisited for a project I'm working on for the draft. Welcome aboard Playoffs Jr, you have some lofty expectations to live up to and a hell of a legacy to follow.