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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    [size=18px]Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren[/size]

    By ART THIEL
    P-I COLUMNIST


    Regarding the Steve Hutchinson debacle:

    "We sat down after that," Mike Holmgren said of a tense meeting with all senior Seahawks officials. "That won't happen again."

    There was no visible hole above the chair at his office desk. So the spot where he went through the roof must have been repaired quickly.

    As to whether that dubious episode has bearing on whether to continue with the Seahawks after this season:

    "No. It's fixed. With all the best intentions by everyone involved ... it was too bad."

    The bungle that cost the Seahawks their All-Pro guard with no compensation infuriated Holmgren, particularly considering how he learned about it: From a reporter.

    As with any NFL coach, Holmgren by definition is a control freak who likes to call the sun each morning to order it up. So nix on surprise birthday parties, Dennis Rodman as a prom date, and 325-pound vacancies on the offensive line.

    Although Holmgren declined to parse the particulars, word around the Seahawks headquarters was that he left on vacation believing the Seahawks would apply the franchise tag to secure the free agent's services for one more season. But vice president for football administration Mike Reinfeldt lobbied instead to label Hutchinson with the less expensive transition tag, which also opened him up to offers from other clubs.

    As the payroll expert primarily responsible for keeping a Super Bowl team well below the salary cap, Reinfeldt, it was said, couldn't abide breaking his formula by paying premium dollars for a left guard, no matter how good he was.

    What no one knew was the Minnesota Vikings plotted to extricate Hutchinson by means as novel as they were diabolical.

    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."

    The poison-pill provisions in the offer made it uniquely unmatchable for the Seahawks, so Hutchinson left. Not only was Holmgren blindsided by his own front office, he was blindsided by Hutchinson, who assured him that he wanted to remain a Seahawk. Their follow-up chat, sought by Hutchinson, was a tad different than tea with the royals.

    "He had no good answers," Holmgren said. "Even bright guys like Steve, they get involved with these big contracts and the agent steers him in a direction ...

    "It's the same conversation I've had with players over the years when something inconceivable happens."

    The Hutchinson folly was the sort of piano-from-the-sky development that could make a guy wonder what he's doing standing out in the open. Holmgren isn't there -- yet.

    He's assured all concerned he will be back for the final season of his eight-year contract. But even before the Hutch business, and even before the Seahawks reached the Super Bowl, Holmgren was lingering upon a career crossroads.

    "Over the last two years, for the first time I've given thought to easing out and doing something else," he said, referring mostly to the time since former club president Bob Whitsitt took away his general manager's title. "It planted a seed in our family's mind, Kathy (his wife) in particular. I love what I do, and it's always paid the bills. But as a couple, there's a lot of things we're interested in, and that we look forward to doing."

    But last year's Super Bowl run, the reception it received locally (Detroit is another matter), and the future of a team operated by a good organization and owner is not lost on him.

    "Last year was great fun," he said. "So you have all these things weighing on you."

    Holmgren said he doesn't want to extend his contract to where "in all likelihood" he would not finish it. Nor does he want to be in a lame-duck position as he was his final year in Green Bay before coming to Seattle, which became a lightning rod for fans and media.

    Two other football positions also appeal: A return to the coach/GM combo, or a purely executive job, both of which probably would have to be done elsewhere.

    "My own ego gets involved to where a small part of me would like another crack at the (two-hat) job," he said. "But first, someone has to want you to do that. There's a feeling in the league now that that two positions makes it hard for you to coach.

    "Then there's wearing a necktie and letting someone else coach. I don't think I'm different than a lot of 58-year-old guys who've been doing the same thing for a while. I'm not sure exactly, but I think my blood pressure gets pretty cranked up on Sunday. The (GM) job has plenty of responsibilities, but it's different."

    He said he didn't mean to be vague, nor was he trying to be sly, working the house for leverage. But there was much to consider.

    "Having said all that, the club's been very good," he said. "(CEO) Tod Leiweke and (president) Tim Ruskell want me to consider staying. We're kinda talking now, I would think a decision will be made before too long."

    He made a point of insisting that Ruskell's arrival was purely an asset, and not a threat.

    "I'd like you to believe me on this: I have a great relationship with him, I really do," he said. "He's a great, hard-working guy who cares and wants to do the right thing."

    But in light of Hutchinson, Holmgren hinted he was willing to throw in on the executive decisions.

    "Not that I have all the answers, but on some things I can help," he said. "There's a lot of responsibility with that job, and some things are somewhat new. During the learning process, I can help."

    If nothing else, the money saved on roof repair jobs could be applied to a left guard.

    P-I columnist Art Thiel can be reached at 206-448-8135 or [email protected]

    Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.

    *Note to Mike- Don't go on vacation when big decisions need to be made. :violent1:

  3. #3
    Zeus's Avatar
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "ThePurplePotato" wrote:
    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.
    To be fair - if some other team had been the first to do that to pry a transitional player away from the Vikes (say - Kevin Williams, as an example of an extremely valuable Vike), we'd be pretty pissed off.

    =Z=

    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    The Walrus always pushes the blame, he needs to tuck in the blubber and take the heat for his screw up.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "AWZeus" wrote:
    "ThePurplePotato" wrote:
    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.
    To be fair - if some other team had been the first to do that to pry a transitional player away from the Vikes (say - Kevin Williams, as an example of an extremely valuable Vike), we'd be pretty pissed off.

    =Z=
    No doubt

  6. #6
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "AWZeus" wrote:
    "ThePurplePotato" wrote:
    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.
    To be fair - if some other team had been the first to do that to pry a transitional player away from the Vikes (say - Kevin Williams, as an example of an extremely valuable Vike), we'd be pretty pissed off.

    =Z=
    Yes, we would have...but we wouldn't have done something as STUPID and as CHEAP as putting a transition tag on a player we REALLY wanted to keep...Hutch left because they insulted him...the transition tag is a pure insult to a player of Hutch's stature. The Seahawks reaped what they sowed...they have no one to blame but themselves!!! F*** the Seachickens!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  7. #7
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    "AWZeus" wrote:
    "ThePurplePotato" wrote:
    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.
    To be fair - if some other team had been the first to do that to pry a transitional player away from the Vikes (say - Kevin Williams, as an example of an extremely valuable Vike), we'd be pretty pissed off.

    =Z=
    Yes, we would have...but we wouldn't have done something as STUPID and as CHEAP as putting a transition tag on a player we REALLY wanted to keep...Hutch left because they insulted him...the transition tag is a pure insult to a player of Hutch's stature. The Seahawks reaped what they sowed...they have no one to blame but themselves!!! F*** the Seachickens!!!
    Their loss, our gain.

    Had we had a player of that caliber, we certainly would have slapped a tag on him. :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  8. #8
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    I'm so sick of all the whining! The Vikes DID NOT put the pill in the contract. It was the mastemind of Hutch and his agent.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "ThePurplePotato" wrote:
    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.

    *Note to Mike- Don't go on vacation when big decisions need to be made. :violent1:
    PS Mike- Life is not fair, ref's are mean and the other teams are out to get you :lol: :lol: :lol:

  10. #10
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    Re: Hutch fiasco fries Holmgren

    "ThePurplePotato" wrote:
    "No one in their wildest dreams," said Holmgren, "thought that Minnesota would do something that no team had done in 12 years (under the collective bargaining agreement) because it's kind of unfair."


    Unfair? Boo hoo.

    *Note to Mike- Don't go on vacation when big decisions need to be made. :violent1:
    Since when was life fair?

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