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Monday, December 21, 2009
Around the NFC West: Holmgren's thinking

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times relays Mike Holmgren's side of the story regarding the former coach's decision to reject an offer to run the Seahawks' football operations. Kelley: "A Seahawks' spokesman said Sunday that Holmgren had been offered a Bill Parcells-sized contract, a four-year deal worth $3 million a year. Holmgren said that wasn't true. A Seahawks spokesman said Holmgren would have control over the selection of the general manager and the last word on whether Jim Mora would be retained as coach. Holmgren said that also wasn't true."

Also from Kelley: another version of the column featuring details about a letter Mora sent to Seahawks brass endorsing Holmgren's hiring. Kelley: "By Saturday, however, the deal was off. The money wasn't enough. The layers of Vulcan executives (Allen's senior advisers) Holmgren felt he had to pass through to implement his plan seemed too thick. And he didn't want to commit, as the Hawks wanted him, to keeping Mora for one more season. After Sunday's 24-7 loss to Tampa Bay, Holmgren hardly could be blamed if he wanted a head coaching change."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks are searching for answers. Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "You thought after last week it couldn't get any worse. Surprise. I don't know what's going on, to be honest with you."

Also from O'Neil: Seattle had zero sacks for the second game in a row. No pass rush can mean no chance in the NFL.

More from O'Neil: Matt Hasselbeck had a bad game, but he wasn't the only problem Sunday. O'Neil: "With Seattle trailing one of the NFL's worst teams by double digits at home and its offense high-centered, it was reduced to throwing the ball deep to a 5-foot-9 receiver who hasn't caught a pass longer than 9 yards since Nov. 15 and hasn't caught a pass longer than 23 yards all season." Three of Hasselbeck's four interceptions came on passes intended for Deion Branch.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Hasselbeck was "speechless" after the Seahawks' loss to the 1-12 Bucs.

Also from Farnsworth: Cornerback Kelly Jennings served as long-snapper after the team lost Kevin Houser to injury. Coach Jim Mora: "I was very reluctant to punt again because I didn’t want them to just tee off on him. You know, he’s 172 pounds dripping wet. Not your prototypical long-snapper in the National Football League. God forbid we would have had to try a field goal."

More from Farnsworth: The Seahawks have a better idea what rock bottom feels like.

Matt Pitman of 710ESPN Seattle offers thoughts and audio from the Seahawks' locker room.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says Mora wasn't being accountable when he reminded reporters that the Seahawks had a 4-12 record last season.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Branch failed to make the most of his opportunity.

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' offensive line played well for a half.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the ghost of Holmgren could haunt the organization if the Seahawks do not find a strong leader.