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Divorce official: Holmgren to Cleveland

12/21/2009

The Cleveland Browns have added a strong, credible leader in Mike Holmgren.

The Seahawks have officially made a clean break from the Holmgren era, for better or worse.

It's tough to envision Holmgren, a West Coast guy with family in Seattle and roots in San Francisco, moving to Cleveland at age 61. But Holmgren's willingness to take the Cleveland job reflects the strength of his desire to again become an NFL executive on his terms, whatever the personal inconvenience.

The fact that he would rather start over in Cleveland than return to Seattle on the team's terms says plenty about the relationship between Holmgren and the Seahawks. The divorce is now official. It's amicable as far as divorces go, but it's still a divorce.

This should be fun to watch play out.

You can bet Holmgren will be supremely motivated to outperform the Seahawks. The pressure is definitely on Seahawks management to find the right leader for their football operation. If the Seahawks flounder while the Browns flourish, Seattle becomes the big loser.

The pressure is also on Holmgren to prove himself as a football executive. The assumption here is that he will not take over as Browns coach. I could see him building the team through the draft for a few years, then taking over as coach when the talent was more to his liking. Holmgren could then prove what he wanted to prove in Seattle, that he could coach and manage an NFL franchise to greatness.