Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Updated: October 2, 10:39 AM ET
Holmgren preparing for second return to Green Bay
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- This trip back to Green Bay should be a
little easier for Mike Holmgren.
He expects his Seattle Seahawks to be focused, since a victory
would give them their first 4-0 season start. And it's been five
seasons since Holmgren jumped to Seattle after taking the Packers
to two Super Bowls, winning one.
"Time and distance, if you will, that changes emotions,"
Holmgren said Wednesday.
Holmgren coached the Packers from 1992-98, then took over as
coach and general manager of the Seahawks in 1999. That season, his
first return trip to Green Bay resulted in a 27-7 Seattle victory.
He remembered that game as surreal. It was driven by an
exceptional buildup and Holmgren was welcomed back like a hero.
He's got a street named for him near Lambeau Field, after all.
"It was very different from any other pregame I've ever had
before," he recalled. "You could hardly walk because of all the
people. It was a Monday night game. But that happened, and now it's
four or five years later. I wouldn't expect that it will be the
That's not to say the place isn't special to Holmgren. He listed
Lambeau Field along with Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and the old
Boston Garden as some of the most revered sites in professional
Holmgren's days in Green Bay were among the most successful runs
in NFL history, too. He won 67 percent of his regular season games
and set a franchise record by taking the Packers to six consecutive
"It is a special place and it will always be a special place
for me and my family," Holmgren said. "It's just a great football
environment. You get excited about playing in places like that."
Then there are the deep personal ties.
Packers coach Mike Sherman was one of Holmgren's assistants. And
while there are plenty of those men now employed as head coaches
around the league, Sherman also worked under Holmgren in Seattle.
"Mike's an outstanding coach," Holmgren said. "He's done a
great job there. He did a great job for us here. I don't think
there's anything extra that goes into the game because he worked
here, other than we know each other well."
Holmgren won't be the only one on the team charter with Green
Bay ties. Seahawks offensive coordinator Gil Haskell coached
running backs and receivers in Green Bay, and quarterback Matt
Hasselbeck was a backup to Brett Favre.
Then there's defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, who coached the
Packers for one season after Holmgren left. Holmgren said he
doesn't discuss many non-football matters with Rhodes, but he
believes this is a special week for him, too.
"His time there was too short," Holmgren said. "He didn't
have enough time. I don't know the reasons. I'm just glad he's with