Mike Holmgren led his final practice as Seahawks head coach Friday at team headquarters, then received a surprise farewell gift from the team — a cherry red Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle.
RENTON — Mike Holmgren led his final practice as Seahawks coach Friday at team headquarters, then received a surprise farewell gift from the team — a cherry red Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle.
“I’m touched by it,” a surprised Holmgren said after taking photos with players, coaches and administration employees while sitting aboard the motorcycle. “This is really a nice Christmas present. I don’t know what to say. It’s really something.”
Holmgren’s final game is Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Holmgren earlier this week discussed his plans for after the season and what he will miss and won’t miss about being the coach. In the short term, he’ll spend the next couple of weeks after the game getting his affairs in order. Then it’s back to Phoenix, where he has a home, for some relaxation and warmer weather.
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In time, Holmgren looks forward to spending Sundays at his church, where his son-in-law is pastor.
Will there be football after that?
“All my kids love to watch football and argue about who is doing what,” Holmgren said. “They won’t be phoning me up on Monday telling me I didn’t run the right plays. That will be different. It might be fun. I will be there yelling.”
Chances are Mike and Kathy Holmgren won’t be spending all of their time in the Seattle area. They’ll go to their cabin near the California coast during the summer.
“The beauty of the whole thing is I don’t know. I can wake up and say ‘Let’s go there and let’s do that,’ ” he said. “I won’t have to set my alarm. I have been setting my alarm for 45 years.”
So what won’t he miss besides the long nights of preparing a game plan during the season?
“Hopefully, next fall, around November, I won’t have a bad cold like I’ve gotten every year for the last 25 years,” Holmgren said. “It’s not what I’ll miss, it’s what I’ll gain. I’ll gain a lot more time with my family. And when I’m speaking of my children, my grandkids and stuff. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
He will miss interacting with the players and his coaching staff, but he no longer will have to give motivational speeches to his players. He admitted some of his speeches have been “duds.”
Others are more memorable. The fiery talk at halftime in St. Louis earlier this season, when Holmgren “blistered the paint off the walls,” he said, and thought to himself, “That wasn’t my proudest moment.” The two Super Bowl occasions in which he brought out a big pile of money for the players to see.
“Some of my best ones were probably when I was a high-school coach,” Holmgren said. “Because those young kids really believe what you tell them. I remember in high school, I brought in a bunch of cream puffs in a bakery box and said ‘Look, they just delivered this on our front door here, look at this. It has your names on it. They think you’re a bunch of cream puffs.’ So you know, I don’t know to this day if they think I was telling the truth or not.”
Holmgren was then asked how he’d like to be remembered by Seahawks fans in Seattle.
“That I cared about them, is one thing. And I cared about this organization is two,” he said. “And the fact that, hopefully, people think that it’s in a better spot now than when I came.
“And then, lastly, that this year’s not typical. And all the goodwill, and all the support that we’ve received from our fans, and then all the good feeling that we’ve given back to our fans and to the players in the community and all that, that’s real. Nothing’s going to change that. Next year’s going to be back right where it should be.”
• Game balls from last week’s win went to RB Maurice Morris (offense), CB Josh Wilson (defense) and FB Owen Schmitt (special teams).
• A sore shoulder might keep Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin from playing Sunday. Boldin, listed as questionable, has 89 catches for 1,038 yards plus 11 TDs this season.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org