All doors open for Holmgren after ‘sabbatical’

The Mike Holmgren Farewell Tour is in its second week. As you know, the Seahawks coach (San Francisco native and former 49ers offensive coordinator) is coaching his final season in Seattle.

The Mike Holmgren Farewell Tour is in its second week. As you know, the Seahawks coach (San Francisco native and former 49ers offensive coordinator) is coaching his final season in Seattle.

He has already announced that he will step down after this season. Here’s how he described his situation in a conference call with Bay Area reporters:

“This season is business as usual. We made the decision, Kathy and I, to come back for one more year, and I’m at peace with that. Then, Jimmy (Mora) is going to be the head coach next year.

“I’m going to take some time off. And I made that promise to my family. And then I’m looking at it as a sabbatical leave. I’m going to take some time off and see how I feel. I don’t know right now how I’m going to react to that. And make some decision after that.

“This season, it’s business as usual and I coach like I coach and I act like I act, and I want to do well.”

The thing I wanted to know is if there are any restrictions on where he can or can’t go for work after his sabbatical. His answer: “No.”

So, there you have it, Holmgren can talk to any team — even teams in the NFC West — about a return. Reportedly, what he desires is more of a football operations/GM role.

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When asked at the beginning of the call how he was doing, Holmgren quipped that he’s just trying to find 22 starters for the game.

The Seahawks signed receivers Samie Parker and Billy McMullen today, Holmgren said. McMullen has played for the Eagles and was with former Seahawks assistant Jim Zorn most recently in Washington. He should be able to step in immediately. It might take Parker a little longer to get up to speed. Backup WR QB Seneca Wallace might see some action at wide receiver, too. Veterans Deion Branch, Bobby Engram and Nate Burleson are all out.

Holmgren said on the surface, it might appear as if the running game will carry the Seahawks this week, he said each game unfolds in a different way.

–Holmgren commented on Alex Smith, saying in 2006 he thought Smith played very well against the Seahawks. He remarked that Smith was very young and he thought, “He’s getting it.” Holmgren said he’s rooting for Smith to make a healthy return and have a good career.

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C Eric Heitmann (shoulder) and CB Donald Strickland (knee) will be held out of practice as a precaution. Both are expected to be fine to play in Sunday’s game.

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