Multiple reports since the departure of G.M. Tim Ruskell indicate that the Seahawks have hired a search firm to assist with the process of finding Ruskell’s replacement.
Most recently, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen deduced (accurately, we believe) based on a concession by Tony Dungy that he was contacted by a search firm that it likely was the same firm as the one looking to line up candidates to replace Ruskell.
As we understand it, the firm quietly has compiled a list of potential hires. Interviews of folks who currently are employed by NFL teams could start soon; interviews of those currently working for other teams will have to wait until the regular season ends, at the earliest.
Unless it’s a form-over-substance exercise aimed at making the return of former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren appear to be the result of an appropriate exercise in due diligence, the news isn’t good for Holmgren, who’ll likely be competing with folks whose primary experience has been in scouting and evaluation and things that Holmgren wasn’t doing much of while working as a head coach for 17 seasons.
The fact that he previously served as G.M. of the Seahawks could cut both ways. Though Holmgren’s leadership as General Manager resulted in the addition of players like Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck, and Steve Hutchinson, Holmgren was nudged out of the position due to the perception that he was spread too thin. So he probably didn’t get much experience as a General Manager during the seasons in which he wore both hats.
Meanwhile, it’s legitimate to at least wonder whether Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke might want someone other than Holmgren, whose profane temper likely has flashed a time or two in Leiweke’s presence.
If Leiweke hopes to use this occasion as an opportunity to amass power, he might prefer a fresh face to someone who was running the football operation four years before Leiweke even became an employee of the organization.
So while Holmgren might hope to get back to Seattle, it remains to be seen whether he’s wanted there.