Holmgren to decide future with Seahawks soon, perhaps next week

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks won't have to wait long to find out whether Mike Holmgren will remain their coach.

Holmgren said during his annual season-ending news conference on Tuesday that he could "perhaps" decide by next week, after he spends a few days talking with his wife, Kathy, at their home in Arizona.

"We're going to bang around some stuff and talk about the future. We have our lists (of pros and cons) made up," he said, adding he is or soon will be seeking the advice of Joe Gibbs, Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells and Tony Dungy.

All of whom have recently retired from coaching or, in Dungy's case with Indianapolis, is considering it.

Holmgren, 59, has the most coaching victories in team history. He sees three options for next season: retirement, which he's contemplating for the third consecutive offseason; completion of the final year of the two-year contract he signed soon after the Seahawks' loss in the Super Bowl 23 months ago; or something he prefers over option two, something he called "longer, larger" -- a new extension to stay in Seattle.

When asked if the Seahawks have already offered him a new deal, Holmgren said, "Let's not get too specific."

Holmgren, speaking three days after Seattle's fifth consecutive postseason appearance ended with a 42-20 loss to Green Bay in the NFC divisional playoffs, also said leading receiver Deion Branch will have knee surgery that's likely to keep him out past next season's opener.

Branch sought the second opinion this week of noted specialist Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the team's diagnosis of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Branch's left knee. Andrews will perform the surgery in Alabama "soon," Holmgren said. The coach estimated that the former Super Bowl MVP, injured away from the ball early in the loss to Packers, will miss at least nine months.

Shaun Alexander, the league MVP two seasons ago who just finished his least productive season as a starter, will have surgery to repair the left wrist he broke in the season opener. It never healed under the cast with which he played the rest of the season, as doctors hoped.

Holmgren also said All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones, who turns 34 Saturday, is likely to have surgery on his chronically sore left shoulder for the second consecutive offseason.

As for his own health, Holmgren scoffed at Sunday's revelation from linebacker Julian Peterson that the coach had a gall bladder problem this season.

The coach said health is not a factor in the decision on his future.

"No, I'm good," Holmgren said, shaking his head and playfully calling his Pro Bowl linebacker "Dr. Peterson."

Holmgren hinted for weeks that the 2007 season might be his last. He told his players Sunday in a final team meeting that he needed time to clear his head before deciding whether he would return.

Holmgren's 16-season record with Green Bay and Seattle, where he arrived in 1999, is 170-110, one win behind Gibbs for 10th in NFL history. Holmgren is 86-68 in nine seasons with Seattle. He passed Chuck Knox this season for most victories by a Seahawks coach.

Seattle won its fourth consecutive NFC West title in 2007 and will return the core of its team next season. Five of the Seahawks' six division titles have come with Holmgren.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.