After so many seasons of trying to insulate his teams from the noise on the outside and shield players from nosey media, he now finds himself on the other side. He may be a coach with Hall of Fame credentials, but he’s simply a fan, observer and part-time member of the media when it comes to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and 49ers, two franchises he knows quite well.
“It is different. Very different. I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to enjoy every moment of it. When you’re in it, you would like to say you’re enjoying it but you’re nervous about everything.”
Holmgren knows something about playing in the postseason. In six seasons as an assistant coach in San Francisco and 17 overall seasons as a head coach in Green Bay (seven) and Seattle (10), Holmgren coached seven times in NFC Championship Games, winning five.
And while his ties to the Bay Area are strong, from growing up in San Francisco and attending Lincoln High School and working as a high school coach in the The City to serving as an assistant for the 49ers, Holmgren said he’s firmly in the corner of the Seahawks going into Sunday’s game.
“Well, I’m pulling for the Seahawks but I’m happy the 49ers are in because I think they are the two best teams and that’s the best game,” Holmgren said. “A couple of my colleagues at the radio station, I’m going to have to talk them off the ledge this week but I think it’s the best game and the teams know each other. There’s a lot of good stories from this game. It’s a good week.”
This season is the second time Holmgren has not been associated with the NFL in either a coaching or front-office capacity since 1985. After his coaching career with Seattle ended following the 2008 season, Holmgren spent the 2009 season out of football before becoming president of the Cleveland Browns for a brief stint.