Mitch: How long you going to do this? In 10 years are you going to be the President of the Cleveland Browns?
Holmgren: Well, you know it’s hard to tell for sure. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be 10 years. We still have our home in Seattle. The kids are there. The grandkids are there. I don’t think they’re going to be moving anytime soon. Our vision is to get back into that area at some point. Exactly when that is? I’d like to see improvement here and lay the foundation here so that they can feel good about the team again before I make any changes.
Mitch: What kind of team are the Seahawks going to face this week on Sunday? Is it a good football team? Is it an O.K. football team? What’s your honest assessment of what kind of Browns squad you’ve got over there?
Holmgren: You’ll watch us play, and you know we’re a young football team. You combine the youth we have on the team and a new coach and at times we kind of look young out there. And then at other times we actually play pretty well. I think we play pretty good defense. Dick Jauron, who’s the defensive coordinator, is doing a heck of a job. Ray Rhodes is on the staff who you know. They’re doing a great job.
Offensively, we’re inconsistent. That comes with having a young quarterback, young receivers, rookie starting at left guard and all those things. But, when we can eliminate our own mistakes we aren’t bad. So, you know. We’ll see.
Mitch: How come when Bill Parcells went to the Dolphins I’d watch the games and they’d constantly show Parcells sitting in the box writhing and wrangling with all the things that were happening on the field… How come when I turn on a Browns game I never, or maybe I’m just missing the shots of you? Are you up in a box? Where do you watch the games. And the second question, how do you find it is emotionally in terms of stress?
Holmgren: I remember those pictures of Bill too. I’m in a similar situation sitting upstairs. In being upstairs I am constantly aware of the possibility that they’re going to shoot me. Get a shot of me. So really, I don’t want to be hanging out of the booth yelling. I don’t want that picture shown because to be honest with you, and I’ll just tell you this, I do get a little bit fired up up there.
I also know this. It’s not my role anymore. That’s maybe been the most difficult thing for me. After being on the field for so long and feeling like you have some control over the outcome or what’s happening out there, now I’m upstairs and I have no control over anything. I’m working through that. I’m better this year than I was last year. That’s a tough thing because that’s the chess game of calling plays and outfoxing the defense and the emotions of what’s happening on the field. That’s why you get into coaching in the first place….
Mitch: What’s it like after a game in the box versus what it used to be like as a coach? What’s it like to go home versus leaving the booth?
Holmgren: There should be a different dynamic, but I’ll tell you a story. We lose to the Bengals in the first game this year. We had some guests in town. Then we went out to dinner after the game and I’m … after a game I’m kind of quiet, win lose or draw because I was kind of drained all the time and I wasn’t real social. And people would say, “He’s not very social.”
That night I was upset because I thought we had a chance to win the ballgame. I was really kind of a jerk. The next day I went to work and I kind of banged around here and yelled at people. Then I went home Monday night and Kathy goes, “Lookit. If you’re going to act that way, go coach again. You know, if you’re going to be miserable like that, and make people miserable, you might as well coach!” (cracks up Mitch…)
I said, “Point well taken.” I’m not coaching anymore. I don’t want to be angry all the time. The emotions should be different. So, I’m working on that.
Mike Holmgren also talked about his decision not to coach again. Said the fire to be a coach wasn’t quite what it used to be. Holmgren showed support for Pat Shurmur.