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Seahawks reportedly to sign Holmgren

Published Sep. 28, 2005

Mike Holmgren likely coached his last game with Green Bay on Sunday, and he is expected to be named the new coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks, the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.

San Francisco coach Steve Mariucci, who is taking his team to a second-round game at Atlanta, is expected to finally sign the long-term contract extension with the 49ers that has been sitting on his desk for weeks.

After the Packers' 30-27 loss to San Francisco, Holmgren refused to address reports about his imminent departure from Green Bay, where he has coached since 1992.

"Right now, I'm not going to deal with that," said Holmgren, who has a clause in his contract that gives him a 21-day window to sign with another team if it offers him the dual job titles of coach and general manager.

Curiously, Holmgren spoke of the Packers in the past tense and the third person plural in his post-game news conference.

"They're going to be good for a long time," he said, and later added: "It was an honor for me to coach Brett."

Holmgren, 50, has led the Packers to two Super Bowl appearances and a franchise-record six straight playoff berths.

Packers general manager Ron Wolf, who hired Holmgren from the 49ers in 1992 and inserted the clause in his contract last year, didn't want to talk about it, either.

"It's 1999, and I've been talking about Mike Holmgren since the last Super Bowl," Wolf said. "I'm not going to comment on it now."

Packers quarterback Brett Favre has not given up hope that Holmgren might return.

"I hope he stays, because he's done wonders for my career," Favre said. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I know it's going to be a very interesting off-season."

Holmgren made an appearance in the 49ers' dressing room to congratulate them on the victory. He singled out Mariucci, his former quarterbacks coach in Green Bay.

"I'm proud of the job Steve's done here because I consider him as one of my guys," Holmgren said. "Today, I don't feel good about things, but when I said, "Good luck the rest of the way' to him, I meant it."

For weeks, there has been speculation that Holmgren would leave Green Bay for San Francisco, his hometown. With president Carmen Policy and director of football operations Dwight Clark moving to the Cleveland Browns, the deck was cleared to offer Holmgren whatever he wanted.

The speculation left Mariucci hanging. There were reports he would be reunited with Policy and Clark in Cleveland. Other reports said he would replace Holmgren in Green Bay. Mariucci grew up a Packers fan in Michigan.

REGGIE WHITE'S FINALE: Reggie White didn't watch his career come to an end at 3Com Park.

He heard it.

White's view of the end zone was blocked on Steve Young's 25-yard strike to Terrell Owens with three seconds and no timeouts left.

"I heard the roar," White said. "And I knew it was over."

White, the most honored defensive end in league history, helped guide Green Bay back to glory after joining the Packers in 1993 as the NFL's first marquee free agent. He is retiring, going out on the top of his game, if not the top of the football world.

"Losing this game hurts," White said. "But realizing I'm getting ready to go my way hurts even more. It's not going to be easy to leave these guys."

Favre shared a poignant moment with White after the loss.

"I gave him a hug and told him I enjoyed it," Favre said.

But Favre, who threw 23 interceptions during the season and two more Sunday, said life goes on without White and maybe without Holmgren.

"Reggie White can't play forever. I can't play forever. Steve Young can't play forever. It's got to end sometime," Favre said. "Reggie White had one of the best seasons of his career. It's sad."

Sad to see White's famous club move for the last time; sad for everybody but relieved right tackles and reassured quarterbacks who will get a better night's sleep knowing the 36-year-old "Minister of Defense" will never add to his record 192{ career sacks.

"He's a great football player," Wolf said. "It's unfortunate he has to go out this way and not a winner. But he is a winner in his own right. He was a tremendous asset to us."

ETC.: Charles Haley, brought out of a two-year retirement Saturday and pressed into service by San Francisco, pressured Favre into his first interception. It was the Packers' first opening playoff loss in six games under Holmgren. Favre has thrown a touchdown pass in 10 straight post-season games, tying him with Joe Montana and Ken Stabler for the second-longest streak behind Dan Marino (13). Mariucci is 18-1 at home, including playoffs, over the past two years. His only loss was to Green Bay in last January's NFC Championship Game.


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