This year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class caused a stir in Seattle. With the NFL honoring a special centennial class as part of the 100th season of professional football, there were a few surprise inductees.
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson were each given a spot in the 15-person class. That’s in addition to the five players inducted in the 2020 modern-era class.
Cowher and Johnson’s inclusion had many Seahawks fans up in arms about Mike Holmgren being left out. Seattle’s former head coach from 1999-2008 has a resume that’s on par, if not more impressive than both Cowher and Johnson.
Holmgren finished his career with a 174-122 record as a head coach. He won one Super Bowl as a head coach (XXXI with the Packers), won three NFC titles and won two additional rings as an offensive coordinator.
By comparison, Cowher had a record of 161-99-1 with his lone Super Bowl win coming against Holmgren and the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. Johnson posted an 89-68 record in just nine seasons as an NFL head coach, but he did win two rings with the Cowboys.
It’s obvious that both Cowher and Johnson were aided by their television presence on CBS and FOX’s NFL coverage, respectively. The announcements of their induction into the Hall of Fame provided emotional moments on national television that were undoubtedly used to help publicize the centennial class.
But enough with the cynicism. I don’t want to get in the business of diminishing another man’s accomplishments. However, the topic did allow for a fantastic conversation with former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. The man known better as “Mooch” was the latest guest on the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.
He understood the complaints of Seahawks fans and shared that other coaches like Mike Shanahan, Tom Flores and Don Coryell have similar cases. Still, he believes that Holmgren’s time in Canton, Ohio will come.
“He will get in,” Mooch said. “Sometimes patience is a virtue.”
Mariucci served as Holmgren’s quarterbacks coach for four seasons from 1992-95. Holmgren was one of Moock’s top mentors, and the two have maintained a friendship in the years since.
“Mike Holmgren is going to be a Hall of Famer, it’s just a matter of time,” he said. “When this vote goes on year after year, they’re going to get a good coach in there. Mike Holmgren’s resume and what he’s accomplished in this league certainly says ‘Hall of Famer’ all over it.”
As Mariucci noted, Holmgren’s legacy goes beyond his wins and Super Bowl rings.
“He was one of the great offensive minds,” Mooch said. “He was a winner. Think of all the quarterbacks that he helped develop and made successful – from Joe Montana to Steve Young to Brett Favre to Matt Hasselbeck. Heck, he coached Steve Young in college at BYU.
“Mike’s legacy is one of he was an innovator and a winner and gentleman.”
Be sure to listen to the full podcast below for Mariucci’s favorite Holmgren stories and other memories of their time together in Green Bay.