Interesting question from 56Coop


56Coop wondered in a comment earlier today:

What would things have been like had things worked out for Mike Holmgren to stay in Green Bay? Would the Packers have been a mini-dynasty like the Patriots?

What do you all think? It’s obviously difficult to even consider such a question because so many things would have been different, especially personnel-wise. So let us know your gut reaction here. Mine is simply that the Packers would have probably won one more Super Bowl (if Holmgren stayed in GB his whole career). Not sure why, but that was my first thought.


6 Responses to “Interesting question from 56Coop”

  1. DaveK Says:

    I think a couple more years of Holmgren/Ron Wolf may have created a dynasty. I don’t think Holmgren as a GM was a huge success in Seattle. Wasn’t he stripped of those duties 3-4 years back? It’s too bad that Holmgren demanded both jobs and split town because of it. In hindsight, the Packers should have promised Holmgren the GM duties AFTER Wolf retired. I wonder if that would have kept him in town. That would have kept that duo together for two more years. Of course the Packer’s didn’t know that Wolf was going to bail so quickly. I think if they knew that Wolf was going to retire that soon they would have stayed with Holmgren and then we could have avoided the Ray Rhodes experiment and the Sherman as coach/GM disappointment.

  2. ja Says:

    I’ve never been able to confirm this, but apparently when Holmgren made it known that he wanted to run an entire football operation, Ron Wolf went to the board of directors and offered to step down if Holmgren were promoted to GM. However, the board voted down the idea.

    This was supposedly revealed by Wolf during a TV interview with Roy Firestone on UpClose back in June 2001. The story was being circulated on Packer message boards back then by a fan who posted a synopsis of the interview.

    I agree, it’s definitely fun to speculate what might have happened had Holmgren stuck around longer.

  3. DaveK Says:

    That is interesting Ja. I have never heard that. A few years after Holmgren left they essentially gave what Holmgren wanted to Sherman. I would think the board would give both roles to Homgren if they had to do it over again.

  4. 3000 Says:

    I have a feeling that had Wolf stepped down and Holmgren had taken over general manager duties, things would have played out in Green Bay a lot like they did in Seattle: after a few seasons, Holmgren would have to relinquish his general manager duties and focus on coaching.

    I get why coaches are seduced by the prospect of acting as general managers, but it’s pretty plain to see that, much more often than not, it’s a horrible idea. The knowledge, approach, and analysis required for each job is pretty different, and each job requires too much time for one person to handle.

    A coach/gm is as outdated as a player/coach in all of pro sports.

  5. Bruce Johnson Says:

    Ultimately, a coach who wants to be GM also has a large ego. This may part of Holmgren’s issues in Seattle.

  6. ja Says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure that Holmgren as GM in Green Bay would have followed the same path that he did in Seattle. His biggest problem in upon arriving in Seattle was that he didn’t have a QB, and once that problem was fixed two years later with the acquisition of Hasselbeck, the Seahawks suddenly sprang to life. Unfortunately, it was too late for Holmgren to keep his GM job. He wouldn’t have had that problem as the GM of the Packers, which was already an elite team with a HOF QB. He only needed to keep the ship on course, something that Rhodes/Sherman arguably failed to do, at least for the first two years after Holmgren left.

    Besides keeping the coaching staff intact, Holmgren’s promotion to GM likely would have maintained stability among the personnel staff as well. But as it turned out, Mike Reinfeldt, Ted Thompson and John Dorsey followed Holmgren to Seattle. With so many brilliant football minds sticking together in Green Bay, who knows what might have been.

    I agree that the GM/HC job is difficult for one person, but it can be done, as shown by guys like Belichick, Reid, and Shanahan, all of whom have taken their teams to the Super Bowl which such dual power. Perhaps Holmgren would have been more willing to delegate responsibilities in a familiar Green Bay environment, whereas in Seattle he felt more pressure to make an immediate impression.

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