Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren was in-studio to talk with Kevin Kiley and Chuck Booms of 92.3 The Fan on Friday morning, as he begins to fulfill his mission to be more available to the media. That doesn't mean we'll be hearing from the Walrus every week, especially with organized team activities officially coming to an end today, but he should have more of a presence this season. If you would like to hear the entire interview from Friday, click here.
It was Holmgren's 64th birthday, and the crew had a birthday cake ready for him (seen in the link above). During the interview, Holmgren continued to explain that it took him some time to understand that it was important to the fans and the staff to see that he be a little bit more involved publicly.
A few highlights from the interview:
- Holmgren was asked to name the one piece that he felt was added to make the Seahawks and the Packers a Super Bowl contender. When he got to the Seahawks, he said getting a quarterback who could be 'the guy,' like Matt Hasselbeck, was the first step, and then also adding a big-time running back like Shaun Alexander was the second step. He said it's kind of a "deja vu" moment when you consider what the Browns have done this year with Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson.
- When asked if he was trying to build a team like he had in Seattle, considering the Seahawks didn't have a lot of high profile wide receivers, Holmgren seemed to agree with that. He noted that Bobby Engram was a receiver who they could rely on to catch 70 balls a year, even though the guy just ran the same two routes over and over. He said the key is to know the player excels at something and to keep exploiting it.
- He continued praising Mohamed Massaquoi and talked a little bit about running good routes. He took a playful jab at Joshua Cribbs, saying Cribbs is more of a playground guy where you give him a route and he just ends up finding some spot he thinks he's open.
- He was asked to give a definitive/specific answer as to why Peyton Hillis was not re-signed, considering how cheap he went to Kansas City. Holmgren was not fooled into revealing any new information, and instead just gave the standard response that he just wasn't a good fit due to injuries and the team's wishes to get another guy in.
- We've heard this before, but Holmgren again sympathized with what Shurmur had to deal with in his first season as a head coach. He said that Shurmur has learned from those mistakes:
"I think last year with Pat, there are situations there that he will absolutely not do again," Holmgren said. "You saw it. I saw it. Everyone that cares about football saw it."
- He won't control what his coaches do, but if he sees something he feels is worth pointing out or correcting, he will make sure they hear about it. For example, he said there were plays he designed way back when, and he knew how to explain them. When he sits in on other coaches meetings, he'll see his old play being installed in the coaches' playbook, but when its being described, it's not accurate. That is when he may stand up and explain the history of the play and why something works the way it does.
Listen to the interview for more, or click this link for a few quotes from 92.3 The Fan's website.