The 49ers' mid-season coaching change was expected to be a big distraction in the Bay Area. But it turns out it's been nearly as disruptive in Seattle. The rumors that Mike Holmgren, who for years has openly expressed love for his native San Francisco, have been percolating for a while but this week have reached a boil. Fanning the flames even more is that the 49ers and Seahawks face each other Sunday.
"When I was in high school, Lincoln High School, for years that was my dream job and it never quite came to fruition," Holmgren said of being the 49ers' head coach. "But times change. And right now I think it's been stated and I stated it with my own guys (the Seattle press corps) again today for about the 27th time: The plan for me and Kath (wife Kathy) is to take a year off after this time in Seattle. We've been here 10 years. We love it here. And that's the plan. More importantly now, I've got to figure out a way to beat the 49ers."
Can he ever envision at some point returning to the 49ers in some capacity?
"If it's ok with you guys, I'm going to refrain from commenting on that. It would be unfair to a lot of people, Mike Singletary for one. And it's too much of a hypothetical. I mean things in this crazy business change on a day-to-day basis and I'm going to remain fairly consistent with that if it's ok."
Holmgren was asked about Mike Nolan's firing. He said he's friends with Nolan, knows his family, and was upset at the news. "I don't like the in-season stuff, which shouldn't shock anybody. It's my profession and it's hard." He also was asked about his relationship with Scot McCloughan, who worked with Holmgren when McCloughan was part of the Seahawks personnel department.
"With Scotty? Or 'Scot' I should say now - he's an executive. I have a good relationship with Scot, I believe. He was really a very competent, hard-working personnel guy when he was with me. Really a good guy."
Holmgren said there's still an outside chance that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck could play Sunday but that he expected it would be Seneca Wallace under center. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who suffered a blow to the head Sunday night, will play.
-- Matt Barrows