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Originally published Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Last week for Mike Holmgren

Now the reality for coach Mike Holmgren can truly set in. He's sure it will at some point this week. The feelings and memories of his final...

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — Now the reality for coach Mike Holmgren can truly set in. He's sure it will at some point this week.

The feelings and memories of his final Sunday at Qwest Field now behind him, Holmgren's days as Seahawks coach end for good after this Sunday's regular-season finale at Arizona.

Holmgren admitted he was thinking about this week being his last as he arrived for work Monday at team headquarters.

"I trust I'll be able to do my job and we'll have good practices," he said. "It's Christmas. We're going to give the players off. Everyone will have Thursday off to enjoy the day. But I'll reflect on it, absolutely."

Holmgren was congested and tired and looking forward to warmer weather in Arizona. Beyond that, he doesn't know how he's going to feel when he finally realizes that this week is his last after 10 seasons as coach.

"The guys I have talked to that have been in my position, or players, for that matter, who know it's their last ballgame, I don't think they really even process the thing for a while," Holmgren said.

The traditional family dinner after a home game was a blast, Holmgren said of what he did Sunday night. There were toasts and plenty of celebrating, not only the win but the $46,000 raised through donations at Qwest Field to help refugees in the Republic of Congo. The Holmgren family asked fans to give to charity as part of his farewell home game.

It was closure for Holmgren with the Seahawks fans, but not the players, with one more week of work to go. But the emotions will come.

"Monday [next week] will be my meeting, like always, the day after our season ends," Holmgren said. "I'm going to try and talk to as many of the players as I can. But normally, that conversation is about, 'Hey, this is what I want you to do in the offseason.' Now it'll be a different conversation. I suspect Monday will be a pretty emotional day for me."

Hasselbeck has

chance to play

It's not a great chance, but there is a little hope that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck can play this week. Hasselbeck has been out with complications from a bulging back disk the past three games and missed five earlier in the season.


"I don't think it's realistic," Holmgren said. "But again, let's see."

Seneca Wallace deserves to keep playing, Holmgren said, "but if all of a sudden Matt was healthy and wanted to play in the game, he's our starting quarterback. He's the franchise guy. ... I would have to think about that. I don't think I'll have to make that decision. I think it'll be Seneca in the game."

Linebacker Leroy Hill might be back this week after missing the past three games with a neck injury, and his backup, D.D. Lewis, seems to be a stronger possibility. Lewis didn't play Sunday with a badly bruised shin.

Defensive back Jordan Babineaux is expected to play after taking a week to recover from a concussion.

Snowed over

Holmgren was asked about the snowballs thrown from the stands at Qwest Field on Sunday, a few of which were tossed in his direction as he took his victory lap.

He was fine with it and glad no one got hurt.

"First of all, the people at our stadium don't see snow that much, so it had to be a tremendous novelty, you know?" Holmgren said. "So I know if my grandkids were up there and there was a snowball sitting right there — and they're good kids, they're not mean kids — it would be pretty hard for them not to throw it.

"I don't think anyone's trying to hurt anybody; it's just Christmas," Holmgren said. "And there's snowballs, so here we go."


• Holmgren said he thought CB Josh Wilson's snow-frolicking celebration of an interception Sunday, which drew a penalty, was "pretty cool." He added this: "Now, if I was coming back and was going to be his coach again next year, yeah, he and I would have a little chat. But Jim [Mora] can worry about that."

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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Union, league negotiators to resume talks Monday | NFL

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