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Losses piling on Holmgren

By DARRELL FRY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 10, 2002

It has been quietly talked about for weeks, but more and more it seems the great Mike Holmgren could be on the hot seat soon in Seattle.

The Seahawks are in the tough NFC West this season and sit in last place at 2-6. Thing is, there's no relief in sight. They have major injuries on both sides of the ball and must face a rigorous remaining schedule that looks like this -- at Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, at San Francisco, Philadelphia, at Atlanta, St. Louis and at San Diego.

Combined, those opponents are 40-24.

In Holmgren's defense, this team would probably be better if it weren't for the injuries. Starting quarterback Trent Dilfer is just one of several key players who have been sidelined. Plus, Holmgren has had several key assistants leave, namely Mike Sherman to the Packers and Fritz Shurmur, who died.

Still, the Seahawks weren't exactly lighting up the league before they left and before the injuries. And, the bottom line is, the team is 26-30 in 31/2 seasons under Holmgren, who is also the general manager. Remember, Dennis Erickson was let go after going 31-33.

Maybe Holmgren is spread too thin, as many have speculated. Or maybe he would be a better fit with another team. Or maybe he just needs more time in Seattle.

Holmgren, though, maintains he's not worried about his job. At least not yet.

"I have gotten nothing but support from (team president) Bob Whitsitt and (owner) Paul Allen in this whole ordeal," he said. "I've been at this thing long enough to know that you do what you can do. You work as hard as you can work and sometimes the ball bounces funny, sometimes guys get hurt, sometimes you make a bad call. Whatever happens, you do the best you can do and then you live with the consequences."

TRIVIA QUESTION: Which running back leads the league in 100-yard rushing games with six?

FALLING BEHIND IN INDY: Want to know why the Colts have lost three in a row? Consider that in those losses, they fell behind 20-0 to the Titans, 20-0 to the Redskins and 21-0 to the Steelers.

BYE BYE HUGH?: Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas continues to dazzle each week, racking up six sacks, making it more and more likely the Eagles will get rid of him after the season.

You see, Douglas reportedly has a clause in his contract that voids the final year of his deal if he gets more than nine sacks this season. And it's questionable if the frugal Eagles organization will be willing to invest a lot of money in a 31-year-old player, even a good one such as Douglas.

"I'm not worried about that right now," Douglas said.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "You can fix up her hair and paint her face, but if she's ugly, she's ugly. Turf is turf. I'd rather play on grass."

-- Patriots guard Mike Compton, talking about playing on artificial turf.

YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST: Don't be surprised if quarterback Kordell Stewart isn't in Pittsburgh next season. Now that Tommy Maddox is the regular starter, the Steelers will be hard-pressed to justify paying $6.3-million to Stewart to be a backup next season.

MAYBE HE SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING WEEKS AGO: Since Titans owner Bud Adams publicly said his team was outcoached in a loss to the Redskins, the Titans have won three in a row.

DID YOU KNOW?: Former Bucs offensive coordinator Les Steckel is a volunteer quarterbacks coach at a suburban Nashville high school. His son, Luke, plays on the team.

STAT OF THE WEEK: After eight games, Steelers receiver Hines Ward has 55 catches, putting him on pace to break the team's single-season record.

The current record-holder?

Ward, of course. He had 94 last season.

STAT OF THE WEEK II: Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper has 19 turnovers this season, more than virtually every team. Only the Rams (20) have more.

THIS JUST IN: The Raiders have no chance to get to the Super Bowl this season. That is, if history has anything to say about it.

The Raiders have lost four in a row. No team ever has lost that many in a row and still reached the Super Bowl.

TRIVIA ANSWER: New Orleans' Deuce McAllister.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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