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Published: Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 12:01 a.m.

Rare 'Victory Monday' energizes Holmgren for final push

After giving the team the day off, Seahawks head coach says Sunday's win reminded him of the 'old days.'

RENTON -- There was a different atmosphere at the Seattle Seahawks' practice complex on Monday afternoon.
That is, no atmosphere.
The complex was pretty quiet following Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams because the players had a rare day off as part of what the team calls "Victory Monday."
As for the coaches?
"Clearly, it's more fun today," head coach Mike Holmgren said one day after the Seahawks beat St. Louis 23-20 to snap a seven-game losing streak.
For Holmgren, the win was, more than anything, a relief. The fact was underscored by how the 60-year-old head coach spent the flight back from St. Louis on Sunday night.
"I slept a good portion of the way," he said. "But the back of the plane was very, very happy. I went back there early on to talk to the players. There was just a good feeling. It was like the old days again."
The Seahawks' 3-11 record doesn't bring back many memories of the so-called "old days," except to those fans who might remember the early 1990s. What Sunday's win guaranteed was that the Seahawks would not match the franchise-worst 2-14 record of 1992.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the 2008 Seahawks are 3-2 against the NFC West this season but 0-9 against everyone else. Seattle has been outscored 250-116 by non-divisional opponents, an average loss of 28-13.
While the Seahawks have shown improvement in recent weeks -- four of Seattle's past five losses have been by single digits, as compared to five double-digit losses in the first eight games -- they are still firmly entrenched among the NFL's have-nots this season.
But an energized Holmgren said Monday that the present does not necessarily dictate the franchise's future.
"This year won't happen again," he said during a Monday press conference. "It shouldn't happen again. The organization is solid.
"The injury situation that plagued this team will not happen again. It hadn't happened in 25 years, to me, in coaching; it's not going to happen again -- not like this. (Fans) can feel good about their football team."
Of course, Holmgren won't be around for the future. His final home game will come Sunday against the New York Jets, and then he'll serve his last game as coach of the Seahawks one week later at Arizona.
The last two weeks should be all about Holmgren, and he said that the nostalgia is already starting to get to him.
"I've been thinking about it," he said.
While Holmgren will spend most of the next two weeks being asked about his own career, Monday was mostly about what his 2008 players were able to accomplish.
That is: win a game, for once.
"They've worked hard and lost some tough, tough ball games as of late," Holmgren said, "and it was nice for them to taste some victory again."
Story tags » Seahawks

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