NFL roundup

Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 1:24 a.m.

KIRKLAND, Wash. - Mike Holmgren stepped down Tuesday as general manager of the Seattle Seahawks but will remain the coach, a move that Holmgren and team officials hope will deliver a Super Bowl title someday.

''We wanted to free up Mike to do more coaching. There's only so many hours in the day,'' team president Bob Whitsitt said. ''Clearly, we need Mike on the field as much as possible.''

Holmgren insisted on being the Seahawks' general manager when he left the Green Bay Packers four years ago but said he was giving up this job willingly.

''I think the biggest title you can have is Super Bowl champion,'' said Holmgren, who won the NFL title at Green Bay. ''It wasn't a particularly difficult thing for me. My No. 1 goal is winning.''

The Seahawks went 7-9, missing the playoffs but finishing the season with three consecutive victories, including a 31-28 overtime win over San Diego on Sunday.

Whitsitt said he didn't have a candidate to succeed Holmgren as general manager. However, there has been speculation that he's interested in Randy Mueller, former GM of the New Orleans Saints, or giving the job to Ted Thompson, currently Seattle's vice president of football operations.

In either case, Holmgren will still have a hand in personnel decisions.

  • LIONS: President Matt Millen and coach Marty Mornhinweg got another chance to turn around the Detroit Lions, keeping their jobs Tuesday despite a 5-27 record over two seasons.

    ''It's ugly. It's worse than that,'' Millen said. ''(But) we fight it, we move forward with conviction. And, of course, you've got to get some players and do a better job of coaching.''

    The Lions went 3-13 this season, losing their last eight games. The club's winning percentage of .156 over the last two seasons is the worst for such a span in franchise history.

    ''There are reasons for those things, some of them controllable some of them not controllable,'' Millen said.

  • CHIEFS: After meeting with quarterback Trent Green, Kansas City officials feel confident they'll work out a new contract and prorate the $8 million roster bonus their quarterback is due in March.

    Also coming back will be defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, whom many fans wanted dismissed.

    The Chiefs, desperate to retool the NFL's worst defense, need to get Green's bonus prorated in order to gain more room under their salary cap. They could do that by redoing the five years left on Green's contract and making it a signing bonus.

    Coach Dick Vermeil and team president Carl Peterson each met personally with Green Tuesday morning.

    ''He wants to be here. He wants to be a Chief,'' Vermeil said. ''He wants to get it done quickly.''

    With Green completing 61 percent of his passes, the Chiefs set numerous team records on offense and led the NFL in scoring while going 8-8 behind their ineffectual defense.

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