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NFL notebook

Mora gets nod for Seahawks

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Associated Press / February 7, 2008

Jim Mora will succeed Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, beginning with the 2009 season.

After serving as the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for one more season, the 46-year-old Mora will begin a new four-year contract as head coach.

Seahawks president Tim Ruskell and chief executive officer Tod Leiweke both emphasized during a news conference yesterday that the move gives the team stability and unity.

"What [Holmgren has] done here, by announcing his retirement a year ahead of time, has afforded this organization to make a smooth transition, to be seamless, to be non-chaotic," Ruskell said. "Which is kind of rare in the sports world.

"We all know about the elongated processes and the back-stabbing, some of the ugly things that can go on. Well, we're not going to have that."

Holmgren pushed for the announcement now, so players who are poised to enter free agency next month can judge Seattle while knowing who its coach will be beyond next season.

"This makes a lot of sense for the organization," Holmgren said. "Jim is a talented coach who already had a measure of success in this league."

Spagnuolo on hot seat

Steve Spagnuolo's interview with the Washington Redskins turned into a marathon. The architect of the defense that won the Super Bowl spent about 10 hours meeting with owner Dan Snyder about the Redskins' coaching vacancy. That's on top of the 90 minutes the two spent on the phone Monday and an interview at Snyder's house Tuesday night. Spagnuolo, Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, and former Giants coach Jim Fassel are the three leading contenders to replace Joe Gibbs, who resigned Jan. 8 . . . Hall of Famer James Lofton officially joined the Oakland Raiders coaching staff as receivers coach; Gregg Williams, fired in Buffalo, is headed to Jacksonville as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach; Alvin Reynolds joined Mike Smith's Atlanta staff as defensive backs coach . . . Former Oilers linebacker John Grimsley, 45, was found fatally shot in his suburban Houston home, the apparent victim of a gun-cleaning accident, an official said.

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