Former Browns coach Mike Holmgren in Seattle's corner

TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer Published:

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Mike Holmgren is now one of the intruders.

After so many seasons of trying to insulate his teams from the noise on the outside and shield players from nosey media, he now finds himself on the other side. He may be a coach with Hall of Fame credentials, but he's simply a fan, observer and part-time member of the media when it comes to Sunday's NFC championship game between Seattle and San Francisco, two franchises he knows quite well.

"It is different. Very different. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to enjoy every moment of it. When you're in it, you would like to say you're enjoying it but you're nervous about everything. It's exciting and that's what you coach for and all of that, but it's a different perspective for me and I'm looking forward to the excitement of it all," Holmgren said this week. "I must admit, now, when I was coaching, maybe because I never got out of the building very much during the week, you're aware of the fans and the excitement in the city but now you're really aware."

Holmgren knows something about playing in the postseason. In six seasons as an assistant coach in San Francisco and 17 overall seasons as a head coach in Green Bay (seven) and Seattle (10), Holmgren coached seven times in NFC championship games, winning five.

Lions hire ex-Colts coach Jim Caldwell

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have hired coach Jim Caldwell.

The team confirmed the move Tuesday and has scheduled a news conference at Ford Field on Wednesday.

San Diego Chargers assistant and former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was seemingly Detroit's top choice, but he chose to take the head coaching job at Tennessee on Monday night.

The Lions are giving Caldwell another chance to be an NFL head coach. He helped the Indianapolis Colts play in the Super Bowl after his debut season in 2009 and was fired two years later after a 2-14 season while Peyton Manning was injured, dropping his three-year mark to 26-22.

Bills sign three to reserve/future contracts

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have signed three players to reserve-future contracts, including former Baltimore Ravens running back Anthony Allen.

Also signed on Tuesday were offensive guard Randy Colling and defensive end Kourtnei Brown, who was cut by the Bills before the start of the season.

Allen was selected in the seventh round of the 2011 draft by Baltimore and spent two seasons with the Ravens. He had 19 carries for 69 yards and also played on special teams in 21 games.

Colling was a defensive lineman at Gannon University, where he finished with 25 sacks. The Bills project him to make the switch to guard.

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