Andrew was gracious enough to grant an interview request I made recently. We here at Cheesehead TV would like to thank Mr. Brandt for giving us even a few brief moments of his time. You can check out Andrew's daily writings on all things NFL related at his blog over at The National Football Post, a brand new football site that I can not recommend highly enough.
Cheesehead TV: How did the National Football Post come about?
Andrew Brandt: Me and my partners noticed an information void that we are trying to fill. There appears to be no one setting on the internet -- or any other medium, for that matter -- that combines experienced perspectives from those who have been industry professionals, either as front office executives, player agents, players, etc. We are attempting to fill that void with unique insider insight and commentary -- there is nothing like it out there.
CHTV: In a recent post on your blog, you mentioned having lunch with Aaron Rodgers while you were in California. You've also made it pretty clear how much you like and respect him. Any chance you might represent Aaron now that he has parted ways with his former agent and is actively seeking representation? (Editors note: These questions were sent to Brandt prior to the news that Rodgers has hired David Dunn)
AB: I have liked Aaron since the day we drafted him. He is smart, has natural leadership ability and does not take things too seriously, which has served him well lately.
CHTV: I would be derelict in my duty to our readership if I didn't ask you about the Brett Favre drama that played out this past month. Again on your blog, you've written about your conflicting emotions, as you are familiar with all the players involved and seem to have good working and personal relationships with all of them. (Save one perhaps? More on that in a bit.) Understanding that you can not give us specifics regarding conversations you've had with any individual, can you tell Packer fans if there were any signs of this impending rift between Favre and the organization (ie Thompson) while you were still with the Packers?
AB: It was disappointing to watch it play out in front of millions, especially as the parties were talking to the media and not to each other. I felt for everyone. To have the relationship with its signature player termed "a divorce" by Mark Murphy was sad to see.
CHTV: Your departure from the Packers was very sudden, at least to the average Packer fan. Not much information was made available either by you or by the club at the time, other than brief statements issued by yourself and the team. However, several local media reports cited a personality conflict between Ted Thompson and yourself as the chief motivator for your departure. Bob McGinn, writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, cited sources that said Thompson felt you "didn't always act in concert with his philosophy of organizational selflessness." Would you care to comment in any way?
AB: It was time. The Cap is healthy for years to come; we had just hosted the NFC Championship game; the person I worked close with was named Executive of the Year. All seemed well for the future. I won't address anonymous sources. Life is short; I moved on.
CHTV: As our readers know, I was a very vocal supporter for your candidacy to become President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers. Looking back at that process, and your subsequent departure from the Packers, do you think the fact you were in essence attempting to become Ted Thompson's superior played any part in his decision?
AB: I appreciate that. I had reached a high level at the Packers and was asked to submit an application for that position. I did, I interviewed well, as I was told, and was not selected. I was told by the Committee that I was extremely qualified but seen a bit too much on the "football side" and not the administrative side.
CHTV: In an interview on WDUZ with Chris Havel last year, you laid out in detail how the Packers had changed their philosophies regarding signing bonus' and how they were trying to redirect those monies to be tied into various roster and workout bonus'. Do you think that emphasis is responsible for the excellent attendance the team experienced during OTAs and minicamps this past offseason?
AB: Coach McCarthy was adamant about changing the attitude and attendance in the offseason. I worked hard to make sure our contracts reflected that. There was a lot of pushback from players and agents, but that is now set and should be in place for the future.
CHTV: Packers running back Ryan Grant recently signed after a short hold out at the beginning of training camp. Grant's agent, Alan Herman, called the Packers' initial offer 'insulting'. Did you ever take statements from agents in the press seriously, or is it viewed more as all part of the game?
AB: I always negotiated to never let our adversaries become our enemies. Usually, sniping in the media is a way to get a reaction out of the other side, which, in the Grant case, it apparently did.
CHTV: Back to the National Football Post – will you be bringing any more contributors on board? It seems you have a stable of excellent insider talent right out of the gate. What are your plans for the site going forward?
AB: We've had a tremendous initial response and will build on that. We've heard from most teams in the league, including the Packers, that they enjoy it and look forward to expanding our reach with more insight, more guest writers, and more unique and high quality content. We think it will be a good succes..
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