The higher-ups in the Green Bay Packers organization went out of their way to speak highly of their subordinates at the annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday at Lambeau Field.
A trickle-down effect of sorts started with president Mark Murphy introducing general manager Ted Thompson for his typically dry football report.
"I cannot be more pleased with the job Ted is doing, and I hope you all feel the same way," said Murphy. "We are so fortunate to have Ted in his position."
Thompson then came to the podium and among the several topics he touched upon, took time to laud Mike McCarthy as well.
"He's not only a good coach, but he's also an excellent motivator, an excellent leader," said Thompson of McCarthy. "January of 2006, we were looking for the right man to lead this team as a head coach. His actions and his work has validated that decision, and we all, especially myself, I thank God every day that he's the Green Bay Packers head coach."
The question to ask in the wake of all the back-slapping and glad-handing that took place is, what does it mean?
Statistics pointing to organizational success are convincing. As both Murphy and Thompson pointed out during their respective speeches to the assembled owners, the Packers are the only team in the NFC to have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.
Thompson went on to cite more team accolades: two consecutive division championships, the Packers being one of only two teams in the NFL to have 10-plus regular season wins each of the past four years, qualifying for the playoffs in 15 of the past 20 years and winning 20 of the last 21 games at Lambeau Field.
The Packers general manager also acknowledged that last season ended in disappointment with a divisional round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
It's the playoff losses the past two seasons following a Super Bowl title during the 2010 season that observers can use as evidence as the Packers moving backwards, however.
Despite having arguably the best quarterback in football, despite having a talented and young supporting cast, the Packers have underachieved the past two years.
Could the hearty congratulations that took place Wednesday in Green Bay be construed as self-preservation, an attempt to convince the shareholders in specific and the fanbase in general that the team is headed in the right direction under the proper leadership?
An argument can be made either way.
No one, not the president, not the general manager or the head coach is on the hot seat as the Packers are set to begin the 2013 season that kicks off on Friday with the first day of training camp practice.
To be sure, the way the 2013 season plays itself out will go a long way toward determining the job security of the leaders of the Packers organization.
Another Super Bowl victory can probably buy them at least five years of continued employment and a spot forever in Packers lore.
But another early playoff exit or the absence of the playoffs altogether will raise questions about the future of the Packers under its current leadership structure.
Which will happen? Only the future will tell. But for stakeholders in the Green Bay Packers organization, they only have two more days to wait until the start of football to begin to find out.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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