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After Embarrassing Home Shutout, Packers Enter Offseason of Uncertainty

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After Embarrassing Home Shutout, Packers Enter Offseason of Uncertainty

The offseason has arrived for the Green Bay Packers, again much earlier than hoped. But that is where the similarities stop between the 2018 and 2019 offseasons.

The 2018 offseason began with excitement and high expectations. The Packers finally got rid of Dom Capers! They finally pushed Ted Thompson out the door, and brought in a new general manager who would use all avenues to build his team! Most importantly, there was the prospect of a full season of Aaron Rodgers looming on the horizon—surely the team would get back to contending for a championship.

However, there is a gloomy fog that hangs over the 2019 offseason. The way forward is obscured, and there does not seem to be the same feeling of excitement and optimism among the fanbase. Instead, for the first time in many years, the Packers very much sit at a crossroads.

For the first time since 2006, the Packers find themselves on the hunt for a new head coach. There aren’t any clear top contenders, mostly because we don’t really have any idea of how Murphy and Gutekunst will conduct their search and the types of candidates they’re most looking for; they’ve never don’t it before. Expect them to interview a lot of candidates in the coming weeks, and to investigate every possibility carefully.

But make no mistake, it is the choice of coach that will determine whether or not this team ever wins another Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. This is what has Packer fans so uneasy heading into this offseason. For the first time in a long time, there’s a prevailing sense that this team’s window is closing, and that’s coming from more than just the standard “sky is falling” types who troll Twitter and comment sections.

The last time Packer fans had a slight taste of this feeling was right after the 2005 season. The team had just gone 4-12, Brett Favre had his worst season as a professional and was openly contemplating retiring, the coach had just been fired and the roster was full of holes at just about every position. But even then, the Packers had just invested a first-round pick in Rodgers, who, though he did not look good at all in limited action his rookie year, was still the future of the franchise and was in development as a player.  

The Packers do not currently have a future superstar waiting in the wings. They have a Deshone Kizer, who has a lot of raw arm talent but in nearly every appearance he’s made in the NFL so far has not shown the type of stuff that would make him a viable long-term option for any team as a starter. He’s still very young, but has not shown much in the way of progress, and will now be getting a new offensive system to learn, his third in three seasons.

Even if the Packers were interested in investing a high draft pick at the position this year to begin preparing for the inevitable future without Rodgers (whenever that begins), this is a very quarterback light draft, so it’s highly unlikely that investment happens this year.

While we’ve seen some quarterbacks in recent years sustain a high level of play to ages 39, 40 and 41, Father Time can still strike at any time, as can major injury. As such, there is a desperation to win now, while Rodgers still has some high-quality football left to give.

This is not an easy ask out of any coach, considering there is going to have to be a massive shift in mentality in Green Bay. With Mike McCarthy’s entire coaching staff likely to be shown the door, it’s going to be an entirely new environment and culture that the team will have to adjust to. Such cultural shifts can take time to fully establish.

Any coach the Packers hire is going to have to bring a strong, winning personality and mentality from day one. The relationship with Rodgers will be the focus of many, of course, but he must be able to instill a mentality that will resonate with every single player on the team and draw every ounce of talent out of them.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the Packers need to go for someone young and charismatic. We’ve certainly seen a few instances of immediate success out of coaches like that in recent years, such as Sean McVay in Los Angeles or Matt Nagy in Chicago, but I have a suspicion that some teams are going to fall in love with the trend of young, hyped-up coaches and overlook other strong candidates as a result.

What’s more important than youth and charisma is guts and conviction. The Packers need a strong leader and communicator at the head coaching position. It doesn’t matter if they come from an offensive or defensive background, if they’re 30 or 60, if they coached with the Patriots or with the Browns.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an offensive whiz kid if you can’t see eye to eye with your star quarterback. It doesn’t matter if you have years of coaching experience if you can’t gel with and inspire this team.

What matters is that the next coach of the Green Bay Packers is able to come in, establish a clear vision and mentality for the team, generate buy-in from the team and maximize players’ potential. That’s the best way to turn around this team quickly and keep the Packers in contention for the rest of Rodgers’ career. And it’s why you’re going to see Murphy and Gutekunst cast a broad net in their search—there is no target demographic or background they should be honing in on, and doing so would be a disservice to the future of the team.

We have no idea how it will turn out. That makes this a terrifying (and also sort of fun) offseason. This decision will define Murphy and Gutekunst’s tenures with the Packers, for better or for worse.

Let’s hope it’s for better.

Happy new year.


Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (98) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

John Kirk's picture

Look at what Murphy did when he hired a GM. He chose between in house candidates and gave himself more power than the GM.

The guy just craves staleness, comfort and control.

It's very unlikely he hires the kind of coach needed to change a culture. He'll hire a guy who "fits" into his...which is comfortable and stale.

I guarantee we hear about fit about 10 times when he introduces the new HC. He and Brian will be talking about the "right fit for the Packers" over and over.

We don't need someone to fit...we need someone legit. A mold breaker. We did that when we hired Wolf and Holmgren. We haven't done it much since.

Bearmeat's picture

Fair. But I'd argue that McCarthy was a form breaker. He wasn't the "hot" name by any stretch in 2006. But he won over BLF - twice actually - and we got a Lombardi and 3 NFC CG appearances for it. And from what I've heard, Gute wanted MM badly and was bugging TT about MM ceaselessly in 05.

Hopefully, we strike gold again.

John Kirk's picture

I don't consider McCarthy gold. He's a hire I will never understand.

Who hires the OC from the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL? More than that, he was directly involved in choosing Alex Smith over the guy you were hiring him to coach. A player who was highly sensitive and knew that he was part of the reason he didn't get to realize his dream by playing for his favorite football team. He wore his Niners tie on draft day thinking he was going to SF. McCarthy was part of the reason he didn't...and you chose to hire that guy? I'm still amazed at it today.

Everyone is so worried about the HC/QB relationship, today... Should've been more worried about it back when he was a kid and would eventually become the face of your franchise.

If Gute wanted MM, badly, which I've never heard until now, I'm even less confident in this duos ability to find the right man for the job and that confidence was already extremely low.

Packers0808's picture

You sound a bit demented with your rant! Wow really weird you slam a hire that was great for the Packers fr so many years whether you like the pick or not! But then again I guess who cares what you thought13 years ago!

Tim Backes's picture

It's amusing to me how many McCarthy haters are coming out of the woodwork as though they were "right" about him all this time. It was time to move on, but it's like you've completely forgotten the guy won a Super Bowl, a whole slew of division titles and a whole lot more games in a long and successful tenure.

I'm sure you'll try to say he was carried by Rodgers or something like that but the objective truth is that McCarthy was and is a very good football coach and turned out to be an excellent hire. Hopefully we are fortunate enough to get another hire that works out just as well.

John Kirk's picture

You're sure you'll try to say...? Why is that? You know that it's true?

What's interesting is you're trying to circumvent the thrust of my posting which is the process to hire him made NO sense. NONE. Zip. Zero. It still doesn't and it didn't work out great. It worked out that we saw ONE SB that you're still bragging about today while dismissing all the ones we didn't appear in. Very selective. One SB with a first ballot Hall of Famer that was better than Brett Favre. Favre got to back to back shows with Holmgren in a lot less time (7 yrs vs. 13...almost half the time) than McCarthy had in Green Bay. You don't like that argument though because it destroys yours.

Also, I didn't come out of the woodwork. I've been out since the beginning. I couldn't stand McCarthy. An intellectual midget. Was disappointed he was the coach of the team I've loved and followed for decades. The thing with you is you get a warm and fuzzy over winning divisions where I don't. It's all perspective. I'll be thrilled with 6-9-1 when we're led by a Wolf/Holmgren/Harlan combo and building toward something. What this team and org is is embarrassing. Has been for many years not just the last two.

Objective truth? It is said you either win because of or in spite of your head coach. Which one is the objective truth.

I do think the coaching job done during the SB year was one of the best I've ever seen. McCarthy gets the credit, but I'll give Kevin Greene a lot of love for his intangible qualities.

McCatthy got to ONE Super Bowl. ONE. With...Aaron Rodgers. How many has Bill Belichick been to with Brady?

Good is the enemy of great. McCarthy was "good" therefore the enemy of great.

I don't want a good HC that bows out routinely in the playoffs with the best thrower of the football ever. I want a great one that wins Super Bowls.

Any of you who like to channel Herm Edwards...You...Play...To...Win...The...Game. You play to win the Super Bowl. You don't play to brag about winning records or playoff appearances or winning percentages but that's why you hail McCarthy.

Never brag about being good. Ever. Let others brag about you when you're great, and they surely will.

Tim Backes's picture

"McCatthy got to ONE Super Bowl. ONE. With...Aaron Rodgers. How many has Bill Belichick been to with Brady?"

It may surprise you to learn that a team is more than its coach and quarterback.

John Kirk's picture

It doesn't. I could've easily said that McCarthy didn't win a Super Bowl, that it took 53 guys, when you told me McCarthy won one but I don't have to resort to that cheap tactic to avoid a real debate.

Packers0808's picture

Not not, one, valid point in your statement! How many teams have never had an SB or at least in many many years or won even their conference or get playoffs. You are really not a fan, but self absorbed individual.

John Kirk's picture

You're right...not one. All.

You do exactly what losers do. You justify from looking downward. Winners look upward. How many of those teams you're talking about had an Aaron Rodgers?

I can't tell you how strongly I take issue with people who think like you. The Packers are "x" because of teams that don't... that's what losers talk about.

Winners talk about what they need to do to win, not congratulate themselves that they aren't a bigger loser. You're seriously justifying the Packers failure by pointing to other teams failure. I'm pointing to Patriots winning because it is possible and should be what you're looking at. You should be talking about things that bring yoiu to that kind of status, yet, you choose to look downward and feel better about not being a winner. You don't follow a winner anymore than Bengals fans do.

This really is about perspective. I don't begrudge you for wanting to shoot low in expectation and feel good about things that don't matter. It's more fun but not real but who needs reality when you crave fantasy?2nd place is first loser. Nobody who finishes there wants to be 2nd or is satisifed there. Ever see a team lose the Super Bowl and brag about finishing 2nd? You're basicallly bragging about the Packers finishing beneath second year after year and saying at least we aren't 27th.

Again, I only post as I do because we've had the overwhelming prodigious advantage of Aaron Rodgers all these years and squandered it. It's now fading and you see what you get. Losing seasons. You type as a fan who doesn't realize the Packers have just posted back to back losing seasons. I think you think this team is still in the midst of winning the division almost every year. Welcome to now.

Samson's picture

JK -- most of the MM apologists are also 'former TT apologists'. -- Many of these so-called fans have always been satisfied (pacified) with simply competing. -- "Simply competing" is not winning. -- It's amazing how fans are more than willing to lower the bar. --- It has to do with their own fear of disappointment & knowing they can't do anything about a mediocre team.

On the other hand, most NFL players talk about winning SBs, not just being competitive. --- I agree with most of what you've posted. -- Both TT & MM squandered the best years of ARs career. -- AR was/is a HOFer while TT/MM were at best average at their jobs. -- It's unfortunate & history (eventually) will paint the picture as it truly was.

John Kirk's picture

Thanks, Samson. You know coming in when you don't drink that sweet, sweet, koolaid you're not going to be well-received. I'm heartened by guys like yourself.

I consider it a sickness to have a shoot low mentality. I think your translastion of what the sugary sweets are doing is correct. It's more fun to feel good about not being as bad as someone else than it is to look at yourself and push to be better. It's actually a phenomenon in the prison system. Guys in prison look down on sex offenders because although they're in prison and should be doing some hard thinking about why, they look at sex offenders and feel smug in the fact that at least they're not a sex offender, when they should be focused on how they can be a productive member of society. It's really no different in fandom.

Being hammered by that element in the fanbase that does these kinds of things should be worn as a badge of honor. The more you tell the truth, the louder and more offensive they get. That's just how it is.

Ineffectual managment has hampered this team. Instead of seeing that, the shoot low sugary sweets love bragging about "all the success" around here. Maddening. It's more about what could've and should've been but wasn't because of the wrong self-congratulating mentality.

Look up not down in 2019.

Jonathan Spader's picture

"You are really not a fan, but self absorbed individual."

Pot meet kettle.

Packers0808's picture

Yes in your case you are the POT, guess what kind, the kind can't see the truth and believe like the guy spouting all his mislaid ideas and thinks no one elses opinion is right except his. A fan can be objective and look on the v bright side and be happy you have a team you cheer for instead of being down on them all the time! I choose to be on the side of the fan and not the nay sayer! Happy New Year him and you need it!

John Kirk's picture

It's clear what each of us is after. You're after "happiness" and "bright side" which is fine.

Others care more about what actually is and don't contort themselves and distort the truth to get to that happiness which is false and a simulation that is self-created.

Where in anything I've posted have I said my opinion is the only right one? Opinions can't be right or wrong hence they're opinions.

Not a nay sayer. I just post what I see through eyes that are unlike yours and that bothers you. Why? Hearing reality destroys the fantasy?

You and I follow a team that is coming off back to back losing seasons with a quarterback in apparent decline who just got the biggest contract in NFL history. Should I look on the bright side of that? What is the bright side? Something I make up in my own head? Tell me what it is you do to get to where you are. I'm genuinely curious. I think we'll find out right quick who is maninupating and contorting and who is just looking at what is.

Packers0808's picture

Has been no fantasy what so ever. When you compare what we have had to other teams over the last quarter century the lack of appreciation in fans like you are the kind not needed. I am just glad I don't live my life about the Packers in your black colored minded world!

John Kirk's picture

So, you do look down instead of up? You don't look at winning SB's as what should be the focus, you go with the relative approach and say you're thankful we're not Detroit...who just beat us 4 straight?

What's been great about the last 13 years outside of one SB appearance and win? The firing of MM and TT rate way up there and so does shipping Favre to the Jets but what else?

Cleveland is thankful they're not the Packers. Better record this year. Brighter future. Browns fans aren't even thinking like that. They're thinking they have a shot to be a Super Bowl winner.

Again, I don't compare downward. That's what losers do. That's like someone beating their chest that at least they don't live in Africa where they don't get to eat real food and drink clean water because they're an American menwhile they're on welfare sucking off the system...but at least in their mind they have it better than the poor people in a 3rd world country.

I'm thankful for the entertainment of football. I also understand sports. Some think of sports like Ray Lewis once did, and some think of them as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. I'm sure HaHa is happy he's in the NFL making millions looking down on idiots like us who talk about guys like them but he's not maximizing his talent.

black colored minded world? You mean non-koolaid colored? Rose colored glasses?

John Kirk's picture


Coldworld's picture

I agree with one point in your multi-part essay. Ineffectual management did destroy the Packers. However I believe that you are looking in the wrong place.

To me it is clear that TT was the driver of this team and it’s fortunes. When TT either lost focus or health or whatever, the senior leadership (Murphy) let it slide for years and allowed Russ Ball to assume much of TTs former role.

The results were disastrous. Terrible drafts, horrible player retention and release decisions and an aging top of the roster supported by mostly jag UDFAs.

What this season revealed is just how far this slippage had gone. In my view, MM’s staleness may well have been as much a factor of a roster bare of players able and ready to contribute.

Gute has taken some steps—his drafting of skill players first suggests he anticipated a multi year repair. MM paid the ultimate price. I hope we can do at least as well with his replacement.

As to Murphy, he has no business walking free of the mess that occurred in his watch. The rot is his responsibility above all others. Now he seeks to shape the next hire. That is not reassuring.

John Kirk's picture

Hey, I've been looking directly at Magic Mark. I've said over and over he was the absentee landlord that decided to be micro-manager when the depths of his neglect were revealed.

Agree wholeheartedly that the guy who created this mess, Magic Mark, is not the guy to fix it. We're just compounding the mess by having him involved at all. He should've been shown the door when Ted went dark.

It's unconscionable to me he remains and is now more involved than ever. That's embarrassing. It's why I'm so down on the currrent and potential future state of affairs in Green Bay.

bjkdad44's picture

Why the three down-thumbs??

Doug Niemczynski's picture

tut tut tut

TheBigCheeze's picture

John are spot on.....too many Packer "fans" are blindly and STUPIDLY loyal......take these last 2 games for example.....Rodgers talks about leadership as his reason to play in a meaningless game.....I insisted that they play the final 2 games as if it were pre-season.....blindly "loyal fans" said, "they get paid to play" Rodgers has suffered yet another concussion...(insert Troy Aikman and Steve Young)....."good enough" is for losers like the vikings....

John Kirk's picture

If you look at any fanbase, the majority are what you just defined above...stupidly loyal. Truth doesn't matter to them.

Appreciate your post.

Rodgers was very fortunate he didn't tear his knee up on that concussion play. It wasn't far off. Watch that replay and look at his knee. Yikes. Way too close right there.

Our quarterback has been enabled way too much and it's really unfair to expect a new guy to whip him into shape this far in. It's like a step-father trying to get ahold of a wayward 17 year old that was misdirected for his entire life and now the new dad has to undo all of those years? Good luck to the step dad and good luck to our next HC. I don't see a single guy on the list he might respect outside of Josh McDaniels and that's just because he was Brady's guy and Rodgers looks up to Brady.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

One of the best written posts I have seen here. Well laid out argument. I wholeheartedly agree with you and obviously Rodgers would too! MM was a good coach benefiting from AR. He was uncreative and used analytics way too much for his coaching compass. Sometimes you have to be creative and surprise people and mix things up. MM got too predictable and stale and DC's had no problem defending the Pack. MM kept Capers, Winston, and Zook too long. Enough said!

4thand10's picture

Regular season:
125–77–2 (.618)
10–8 (.556)
135–85–2 (.613

He did lose the team, but I don’t see anyone else out there with that kind of resume . Or “potential” with young innovative talent for that kind of record. You also see what kind of coach you have when star players get injured. McVey with out Gurley... etc.. I just hope we don’t get into a Ray Rhodes type situation. I’m not a fan of “magic mark” either lol. Whomever we get I think a team is as good as their scouting department....they need to take a long hard look in that area IMO as well.

Samson's picture

Isn't that more AR's resume than MMs? -- Give credit where credit is due. -- MM would not have lasted 13 years in GB w/out AR.

Packers0808's picture

And maybe Rodgers wouldn't have lasted that long either, who trained Rodgers in the 3 years he sat behind Favre. Favre famously admitted he had nothing to much with Rodgers advancement so who taught Rodgers all the fundamentals, you notice this year those fundamentals were gone and what happened to GB? McCarthy loses his job because of the regress Rodgers has shown the last 2 years! That is my take and many others I have talked too on this topic. But each to their own and I don't believe Rodgers career has been wasted!

Houndog's picture

4th and 10,
"He did lose the team, but I don’t see anyone else out there with that kind of resume."

Mike Tomlin, Career‎: ‎131–71–1 (.648), Regular season‎: ‎123–64–1, 1 SB win, and 46 years old.
Yet, from the sound of weekend news coming out of Pittsburgh he too may have lost his team.
Maybe 13 years is just too much.

JLab3's picture

Using your logic, short of winning the 2019 Super Bowl, the Saints should whack Sean Peyton and the Packers shouldn't hire him.

John Kirk's picture

Actually, the Packers should've hired Payton when he was a finalist for the job back when McCarthy got it on a "tie-breaker" of having worked here previously. What we do at 1265 is go for comfort.

Payton desperately wanted to coach the Packers. I can only imagine what this offense would've looked like with him and not McCarthy. Payton is running a fun creative offense all these years later while McCarthy finally got put out to pasture for running the same boring antiquated scheme for years.

No...using the Packers logic, Green Bay should hire Mike McCoy as HC. He coordinated the worst offense in the NFL just like McCarthy when he was hired.

Oppy's picture

Packers logic is simply that you look at the entire resume, not one single year.

It's easy for people to bash MM for his single year as OC of the 9ers- a year which had its challenges. It is a annoyance for people to look over his entire resume and the details thereof.

Was MM considered a front runner for a HC position in the NFL? Nope, but he was considered a young up and comer that was well respected and on an upward trajectory.

John Kirk's picture

So, the Packers way was to fire MM in-season when that had never been done in the 99 preceding years of the franchise? Murphy looked at his entire resume, or didn't look at just a single year rather a SINGLE GAME?

You can spin MM's hire however you wish. The fact will always remain he was the coordinator of the 32nd ranked offense working with the guy he wanted at QB over Rodgers. If that's not a reason not to hire someone to be the guy to work with Rodgers, I'm not sure what is? Tell me.

Oppy's picture

...And you're accusing ME of implementing straw man fallacies?

Come on, John...." You're capable of much better than this weak sauce."


Oppy's picture

1) You blast Gutenkunst/Murphy on a HC hire that hasn't happened yet, specifically because it will be all about "FIT"

2) You question why the Packers didn't prioritize FIT when they hired the last HC, saying it was a major oversight to hire a HC that might not FIT with the QB.


Coldworld's picture

Fit with what? The then prevalent status quo. What we needed then and need now was a change, refreshing and a new vision not more of the same. In addition to the HC, we need to see what Gute is capable of, or get a true GM. Right now I think Gute has earned the right to be given the authority to move the team forward. Murphy has earned the right to be held a lot more accountable than most here seem to realize.

Oppy's picture

Did you intend to respond to my post?

I'm not making any sort of statement about who should be doing the hiring, I am only clarifying that John is blasting a HC hire that hasn't happened yet for being based on what he assumes will be the best "fit", while he then seems to blast the previous administration for not prioritizing "fit" when they hired the last HC.

Since you brought it up.. you think that Mike McCarthy was a "status quo" hire? He was a dark horse candidate at best, changed nearly all facets of the Packers football program from how they existed under Sherman- from the offense, eventually the defense, how they structured the offseason program and practices, media availability.. , and held Brett Favre accountable. I don't see how that's a status quo procurement.

John Kirk's picture

Wow. This is an odd allegation.

"Fit" at the FO level is entirely different than fit at the on-field level. See: Mike ZImmer and John DeFilippo. You MUST have the right fit in that scenario.

You want ZBS lineman playing in a power scheme?

I'm lamenting the idea that this org is stale and dull and will endeavor to try and keep status quo when it needs a shakeup. Magic Mark will try and FIT someone into his dysfunctional operation not have someone come in to transform it.

My issue with McCarthy coming here was:

1) He was the coordinator of the 32nd ranked offense
2) He saw Smith as superior to Rodgers and Rodgers knew about it

Does that seem like a good idea? Nope.

Does it seem like a good idea to keep status quo at 1265? Nope.

Situations are vastly different but for the sake of trying to win an argument you've built a poorly constructed strawman that's burning to the ground right now. I remember you. You're capable of much better than this weak sauce.

Oppy's picture

John Kirk knows.

John Kirk's picture

In this case, I do. You've provided nothing but a poorly constructed strawman in response.

I've laid out truths of the McCarthy hire. Never liked him. Never liked TT and only recently came within the last year or so to understand what a boob Mark Murphy really is. Of the 3, Murphy sickens me the most. Ted was a close 2nd, and MM a distant 3rd.

Got spoiled by Harlan, Wolf and Holmgren...that was class. That was confidence. That was dominance. Just like Jim Irwin and Max McGee made Wayne and Larry look like public access types.

No reason to yawn. I know why you're typing that and so do you. If you can't debate, go that route. It's a universal.

Oppy's picture

I don't debate with you because I have in the past.

To use a football analogy, You're always moving the goal post.

John Kirk's picture

You engaged me here today. If you didn't debate with me because I move the goal post why did you today? You quit because you feel you"lost". I don't feel like I won. I just post what I feel and see. No winning but I do think there is losing.

I don't move the goal post. I'm a guy who pays close attention to the Packers and the NFL. My perspective isn't so limited as to be downvoted by 4 people, and counting for telling the truth that Allison and Kumerow are JAGs.

In our little get together today you had a choice. You could've admitted you built a poorly constructed strawman and gone a different route, or just conceded. You chose to tap out and hide behind "You move the goal post" just felt beaten and you shouldn't. Again, there is no winning but you can lose.

Oppy's picture

When you blast Murphy/ Gutekunst because you believe his choice will be all about fit, fit, fit, but then take a shot at the Packers not considering fit, fit, fit when they hired Mike McCarthy over a decade ago.. And I point that out..
That's in no way creating a straw man fallacy. It is, in fact, nothing more than echoing your statements. I didn't create any sort of false argument, inventing some stance or angle that you did not present. You played both sides of that fence all on your own, sir.

I didn't, and don't, feel "beaten". I read your comment and thought, "oh, brother. Here we go. He's claiming a straw man argument (which wasn't implemented) and being directly condescending (you can be better than that) again. I'm out."

I don't come here to "win". If it makes you feel better, I'll concede I "lost".

John Kirk's picture

I knew you couldn't walk away. I'm glad for it. Enjoy your barbing.

Again, you don't understand nuance. These are not the same things. You have to strawman them together and then argue against the tie in that doesn't exist.

I've tried once and did a fine job of explaining this to you. I can try one more time not that it'll help.

MM's hire made no sense. None. You don't hire the OC from the 32nd ranked offense, that's #1. Secondly, you don't hire a guy to coach the guy that you didn't want when he's very sensitive and knows you didn't want him ruining his dream of playing for his hometown team. There is no status quo thing going in this's solely about the new HC you're going to hire and the QB he's going to have to coach.

In the current scenario this org is long past its expiration date. It needs a new direction. New voice. What it did is hire an extension of Ted for continuity sake. More of the same that needed a fresh approach.

Now, we need a HC that will change the culture but we're most likely getting one that "fits" with the exact culture that needs moving on from.

There was no culture issue present when MM was hired over Payton. There was an issue of the things noted above. The two situations are not congruent at all. You've inaccurately to win a debate tried making them the same...they aren't. Not close to the same.

That is strawmanning. Can't defeat my original argument so you actually moved goal posts on this one and linked things that don't link and said they did and wanted me to argue against it thinking you win by doing so.

If you're not trying to win, you don't do what you did here.

You're a fine Packers fan.

Oppy's picture

Not sure if master troll, or actually slightly delusional.

John Kirk's picture

"slightly" ... you're too kind. Is my good friend WKU around here anymore?

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Never heard Gute wanted MM badly either.

Rossonero's picture

Food for thought:

Highest paid NFL Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers: $33.5M
2. Matt Ryan: $30M
3. Kirk Cousins: $28M
4. Jimmy Garoppolo: $27.5M
5. Matthew Stafford: $27M
6. Derek Carr: $25M

They’ll combine for 0 playoff games.

Tim Backes's picture

Great nugget, Rossonero.

jeremyjjbrown's picture


Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Yeah, sort of. Rossonero's 5 highest paid QBs actual cap #:

1. $20.90M - Aaron Rodgers
2. $17.7M - Matt Ryan
3. $24.0M - Kirk Cousins
4. $37.0M - Garappolo: but just $19.35M in 2019
5. $26.5M - Stafford

Playoff QBs by seeding:
$3.73M - KC Mahommes; $24.0 M NO Brees
$22.0M - NE Brady versus $7.61M LAR Goff
$3.15M - Watson versus $$6.60 M Chi Trubitsky
$24.75M Flacco Balt VS $725K Dallas Prescott
$22.00M Rivers LAC VS $23.79M Seattle Wilson
$24.40M Luck Indy VS $20.88M Philly Foles/Wentz

Of the 12 playoff teams, 7 of them are paying more for their QB than GB paid AR. From 2013 to 2017, AR averaged $18M. He really never was the highest paid QB. Sure it would be nice to have an elite or close to it QB on a rookie deal, but even if that were the case with AR, looks like it would take him two seasons to trust his receivers anyway. There are plenty of playoff teams paying big money for their QBs, and ya know, still making the playoffs.

AR's contract has been one big excuse.

HankScorpio's picture

Ranking contract AAV at any position is often about which player signed their deal most recently. TGR did a fantastic job of looking at a more meaningful metric--actual cap hit---to show that it is about 50/50 whether a playoff team is spending big on QB.

There is no doubt that having a QB on a rookie deal is advantageous to a team. But there is also no doubt that teams that pay their QB big $$ are doing so for a good reason. There is no empirical evidence that says you must build your championship caliber team one way or the other.

Oppy's picture

The companion post to all of this is:

"Football. It's a team sport, it takes 55+ plus players to win throughout a season, and there's all sorts of different ways to get it done."

John Kirk's picture

See: Ravens college offense

LambeauPlain's picture

No cap room manuerverability to sign FAs to fill holes or re-sign top guys on the team.

The salary cap is the great equalizer in the NFL. It makes the trip from worst to first a short one...and the tumble to the trough just as abrupt.

txike's picture

The part of this post that struck me was the need of a culture change.
The culture of the past 20 years has been not to lose, not trying everything to win.
The next HC has to not only call out players but management when they decide that playing it safe and being cautious is the way to go. The Lombardi, Holmgren teams, even the Start and Greg teams didn't quit, the past few years have been an embarrassment. All the talk about tanking and how it would be good for the future is inreal, what happened to the concept of doing your best and trying to win every time. Some where Vince Lombardi is spinning in his grave.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

What's your point? GB didn't play to lose in 2018. Happy the Starr and Greg teams didn't play to lose, but I don't want them back. At worse MM played not to lose (arguably) in the middle of games, in crunch time, but not otherwise. Your argument is a muddle.

HankScorpio's picture

"The next HC has to not only call out players but management when they decide that playing it safe and being cautious is the way to go."

That's a monumentally bad idea in any profession and especially so in the NFL. Management tends to take a dim view on getting called out and they are the ones that control which pay checks are issued.

LambeauPlain's picture

You praise very publicly and reprimand very privately.

Airing dirty laundry in public destroys a sports or any profession.

sixto lezcano's picture

Hi cheesehead nation. I am a new poster but not a new reader to this FAB website. I grew up playing high school football in Wisc and played two years of college. D back and running back till the sure size speed and competion for my time as an engineering student were in direct conflict. I LOVE football and I love the Packers. I am a product of wisc tho I spend my time now split between the Pacific NW and Colombia SA. In my small NW community in the states im considered the resident expert of all things Wisc esp the green and gold.
Anyways.. growing up as a high school and college fb player with excellent life skills coaches. It was FUNDAMENTAL that our D-line and O-line were to be revered. I still recall our all state quarterback letting his mouth open b4 his brain processed the consequences. Well he spent two entire practices on the sleds. There is so much glory attached to qb, rb, dp,wr.. etc. I sat for two games for running the wrong route once out of the wishbone and lost my position to a slower rb who did as he was told and I played only db for the remainder of the season. Bottom line is weather its a run or a pass, the play is wone at the line of scrimmage. Men who work these trenches are the definition of TEAM. OPEN FIELD,a rb qb, or wr with avg speed 4 their position will more times than not beat there man. It is my beleif that WAY too many decision makers in this league want the splash players and foolishly pay them. I grew up with a father from New London Wisc who wittnessed the greatness of Lombardi. I heard all the stories from this time. Yes the NFL has changed to more Pass than run. But the line of scrimmage still is the place where championships are won or lost. Amd lombardi teams always controlled the line on both sides of the ball. Thus my recipie for success in the NFL.
1) Draft Oline and Dline with top pick(s). Not this year, Every year! Giving your 3rd round qp time to throw, your 4th rd running back car sized holes to run thru, your 5th round receivers time to get open, your dbs a shorter time to have to cover the opposing wide receivers etc... thia will make stars out of these later round PROFESSIONAL athletes. Then when a qb, rb wr or db open his mouth bench him 4 a game.
2) Build a STATE OF THE ART, best in the league rehab facility with the best personel money can buy. I mean silly STATE OF THE ART. Do all under the sun to keep your contracted playera healthy. One way maybee to attract players to green bay.
3)Salary cap... there is one. Spend on areas outside the salary cap to attrack OL and DL. And any other speciality position player who wants to win.
4) Keep OL and DL over stocked. This way when another NFL team deapreatly needs one we can gouge them for some position we want to improve on.
5) make it known to every player on the team that ol and dl are to be revered. Dont scew up a route or a coverage bc the ol and dl work too damn hard.
6) make you own list of the nick foles, mike single-terry(s), joe Montanas, bret farves.. who were either late round picks or a free agent bargin(s). Stop spending on position players. They are too many of them that are too hungry. Use this as leverage.
7) NE Bill Bel... cycles thru position players like a wood chipper.. when they come to NE they know they have to perform or its next in line. Btw Bb beched tom brady... remember. Im not aware of how he stocks his o and d line, please forgive me.
8) there is not enough money to spend on every position bc of the salary cap. Therefore if u want to max on your dollars spent spend where it benifits the team the most on offense and defense o and d line.

out... k now i feel better ;)
thank u for the self therapy
Cheers and feliz anos

LeotisHarris's picture

Sixto! Es bueno verte mi amigo. Feliz año nuevo, antiguo número 16

Bure9620's picture

It all starts up front, no question. If you are the best blocking and tackling team, you will likely go far.

Jonathan Spader's picture

If you think an elite DL, OL, and rehab facility are keys to the superbowl go be a Cowgirl fan. They have what's widely recognized as the best OL. Their DL could still use some work but Lawrence is a wrecking ball. Jerry Jones has sunk a ton of money into his facilities. GB doesn't have a Jerry Jones and has good facilities but without a billionaire owner how to you propose we build this?

I appreciate you posting for the 1st time and hope you continue but your ideas are outdated and there are now suggestions on follow through. OL and DL do not win football games in a passing league. As TGR once said

The NFL is a passing leauge
The NFL is a passing leauge
The NFL is a passing leauge

sixto lezcano's picture

Hi spader happy New year!, good point i never want to join the cowgirls however how many times in the past has Jerry Jones over spending on the OL worked?? Emit Smith rig a bell with troy aikman.. Competent athletes but not necessarily over the top exceptional. Now again with dak prescott. If our best in the league passer at goes down and we are all about wins shouldnt our professional backup qb feel confident behind an oline that can deliver every time all the time? Tell me do you think our rb tandom of Jones and Williams could run behind the cowboys line? Could Kaiser pass behind it and could our 5th and 6th round received catch better with that line by being able to tire opposing defenses with longer routes\time to get open. Injury rates of speciality players is significantly higher in open field collisions vs the close confines of the line of scrimage. Everyone's job becomes easier. Also the load of the o and d line is less dramatic if you have a top of the line across on both sides. It's like towing a small boat with a 3/4 ton pickup. That truck will last from Sept thru the playoffs every season. it's all about time in the passing game. Increasing it on offense and limiting it on defense. The NFL has dramatically tilted the scales to encourage the league to pass. It's more exciting to watch and point and lead changes are more captivating for viewers attention. When you are stocked and I mean OVER stocked at the o and d line. Your team is like a fully stocked store in a famine. Teams starving for a linemen will give their left arm for one of our lesser line men. LEverage! Stock pile and spend in off-season for what every team needs in Oct. As 4 this rehab facility I am so tired of the packers injury situation. Please don't tell me the Pac does not have the $$$ to address this and make it a goal to be the best in the league. Players want to have their professional careers respected. What better way to attract players and keep your team healthy.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Happy New Year to you as well Sixto thanks for the response! What do you value more on the OL pass blocking or run blocking? Finding OLmen that can do both is extremely difficult. The holes that Dallas's OL when healthy open up could make Jones an absolute stud. That's because Prescot knows how to hand the ball off to Ezekial Elliot.

Under MM the offense went as far as Rodgers could take them which was 1 superbowl and 1 play away from a few more. As Rodgers declines he needs to accept more help from our offensive weapons and not try to do everything g himself. Pass blocking RG, LG, & RT can help buy Eodgers more time. More pick, rub, slants, and screens can also help. It's not all on the OL I'm hoping scheme means we don't need to pass block for 8 seconds before Rodgers finally lets the ball go because he feels safe. Get the ball out in 3 sec and use your weapons.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

You mean like the NY Giants did recently for years? How many SB's did they win with a mediocre QB (in my opinion anyway) but a great DL? How many times did this defensive line help knock the Packers out of the playoffs?

Spock's picture

Welcome, sixto. For a first time poster it appears with a post that long it looks like you're making up for lost time, lol.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

It is a pretty good post, though. I am curious how things pan out this year. The AFC has Baltimore with a really fine defense and a so-so offense. The NFC has Chicago with a fine defense and a less than so-so offense. Those teams can keep games close but are in trouble if they get behind or have the ball bounce the wrong way a few times.

The last team to win it all with mostly defense was Denver in 2015. The last 10 Super Bowl Scores: 41-33, 34-28, 24-10, 28-24, 43-8, 34-31, 21-17 (NYG > NE), 31-25, 31-17, 27-23. I feel obliged to put in 17-14, (again NYG > NE) but that was back in 2008.

Can a really good defense even contain the really good offenses given two weeks to game plan? I don't think the trend is quite pronounced enough yet, but I lean towards thinking that the winner needs to be able to score 28+.

HankScorpio's picture

I'm totally on board with an off season that places heavy focus on improving play in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Especially if you consider LB as an "in the trench" position as I do.

ScaryGary's picture

can we hire gregg popovich?

Mark King's picture

“Come tie your professional viability to an aging QB who will petulantly throw you under the bus after a 22-0 victory if he doesn’t approve of the game plan while failing to acknowledge his own shortcomings in the offensive malaise.” Packers pitch to potential HCs. Feels strong.
10:02 PM · Dec 31, 2018 · Twitter for iPhone
Replying to
Hasn't he acknowledged his shortcomings again and again this year?
Jake Thompson
Jake Thompson
Nobody pays attention to anything Rodgers says or does. He has been so critical of himself all season. Call me a homer but this guy has the benefit of the doubt.
Aaron Nagler
Aaron Nagler
Trevor Schumacher
Trevor Schumacher
So when someone says a valid argument to your tweet you just say “lol”? Bum.
Aaron Nagler
Aaron Nagler
No, I respond when someone replies “Nobody pays attention to anything Rodgers says or does” when that’s literally what I do every single day. Happy New Year, bum.
Trevor Schumacher
Trevor Schumacher
You too Aaron! Big fan! Happy New Year!
Shane K
Shane K
Replying to
When he is sober he'll share a gif of how great 12 was on that one play, marvel at his greatness and the challenges of being a QB.
Aaron Nagler
Aaron Nagler
Don’t cry, kid.
Probably the best

stockholder's picture

Murphy: I still would hire Zac Taylor. And I believe we could make it a family affair with another Taylor. Both want to succeed. Gamble, take a shot! Gute's drafting: Don't try and draft a hole or BPA for that hole. Draft the football player. Forget the position. Forget the ranking. We need players. Not work. Veterans: Upside, not Timing!

Big gar's picture

Just maybe the new coach will not include are in his plans, the guy is right ol,do first and foremost. List of playoff team qb telss the real story. I love the.packers but we just get back to blocking and tackling

sonomaca's picture

I’m getting the distinct sense that there really aren’t any stellar candidates. The perfect candidate must be a great leader of men, a brilliant football mind, and must get along with Aaron Rodgers.

I, frankly, don’t think any such person exists.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

LOL. Sort of like the hero in westerns: the guy has to be fast with a gun, a fine shot with a rifle, a great tracker, a fine horseman, good at fisticuffs, and attractive to women, all while being laconic (usually).

dobber's picture

I've seen that movie!

HankScorpio's picture

Maybe there are just so many stellar candidates that none stand out. Look at the last time the Packers hired a HC. It came down to Sean Payton and Mike McCarthy. At the time, Payton was seen as the more "in demand" choice and McCarthy was viewed as a surprise hire.

I don't think there is right or wrong in picking between the two. I'm not sure the fortunes of either NO or GB would be radically different if the two were switched.

edp1959's picture

I gotta believe that #12 would have at least 3 rings if Payton had gotten the job. He has shown the willingness to upgrade the offensive schemes each year where MM wanted to run the same 2011 scheme year after year.

dobber's picture

For all we know, Payton might have never made it out of the Favre era.

When trying to get an answer for how Payton would have done out of my magic 8-ball, it says, "Reply Hazy, Try Again Later."

Course, I just finished semester grades, so my 8-ball might just be tired.

HankScorpio's picture

When the 8-ball gets back online, ask it if Payton survives Bountygate and/or that run of 7-9 seasons if Favre had not gift-wrapped that NFC CG. That ring on MM's finger bought him some slack, IMO. I wonder how much slack Payton's ring bought him.

LambeauPlain's picture

Actually no. MM, after the 2015 season, fell in love with analytics and it told him if you get 1-2 "chunk" plays every quarter (20-30 yards), the chance of winning was off the charts.

He replaced the West Coast quick passing attack and play action handoffs with more perimeter passing.

Makes sense, if you have the personnel. Kind of had the guys for this in 2016....somewhat in 2017 as the O line began wane.

But not this year with holes in the line and new receivers all around.

MM passed to the perimeter 40% of the time. No other NFL team was even close.

Wrong personnel this year for the "chunk" strategy. Result? Lots of throw aways, incompletions and sacks...and worse...3 and outs.

Oppy's picture

Lost in the mix, of course, is the fact that Drew Brees hands the ball off to the running back occasionally and hits the check down WR on time if the 1-3 read isn't open.

John Kirk's picture

Don't forget TT wanted to interview Brad Chilly Ball Childress but the Vikings made sure he never got on the plane to Green Bay.

I have no doubt Childress would've been our head coach, and you know what...he'd probably have had as much success as Mike McCarthy here. Rich Kotite would've been as successful.

This time we don't have the team to cover for an unimpressive hire. We need an elevatating HC ... not some non-descript surprise choice that lacks intellectual prowess.

HankScorpio's picture

Childress was just a play away from a SB appearance. If not for the ole' gunslinger slinging up another ill-advised throw, he might be on the list of HC with a SB ring on their finger instead of Payton.

It's a fine line sometimes.

John Kirk's picture


As I said, I have no doubt in my mind Childress is as successful as McCarthy had he been hired. Pretty hard screwing up having Aaron Rodgers in his prime.

Since '61's picture

The uncertainty of this offseason is the direct result of mismanagement by the Packers front office, specifically Mark Murphy.

Murphy should have finished the house cleaning last season rather than doing it piece meal. First he fired the GM and then MMs two assistants were replaced. Both of whom are likely to be replaced again by the new HC. How is this fair to Pettine and Philbin?

If MM had been replaced last season with his coordinators we would one year completed with a new HC and staff and systems. In effect due to Murphy’s failure to finish the job our 2018 season has been completely wasted.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but Murphy fired TT because of his poor drafts resulting in a depleted roster which was made obvious after Rodgers injury in 2017. Then Capers was fired which was long overdue. Van Pelt wanted out or he took the fall for failing to have Hundley ready if that was possible.
These were MMs guys so why was MM retained? Beyond that Zook was also retained for some inexplicable reason.

We went into the 2018 season with a depleted roster, a coaching staff in flux and hoping Rodgers would overcome it all. Rodgers ended up playing hurt with rookie WRs behind Adams and a porous OL.

Now we enter the 2019 offseason looking for a new HC with a roster that has even more questions now than before the 2018 season began. Why? Because Murphy tried to pull off a piece meal house cleaning.

Murphy should not be re-signed when his contract comes up in March. Finish the house cleaning and include Murphy this time.

The sooner we can select an HC the sooner we move forward from this period of uncertainty. Change is never easy but moving forward decisively helps build confidence behind the decisions as they are made. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

Guam's picture

While I share the anti Murphy sentiments (the Pack declined on his watch), I am concerned about his status as it relates to our coaching search. If Murphy is the decision maker, what HC will sign on knowing the guy who hired him could be gone in a few months? I would really like to see Murphy turn the reins over to Gutekunst and step back from the search process until his status is resolved. Right now it could be a dark cloud over our hiring process.

Since '61's picture

Guam - I agree completely. As I have posted on another thread Murphy should be placed in charge of all non-football related operations and Gute should be named GM in charge of all football related operations and given him the opportunity to hire his choice for HC.

Like many other posters here I am not happy with Murphy being involved in the football side. First he let the team decline for at least 3-4 seasons then he started a house cleaning which he hasn't finished. The result is a depleted roster, a new HC search and an organization structure which has hurt the on field product and could be a detriment to the current search for an HC. Chuck Murphy, or move him out of football operations and let Gute get the job done. Thanks, Since '61

John Kirk's picture

This is one of my favorite posts I've ever read on Packers football. Bravo.

100% right. If you're going to clean house, you clean it all, not leave the basement flooded why you shampoo the upstairs carpet, but that was Magic Mark.

Again, he was an absentee landlord unaware his building was in dire need of repair almost in condemned status who all of sudden showed up on the scene and decided he'd be a micro-manager. A guy like him should be out for past performance not thrust more into the spotlight.

This whole organization is an embarrassment. Brian, you get the job, but I'll make the HC decisions. What a sham search for a GM that was. He wanted his little minion to follow his lead and take half the GM job because he'd be desperate to have it. A company man who came up under Ted.

Brian Gutekunst shouldn't have been the GM, and Murphy shouldn't have been able to dictate the terms he did especially given his own unconscionable acts over the preceding years.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Can i get a word in?

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Jeez, I thought I was bad.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Don't worry Doug, you are.

LambeauPlain's picture

Good article by TB.

I want a leader as the new HC. I want him to coach the O, D, STs and the coaches. I want him to be an excellent communicator and teacher. I want him to expect his team to be accountable and responsible.

And I want a winner's mindset that is instilled it in the guys he leads.

All this talk about getting a coach who can manage #12 is bullshirt. Rodgers will follow a leader. He's a winner too.

Pack66's picture

You know, it's funny...

When Favre wanted a team around him with some talent you excoriated him for being a "me first, selfish, primadonna"...

And now you hypocrites are defending Aaron Rodgers for wanting the same thing...

Your arguments were..."Let TT build this team without free agency.", and "The Packers are NOT about ONE INDIVIDUAL and other such nonsense... looks like the chickens are a comin' HOME TO ROOST...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!

You reap what you sow, boys...

You reap...what you sow!

LeotisHarris's picture

It is funny....then again, it takes a big dog to weigh a ton.....

If you think a PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED....then maybe you should have "waited at least an hour after eating to go swimming" ..hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

As Ye sew, so shall ye reek!

As Ye shall Ye sew!

(cacophony of laughter with spittle)

::slams hands on keyboard:: ::urinates just a bit in tighty-whities::

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

That was awesome Leotis...

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture


John Kirk's picture

I absolutely LOVED when Brett did this and Woodson as well.

Aaron speaks to keeping his own guys like Jordy, AVP, Cobb, etc. I don't recall him speaking to wanting the things Brett and Woodson wanted.

All for the players putting screws to the FO about lack of players. Heck, as much as I thought MM was a clown, I loved when he called out Ted for not giving him what he felt he needed. It was true. Ted was an absolute joke of a GM who should have his HOF nod put up to a recount. My goodness we live on sentimentality around here.

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"The Bears still suck!"
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."