Cory's Corner: Packers Hierarchy Will Be Tested

Is too much communication really a good thing?

The Packers made plenty of changes this past offseason. 

A new offensive coordinator, a new defensive coordinator and key player additions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

But the biggest change that isn’t being talked about is the Packers’ front office hierarchy. Before, head coach Mike McCarthy would report to general manager Ted Thompson and those two would chat about how player composition would affect the current system.

Fast forward to now and McCarthy skips Brian Gutekunst and goes straight to Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy. The feeling was that Murphy wanted to be included in football decisions rather than just handle the business side. Murphy’s business vision is now visible and the Titletown District will be a boon for the Packers for many years to come.

But is too much communication really a good thing? I mean, what happens if the Packers start 2-2? What strings will Murphy pull? Not to mention, when McCarthy meets with Murphy, will that cause even more friction or will Murphy have a hands off approach?

We all know why the reason that communication was beefed up was because Thompson let it dwindle down to nothing. He was never available, which made the Packers front office appear less than accountable — especially when a draft pick or free agent acquisition went sideways.

On the surface this is very transparent. However, when you add in that Gutekunst cannot hire or fire without counsel from Murphy, one has to wonder if Gutekunst has any autonomous power?

I’m not saying Murphy isn’t fully capable of handling football decisions, because he has played in the NFL for eight seasons, including a Pro Bowl season in 1983 in which the free safety tallied nine picks. But the cost of force-feeding Murphy football decisions is also squeezing some power from Gutekunst, who was just hired.

And one also has to wonder if there was another reason Gutekunst was hired. Was Gutekunst hired because he wouldn’t rock the boat but Eliot Wolf perhaps would? Maybe Wolf knew that the front office was getting reorganized and didn’t want any part of a power deconstruction.

I would be very surprised if Gutekunst wasn’t informed of the new hierarchy before agreeing to become general manager. Why open one avenue of communication but leave another one closed?

Clearly roles and responsibilities remain fluid. Murphy could just be a sounding board for McCarthy or he could be an action man by leaning on Gutekunst to add this player or draft this player.

Either way, the entire organization will be tested if the Packers get out of the gates slow this season.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (115)

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NickPerry's picture

June 30, 2018 at 06:30 am

"I would be very surprised if Gutekunst wasn’t informed of the new hierarchy before agreeing to become general manager. "

Wasn't it reported the Packers hired Gutekunst when he was already in Houston ready to interview but didn't mention he couldn't hire or fire the HC until after he came back from Houston. I mean why would BG be surprised he didn't have that power after he was hired? IMO it was a Chickens*** move, bush league really by Murphy.

"We all know why the reason that communication was beefed up was because Thompson let it dwindle down to nothing."

Perfect example of MURPHY waiting at least 3 or 4 years to long to replace Thompson. Ted rode that 2005 1st round selection and SB 45 victory for at least 4 years longer than any other GM would have been given had the Packers had an owner.

Gute is off to a damn fine first season and it's my hope Murphy figures out he DOES have the right guy in place and will give him the authority EVERY GM in the NFL has.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

June 30, 2018 at 01:10 pm

Spot on and thumbs up!

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Lare's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:10 pm

Agreed.

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Tundraboy's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:29 am

I think you nailed this one NP. My first reaction was McCarthy's ego would never accept reporting to someone at a "junior" football experience level, especially someone who didn't hire him.

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Barnacle's picture

June 30, 2018 at 06:41 am

Gute should have tried for the real GM job in Houston. Accepting the GB job without authority over MM shows very poor judgement.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:04 am

True, but I think Toothless just failed to read the fine print. I really don't think he knew he'd have no power to hire or fire those coaching or negotiating contracts with the players he assembled.

And before we call Toothless naive, let's consider that this setup is so preposterous that it just never occured to him.

If Toothless ever leaves, no other GM will accept coming here with so little authority.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 30, 2018 at 11:23 am

I don't believe it is indicative of poor judgment. There are only so many GM jobs in the NFL and Gute likely would have had only so many opportunities. After AR retires, there is a good chance that Gute's prospects would have gotten worse. He had to strike while the iron was hot: it isn't like people believed that outside of AR GB's roster was excellent.

There is every chance that given time Gute's authority will increase. GB didn't hire Mark Murphy as GM. Success might well solve this issue.

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Lare's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:17 pm

The bottom line is that Gutekunst's performance this offseason may very well make him a hot prospect again next year for any open GM positions. And as they would probably give him complete control over hiring and firing the HC, it would be considered an upgrade so the Packers can't stop him from interviewing.

Murphy's move may backfire on him.

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dobber's picture

June 30, 2018 at 06:01 pm

Didn't some people make the same arguments about John Schneider in Seattle (since he shares some roster control with Pete Carroll), but it turned out he couldn't move without permission (or could be denied the opportunity to interview)?

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Savage57's picture

June 30, 2018 at 06:44 am

There are two sides to this to consider: Most org's vest ultimate decision making authority in one person, and then have heads of the functional areas report to them. So the Packers have adopted that model, and while it's different than most NFL structure, it's not novel.

The flip side is I get chills when I think about football decisions being made by someone other than a football guy. I know Murphy played, but his expertise and experience is in administration, not football operations.

Whatever you do Mark, just don't become Dominic Olejniczak, ver. 2.0, the destroyer of football teams.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

June 30, 2018 at 01:16 pm

For all practical purposes, Murphy is functioning as the General Manager and Gute is comparable to a "Chief of Scouting" with draft authority.

I oppose this setup and am disappointed by Murphy's actions.

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Packer_Fan's picture

June 30, 2018 at 07:48 am

Ever since this decision was made, this concern was present. And it will be that way until things fall apart and new management is needed. Can it work? Yes. It all depends on the egos at Lambeau field. So far, I like what BG has done bringing in new player talent. New coordinators were needed. And quite thankful is no longer making decisions. We will see, we will see.

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Packer_Fan's picture

June 30, 2018 at 07:49 am

Glad TTOes no longer making decisions

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:30 am

Answer this:

If things ever go south and Toothless leaves the GM position, will anyone else come to Green Bay under this hierarchy?

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Packer_Fan's picture

June 30, 2018 at 11:18 am

No. Things will go back to the previous hierarchy. But MM, BRIgand Murphy will all be gone

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:02 am

Thank you for a refreshingly honest answer.

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stockholder's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:04 am

Tested. They already Passed. They gave us peace of mind. TT was done. Changes never come easy. The difference is positive, and more focused.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:22 am

It isn't just McCarthy reporting directly to Murphy. It's also Russ Ball.

Gute can't hire or fire coaches, approve or disapprove contracts affecting the very roster he's developing, or even hire or fire the guy carrying out said negotiations.

And Gute acted like it this off-season. Rather than clean out more expensive contracts and remake our cap structure going forward--like a GM with real power and security might--he merely nibbled at the edges by releasing Jordy Nelson. He couldn't dare release Randall Cobb, as that would upset his star QB--who plays for the coach and negotiates with the finance guy who both report directly to Gute's boss.

He couldn't clean too much house, as that affects Ball's contracts and McCarthy's roster--again, those two report directly to the boss. Heck, if Gute asked a janitor to tidy up his office, the janitor would probably walk away, buckling over in laughter.

The only thing Gute truly controlled was the draft, and he knocked that out of the park. He utterly fleeced New Orleans and Seattle in trades, and dramatically upgraded roster athleticism.

But other than that, he's the weakest GM in the NFL. Hence my new nickname for Gute, borrowing from that great cartoon, "How To Train Your Dragon"...

..."TOOTHLESS."

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NickPerry's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:40 am

That's not true ALP...Gute has authority over the roster and IIRC has final say one roster decisions. The only thing rotten in GB is this whole thing with the HC...At least that's what I understood. If I'm wrong by all means please show me how/why.

Edit...What else do you suppose Gutekunst should have done other than cut Nelson? Matthews? Cobb?? NO WAY...Pettine is excited to have Matthews and so am I in this defense. Could you imagine cutting Nelson AND Cobb? Christ talk about cutting your D*** off. Gutekunst made runs at Watkins and Robinson, he just didn't get them.

I'm giving Gutekunst this year and next which is really barely fair considering the roster and cap space he inherited from Ted.

Toothless??? Christ at least he's taking some BITES. Thompson swung from Rodgers jockstrap for the last 10 years!!!

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:05 am

Every word I wrote was true, NP. The only thing Toothless controls is the draft, since rookie contracts are set.

Toothless can recruit any free agent he wants, but he can't negotiate with any of them--that's done by a guy who reports to Toothless's boss.

Every decision you've advocated always involves a 2018-only vision. That's typical of most Packer fans, and it is the very reason I'm always showered in downvotes and angry posts. I'm used to it. Lynch mobs do what lynch mobs do.

But the fact is, if a GM has real power and security, he can rise above the mob and do what's right for actually positioning the team to become a serious, annual contender again. Had Toothless rid us of Cobb and Matthews, we'd have an extra $20 million moved forward while opening 2 more slots for developing young talent.

But of course, Toothless has no authority whatsoever, so all he can do is placate the win-now coach, the win-now aging star QB, the finance guy who negotiated those bloated contracts and reports to Toothless's boss, and a moronic, lynch mob fan base that can't see 12 months into the future.

So as a result, we're guaranteed of losing 2 promising talents we could develop, while being a $20 million worse team in 2019. Guaranteed.

But Toothless has no choice in the matter, so he must make poor decisions to placate others while mouthing support before the media. The only thing he can do is handle the draft so incredibly well that maybe--just maybe--he can overcome the stupidity forced upon him and build a contender anyway.

His first draft was incredible. Too bad we'll have to cut 2 good young talents from his team and keep low-upside veterans so the coach--over whom Toothless has zero control--can try holding on to his job another year.

Meanwhile, no one in the lynch mob can cite one single respected GM candidate who would even think of coming here and accepting such an arrangement if Toothless ever leaves. No one.

But hey, it's a lynch mob, so who needs reason? You've got numbers, and you always will.

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NickPerry's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:36 am

"Toothless can recruit any free agent he wants, but he can't negotiate with any of them--that's done by a guy who reports to Toothless's boss."

Well ALP who do you think did the negotiating of contracts for Thompson? The difference is instead of reporting to Thompson he reports to Murphy. I'm not head over heels crazy with this new power structure but at least give it a chance. Plus you've failed to elaborate on the most important part of WHY this new structure even came about and who's no longer part of it. TED THOMPSON!!

Already in a single off-season, a matter of about 180 days Gutekunst has made this team better. You think Thompson signs Wilkerson and Graham? Do you honestly believe Thompson would bring in Williams again at 35? How do you know this system won't work? You don't, and you don't know how things may change in the future.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:39 am

"The difference is instead of reporting to Thompson he reports to Murphy. "

That, sir, is a very, very big difference. Of course Ball did the negotiating before, but nothing happened without Ted's say-so. That is now completely gone.

Now, as for Toothless making the team better, I couldn't agree more. But name one thing he's done that he wouldn't have done with more authority.

Toothless isn't the problem--he's awesome. That draft and the deals with New Orleans and Seattle blew me away. The problem is the system. The reason we got Wilkerson, Graham, and Williams has nothing to do with changing the hierarchy, but simply with removing Ted.

There is no way this system will be a good one, but as I've oft stated, we might still succeed just because Toothless is so gifted. He might overcome it all with great draft deals and savvy scouting. I've always said that. I'm just saying he shouldn't have to deal with two guys on his same level being able to control his job--and that's precisely what McCarthy and Ball can do with coaching, negotiating, and going over Toothless's head to Murphy on things regarding Toothless's job.

Some here are saying if we somehow succeed, that validates this arrangement. That's moronic, as our new GM would have succeeded just fine without this arrangement.

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Lare's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:20 pm

Not into the name-calling.

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dobber's picture

June 30, 2018 at 06:04 pm

Agreed.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:09 am

Me too. I don't care for every move BG has done but calling him names is BS. He immediately jumped at the GM job and has worked diligently with MM to fix the Packers roster problems. It's a big step up from the way things where. And if the job responsibilities aren't perfect from some people views that does make BG a target for stupid names.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:28 am

It's not a stupid name. It's just an apt description of his authority level versus most GM's.

I mean, he can't hire or fire the guy coaching the team he assembles--meaning he has zero control over the product--and he can't hire or fire the guy negotiating contracts--meaning he has zero control over the #1 factor affecting his roster development, which is the salary cap.

If you have a better, more descriptive name than "Toothless" for Gute's position, I'm all ears.

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NickPerry's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:38 am

But your not trying to describe Gutekunsts position, your trying to be funny while describing Gutekunst and your failed at both.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:48 am

Completely untrue, NP. I am 100% describing Gute's position, and I'm not trying to be funny at all. You couldn't be more off base.

I have great respect for Toothless, but I don't think he should be put in the position of having a coach and contract negotiator--both of whom heavily affect his roster construction and performance--on his same level.

You're all getting too emotional about this. I'm just saying it's a bad arrangement. I'm saying it would be awful for McCarthy to go straight to Murphy asking for better players, and that's precisely what '61 proposed.

People need to understand there's a reason for the chain of command. It's there to show respect and empowerment to all involved. "Open Door" policies are only in place for when there is abuse, but no one is alleging abuse on Gute's part. We're all best served when we first go to the people who bear the responsibilities regarding our requests, then up the ladder from there--that's common decency.

That's all I'm asking for here. If Toothless is going to be held accountable for the assembling and performance of this roster, then he should have the authority to match that accountability. He currently doesn't have that, and I really doubt any other serious GM candidate would agree to such an arrangement.

Is that really so unfair on my part? Really?

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Spock's picture

July 01, 2018 at 12:13 pm

ALP, "I have great respect for Toothless" You and I have very different ideas of "respect" then. Name calling is for bullies and babies; it is not "showing respect" IMHO. If you feel being called out for it is "lynch mob" mentality I'd say the problem is more with you not your perceived mob. That's all I'm saying on this subject as I will not read any more of your posts that use that ridiculous name for a man who does deserve respect.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:13 am

There are plenty of GMs with even less authority.

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:09 am

IMO, what Murphy observed and probably received feedback on from MM and others was a lack of focus, accountability and poor communication in the TT regime.

What Murphy has done or is trying to do is bring focus and accountability to each area of the football operation and improve communications by keeping himself in the loop on all 3 phases.

It may seem to some that Gute is hamstrung by this structure but in fact he is empowered by it. What is Gute’s primary role as GM? To build a winning roster by acquiring better talent for the team. So far he has done that very well based on his FA signings and his first draft. Why should he be concerned about contracts and/or hiring and firing coaches at this point in his GM career?
What is Russ Ball’s primary focus? Managing the team’s salary cap. Again in the current structure his focus is clear and if something goes wrong with the cap why muddle up Gute’s role when Murphy can deal with Ball? Focus!!!

Finally MM. His role is to win football games. Pretty obvious and easy to be held accountable for regardless of who he is reporting to. Reporting directly to Murphy makes it easier for MM to advocate for additional talent at particular positions due to injuries as the season wears on and during the draft and FA cycles. It also prevents miscommunication between the GM and the HC. If necessary if there are any miscommunication issues Murphy just gets everyone in a room and works it out so everyone is aware of the results.

This structure is not about limiting Gute's authority it is about creating functional management that is focused and accountable for results. It may seem like Gute has less authority than TT but in reality he has more authority and accountability to fulfill his primary role of talent acquisition. MM and his coaches can now focus on player/talent development and winning football games. Russ Ball is responsible for keeping the team out of "cap hell".

In a business corporation it would not be unusual for the CFO (Ball), COO (Gute) and CMO (MM) to report directly to the President/CEO (Murphy). This structure can work fine if managed properly. And BTW, this structure creates more accountability for Murphy with the BoD. Worst case scenario is that it changes again. This may be a transitional structure anyway until Gute grows/evolves into a more traditional GM role.

In the end if the Packers are winning this structure is fine, if not it will become the excuse for losing. Success has many fathers, failure is always an orphan. Thanks, Since '61

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:09 am

Sorry, '61, but that's ludicrous. Toothless literally has no power to hire or fire those coaching and negotiating with the players he assembles. And you say he's empowered? My goodness. You say he can "focus" because other people do those jobs? Ummm....they would still be doing those jobs if he could hire and fire them.

Be honest: If Toothless ever leaves, what other GM candidate of any note will come here under this arrangement? Name one--just one--who will embrace such "empowerment."

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:53 am

ALP - How much "authority" do you think a GM has with an owner like Jerry Jones or the owner of the Redskins and other teams with egotistical owners? You have narrowly defined the GM role in a particular way because you believe that is how it works everywhere else when in fact there are other GMs who don't have control over the salary cap and/or over the hiring and firing of their coaches. The NY Giants owner makes those decisions just as one example. In fact there are numerous reporting structures throughout the NFL teams. I have done enough consulting work with the NFL to know there are different structures throughout the league. (FYI, I had a non-football contract with the NFL up until 2008)

When I consult with my clients on organizational structure I never have just one organization chart with pre-defined roles. I work with them to customize an appropriate organization with roles that will work best for them going forward. This is especially true when two organizations are coming together as a result of a Merger and Acquisition project.

As for who would come to Green Bay that would depend upon the candidate and where they are in their career. An experienced GM probably would not take the job. A new GM might. But what would most likely happen is that the role would be restructured (again) for the candidate who the Packers felt was most qualified to do the job. None of this is in permanent concrete. The GM role can be defined anyway that the team and the candidate agree on. In NE the GM is also the HC. Why? Because it is working for them. It will probably change when Bellicheck retires someday. Don't get hung up on the structure. Only the results matter. And suppose Gute's authority is limited? What does that mean? Is it the end of the Packers as we know them? Is the sky really falling in Wisconsin? I'm in NJ, so maybe that is what is happening up there.

All I do know is that Gute has done a fine job so far, so what's to complain? Let's see what happens during the season. Thanks, Since '61

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Savage57's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:38 am

I chuckle at all the organizational behavior and development experts whose argument is founded upon a not-very-funny nickname for the GM and 'the sky is falling' yelling at the wind before even seeing one scintilla of evidence the change is but the first mile on the road to perdition.

Murphy's expertise is in administration, so I'm good with giving him some leeway on this one.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:47 am

Who's tryng to be funny? My nickname for him is simply accurate within NFL standards.

Could things work out? Sure, anything's possible. But a stupid arrangement is a stupid arrangement, and none of you people are mentioning one name of a respected GM candidate who would come here under this arrangement if Toothless ever leaves.

Why? Because you know I'm right.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:48 am

Jones? Redskins? You just mentioned 2 instances that are going the way of the dinosaur. Actually just one, since the Skins have already moved away from the micromanage model.

You don't have NFL GM clients, so stay on topic.

--I went through several ways the current setup robs Toothless of authority. Do you deny any of these?

--I rightfully mocked your idea for McCarthy going over Toothless's head. Do you still defend that loony idea?

--I challenged your assertion that Toothless somehow has more authority than Ted did. Any answer?

--I asked what other respected GM candidate would come here under this arrangement. Well???

Look, you're defending a bizarre, moronic arrangement. Just admit it, '61. After all, you didn't set up this stupid plan, so why link yourself to It?

Just drop it, okay? This one is a losing cause.

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2018 at 02:23 pm

First ALP, let me say that I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my posts and provide your feedback. Secondly, I regret that my posts have caused you so much confusion, so I will use this opportunity to clarify my points for you.

1. In general I am not defending the current structure I am merely stating that I think the correct structure can work and that I am willing to give it a chance. Speaking for myself I am not in a position to know that it will work until I see the results on the field although I think that Gute has done a good job so far.

2. I don't deny that Gute probably has less authority than TT but again, I am not aware of the limits on Gute's authority. My point is that if in fact Gute is limited to talent acquisition that can be good in that it allows him to work directly with the scouting organization to seek the best players available for the Packers whether via trade, FA or through the draft.

3. You may think that you rightfully mocked my comment about MM having access to Murphy but your reply clearly indicates that you did not understand my comment or for that matter the Packer's existing structure. I will again assume that my comment was not clear enough for you and therefore caused confusion for you in your comprehension of the subject. I will try to correct that here.
Murphy has made Russ Ball, MM and Gute peers. Peers means that they have equal status as far as access to Murphy is concerned. Therefore in this arrangement, as peers (peers means equals, repetition is good for learning) if MM goes directly to Murphy he is not going over Gute's head ( as you seem to be thoroughly terrified of) and he is not going over Ball's head either. Also, if Gute goes directly to Murphy it doesn't mean that Gute is going over MMs head. I hope that you are still keeping up. Maybe using the term peers has scared you off or thrown you for a loop.

4. I never said that Gute has more authority than TT only that he may in fact currently have more authority than TT did in talent acquisition. Having said that I admit that I don't how much authority TT had as GM or how much authority Gute has. I don't have any evidence or written documentation to accurately state who has how much authority over what. Perhaps you do which is why you can make the statements that you make. I am not in every meeting and conversation at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. Apparently you are and therefore you know everything and you can rightfully mock people for posting a different idea, thought or opinion than yours.

5. What other GM would come here under this arrangement. I perviously answered that I wasn't sure if any experienced GM would come here but I believe that whoever would come here as a future GM would be the candidate that the Packers felt would be most qualified for the position and that they would likely restructure the position for that candidate. I also posted that the current GM role is not written in stone and can be changed at any time. I can slow down here if necessary.

6. I never said that I have NFL GMs as clients, not that my clients are any of your business. I merely stated that I had a non-football related contract with the NFL. You know, the NFL is a corporation like any other. And they hire consultants to work on projects that they do not have a particular expertise in. I was lucky enough to get a contract at the time and part of the job involved looking at the organizational structure of each NFL team. Guess what, there are many similarities and many differences. Sorry don't mean to confuse you, but I digress.

7. As for dropping it, I will decide when and if I drop a topic. Neither I nor any of the other posters on this blog come here to be ordered around by you. And I for one will or will not drop it because you order me too.

8. Whether it satisfies or not consider this post my response to your other mocks, insults, innuendos and calumny in your posts following below.

9. To summarize, I am not defending the current structure just stating that it can work. Since MM, Gute and Ball are peers no one is going over anyone's head. I am willing to give this structure a chance to work and I will judge it by the results on the field. I concede that I am not the omnipresent Packer mind that you obviously are but I still live in the USA and I will post and share my thoughts and comments because they are at least as valid as yours and finally if nothing else I know that you have no authority over me or any of the other posters here and I will never obey your orders to drop or not drop something.

There, I have done my best to make myself clear to you. Now, I'm off to the Yankees game. Don't let my leaving prevent you from hurling your mocks and insults at other posters, I wouldn't order you to do that or anything else.
Thanks, Since '61

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 01, 2018 at 12:38 am

Now this one I agree with, so here is a thumbs up. I'd give a second thumbs up just for using the word calumny, but alas, I have just one to give.

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Since'61's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:38 am

Thanks TGR. Just trying to keep maintain a sense of humor and keep it light by throwing in a good, solid word now and then. After all it's impossible, at least for me, to actually know what is going on behind the doors at 1265. We can only speculate based on the very few facts and evidence we pick up from various sources. Thanks, Since '61

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NickPerry's picture

July 01, 2018 at 06:44 am

Excellent post Since '61.

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Since'61's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:38 am

Thanks Nick. Since '61

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zerotolerance's picture

July 01, 2018 at 01:48 pm

Meant for Since61.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:52 am

If you go to the mutual boss discussing someone else's job--procuring players--then that is most certainly going over their head. If McCarthy does that, it will be a bloodbath. If I were in Toothless's shoes, I'd quit on the spot.

So yes, I rightfully mocked your suggestion.

You had absolutely no way of saying Toothless has more authority than Ted did in player acquisition, and in fact he clearly has less since he has zero authority over the guy negotiating the contracts. Having the usual lynch mob chime in agreement with you changes nothing.

You, like the rest of your mob, have absolutely no idea who would come replace Toothless under this ridiculous agreement. If that has changed, by all means let me know.

No one "ordered you" to drop it. I simply said you should since you were--and are--defending a hopeless position.

I never claimed to be an "omnipresent Packer mind," but hey, I'm the only one mocking, right?

Your points were always clear, '61. I just don't want one "peer" going to their mutual boss and complaining about another "peer's" job.

Will this setup work? No, but Toothless is so good at handling the draft that he might force the organization to win despite itself. But no one of any caliber would come here under these circumstances. No one.

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zerotolerance's picture

July 01, 2018 at 01:46 pm

Most excellent. My hat is off to you sir.

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Since'61's picture

July 02, 2018 at 04:19 pm

I appreciate your generous comment. Thanks, Since '61

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:15 am

My goodness, you say by reporting directly to Murphy, McCarthy can "advocate for additional talent at particular positions"??? In other words, McCarthy can go over Toothless's head and whine to their mutual boss to pressure Toothless to do what he wants????

And you think this "empowers" the GM???

Again, if Toothless ever leaves, what other GM candidate will come here under this ludicrous arrangement?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 30, 2018 at 01:39 pm

Since '61, I mostly disagree. Success indeed has many fathers while failure is always an orphan. Providing accountability cannot be furthered by introducing more fathers. The structure you described simply makes it difficult to assess which actors were responsible for any particular decision. I doubt that in practice the organization works the way you or ALP describe or the way portrayed by the media. ALP is correct in his point since it is crystal clear that Gute does not have the authority that TT held, but it remains to be seen if these folks and their egos can make the current structure work, or if in practice the fiefdoms are really that stark.

MM can talk to Murphy to discuss what types of players (or even suggest specific players) he'd like to see signed or drafted. That is fine as long as Murphy is just making sure Gute is aware of the views of MM, Pettine, and Philbin. It isn't fine if Murphy orders Gute to acquire free agent x or draft player x in accordance with MM's (or Murphy's) desires. The meetings can make Murphy more aware of which party wanted what or whom, giving Murphy good information so he can assess all parties after each season.

It is inconceivable that Russ Ball can unilaterally decide how much to pay anybody, or within limits how to structure a deal. Like TT before, I am sure in my own mind that Gute gives various parameters and tells Ball to negotiate with players/agents. Since GMs have to keep an eye on future years, the parameters probably include back-loading, front-loading, or something neutral in terms of cap hits. It is not and should not be Ball's purview to keep us out of cap hell. That's the GM's job. If Gute tells Ball to sign Graham and Wilkerson, Ball must not have the authority to independently refuse because in Ball's opinion Graham's demands would put GB in cap hell. If those players are willing to sign with GB within the financial parameters that make sense to Gute, then Ball must finalize the deal.

I am not really a fan of Mark Murphy's power grab. If he wanted to be de facto GM, he should have stepped down as CEO and President and tried to become one. I wonder if any team would have hired him? [This is the trouble I have with your comparison to the corporate world: I am having difficulty with Murphy's qualifications to be CEO.] Still, it isn't clear how much of his de jure authority he intends to actually wield, other than reserving unto himself the decision whether to retain MM.

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2018 at 02:18 pm

TGR - I agree completely. My post was merely a concept of how or why Murphy has set the current structure up. I agree that Russ Ball cannot unilaterally make salary decisions. In fact I doubt if any of MM, Gute or Ball that make a unilateral decision that would drastically affect the team.

What I am saying is that this approach can, if managed correctly, improve communications and bring focus to the respective areas.

Yes, it would be wrong for Murphy to order Gute to sign a particular player and I don't think that is what Murphy or MM wants either. I think it is a matter that Murphy wants all 3 to know that he is there to facilitate communications and prevent issues from falling through the cracks.

Maybe I just don't see it but I don't think that the Packers have become so dysfunctional that MM, Gute and Ball can't sit down and work out together whatever issues they have. I don't see MM running down the hall to Murphy's office saying Gute said this or he didn't do that and vice-versa. They are all professionals, let them do their jobs and as necessary Murphy can sort out the problems and the messes. The buck stops with him. Thanks, Since '61

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:06 am

Your post wasn't just a "concept." You made an assertion, I quoted it, pointed out the problems, and you've since tried to back down from it by redefining it as a "concept."

Look, as a consultant, you must surely know it is NEVER a good idea for one guy to go to the boss complaining about another guy's work--not unless you want a war.

And that's the whole problem with this setup. Now that Toothless has so little authority, other guys can more freely "weigh in" with the boss on his job. They don't report to him at all.

My goodness, this is not a setup that recognizes the responsibility placed on the GM if things go wrong. Outside of the draft--which he fully controls--he isn't running the team his way at all. He's running it their way.

No other GM would sign up for this. Not a chance.

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fastmoving's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:06 am

ALP knows not much except how to spin things completly around. Its not much but some other made a living out of it even considered a complete luck of brain.

So he is the smart hero who will safe us and everyone else is the mob. he got all the downgrades because he can see clear and isnt afraid to speak out the truth.
so it doent matter he is just a guy behind a pc who got a lot of time. dont ask him why........

And what a sensless question to ask for a GM who would come here!!! Who will he know if we name someone? Nobody knows. but he would always say......"naaaahh this guy would never work here under this conditions. worst managment rules in the whole world........ist so sad"

ok, but this is the last time in my life I burn minutes with reading this ALP stuff or even write something about it.

that would be my mistake than........

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:17 am

Setting aside your lack of coherence, I'll just make one recommendation:

Grammar.

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Since'61's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:59 am

ALP - my first post on this topic started with IMO, that is "in my opinion", "what Murphy has done or is trying to do". How can my opinion be an assertion. I am in no position to make any assertions because I don't have any facts or evidence to work with. Again my approach was that the current structure can work not that it is either good or bad. I don't know what the future holds for this structure or for Gute or for any future GM who may come to Green Bay.

Finally, I posted that MM, Ball and Gute have equal access to Murphy. That doesn't mean that they will not work together on their own without Murphy, it just means they have equal access to Murphy to give him input on issues. How Murphy handles the input is up to him.

And as I posted in most companies the CFO,COO, CIO, CMO, Etc. have equal access to the CEO. It doesn't mean they are going behind anyone's back it just means that the CEO is available to all of his direct reports as necessary to get things done. My business partner and I have always allowed our CFO, CIO, Senior Counsel and Business heads in Europe and Asia direct access to both of us individually or together and its worked out fine for over 30 years. Peer to peer and reporting matrices of every shape and form have worked for years in all types of organizations. And if it doesn't work responsible management changes the reporting relationships as necessary. The Packers can do the same with the current structure, which although it is a small sample size, appears to be working so far.

My last comment, this structure can work and if it doesn't it can and probably will be changed, so what is the problem? Just give it time, watch the games, enjoy and let Murphy, MM, Ball and Gute do their jobs. I'm done with this. Thanks, Since '61

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Your opinion is an assertion because you made multiple assertions.

Look, the current setup is a problem because you have someone--the GM--bearing great responsibility with very little authority to carry it out. All he can really do is draft and recommend FA prospects. He can't decide how the team is coached, which means his roster could be completely mishandled and he'd have zero power to fix the problem. He can't prevent poor negotiations from wrecking his salary cap and inhibiting further roster development.

He's in a heck of a spot, '61. He has virtually no control over multiple aspects affecting his evaluation.

Look, I believe he, McCarthy and Ball are good guys, so the system will function okay. But that doesn't make it a good system--it just makes them good guys.

And honestly, I believe this system has already inhibited our GM from making more forward-thinking decisions, as he has sunk enormous cap space into 2018 at the expense of 2019. A stronger GM with full authority would likely have shed more cap and taken 2 offseasons to rebuild the mess Ted left, but Gute has instead been rushing success to placate his coach, financial negotiator, QB, and pretty much everyone else who won't look past this season.

Gute will succeed to a fair degree just because he's very talented (his work on draft day was flat-out amazing), but this only begs the question: What if we just gave this guy normal GM powers?

I'll bet he'd have this team back to powerhouse status by 2019. Full powerhouse status. That's how much I believe in him. But now he's inhibited, forced to "win now" at all costs. He's behaving like a guy who has no authority or job security at all.

When I call him "Toothless," that's not disparaging our GM. I love the guy. Nor am I trying to be funny (strangely, some people think I am). It's my frustrated protest of the demeaning position in which we've placed this fine GM, and honestly, it reeks of power plays from Murphy, Ball, and McCarthy. It really does.

If Murphy, Ball, and McCarthy are really such good guys--I'm hoping they are--then they shouldn't want their GM neutered this way. They should want him to have full authority to match his responsibility. It troubles me that they demanded he be so cut back.

You say "give it time," as if good results would somehow prove this is a good arrangement. But that's not true. Gute will bust his tail drafting great to overcome the limitations of his arrangement, but if he succeeds, that shouldn't justify the arrangement. In fact, I suspect it will pave his way out of town, for some other team will surely offer him a much better situation if he succeeds in this one.

That's both my "opinion" and my "assertion." Is it really that unfair?

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snowdog's picture

July 02, 2018 at 01:07 pm

APC . Relax. Leave your big boy pants on the floor . Go get laid .
What a difference a day will make .

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Rak47's picture

June 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm

There are quite a few assumptions in your post Reynaldo. Please if you would explain to me how you 'grab power" over something you already control. And at what point did TT ever fire a HC other than Sherman who was not his choice and coached his way out of GB legitimately? All I heard were complaints about how TT held no one accountable and had none himself. Now Murphy steps in to make sure that does not happen again and yet still more complaints. It is quite obvious the last structure did not end up working well, so they changed it and have a new one. So what's with all the pessimism over a planted seed that hasn't been given the chance to sprout and grow? Can you personally tell me how close McCarthy and Gute are or are not? Did it occur to you that it's possible McCarthy could be sitting in Murphy's hot seat? And that he could want to reserve the right to replace McCarthy for his own reasons?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 01, 2018 at 03:24 am

I do make some assumptions out of necessity based on available evidence. I don't think Mark Murphy had the power to retain MM as head coach prior to December of 2017: that was within the GM's sole control. No longer, so there has indeed been a power shift. On January 2, "Murphy said that the new G.M. would have the power to hire and fire the coach. On Monday [January 8], Murphy told reporters that he, and not Gutekunst, will supervise the coach and have the power to make changes, if and when changes are necessary." Murphy said his supervision of the head coach would include the “game plan, games, coaching positions. everything that’s under the head coach’s control.” I am as positive as I can be that Murphy's actual power has been greatly augmented under the new structure: hence the power grab phrase. [And Murphy's credentials for overseeing the head coach are very suspect: it consists solely of having been a NFL player for 8 seasons. To be nastier, Murphy has never coached at any level, so there is little reason to think he is qualified to supervise "a highly successful" head coach, coordinator or position coach, or game plan. The NFL might have changed since Murphy stopped playing in 1983.

This isn't the first time Murphy wanted to make sure MM remained HC. In May of 2014 (after MM's halfway comments), there were reports that Murphy wanted to give MM a new contract even though MM was under contract for the 2014 and 2015 seasons (at a reported $6.5M/year) and TT was under contract through the 2016 draft. I don't want to connect too many dots, but were I MM, I'd prefer Murphy being the decision-maker about my fate than an unknown GM. Even so, MM might be on the hot seat, but I think it isn't as hot as it would have been if a new GM had decided MM's fate. [Murphy extended TT through the 2018 season in July of 2014, and MM was extended through the 2018 season in November of 2014; having the contracts for the GM and HC expire at the same time is normal for GB.]

"Mike McCarthy's future was decided by Thompson and Murphy during the season. McCarthy's contract was extended through 2019, and McCarthy, who Murphy said "is our man," will work with the new GM (Source: NPR).

"As to why Thompson is moving, Murphy said he and Thompson talked last year when Thompson expressed an interest in being more involved in scouting. Jump to the end of this season and Thompson brought it up again." IDK if Murphy fired or nudged TT out, or if TT decided to leave. The quote above makes it sound like TT and Murphy decided that MM would be HC in 2018, but this contradicts Murphy's quote on January 2. What is clear is that big decisions were made as late as early December of 2017 (extending MM and re-signing Linsley for good-sized money and Adams for big money). I am okay with Murphy being involved in extending MM, but not if he was the decision-maker on Linsley and Adams.

I have no idea how close Gute is to MM, or Ball to MM. I don't know how close MM was to Wolf or Highsmith, or if that was a factor in their decisions to leave. That's too many dots for me to connect.

Finally, it seems to me like we have a window of 3 to 7 years. It would be nice if we had really talented people as Associate HC, OC, DC, HC, and GM (and CEO if he is going to stick his nose into football operations) all at the same time for the bulk of those years. Ron Wolf once said "never hire a friend" but I don't think MM lives by those words. Really, far too much the opposite.

"And that he [Murphy] could want to reserve the right to replace McCarthy for his own reasons?" Are you suggesting that not only will Gute not have the ability to fire MM after the 2018 season, but Murphy will decide on any replacement? Way too many dots there for me.

https://www.totalpackers.com/2014/05/mark-murphy-inexplicably-wants-give...

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Rak47's picture

July 01, 2018 at 01:47 pm

I still think people should be careful what you ask for. I really don't see McCarthy as a problem. I've been on these Packer threads calling for Capers head since the 2013 season ended. My biggest problem with McCarthy was his loyalty to Capers. And TT was the other major issue. Capers and TT both were very old school, inflexible and failed to adapt to the modern NFL. I see McCarthy as very flexible and willing to make changes to his offense and at times it has cost him but he remains fluid. I really don't think that AR wants to learn an entirely new offense after spending his entire career mastering this one. Imho replacing McCarthy at this point would be a mistake and could potentially backfire in the organizations face.

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Rak47's picture

July 01, 2018 at 01:59 pm

No disrespect intended Reynaldo but I seriously cannot take any article serious when the unprofessional journalist writing it calls the HC a "buffoon" while quoting Mr." I talked to a GM somewhere around the league who say's". Anyone who follows Packer football also knows McGinn had an axe to grind with the Packers and McCarthy. The writer obviously hated McCarthy and let his biased opinion be known making his so called posted article merely a rant. There is nothing wrong with extending or giving a raise to your SB winning coach coming off yet another division title no matter how you try to spin it.

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 02, 2018 at 08:54 am

Total Packers is a totally worthless site. It's WAGS section shows the site's main theme. It is more interested in AR's personal life than Packers analysis. Anyone citing it damages their credibility.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:08 am

Reynaldo, if you were in Toothless's shoes , would you want McCarthy going to Murphy to get more executive weight added to his recommendations REGARDING YOUR JOB, or would you want him coming to you--like he'd do if you were his boss?

You tell me.

Dress it up any way you want, but a power move is a power move, and I believe Toothless will be furious if McCarthy does that.

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Rak47's picture

July 01, 2018 at 02:12 pm

Wrong question ALP, try asking Rey would he take the Packer GM job tomorrow if offered under the same conditions as Gute. And ask yourself while you're at it but please don't come back lying and acting like you wouldn't, lol. You would take the job and do your best to make it work. And if you didn't and worried about your peers responsibilities you would fail. Gute is not going to fail and has shown as much so far. I highly doubt he's worried at all about McCarthy's role in what he, Gute has to do to make this team better.I think he'll leave that to you and a few others on here.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:16 am

Reynaldo, what is Toothless going to do if Ball doesn't negotiate "within his parameters?" Fire him? He can't--he has no authority. Go crying to Murphy? That makes him look even weaker, and besides, Murphy was the one who specifically prevented him from being Ball's boss--so no leverage there.

The fact is, Toothless has absolutely no authority whatsoever in crafting contracts and managing the most important facet affecting his job--the salary cap.

I really don't think he knew what he was signing up for, and I can't think of anyone who would agree to such an arrangement if Toothless ever leaves.

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Rak47's picture

July 01, 2018 at 02:26 pm

"what is Toothless going to do if Ball doesn't negotiate "within his parameters?" " And what would they all do if a mountain fell out of the sky on 1265 Lombardi ave? Try to keep in mind these men are corporate professionals paid millions of dollars to do a job and check their personal feelings at the door. They're not a bunch of college frat boys all chasing the same girl. Btw, Gute wouldn't have to do anything if Ball decided not to follow the set parameters for negotiating as I'm sure Murphy would have something to say about it and probably wouldn't like anyone rocking his boat like that, would you? I sure as heck wouldn't and would call Ball in my office to know why. And if I wasn't satisfied with the answer I would take time to determine what to do about it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:54 pm

Even a bad organizational structure can work well if the personnel are professional and not petty. Murphy's role concerns me, but not if he is just listening, making sure that everyone is aware of each party's position, and then lets everyone do their jobs, using the information to assess Gute, Ball, and MM after each season. Remember that Murphy was a Union executive and then after becoming CEO of GB he was appointed to the NFL's executive committee that hammered out the 2011 CBA. As an attorney with an MBA, he should be pretty knowledgeable about how the cap works.

I can't think of any particular reason to worry that Ball would go rogue to obstruct or sabotage Gute or MM. Ball by all accounts is a well-respected and well-liked person around the league. I suppose Ball could subtlely make sure that the FAs Gute wanted to be pursued never signed with GB, but that is too many dots for me to connect. Surely if Gute didn't think the contracts signed by Twill, Graham, Wilkerson, and House or the offer sheet issued to Fuller conformed to Gute's parameters, Gute could hash that out with Murphy and/or Ball. I suppose there are more opportunities to obstruct the deals that don't happen, but again, this is too many dots for me to connect.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:14 am

Agreed. Now the Packers have a CFO, CEO, COO, and CHRO. It's based on a Business RACI Model that generates Trillions of dollars of revenue a year.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

July 07, 2018 at 10:49 pm

Since '61,

You made your points very well.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:21 am

And please, '61, describe how Toothless "has more authority" than Ted did "to fulfill his primary role of talent acquisition."

What authority does Toothless have that Ted lacked? Please enlighten me.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:17 am

Dude, just stop. You made your opinions known. You are not entitled to universal agreement.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:33 am

I'll debate points as I wish, thanks. If you can defeat them, be my guest.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:17 am

They look solidly defeated to me already. They where a long time ago. Now your just being a loudmouth because you can't stand to be disagreed with.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 12:14 pm

No one has defeated my points at all, jj. Ganging up isn't defeating. It's just ganging up.

Now, if you can defeat my points on merit, feel free to do so. No one's stopping you.

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 02, 2018 at 07:29 am

This thread confirms that Peth is totally unhinged. His hate extends from the good people he has attacked here to the world around him.

He is a dangerous person. The people living around him should be concerned.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:38 am

Hey, if Russ Ball ever decides to give Rodgers $40 mill/year and completely hamstring Toothless's ability to acquire new talent, TOOTHLESS COULDN'T DO A THING ABOUT IT.

Wait, that's not true. Maybe Toothless could plead with McCarthy to put in a good word with their mutual boss to let Toothless discuss committing so much roster money before the contact is signed?

Nah, that would give Toothless too much authority...

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dblbogey's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:19 pm

I give you a thumbs down for each post with the word "Toothless" in it. That would be every post. It's silly, childish and unintelligent .

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Lare's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:25 pm

I agree.

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dobber's picture

June 30, 2018 at 06:17 pm

Russ Ball does not have the power to initiate or finalize player contract negotiations without the OK of BG.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 07:50 am

Initiate? No. But beyond that, Toothless is dealing with a finance guy over whom he has zero authority.

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dobber's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:09 am

Initiate OR finalize.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Exactly. If you said, "and," you'd be correct. By saying "or" you've said he can't do either.

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dobber's picture

July 01, 2018 at 02:27 pm

Huh?

From the original post: "Russ Ball does not have the power to initiate or finalize player contract negotiations without the OK of BG." Both activities--the initiation and finalization of player contracts--go through BG, even though Russ Ball does the actual negotiations. BG controls the roster. That has not been in question. He can cut any player that Russ Ball signs.

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DD's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:08 am

Biggest mistake the Oackers made is having MM and Ball over Gute. What a joke!! MM hasn't proven much change since 2010, what makes anyone think he'll change all of the sudden. He's stuck in boredom and old schemes! So fans, live with this another year as Rodgers has to carry the team. MM is stale and has an ego problem, no change attitude. MM will say we'll have to watch film and work on fundamentals again, SAD! Same words, different year. Gee. I hope I'm totally wrong , but even casual fans will use their eyes to see what happens. It doesn't take a genius. Too much control for MM is a huge concern.

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DD's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

DD: That's Packers, ops. I'll correct my fundamental spelling error.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

June 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

Uh oh, another voice of reason. You're doomed.

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Packmaniac's picture

June 30, 2018 at 11:31 am

Just a side note: Owner Jerry Jones is also the GM of Dallas, so that example doesn't apply.

I understand the misgivings about the new arrangement ( the waters could end up much muddier than need be) but on the whole I agree with '61's take. One thing seems certain: Like with a draft class, you can't judge a fresh situation until it is no longer wet behind the ears. Using a draft class as an example, you can have a bad feeling about it -- who hasn't thought 'damn, that pick's gonna be a bust' and been spot-on? And can have a neutral or good felling about it -- 'this guy is gonna be a soild addition'' but he busts, badly. We've all nailed it and failed it at one time or another.

Are misgivings about the arrangement valid? Sure -- it's part of the territory with change. Is a wait-and-see approach valid? Yep -- that also comes with the territory of change. Either way, it's an argument that can't be settled in the present.

As '61 pointed out, the arrangement isn't written in stone (could shift based on a poor showing) -- and thank goodness it isn't written in stone, because misgivings about it do seem warranted.

Anyway, at present I'm sticking with my enjoyment of Ted being gone. I have misgivings about some of "the leftoverss" (Like Murph and MM), but they're there for the foreseeable future wether I like it or not, so no sense in sweating what I can't conrol.

I like Gute so far. and am glad Ted is gone. I'm sticking with that feeling for the time being.

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Pack maniac - I agree, let’s give it a chance. W/Ls are all that matters. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Archie's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:17 pm

Gute's done a great job thus far. I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise. But this new management structure not only is a power grab by Murphy (similar to how Cheney became VP under W) but it harkens back to the Bratz/Infante days. Ron Wolf was right, the GM needs full control over all football decisions. Management by committee never works.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:22 am

Meh, he was already the President. He had all of the power already and is now redistributing it to a flatter RACI. Anyway there is 0 chance that all of this was not cleared by the board after lots of discussion.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 02, 2018 at 11:12 am

I don't think Murphy had the juice to fire McCarthy in 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016, and maybe not in 2017. I agree though that the BOD almost certainly cleared this thing.

I don't think all is lost or the structure inevitably will fail. We'll see. As far as I know, Gute, Ball, MM, and Murphy are all reasonable people who can play nicely together.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

June 30, 2018 at 01:06 pm

The change I would have welcomed never came and that would be replacing Murphy.

Sure do miss Bob Harlan.

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2018 at 01:18 pm

I agree Ferrari but we haven't found the rewind button so here we are. Thanks, Since '61

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Lare's picture

June 30, 2018 at 05:43 pm

Agreed, Harlan hired good football people and sat back and let them do their job. He was also available to the fans by answering every phone call.

Murphy is just the opposite, he hired good football people but demands that they run every decision by him. He also refuses to answer his phone and spends the vast majority of his time on business ventures (i.e. Titletown District).

I hate to say it, but I don't think Murphy's oversight of the team operations is going to be successful. Hopefully it won't take a downturn in the team's success on the football field before the Packer's Board and Executive Committee see that.

We probably wouldn't be at this point had Murphy simply been able to admit that he let the Ted Thompson situation go on far too long.

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Archie's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:21 pm

Good insights. By letting TT/MM run things into the ground, Murphy created the opening for himself that he obviously was looking for. And I agree that it is very likely that Murphy will not be successful in this role. He certainly failed by doling out accolades for TT/MM right up until he fired TT and failed to fire MM. Give Gute the job and get out of the way.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:22 am

Oh sure, Murphy wanted the Packers to lose as some excuse to exercise his authority.

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Archie's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:26 pm

So according to you, Murphy couldn't see any of the problems till 12 went down? That's scary. Nothing that happened after 12 went down surprised me. Yet Murphy has the entire football staff now reporting to him. Something is missing in the logic here. Murphy is as guilty of the Pack's recent failures as the guys they have fired as well as Ball and MM.

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Archie's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:27 am

Except that it has been painfully obvious for 3 to 5 years that TT was failing to pick the right players on draft day and when he finally goes into FA he picks a moron like Marty Bennett. As to MM, it was/is painfully obvious that his offensive scheme lacks all creativity and his stubbornness to keep Capers was sufficient alone to move him from his job. And all this organizational dysfunction he refers to in terms of nobody talking to anybody all happened under his nose. Maybe he was observing the firewall between the football product and the marketing money making side of the business but his #1 job has always been to decide whether the GM stays or goes. He chose to let TT stay all these years when he either was missing on talent or missing in the square peg in round hole. To me there was plenty of evidence by last year (and before) to let the whole damn bunch go.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

July 07, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Fully agree on Murphy making the team wealthier, but he is the CEO of a team located in an area of hard working fans whose wages and incomes are dramatically different from other NFL franchises like those in New York and California for example.

Many of the people in the Wisconsin area who are season ticket holders make $70,000 per year or even less and sit on metal benches as opposed to seats. Yet Murphy doesn't even keep their ticket prices in the lower echelon of the NFL prices, but rather has tickets priced in the middle.

I live in California where incomes and the cost of living are much higher so ticket prices aren't a big hit to fans overall income like they are for fans in Green Bay; we simply pay more for everything here.

I simply think Murphy could be more reasonable in his quest to maximize profits for the organization. Hard to imagine many dad's these days forking out money to buy tickets for himself and his two boys to attend 6 or 8 packer games each year if he only makes $70,000 per year.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 30, 2018 at 04:06 pm

Let’s just wait a year or two and see how this all works before we pass judgment.

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Turophile's picture

July 01, 2018 at 06:11 am

Part of being a Packer fan is jumping in with opinions on things too early. Perfectly understandable, because we all care about the team in our own way, and most of us have opinions on each significant move made............. and the changes this year are very, very significant ones.

As PatrickGB says, time will clarify which opinions are closer to being right. I don't know yet if these changes will work or not, but one thing I do know right now, is that changes were needed, so SOMETHING had to be done and the Packers have made sweeping changes. It is a positive move that the changes were made, purely because they WERE needed.

My belief (note that word), is that guys like Since '61 are much closer to the truth than the Andrew Lloyd Peth's of the world, but its probably going to take years to determine whether my mostly blind belief is borne out by results.

I'll add a comment on ALP's nickname. I don't like it much. By it's very nature, a nickname is meant to reduce a person down to one word or phrase. Rather than simplify an opinion (on someone) down to one word, I prefer to muddle through the complexities of things. That is preferable (to me) over a one-word dismissal. Gute simply hasn't been GM long enough for such a nickname to be a valid distillation of who/what he is.

Finally, kudos to Cory Jennerjohn for managing to come up with a piece that elicits so much detailed comment. Stuff worth commenting on is very, very thin, at this time of year. Well done.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:37 am

I'm not reducing the person. I have great respect for the job Gute has done within the area where he has control--the draft. I'm reducing the position in which he has been placed.

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Turophile's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:59 am

A fair enough point ALP.
It's just that not everyone will view it the way you intended. Some will see it as a slight on the person (which I did, and judging by others posts, I'm not alone).

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Tundraboy's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:17 pm

Yes. A voice of reason. Not a simple arrangement that's for sure, but I think we will have a pretty good idea by season end. Particularly with McCarthy.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

June 30, 2018 at 04:23 pm

BG is a young guy. No managerial experience whatsoever. Makes all the sense to narrow his focus to player procurement/personnel only. Murphy has an MBA and lots of experience. The new structure makes sense and I sick of reading it is something dramatic or
foreboding. If the writer thinks MM should be canned if they start 2-2 I'll take the bet.

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4thand1's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:16 pm

BG has been around football and management longer than some people know.

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4thand1's picture

June 30, 2018 at 08:22 pm

The change has come, it's far too early to criticize the moves that were made. We all agree something needed to be done, and I think what we have now is far better for the Packers and their fans. We'll know by game 3..........GOPACKGO

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Cartwright's picture

June 30, 2018 at 09:46 pm

What's done is done. We were clamouring for change and we got it. One can squawk and hurl invectives about this arrangement until your blue in the face it won't change anything. The bottom line is just win baby and if we do and go all the way Mr Toothless will have his dentures and a good set of choppers at that and they could keep this arrangement for the next 20 years for all I care. Go Pack go.

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stockholder's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:00 am

"I didn't do it for enjoyment," Murphy said about the front-office role changes. "I did it because I think it will be the best thing for the organization. And hopefully if we're successful and it helps us win, then I'll really feel good about it." ==== The Board of Directors Recommends. ====

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Archie's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:31 am

Most people doing a power grab would disguise it in a similar manner. So MM's words really mean nothing. If a year from now he fires MM and gives BG the full control a GM deserves, then I will change my opinion.

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The Marathon Man's picture

July 01, 2018 at 08:52 am

You guys are losing your minds over nothing. Murphy is simply flattening out the organization to increase accountability. Did you see photos of Murphy in the draft war room, looking over Gute's shoulder at his every move? Everybody has the same jobs; Murphy is there to ensure full communication and to be a sounding board.

Many corporations flatten out their org charts for the exact same reasons. Everybody needs to step back and breathe a little.

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dobber's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:18 am

A power structure of this type--of ANY type--takes the right people to make it work well. By all accounts, Ball and BG are--and have always been--company men and I suspect they'll play by the rules. What's more, it will be very difficult for the kinds of infighting and overreaching mentioned by others above to happen without it getting out to the media. Those kinds of struggle don't tend to proper in the public eye. It's my hope that the parts will fit, and there's been no indication of any problems so far.

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Archie's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:38 am

I guess you don't remember Ron Wolf and how he brought winning back to GB in the form of the GM having complete control over the football product. The solution to all the dysfunction was getting rid of TT, not "flattening" out the organizational chart. I'm sure Bob Harlan knows deep down the Packers are making a big mistake but like former presidents, he will be loathe to publicly criticize the current regime. Heck, MM's original idea was to give the job to Ball who had no experience in talent evaluation and have Gute & Wolf both report to Ball. To their credit, both Gute and Wolf decided to get out of town, forcing Murph to choose one for GM and lose the other. Of course Murph made BG toothless in the process. Very bad. BG should be the face of this football team, not Murph the corporate admin type.

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dobber's picture

July 01, 2018 at 02:41 pm

"I guess you don't remember Ron Wolf and how he brought winning back to GB in the form of the GM having complete control over the football product."

That worked for Ron Wolf, and those were the conditions under which he accepted the job. We seem to assume that total control is what made Wolf's Packers successful...I would suggest good player acquisition (namely gambles that paid off) is what made his teams a success.

Not everyone is Ron Wolf, and not every new GM discovers an HOF QB hiding on another team's depth chart and signs arguably the best DE in league history shortly after taking the job. The GM having total control didn't win a single game for the Packers...knowing what to do with his control, did.

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Oppy's picture

July 01, 2018 at 07:42 pm

It is important to note that from what I understand, Green Bay had a sizeable problem with the board of directors interfering with football operations. Dozens of local Green Bay businessmen who had no football background, imposing their will upon the Packers product on the field.

Bob Harlan put an end to it, and Ron Wolf signed on and enjoyed the fruits of that decision.

At any rate, while I'm cautious about whatever it is Mark Murphy is doing, I don't think comparing this arrangement to the state of the Packers pre-Harlan/Wolf is a fair assessment. This is a wholly different situation to be sure.

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Tundraboy's picture

July 01, 2018 at 11:08 pm

Love this.

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4thand1's picture

July 01, 2018 at 09:53 am

Every hierarchy is tested every year with wins and losses. Packer nation didn't except what happened last year and the excuses fell on deaf ears. Without AR the Packers were a bad team and were exposed for all to see. Behind closed doors the conversation must have been, we need a decent backup QB, Hundley isn't cutting it. Apparently "big Mike" and he seems to be getting bigger, didn't have a say in that move. His stubborness came front and center when questioned about his choice to stick with the gum smacker. If Murphy had something to do with big contracts to Adams, Lindsley, Cobb, etc, then AR is going to get 30+ million for sure. The Hierarchy knows without AR the organization would be in total rebuild mode and everyone would be scrambling to keep their jobs. It would be next to impossible to attract FA's , but we would have high draft picks for years to come.

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cheesycowboy's picture

July 01, 2018 at 10:23 am

The off season. Hope springs eternal. All are 0-0.
The Packers have survived 100 years by determination and extreme flexibility. That has served us all well over the years and I for one hope it never changes. There is only one goal and we all know what it is. When that goal is not achieved changes must be made, good or bad. Time will tell the story.
CBA. Rules. Mergers. Bankruptcy. We have faced it all and still we stand tall. The Crown Jewel of the NFL. The off season is a time for reflection and logical perspective.

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