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Gutekunst's First Offseason Instills Trust in New Packers Staff

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Gutekunst's First Offseason Instills Trust in New Packers Staff

The reaction to a 7-9 season in Green Bay, Rodgers injury or not, was as as significant as it was swift.  Brian Gutekunst was tabbed to take over for long time GM Ted Thompson.  Mike McCarthy cleaned out his staff as well.  Only McCarthy, James Campen (OL), Brian Angelico (TE), Ben Sirmans (RB), David Raih (promoted to WR) remain on offense.  The offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett was replaced by Joe Philbin.  The defensive staff has been overhauled even further.  Mike Pettine takes over at defensive coordinator for Dom Capers, and retained only Winston Moss, Jerry Montgomery (promoted) and Joe Whitt, Jr. (promoted).  

Gutekunst continued the aggressive nature of the offseason by virtually matching Thompson's most aggressive offseason (2017).  Green Bay signed the top TE on the market in Jimmy Graham, the market's most talented (if not mercurial) defensive lineman in Muhammad Wilkerson and, according to Pro Football Focus, the market's top cornerback from 2017 in old friend Tramon Williams.  

Green Bay also swung for the fences during the draft.  


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Spud Rapids's picture

For everyone that has been screaming the roster doesn't have athletes this should make them happy. What percentage of these players pan out will tell us something about the coaching staff.

Nick Perry's picture

Exactly....McCarthy is definitely on a short leash this season IMO. Our new GM was force fed McCarthy when he took the job offered him by Murphy in what I thought was a kinda Chicken S*** move by Murphy. Maybe I'm wrong but didn't it feel like when Gutekunst had traveled to Houston to interview Murphy offered him the GM job only to tell him he HAD to keep McCarthy once back in GB?

I for one am ecstatic Philbin is back and Capers is no longer going to be watching from a booth. McCarthy pretty much cleaned house so it's now or never for him IMO. That might be a tough deal but McCarthy NEEDS to win a few games this year because of his coaching decisions, NOT because Rodgers rescued his butt.

mnklitzke's picture

Hopefully Philbin can pull Mctubby out of is same stupid plays ways and actually out coach an opposing coach rather then just relay on Rodgers to save his butt. Wouldn't mind if McTubby gave up all his play calling duties and actually coached the whole team.

dobber's picture

Until these WR kids show that they can play, the offense really has only gotten faster by supplanting RRod with Graham.

The defense really has nothing to lose. Play the kids!

Lare's picture

Seems like all the added rookies have potential, unfortunately there's lots of players with potential that never make it in the NFL.

Like the writer says, if half of the new players can be productive (even if its on special teams) the overall play of the team should improve. To what level that improvement takes them remains to be seen.

WKUPackFan's picture

The next time McGinn uses an identified source will be the first time. His ubiquitous "NFL scout" source has served him well over the years.

Qoojo's picture

I talked with other NFC commenters, and one said that you don't know what you are talking about, and that you get completely lost in grammar. Two commenters said that they took you off of their comment board for personality issues. Finally, one said you have a lot potential and would read your comment again.

Razer's picture

Too funny. Well played Qoojo

Finwiz's picture

Right - and that's why you're an award winning journalist, and not him.

Quite being so critical - you're like a little woman.

"He breezes past the Wisconsin Sports Writer of the Year awards (six total), the old desk (he kept his old desk) and into a back room crammed with shelves and filing cabinets.

The cabinets are divided by years. There’s a drawer for 1993 to ’96, for instance, and inside each drawer, there are manila folders, four for each year, divided into categories: off-season, training camp, regular season and game stories. All the clips, all his stories and all his colleagues’ stories, rest in those folders, in reverse chronological order."

SI - early 2017

WKUPackFan's picture

I'll be quite as critical of Mr. McGinn as I like. He's a former award winner, emphasis on former. Everyone recognizes that, at some point, McGinn became embittered with the Packers and went totally negative.

Everyone that is, except for you. Go ahead, lap up the fake information from those unnamed scouts. Just try not to be a hypocrite, because you are undoubtedly on other blogs decrying what you would describe as the "mainstream media's" use of unnamed sources.

WKUPackFan's picture

Oh, also Fin, want add anything else to your comment? You already "edited" the original once to include the last three paragraphs.

Lare's picture

I'm also hoping Raih can be an effective WR coach. The fact that players like Clark, Yancey, Allison & Davis haven't produced much makes me wonder what coaching they received. Either that or they all have other limitations that are affecting their development.

Ross Uglem's picture

most receivers don't hit until at least year three. It's a difficult position to learn quickly. All of the players, with maybe the exception of Allison, should each be given another season or two to develop. Allison has athletic limitations that don't really have a high ceiling for him.

flackcatcher's picture

Well expect for a certain backup QB. (Who shall not be named............0:)

Ross Uglem's picture

It'll still be a variation of Philbin and McCarthy's offense. It'll still be complicated for the receivers. Rodgers won't let anyone look confused or lost but he won't have time for guys that aren't ready to contribute, either.

Bearmeat's Phantom Downvoter's picture

Echoing the comment above here - if half the gambles pay off, they certainly will be a super bowl contender. However, let's remember the other teams are full of guys who get paid too. If you bat .300, you're considered an all pro hitter. I'd say the same about being a GM. .300 "hit" rate for all moves in a given year would be outstanding.

Hitting .500 is a bit of a pipe dream IMO. It just doesn't happen often.

flackcatcher's picture

Yes. And lets remember that when a team drafts and signs FA, they are looking for a certain type of player who 'fits' their team. "Packer People" is not just a cute public relations catch phrase to this organization. As all the outside scouting from various 'media types', I take it with a huge grain of salt. For all the critical words about TT, he built, and then rebuilt the front office, taking care to find men who could judge what the Packers are looking for in football players. I trust the front office of this team over a bunch of film nerds taking clips off the internet any day of the week. After all, it's only their jobs that are at stake if they get it wrong.

Finwiz's picture

I think people forget this fact. Everybody's an expert when they have nothing to lose.

>>I trust the front office of this team over a bunch of film nerds taking clips off the internet any day of the week. After all, it's only their jobs that are at stake if they get it wrong.<<

Packer Fan's picture

I like the story. Other than the first two picks of which one needs to be starter material, the balance are athletic, fast and projects.
MM & BG are betting their careers on them. We will find out how the draft picks play shortly. And we will find out how well the new coaches will do. They as a whole need to do better t uhh an thw last few years.

Fordham Ram's picture

Of all the wide receivers we have besides Devante, Geronimo Allison is our starter on the other side as of now. If we have a glaring weakness it's right there. He's a good back up but not starter material.

During OTA's they will know what they have with this receiving corp. If it takes 3 years to develop wide receivers as the article suggests then I'm hoping at some point we find a veteran on the open market who we can plug in, Bryant and Maclin are still out there and maybe a surprise cut will emerge. I can see Gute going in that direction if he doesn't like what he sees.
If our defense pans out one more good, reliable wr is all we'll need.

dobber's picture

If the Packers had a decent in-line TE to play in their 11 package, I think Graham would mostly be their 3rd WR and Allison would play a lot less than we think. Maybe Kendricks, who is only adequate as a blocker, is being counted on to be that guy who lets Graham roam around the formation.

flackcatcher's picture

College teams had pretty much junked the FB position for either a H-back or slot WR. More teams last year started to use a pure FB or a Kuhn like player and extra TE in the offenses for pass protection and an extra blocker in the run game. It will take a couple of years, but I expect more blocking TE will show up soon enough in the draft. Packers and most of the league suffer from the lack of a good in-line TE. It's a position of need that will be filled one way or another.

RCPackerFan's picture

Overall I like the players that Gutekunst has brought in. We will have to wait and see how they perform on the field before we truly know what they have or don't have. But I do like overall what he has done.

The WR room changed big time. Essentially they swapped Nelson for Graham. But for the actual WR's, they drafted 3 rookies who any of them could get playing time. We have to hope 1 of the 3 returning players (Allison, Davis Clark) can take their game up a level. Hope that at least one of the rookies can contribute.
Perhaps the new offense will help allow the WR's to contribute more early.

The CB room also completely changed. Last years top 3 CB's were King, House and Randall. This years top 3 CB's we don't know yet, but King, Williams, Alexander, Jackson, and House figure to be in the mix. Also we could see one or more of the other guys emerge. Someone between Rollins, Pipkins, Waters, Hawkins could step up.

The one thing I like about both of those positions is they drafted players with speed and size. Definitely a lot more athletic.

I can't wait to see these guys on the field.

flackcatcher's picture

Nice summary RC. I whole heartily agree. Packers got a break with draft position, but the number of flat out athletes in this draft class is surprising to me. Not to the Packers of course, or the rest of the front offices in the NFL. "I can't wait to see these guys out on the field" Yup. Going to be a fun and exciting training camp.

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