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Packers Rants & Raves: Packers "Pretty Close" To New England Patriots

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Packers Rants & Raves: Packers "Pretty Close" To New England Patriots

Earlier this week in a piece by ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Green Bay Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy talked about the team's 2016 season as the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots prepared to play in Super Bowl LI this Sunday.  The Falcons made quick and easy work of the Packers in the NFC championship game two weeks ago and it led Murphy to ponder why his teams, quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers, have often gone home early while Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is preparing to play in his seventh Super Bowl.  Murphy's comment:

"No team in the league matches up to New England, and they've achieved a level of consistency in the modern era that others haven't," Murphy said. "But I’d say we're pretty close to them. It's not something that we’re ashamed of and I'm excited for the future. I don't think the future of our organization has been closed. I think we have a chance to be very good for a number of years into the future."

The comparisons between the Packers and Patriots have been made before.  For a number of years, both teams have been the most consistent in the NFL in terms of reaching the postseason.  Both teams have been to eight consecutive playoffs, a record for both franchises and tied for the longest current streak in the league.  The next closest streak is Seattle's five seasons.  During Green Bay and New England's streaks, each team has won a championship.  But that's where the comparison ends.  Murphy and the Packers have been and are still looking up at New England.  The Patriots have been to more conference championship games and been to three more Super Bowls.  The question is: just how close are the Packers and Patriots?  Let's look at both sides.


The Packers got bounced from the NFC championship game for the second time in three seasons.  They were thoroughly embarrassed after an impressive eight-game winning streak led them to the playoffs and taking out the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.  New England, on the other hand, was winning their third AFC championship during the last eight seasons.  The Patriots have been to plenty of conference championship games along the way and have ended up on the short end themselves, but they were never run out of the gym.  

Injuries played a big role in Green Bay's ability to compete with the Falcons and in the NFL, that is a real problem for many teams.  Injuries are a way of life in a physical sport.  But the Patriots seem to find a way to avoid the really big ones or to mitigate the losses and thrive.  They lost tight end Rob Gronkowski, a big part of their offense, earlier this season and knew he wouldn't be back.  Linebacker Jamie Collins was sent packing to the Cleveland Browns mid season after not playing within the defensive scheme.  Collins was one of New England's best defensive players yet, with two stars lost on either side of the ball, the Patriots are still playing in a Super Bowl on Sunday.  The Packers, by contrast, finally passed their point of diminishing returns with all of the injuries they were dealing with and fell apart.  

Some say New England's head coach Bill Belichick is a mastermind.  Former Cowboys quarterback and FOX TV analyst Troy Aikman even commented recently that the NFL might want to think about renaming the Super Bowl trophy after Belichick after the success that he has sustained over the last 15+ years (that went over very well with Packers fans).  But Belichick seems to be able to coach his team up for any situation.  Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has established a winning reputation of his own over the past decade, but there are still questions about his ability to out coach and out scheme opponents in the playoffs.  Head coach is one area where the disparity between these teams is largely derived.  Leadership can't be underestimated.  McCarthy proved he has the acumen to keep a team together and rally when their backs are against a wall this past season, but he couldn't work a miracle in Atlanta.  Have you ever seen a Belichick-coached team fall apart the way the Packers did in Seattle two years ago?  What do you think old Bill does with a 19-0 lead in a game for the chance to go to a Super Bowl?  He knows talent and he knows when there is a void.  I have a feeling that either Brandon Bostick isn't on the field at all on the onside kick try or he's 100% on board with his job.  Of course, many will argue that Belichick would never have allowed his team to be in a situation where an onside kick was happening in the first place.  Fair point.

It's hard to combat with the argument for Belichick as the best coach in this era.  And I'm not sure it's even close.  This Super Bowl will be Belichick's seventh, all with quarterback Tom Brady under center.  With Brady, Belichick has been able to churn out productive offenses season in and season out and regardless of who has been out there catching passes.  Paired with Rodgers, McCarthy and the Packers have only been to one Super Bowl and much of that was on the back of a defense that featured Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, Cullen Jenkins and Desmond Bishop.  The Patriots are always adding pieces to their team and aren't afraid of free agency.  They have turned troubled kids into stars in the past (Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Aqib Talib to name a few).  The Packers and general manager Ted Thompson do it their own way and bring in very few pieces from the outside.  If the Packers think they're "close" to the Patriots, they might want to look at the obvious differences as to how they might close the gap.  Spending funny money early in free agency is obviously not the way, but the Patriots have been able to strike a good balance between development and bringing in outside veteran talent.

Some want to argue that New England plays in a weak division and didn't have to face tough competition en route to this championship game.  I'll give that argument the Houston Texans, who the Patriots hosted in the divisional round.  But the Texans actually made a game of it for a little over a half.  But the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing well and had gotten hot before the Patriots sent them packing.  And really good teams like New England do what they're supposed to when they face teams that aren't as good as they are: they win.  The Packers have been doing that too, over the past few years.  But before Murphy can really use "close" to describe where the Packers stand in relation to the Patriots, the Packers need to go on a run and end up in a few more conference championship games.  A few Super Bowls wouldn't hurt either.


Packers fans are spoiled.  We really are.  And that doesn't have to mean that we can't have high expectations and want the Packers in the Super Bowl each year.  With Rodgers at quarterback and with the overall talent the team has, when healthy, that's rarely a pipe dream.  There's always those who will argue with that and point to the list of "Joe's" the team has relied on over this run of playoff appearances.  But to get into the playoffs is to be competitive enough to win.  Playoff results aside, McCarthy has had his team playing into January nearly every season.  Just as Brady gives Belichick the x-factor that he needs to win championships, the Packers have that in Rodgers and, Rodgers has more years left in him.  The window of opportunity is theoretically wider, based on the quarterback position.  The Packers just need to put the pieces around their quarterback to help him catch up to his counterpart in New England.

Winning in the postseason is hard.  Teams are facing very good quarterbacks and defenses and to advance each round is a feat.  I mentioned New England's success in getting to Super Bowls (did I mention, this is the SEVENTH time for Belichick and Brady?) but they've also faced losses in those conference championship games and sometimes, even sooner.  They're not a team without flaws.  This is, after all, the same team that couldn't get past Eli Manning and the New York Giants twice for a championship.  There's mixed opinions on whether 2016 was a success for the Packers, based on how they got to the conference championship and despite the lopsided loss in the game itself.  Twice in three seasons and an overtime away from a third in a row isn't bad, though.  More than half of the league would love that level of success.

With all of the injuries the Packers had, it's hard to know what would have become of last season and this year had those guys not been lost.  Maybe Jordy Nelson last year or Sam Shields this year would have made the difference and this entire story is different.  I'm not one who likes to use injuries as an excuse but, as I mentioned before, every team has a breaking point.  Unfortunately this year, the Packers reached and found out what theirs was.  But at least there's the "what if" to ponder.  There's a chance that they have the right pieces, they just need them to last a 16 game schedule (and schedule makers, no more bye weeks in week three please!).  In this way, maybe the Patriots are just lucky to have avoided an injury that was crippling to an area of their team.  Some may have thought Gronk was just that: an injury that would change the Patriots season.  They clearly haven't been watching New England for a while.

I bagged on McCarthy earlier when comparing him to Belichick but there's something to be said about a coaching staff that often has other teams wanting to hire away their guys.  The Packers have had to block their coaches from interviewing and leaving for another jobs.  It's natural for teams wanting to improve to look to successful teams and pluck their talent.  The same can be said about the front office.  Teams who are constructed well at the top of the organization naturally will succeed on the field.  We may not like how Thompson operates all around, but he's a good general manager if you look at wins and losses.  Many complain about defensive coordinator Dom Capers (yours truly included) but what would this defense look like without him?  Sure, things could be better but they could also be worse.  From December on, the Packers turned back into that defense that takes the ball away often, as they have in years past.  Capers was able to help develop a young Jake Ryan, turn Ha Ha Clinton-Dix into a Pro Bowler and get a serviceable season out of undrafted free agent cornerback LaDarius Gunter.  They just couldn't get over the hump in the playoffs.  As far as the leadership goes, the Packers are in better shape than it might seem and we should be more thankful than not.

I do agree with Murphy in that there's still reason for optimism for the Packers' future.  They have good leadership, another full slate of draft picks and a good amount of cap space to keep the pending free agents that they want back (and maybe a few more?).  Less than two weeks removed from a gross failure in Atlanta, we're apt to think that the Packers are simply in for another season of 10-12 wins and a playoff loss.  The apathy factor is still high but as it does, it will wane as we go through the summer and near opening day.  It's always fun to track the change in the mood each year, at least for me it is.  It's fun to compare the Packers and Patriots but they're not arch rivals and don't face each other much.  In the end, it's just a debate and not something of substance that will affect either team's ability to win more championships.

Now it's your turn.  Chime in with your thoughts about how close the Packers are to the Patriots and what criteria do you use?


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (78) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Turophile's picture

Well there is one yardstick that can be used to compare the Pack to them at this moment. We know how the Packers did against the Falcons. Let's see how the Pats do. It would at least give us some pretty current direct comparison ammo, to fire with.

KenEllis's picture

So Mark Murphy is giddy because the Packers have been close?

Is that what we're shooting for in GB? The team that gets "close" to the best. What a pathetic statement.

To demonstrate just how deluded the Packers and their eager-to-please press groupies are, take a look at one snippet Jason wrote and compare it to reality:


jasonperone's picture

Believe it or not, we get to, largely, choose our own topics and share our own thoughts. At the very least I'd ask you not to lump me in with the press or their groupies here. Not really fair to direct the vitriol their way, this is totally on me.

I'd also ask if you read the intro and first half of the piece? It's clearly a for/against theme.

I'd also ask, what's a picke?

barutanseijin's picture

A CHTV writer is complaining about a reader's spelling? That's rich coming from a writer at a site as poorly edited as this one.

dobber's picture

We certainly pick on them from time to time. Turnabout is fair play.

This isn't a day job for these guys and they actually do pretty well, all told. I'm grading a stack of papers from some of our "best and brightest" college students at the moment and I can tell you, the writing here at CHTV looks like Master's thesis material by comparison.

croatpackfan's picture

Jasone, thank you for your honest article. There will be always people who thinks they knows better, but which never choose to put themselves in the position in which they have to pay for their mistakes...

God knows there is some members here I do not agree with their opinion, but, they have their arguments, and, of course, you can have good discussion with them...

But, thank you for your argumentation in both direction. You do not need to answer the posts like the post you already answer...

Big T2's picture

MM doesn't make a pimple on Bilacheats ass. If a game comes down to the better coach we lose everytime plain and simple. MM and TT have the biggest egos in the league. IF that doesn't change we don't see another superbowl. If Bilacheat was coaching Aaron we have 6 rings in a row..............................

Bert's picture

Close but no cigar.

Point Packer's picture

One team has a big game coach and the other doesn't.

dobber's picture

The Packers were playing all big games from Philly on. They lost one of them.

This is like people bagging on the Bills of the 90s as being a team that couldn't win "a big game" because they never won a SuperBowl under Marv Levy. You have to win a lot of big games to get to all of those SBs.

vj_ostrowski's picture

I think Murphy's statement is essentially true, but I also don't fault myself or anyone else for being frustrated at TT/MM/DC etc...

If you consider that we have Aaron Rodgers, a HoF and GoaT type player, then yes, it's been disappointing to field the injury-filled defensive trainwreck year after year.

But if you consider the statement alone, there is no other team that can say they've had MORE success than GB since Rodgers took the starting job, other than NE.

So while we are the closest team to NE, I'm still not sure we can say we're "pretty close"

Being the 2nd best team over that 8 year span is both something we should be thankful for and also feels incredibly frustrating. It could be a lot worse.

pooch's picture

Of course no Rogers and this team would be 4-12 year in year out What if Rogers had not turned out and they handed the reigns to Brian Broem

dobber's picture

The "no ARod" argument is stale. If the Packers had no ARod, or if he hadn't panned out, virtually every drafted player and virtually every outside acquisition changes for the last 10 years. For all we know, this team might be BETTER...and that argument is every bit as valid as the "no ARod" arguments because they're all built on abject speculation.

croatpackfan's picture

Also, we already saw ARod free Packers. They won division in 2013 season...

It was not nice, it was grinding, but still, they won it. So, yes ARod is very possible best ever, but football is team sport and team win or lose. In every team's sport team win or lose . If some team has top players, they win easier, but still those top players needs team to play to be able to win the game...

Tarynfor12's picture

The Green Bay Packers are by far the overwhelming winners of that under appreciated ' Participation Award '.

No team suffers via injuries, bad play by its stars or failure of growth of expected stars, sub standard drafts of square pegs in a round hole scheme and what appears as its dedication to do same yearly, while coveting acclaim to maybe being a brides maid every few seasons..possibly but unlikely.

If there was a law....the Patriots and Packers being in the same sentence as possible would be against that law to do so.

Lphill's picture

Well on the positive side we got a good defensive coach today from Illinois . Interesting move because their calling him a linebacker / defensive consultant.

Lphill's picture

Tim Mcgarigle a rising star in the coaching fraternity.

Bert's picture

It's kinda embarrassing Murphy seems happy to be "pretty close" to NE. Everything aside I think it comes down to NE being willing to make the tough decisions every year to constantly improve the roster as needed. They show that you can pull all levers (draft, FA, trades whatever) available to stay at or near the top without sacrificing your future. Having a HOF QB is the key. Belichick realizes that having a HOF QB is a blessing not to be wasted. You gotta make hay while the sun shines. Ted is more of a "gotta focus on tomorrow" kind of GM.

Nick Perry's picture

"Everything aside I think it comes down to NE being willing to make the tough decisions every year to constantly improve the roster as needed. They show that you can pull all levers (draft, FA, trades whatever) available to stay at or near the top without sacrificing your future."


This is an excellent comment because it rings so true. Belichick has proven season after season he'll do whatever it takes to get to the SB. The last 2 seasons he traded 2 of his best defensive players Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins because he didn't want to overpay and he knew he wouldn't be able to keep them. Trading them allows them to chose where the player goes and they get the pick that next draft. Even without Collins and Jones the Patriots STILL had one of the NFL's top defenses and #1 scoring defense. They also don't let a single injury devastate the whole team. The Packers lost Nelson and went into a 20 game funk. The Patriots lost Gronk AGAIN, and made the SB AGAIN. They do whatever it takes to stay on the top while they still have Brady standing. Thompson should really develop a case of urgency because it could all come to a screaming halt in a single play.

Tundraboy's picture

Well said NP. It also helps to have an Owner like Kraft, so we need a more aggressive team president to fill that void. We miss Harlan.

Golden Retriever's picture

Aaron Rodgers would have won more than one Super Bowl with Bill Belichick as his coach.

Bert's picture

With Belichick as his HC AND GM then Aaron is Brady. I doubt if Belichick and Ted would have co-existed.

Spud Rapids's picture

Belichick was terrible prior to Brady... what came first the chicken or the egg? Who is more responsible for the others success?

Free agent's picture

The difference is NE is a complete team in all 3 phases of the game. Patriots can win without Brady. They were 3-1 starting the season without him. And in 2009 we're 10-6 with Matt Cassel. This Packer team would
be lucky to win 3 or 4 games without Rodgers. Remember the Colts season without Manning. Ouch!

Bearmeat's picture

This whole post made me angry. And not because the author is wrong. Just... so much wasted potential because of stubbornness by our GM.

Bert's picture

Not just this GM. Sherman had many years with Favre and Ted with Favre/Rodgers. One SB to show for it. Being "close" only gets you so far. Belichick/NE figured it out. You can build for today without sacrificing the future. Always be willing to make the changes necessary to win now. Ted just isn't built that way and I doubt if he can swim in the same pond as Belichick/NE and be as successful.

Bert's picture

True, but Wolf started with the Favre trade and BF was very inexperienced for the first 2-3 years. Remember too that once Wolf realized what he had in Favre he went out and acquired the likes of Reggie, Sean Jones, Santana Dotson, Eugene Robinson, Keith Jackson, Rison, D. Howard etc. to foster a "let's win it all now" attitude. Won 1 SB and if not for Holmgren's fat ego would have won a couple more. Actually Wolf's going for the win-now attitude kinda supports my case. Wish Ted would look more for today with Rodgers.

Bert's picture

It was a waste. I think Wolf was more active in the "present" while Ted is more active towards the future. Winning just two SBs with around 25 consecutive years of HOF QBs is a waste. There are various reasons and plenty of blame to spread around as it's not all on the GMs, HCs etc. But it is a ridiculous waste of HOF franchise QBs.

dobber's picture

Player personnel management is nothing like what it was in the 90s. In fact, Wolf has said that he wouldn't want to be a GM under the current CBA and cap structure...and you can bet that if he wanted to, he'd have suitors lined up around the corner. You really can't compare how TT runs the team with how Wolf ran the team because the rules of the game are different. Virtually every team is playing more of a long game now in terms of personnel as compared to even 10 years's just that TTs long game happens to be longer than most.

lou's picture

Agree with DesertPackerFan, if you take the time and go back to press articles and direct comments from Wolf on his early retirement DesertPackerFan's response is almost verbatum. Although Wolf had some heath issues, that was never brought up as being a consideration for leaving early.

rdent's picture

IMO,once it leaked out before the SB that Holmgren was abandoning GB for Seattle, no one on that team had any interest in winning a SB for that deserter and it showed in total lack of effort in that game.

gary's picture

You must have a crush on TT . Hey if thats your thing its ok.

barutanseijin's picture

Sherman should never been GM, so I can't really blame him

dschwalm's picture

You are so right, Bearmeat. If you are satisfied with "close", that's what you will be forever! It makes me sick! Murphy may be the cause and villain in this piece. While they disguise it well, the Packers' brain trust has doomed the team to mediocrity.

dobber's picture

So are we then saying that the only way you can have a championship caliber football team is to have an owner who is hands-on and involved in the day-to-day decisions of personnel and philosophy of player acquisition (since we seem to be shunning finances and holding up personnel matters)? A strongman at the tip-top of the organization is the first piece toward having a SB contender?

I might argue that having a board of directors like the Packers do might slow the reaction process in the face of adversity...but that's not always a bad thing, either.

gary's picture

Bearmaet your so right

pacman's picture

It's not just GM. This team is slow to change. Not to get political but like him or not, Trump got elected and started doing the things he said he was going to do and the press is in a bit of shock - he's acting like a CEO! How dare he!
We have a team run by a BOD, by a cautious GM and a head coach and defensive coach who are slow to change.
The offense turned around, the defense did not. And it's been that way for years. This is a management failure from top to bottom so it's hard to see who's to really to blame.
So we could continue this way and be happy or change something and maybe - God forbid - go backwards. But not trying something different after years of this, is a not the stuff that winners are made of. So is this team run by an accountant looking at the bottom line or by someone with some heart and going for it.

Since '61's picture

Pacman - the team is slow to change because the BOD and Mark Murphy have no sense of urgency to change. Stadium is sold out every season for the 30 years or something ridiculous, they get their revenue sharing, they receive plenty of marketing revenue, they get national exposure from numerous nationally televised games because of their QB, and they will soon have year round revenue from Titletown. At NE, Bob Kraft knows that if his team starts losing his stadium could be half empty for a long time. That matters because it's his money! It's employees versus entrepreneurs. It's job security versus fiscal security, not that Kraft would ever run out of money but he still wants as much as possible. How long do you think Capers would last in NE? Neither Kraft or BB would put up with his unit's performance in Atlanta. In Green Bay he is an outstanding coach. What message does that send to the other coaches, the players and the fans? There is the answer to your question about who is running the team. There is your answer to where management's focus is. In New England the focus is always on winning now. In Green Bay the focus is moving towards revenue streams while football becomes a nice hobby to have especially if we make the playoffs every season. Thanks, Since '61

pooch's picture

Maybe shareholders should call out Murphy at so called shareholder meeting

dobber's picture

"In Green Bay the focus is moving towards revenue streams ..."

With all due respect, it would naive to think that there aren't 32 teams in the NFL that have whole arms of their organizations looking for ways to maximize revenues. I all but guarantee you that TT doesn't give s#!t number one about revenue streams.

pacman's picture

This is obsurd. TT is the one managing the contracts/money. $ is a big part of his equation.

scullyitsme's picture

The flaw in this is change for change sake doesn't always equal superbowls, sometimes it equals the going back to the 80's Packers and ruining all progress we've made for generations. Which I exactly what I believe trump has done, we are now the laughing stock of the League of Nations as it were. In the interests of bi partaisinship. I will say that you are correct in that I don't believe Ted fears for his job enough, Mark Murphy doesn't have the cohones to be the packer president. Bob Harlen would of made Ted go to the podium and answer for his teams failures as well as successes. GM of the best franchise in football should not be a "ignore the man behind the curtain guy" he should be front and center.

pacman's picture

Like this post if you think the Packers are in need of some management change - GM, head coach or defensive coordinator.

pacman's picture

Like this post if you think that Packers management should not change and just needs a little tweaking.

Since '61's picture

The difference between the Packers and the Patriots is that the Patriots consistently have a better balanced team than the Packers. Both teams consistently have good to great offensive units primarily because of their respective HOF QBs but the Patriots consistently have a better defense than the Packers. They may not be a top 5 or top 10 defense depending on how they are measured but the Patriot defense usually ranks higher than the Packers defense. The Patriots special team units are usually better than the Packers as well. the Patriots rarely beat themselves. You need to outplay and out coach them to win as the Packers did during the 2014 regular season matchup. When the Packers lose it is often because they beat themselves or they blown away by their opponent as they were against Atlanta in the NFCCG and during the regular season by the Titans and the Redskins. The Patriots defense never gives up over 40 points as the Packers did in those games. So why do the Pats consistently have a more balanced team than the Packers? Belichick is a better GM than TT. Not necessarily in drafting but in realizing that you need to use all the tools available to acquire the players that it takes to win each and every season. He has the GM mind for building a balanced team and the coaches mind to realize that it is his job to win games now and every season. So he and/or his staff find the FAs or make the occasional trades they need to acquire the best players to help them win this season, not 2 or 3 or 4 seasons from now as with a D&D approach. 2014, they did what they needed to do to bring in a shutdown corner, Darell Revis. One move settled their defense for the season and enabled them to win a SB. Next season, Revis gone so they found another CB and made it to the AFCCG. 2016, knowing Gronkowski's injury history they bring in Marcelus Bennett at TE. Meanwhile TT knowing Lacy's weight and injury problems what does he do at RB? He brings back 31 year old Starks and nothing behind him. Fortunately Monty steps up and saves the running game for the 8-0 run. 2013, TT left us with nobody behind Rodgers at QB and was fortunate that Matt Flynn was available 3 losses and a tie later. Those are just 2 examples there are more. The point is do you see BB the GM allowing BB the coach to go into a season without a backup at RB or at QB. Not a chance. He's not tied to one approach except whatever approach is necessary to field a solid, balanced team. Yes, staying healthy is a factor but so is depending on 1st or 2nd year players who were drafted 25th or higher every round to step up and get through the NFL playoffs. Every season we see the Packers, especially on defense, break down against better QBs and receivers at the most critical times in a playoff game. The young players make mistakes and beat themselves. The Patriots don't beat themselves. In both cases it starts with the respective GMs. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Perfectly said Since '61. Nothing to add here.

Donster's picture

Well said Since '61. Belichick is the better GM. I think being the Head Coach for so long gives him a distinct advantage over TT. He knows, he views day to day, his team, his coaches. He isn't away out scouting no name players at Podunk U. He runs a tight ship. He sees a need at a position, he go gets it. Whether it is a player with a bad off the field history, or an aging Veteran. He does what it takes to put the best team on the field for every game. TT isn't around. He is to stubborn to change now. He has had his successes, but draft and develop with no veterans in front of those players hurts. The kids get no time to develop. They are thrown into the fire right away. And when they are UDFA players from the Podunk State Universities or small colleges, they are even further ready than early round draft picks. I don't think that one or two early round draft picks this coming draft, and if TT grabs two experienced FA's, is going to be enough to push the Pack into the SB. Even if the team has little to no major injuries this next season.

Murphy is an idiot to say what he said. He is to PC. He sugarcoats what the Packers are and sells it to the fans. He should show that he is pissed and that he and the Board of Directors demand more from the GM, team and coaches. He is settling for second best. He shouldn't show that. Maybe if he responded the way I think he should have, it would push TT and MM to think that "they aren't above getting canned". But Murphy is just a mouthpiece. He is a puppet. His job is to help the Packers find ways of making money. He is a poor excuse for a President IMHO. The Board of Directors too. But since the money rolls in to their pockets and the Packers Organization regardless, then they really don't care.

Finishing second or third shouldn't be acceptable. Only winning the Super Bowl is acceptable. This team can't get there the way it is right now. We are going to have to endure another season of "well we got close so we should be happy with that". I'm getting tired of that. I will continue to stand by my personal belief that TT and Capers has to go. Give MM the chance to succeed with a GM that will get him the DC and players he needs. I will give him the benefit of the doubt because of the way he changed his play calling during the stretch run. But if no success if those changes are made in two seasons, then he goes too. And Murphy.

dobber's picture

People keep pointing to Belichick and to the Patriots (and I admit that I do, too). But they are the outlier. The team with the coach that drives personnel decisions, doesn't abuse the cap or draft resources, and isn't overwhelmed by personnel to the point that he can't coach effectively. There's a good foil to Belichick and that's Mike Sherman. Enough said, there.

"He is a puppet. His job is to help the Packers find ways of making money. He is a poor excuse for a President IMHO. The Board of Directors too. But since the money rolls in to their pockets and the Packers Organization regardless, then they really don't care."

I don't know what basis you are using to judge him to be a puppet. His job as President is to oversee every aspect of the organization and to maintain its overall health. Murphy's background is in what would you expect he's being asked to do? I would argue that delegation of all personnel matters to a more experienced and qualified person (TT in this case, who IS a qualified and experienced player personnel guy), makes great sense. I don't know what you want him to do...his only real background in scouting or player personnel is the fact that he was a player. Would you rather have Dan Snyder or Jeffrey Lurie getting in the way? We'd still be bitching, but from the other end of the spectrum.

People keep coming back to money. Hello. Money makes the whole thing go. But the Packers are a NON-PROFIT organization. They have salaries, bonus structures, and expenses to pay. But their moneys otherwise aren't lining people's pockets (unless their greasing the skids to get projects through). Otherwise, the "profits" of the organization are reinvested in the community and the infrastructure of the organization. They have a tremendous philanthropic arm of the organization.

You are correct in the sense that it's Murphy's job to keep things moving on all those fronts, but I get tired of arguments that he's not doing his job because he's not driving player personnel.

marpag1's picture

Ding, ding!

Probably even more annoying, though, is the oft-repeated (and wildly speculative) argument: "Because TT doesn't sign as many free agents as I personally would want him to, clearly it means that he is not fully committed to winning and is just interested in money."

Oh, please....

If people want to rip on Ted, fine. Rip on him for not winning the effin' superbowl. At least then we will be dealing with facts and data. But making wild and totally unprovable assertions about Thompson's innermost thoughts and motivations is just weak.

Lancer's picture

Great post. I think accountability is an issue with a team that has no majority owner. Murphy's comments reflect that close seems to be good enough. Perhaps we need leadership that views the top job in the organization as responsible for winning championships, not public relations and real estate development. Thanks.

pooch's picture

One team has a bonafide G.M.,the other will live on the Q.B until he retires with only one ring even though he is regarded by some as best QB in league

Kyle Graham's picture

Has New England been more successful these last 8 seasons? We have the same amount of championships... So New England finishing 2nd 2 other times makes them better? If you aren't first your last. Green Bay has won a title and so has New England. I don't see the teams being that far apart. You play to win championships. We have matched them.

johnnyd17's picture

2 things to say, would rather be chasing Patriots than Browns...anyone else remember how great Belichek was with Browns and Patriots before Brady?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I think the Packers have been a very good team under TT/MM/MM. That said 1 SuperBowl win is not Pretty Close to 3. It's a huge difference, I mean like an exponential difference.

egbertsouse's picture

Murphy is a shill, nothing but a figure head.

Earlier in the season I read, I think it was in MMQB, that Murphy has no power in personnel decisions, that he is basically a business manager. It said that MM reports to TT and TT reports only to the Bd. Of Directors. Neither of them answers to Murphy.

Anybody know if this is true?

dobber's picture

As I understand it, the president of the Packers has rarely been in a player/personnel role. Maybe the last was Bob Harlan, but he had transitioned out of the player procurement role by the time he headed up the whole shebang, and very few of the other presidents of the Packers (Robert Parins was a Judge, I believe) had a background in personnel.

Does Murphy have any background in scouting and personnel? Nope. He was a player, but otherwise has a background in law and finance. His roles in the league have always been in management...which is why he's well suited for what he does now. Why would you want him meddling in personnel decisions?

I don't know why anyone is surprised that the Chair of the Board is not much more than an organizational piece and not a power player. This model fits more of an academic "Board of Trustees" model very closely where the GM is akin to a college president. Those BOT Chairs are more in place to keep things moving and to help direct and set agenda, and not so much to drive it.

gary's picture

Desert when you have Favre and Rogers back to back you should win . Name another team in NFL history who have had more then 2 back to back HOF QBS. You can't . When rogers leaves this asshole GM will show you how bad he is with his stuborn bullshit.

egbertsouse's picture

I don't want him messing around in player decisions. I do want him to have authority over 2 Packer personnel, MM and TT. MMQB says that he doesn't, that Mike answers only to Ted and Ted answers only to the BOD. If that is true it means that Murphy can count beans, etc. but has no real authority in how the team is run or ability to change direction if things head south. This would explain the inertia of this team and why Murphy won't do anything about it.

dobber's picture

" New England, on the other hand, was winning their third AFC championship during the last eight seasons. The Patriots have been to plenty of conference championship games along the way and have ended up on the short end themselves, but they were never run out of the gym. "

Let's be honest: the AFC playoff field was no murderer's row of teams this season. New England, even without Gronk, was by far the best team in that field. Miami and Oakland lacked their QBs...Pittsburgh playing with a limited Roethlisberger and Bell...Houston, frankly, has no QB. KC was the best of the rest in the AFC and frankly wasn't that good. As soon as Carr got hurt, many commentators and analysts had already penciled the Pats in for a trip to Houston.

If New England WASN'T the AFC rep in the SB this year, that should've been viewed as a failure almost as big as the Packers getting blasted by Atlanta, arguably the second-best team in the NFL this season (behind either Dallas or NE). The crux of the argument, however, is that they DID win the AFC...just as they were supposed to.

4thand1's picture

The Packers run the same defensive scheme for years. We will probably see Peppers gone and GMIII snaps reduced to have him on the field healthy next year. Same ol same ol. Where will the QB pressure come from? We saw mediocre QB's have success against us and good QB's tear us apart. TT passed on some really good pass rushers in FA over the years and its cost the Packers dearly. Give Rodgers a few more possessions with a few more stops is what this team needs. I have the feeling TT will stick with his developing draft picks, and take his chances. We've been down this road before, and asking someone to change who truly believes in his philosophy, is going to have us talking about the same thing next year.

gary's picture

4TH and 1 You can't bad mouth TT. Hes your guy. Last time i said exactly what you wrote you were all over me saying i don't know what i am talking about. Now you finally had enough of his stubborn bull shit . But you loved he and now you got him, your a flip flop man.

al bundy's picture

Sad buf have t think has ted went out and fond some pass defnders via free agency, cut shields and maybe peppers to save the money, this team may be playing today instead of atlanta.
I never willunderstand going all out with lacy and starks knowing fat ass lacy cant make it through a season and starks hurts his ankles looking at pot holes.
Just seems there is some real stupidity in this org.

The TKstinator's picture

There's definitely some stupidity in this vicinity.

Free agent's picture

So many seasons saying I wish Ted would do this & I wish Ted would do that. I've been wishing Ted would go away for many years. And Capers can ride shotgun in his station wagon on the way out of town. Enough is enough!

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

TT and Mark Murphy are blithering idiots. Dors anyone really think That they have been successful? It's no great accomplishment to make the playoffs consistently in a weak division with AR as your QB only to get embarrassed year after year against more physical teams. Can't wait for them to go.

dobber's picture

My guess is that if Atlanta continues to thump the Patriots like this, then Mark Murphy was pretty much right.

Rossonero's picture

Haha that is true! Pats defense getting carved up. The comparisons to the greatest show on turf is no exaggeration-- it's real.

dobber's picture


TommyG's picture

And now we know Murphy is incorrect.

Nick Perry's picture

...That was perfect TommyG, short and to the point.

Rossonero's picture

Similarities between Packers and Patriots:

1. The locker room is king. You do it our way or can leave.

2. Both teams find undrafted or late round gems.

3. Very disciplined in terms of having the fewest penalties.

4. Consistent playoff contenders.

5. Belichick and McCarthy have some of the most boring press conferences.


1. Patriots are aggressive in trades and free agency. When they know they can't keep someone, they usually get something in return. Packers are very conservative and would rather cut or let free agents walk.

2. Patriots are chameleon like with their game planning. McCarthy only switches things up when injuries strike or when he is forced to do so.

3. Patriots have been to 7 Super Bowls with Brady. Packers have been to one with Rodgers.

4. Patriots consistently have a better defense and special teams.

5. Patriots have an owner, the Packers do not.

6. Patriots prepare for injuries and while Ted sometimes does, he also gambles at key positions like QB (2013) and RB (2016).

7. Packers have a better offensive line than the Patriots.

8. Suspicion surrounds the Patriots due to Spy Gate and Deflate Gate. Visiting teams are woken up in the middle of the night in New England. Opponents have complained about their radios not working sometimes. The Packers have not been involved in any scandals.

dobber's picture

What keeps Brady from getting up tomorrow morning, having breakfast, and announcing his retirement? What is left for this guy to do?

TommyG's picture

I love this question.

GVPacker's picture

Glad I'am not a Dirty Birds Fan! What an Epic Collapse.

pooch's picture

Yup being Packer fans we certainly kno the feeling

pooch's picture

Ok so the title of this article is a complete joke,G.B no way close to New England

Nick Perry's picture

In 2011 the New England Patriots had the 31st ranked defense and the Packers had the 32nd. They were almost identical in total yards and scoring defense.

One team was able to rebuild the defense through the draft, free agency, and trades. The other team has continued to do business the same tired way and got the same tired results. The Patriots obviously had lost many of the key players of the defenses they had from years before by 2011. Just like the Packers have lost Collins, Woodson, and others. My point is 6 years has been enough time for the Patriots to retool and win a few more SB. The Packers? Well we know.

Sorry but these teams aren't close. One does everything, the other does next to nothing to improve.

sheppercheeser's picture

When I hear how bad we would be without AR, I try to imagine a team led by Brett Hundley. Who knows how well he could be? Look what happened when All-Pro Romo went down and a rookie Dak Prescott stepped in. I'd like to see how Brett would fare.

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