Tom Silverstein's Piece Confirms What We Already Knew: The Packers Leadership Structure is Dangerous and Disjointed

In this Saturday's article, I give my thoughts on Tom Silverstein's piece as it relates to the Packers power structure. 

Tom Silverstein's most recent piece on the Packers organizational structure confirms all of our worst fears of agendas and factions forming within the organization.  He gives an inside look as to how the Packers organizational structure has changed from years of Bob Harlan, Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, and Mike McCarthy (The majority of his tenure) to the state in which it is currently in.  

Silverstein gives an inside account of how Packers CEO Mark Murphy made a Cersei Lannister like power play at the end of the Thompson regime to put a weak triumvirate in place which would elevate him into a Jerry Jones like position of complete organizational autonomy (despite not owning the team).

Many have suggested the power structure does not matter as long as the Packers win.  Although I agree with that to a point, I believe it is a dangerous proposition to bring new players into the franchise with the hopes of changing the culture when there could be instability caused by potential agendas and factions at the executive level. 

If you have been following me during my time here at Cheesehead TV, you know that I have been criticizing the new organizational structure since its inception.  

I have often talked about the dangers of hiring a general manager who is not in complete control of football operations and keeping a headstrong executive who thinks he should be the general manager as well as a successful head coach with a Superbowl ring who wants his voice heard.  I discussed last season how this disjointed power structure could have contributed to the poor play on the field because many different figures could have been pulling the organization in different directions.     

As the season progressed and McCarthy was fired and LaFleur was hired, some stories of this dysfunction and turmoil were leaked from sources within the organization and turned into headline-grabbing news.  Many were shocked that so much organizational chaos could be emanating out of 1265 Lombardi Ave.  

The innocence of one of the NFL's most storied franchises was shattered which left the organization searching for a new culture and a new direction.  What we all failed to recognize was Mark Murphy was behind the scenes building a new culture and was orchestrating the new direction of this organization since before Ted Thompson was removed from office due to his ailing health.  What we see now is the construction of a franchise in which Mark Murphy has the final decision on everything, both business and football.  

Now that the dust has settled, and Tom Silverstein has confirmed my greatest fears, we all have to just sit back and hope the Packers don't become the latest organization to tear itself apart from within, because of a headstrong leader who used his power to usurp organizational control.  

Let's examine the comparison between Murphy's powerplay and Jerry Jones taking full organizational autonomy in the mid-'90s.  Before we start comparing both of these gentleman's powerplays, let me first say as principal owner, Jerry Jones could do whatever he pleases.  

However, the reason for comparing these similar circumstances is to examine how it has negatively affected the Cowboys organization and how the Packers board of trustees should use this as a cautionary tale.

When the Cowboys were in the midst of their glory days, Jerry Jones believed that Jimmy Johnson received all of the glory for leading the organization to the top of the sport.  Jones believed he could Johnson's job as well as he did if not better.  This lead to a power struggle within the organization that forced Jimmy Johnson to leave the organization as Jones took over complete control of the Cowboys.

Since Jones took complete control over his franchise, the Cowboys organization has suffered on the field.  They won 1 more Superbowl with Jimmy Johnson's players but have failed to reach the big game since 1995.  During the last 25 years, the Cowboys have made foolish football decisions and have squandered their immense resources at times.  Just when it looked like Jerry Jones had finally stepped aside and let Bill Parcells take over making the football decisions, Jone's ego got in the way and forced Parcells out the door.     

Since Murphy has assumed complete control of the Packers organization, the franchise has had instability and has shown signs of late 90's and 2000's Dallas Cowboys dysfunction.  Dissention and turmoil have been abounding within the organization and Murphy has hired a group of coaches and executives that he can control.  With these revelations of organizational turmoil, we have to wonder whether Murphy thought McCarthy and Thompson were given too much of the credit for the organization's success during their tenures.

From Tom Silverstein's article, we can glean that Murphy is the not so invisible hand of the organization whose fingerprints are on every business and football move the team makes.  Evidence of Murphy's organizational autonomy was apparently displayed during the of hiring LaFleur's coaching staff, most notably, in the hiring of the Packers new special teams coordinator.  Silverstein provides evidence of Murphy wielding his power despite his statement that "Matt (LaFleur) has the power to hire who he wants".  

It is clear Murphy cannot be taken at his word whenever he claims members of his executive and coaching staff have the freedom to make their own choices. One thing is for certain, the successes and failures of the Packers franchise will now be solely on the shoulders of Mark Murphy as he is the clearly the figurehead steering the Packers organization.

Here is the link to the fine work done by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Silverstein: Critics of Mark Murphy's new Packers management structure say it could lead to dysfunction

    

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (219)

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Samson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 11:19 am

Dave--- you just jumped into the same boat as Silverstein . -- The thing is... neither of you know.
You're really rehashing an old & beaten subject. --- Try something new & different....Most would appreciate a focus on the players.. guys on the field.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm

I'm making a call from the past( 70-91) that Sliverstein is making the accurate assessment. Von Low-ball on board in the power tower is not good news for continuity in the Football side of things. Gutekunst may be able to get the GM job description back in his favor much like Spielman did for the queens after the collapse of the triumvirate concocted by Childress and the slumlord owners.

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Sean-Luc Shanahan's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm

It's hilarious because Russ Ball had MORE power BEFORE Murphy made the adjustments! When Ted was not in full health he wasn't available to make personnel decisions so Ball took over and went rogue.

That's EXACTLY why Murphy stepped in as the guy everyone needs to report to. The goal is for that to never happen again.

Y'all don't know what you're talking about and should just let the people who work on this daily do what they think is best for the org.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:38 pm

If Ball was a rogue operator, then why did Murphy promote him as his inital GM choice? Seen this all before.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 12, 2019 at 08:47 am

Agree.

I think it is good that the Chief Financial Officer is co-equal with the HC and GM. I think it makes sense that the President is ultimately in charge and I don’t see why this arrangement discourages cooperative decision making.

Keeping ourselves financially solid is every bit as important in the long run as what we do on the field and the two are connected.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Russ Ball is great numbers guy and I am certain Gutey appreciates his abilities...but I am also confident he doesn't let Russ "play Ball" in his sandbox the way Ted did.

It has been widely reported MM told his staff that if Russ Ball became GM he would resign.

I do give Murphy credit for recognizing Ball's encroachment into decision making outside of his own shop in the late days of TT. Ball was his closest staffer, more of a confidant than even Gutey. And I expect Ball is very much respected at 1265 Lombardi...he has done a fine job with the team's finances.

That Murphy made Gutey, MM and Ball all co-equals was designed to put everyone back into their own shops.

I still believe one day, perhaps very soon, Gutey will be given full GM responsibilities over ALL football operations.

Murphy knows he must do this or lose him to another team who will make him a full GM.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Ball gave you the Perry deal, did not offer to Hyde, Hayward or Julius Peppers, case closed on this guy.

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MWendlandt's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:02 pm

He also gave the team the David Bakhtiari, Davante Adams, and Pepper's deal in the first place. Case far from closed. Ball is one of the very best salary cap managers in the league.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 12, 2019 at 08:48 am

Very true. Not perfect, but clearly better than average

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:11 pm

He has hit far more than he has struck out.

I assume you always make the correct decision, right? Never had to let a mistake teach you a lesson?

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Demon's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:23 pm

Just when was the lesson learned? Was it after Heyward made the probowl? Or was it after Hyde made the probowl? Doesnt look like there was anything learned.

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holmesmd's picture

May 12, 2019 at 12:00 am

We couldn’t afford Hyde and Pep wanted to retire in his home state of NC. Hayward got “Capered” while here in GB and wasn’t that good on our team. He changed schemes & teams and became a very good slot CB. That’s not Ball’s fault.

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Rak47's picture

May 12, 2019 at 04:55 am

Hayward doesn't play slot for the Chargers he plays outside where he played his rookie season in GB. Capers moved him to slot which does not suit his abilities at all. He is their outside and number 1 CB for the Chargers.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:21 am

Six picks as a rookie playing the Outside. Then they bring in the basketball player as his replacement. You make the call 4 the fans.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:20 am

I believe Peppers has stated that the Packers never offered him a contract but that had they done so he would have been interested in staying.

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fthisJack's picture

May 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

hayward displayed great potential when he was in GB. the injury in his second year hurt his development but you knew he was a ball hawk. why they didn't retain him has always been a head scratcher for me.

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Donster's picture

May 12, 2019 at 06:21 am

But did Ball just make the contract work? Someone or a few had to make the decisions to keep Perry, and not offer Hyde, Hayward, or Peppers another deal.

I may be wrong, but I don't think Ball made the player decisions. Only made the contract offers work for any player the team wanted to re-sign or extend the contract. I don't he even came up with the offer numbers, just told TT what would work, what other players in the league at their respective positions were getting. TT let Hyde, Hayward and eventually Peppers go. TT was the be all and end all in those decisions. Ball's job was to make them work.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:00 pm

Ball gave you the Perry deal, did not offer extensions to Hyde, Hayward and Julius Peppers. He is an accountant moving in the world of guys who started scouting in the weeds for players. Move him out.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:14 pm

Just to pull you back into reality...Hyde, Hayward and Peppers were all TTs decisions.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:30 pm

They were ones subsequently credited to the period where Ball had been delegated significant authority to resign or release and was, as you suggested earlier, increasingly making such decisions in the TT space . In practice then potentially TT in name only and credit or lack of it to Russ Ball for letting all 3 walk,

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 13, 2019 at 05:08 pm

LP Better write your list and check it twice. Ted was in limbo. It was verified by the players themselves regarding the re-ups and who they talked to.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 12, 2019 at 01:10 pm

Lambeau,
Well phrased and would think you are correct!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

May 12, 2019 at 01:47 pm

I cant wait till training camp starts!

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:58 pm

Only if Murphy curtailed the power you concede Ball had been allowed to accumulate. The premise here is that he did not. If true, Murphy did not do as you suggest.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 03:35 am

If you're insinuating that Ball is low-balling players, that's nonsense. Ball has a great reputation among agents for being fair and honest. If low balling was done, that charge belongs squarely in TT's lap, who always provided Ball with a range of $ in which to work. GB sure as heck didn't low-ball Smith, Smith, Turner and Amos.

I'd need a source before I'd believe that Ball on his own decided not to re-sign Hayward, Hyde, Peppers, or any other player. I've never read that anywhere.

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Spock's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:57 am

TGR, Ball actually does have a reputation for offering a "low first offer" as he is known for that. Experienced agents he works with (pretty much all of them by now) tend to wink at each other over this as they know it's just his "opening gambit", lol. There was an extensive article on Ball a few years ago explaining this (someone may be able to Google it). It's just his style and the article I read said the agents knew this and he had a very solid reputation for finalizing a contract that was fair to both the team and the agent's player. That said, the article explained that TT would discuss with him the max contract amount he could offer and he would go by that as you have referenced in your comment. I also don't believe that Ball was deciding on his own not to resign players; TT controlled that.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 12, 2019 at 08:57 am

Ball isn’t making any decisions on his own. That’s not how $$half-billion companies are run.

The HC wants talent on the field. The GM, as head of personnel, is tasked with finding it. But the CFO has to be part of this, too. There should be some consensus among them as to who and at what cost. Then the President decides.

There were very legitimate reasons to sign, or not sign, these guys. Nothing is done by caprice.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2019 at 09:02 am

Actually I suspect he is and should be. The buck stops somewhere. Murphy by his own admission wasn’t reviewing decisions on a routine basis. The question is not whether a ball has wide authority over his area, but what that area is and. Conversely what Gute’s or LaFleur’s is as well as whether Murphy is now the final arbiter.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:29 am

In the case of Ball being stonewalled by Big Mike, I give beaucoup thanks to the ex-coach. He helped contain a disaster in the making. Imagine with Ball in place at the head of personnel the number of resignations from the scouting department. Gutekunst would have been leading the exodus out of Packerland. Dodged a bullet.

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johngalt's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:17 pm

So that’s one case closed, and one far from closed- let’s make it a medium closed.

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GBPDAN1's picture

May 12, 2019 at 05:12 am

Silverstein is so predictable. He does a Good job of searching for questionable content when there really isn't that much to report or worry about. Chicken little " the sky MIGHT be falling" journalism because he needs to produce something as that's his job. So easy to say "this might happen ", as with anything in life.

That being said, I do agree with some of his articles. Some are on track and insightful when he doesn't have to create something out of desperation. When he is reporting, or responsibly speculating, creditable substance, I find his written journalism interesting.

However, I have a hard time listening to Silverstein's mundane, boring, mumbling , non inspirational voice when he try's to verbally report something Packers?? I would like to apologize for being extremely insensitive regarding this, .. however, he sounds like he has a mouth full of non-enthusiastic, silent - bowling trophy, golf clap, painful to listen to , monotone, voice that makes me want to enjoy sleep apnea

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IshpemingPackAttack's picture

May 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

Blah....Blah.....Blah. It is all speculation. I need to see me some proof!! Lets play some football. Writers need something to write during the slow times. It gets very old after awhile. I want to hear about players and watch some games. I am beyond ready!!

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HoppyTime's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:15 am

Yes, speculation and potshots from anonymous sources with axes to grind. Maybe its true, but at this point it smells more like clickbait (like the 'Rodgers is the problem....' articles). Until we see actual problems, sorry, hard pass.

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FLPackfan's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:50 am

All unnamed sources so I don't put much into a topic that is just being rehashed over and over. Murphy put three guys into positions where they are the experts! MM wanted a personnel guy as the GM, that is what Gute excels at, Murph still needed a guy that excelled at the money management side, that is what Ball does, MM was old and stale and even when he got new talent couldn't keep the team motivated so he is gone. So show me the dysfunction this year when the team went out and got four FA's and addressed areas of need through the draft. Show me where Ball hurt the team in fighting to get those four FA's, show me where Gute ignored the coaching staffs identified areas of need in the draft. This is nothing more than people fearing a new approach and having nothing else to talk or complain about during the offseason.

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fastmoving's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:55 pm

complet BS, you never know what is working and in the end there is not much of a difference beetween all the other options.
Luck is always the biggest factor and other than that there are a tousend details that can go one way or another. This is just a tiny part and I like it better than most systems.
If the Pack/AR has a good season everything was right and if not the will find many reason for it.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

May 11, 2019 at 11:45 am

I've said that Murphy is a doofus long ago....bring back Harlen, and let Gutekundst run the ENTIRE show......

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fastmoving's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:56 pm

bring back Favre as well and Driver, he may have left something too. Murphy its just the right guy here.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:02 pm

Why? The symptoms do not suggest all is well, the team has just spent two years undergoing major surgery. Hardly a glowing testament to robust health.

I guess some people prefer not to think bad things. I get that, but knee jerk assertions that all is well and taking your eyes of the patient is not the best way to ensure a return to full health.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Andrew Brandt should be the guy running this operation. Murphy can go back to college or retire to Park Avenue along with Godell.

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Nonstopdrivel's picture

May 11, 2019 at 11:51 am

Any reason why you didn't link to the Silverstein piece? It seems the polite thing to do.

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:47 pm

While I agree, the original article is most likely behind a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel paywall.

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Nonstopdrivel's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:59 pm

I was able to read the article for free, but whether or not it's behind a paywall is ultimately beside the point. It's just good practice to link back to a piece you're citing.

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:10 pm

Please refer to the "while I agree" part of my post :)

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Nonstopdrivel's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:42 pm

I wasn't disagreeing with you, merely adding to what you said. My bread and butter was sports blogging (covering mostly the NFC North) for several years, so as a writer and editor, this is an issue that's close to my heart. :)

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:05 pm

Links to paywall items (it is behind) are not necessarily welcomed by other sites that may link to this or by readers.

You can see it if you still have free articles left I believe. A full citation was given. I think that’s enough. You were able to find it easily it appears.

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Sean-Luc Shanahan's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:04 pm

I can't even begin to express to you how much of a non-issue this is for the team.

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4thand10's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:18 pm

As long as I can remember, and even my grandfather always said the Norbert’s and board is in control. I believe him. Trust me, If Murphy screws up...the board and the Norbert’s will find someone else. That’s the way it has always gone down historically from what I’ve seen in 40 + years of watching the Packers. Not one single person is bigger than the ORG.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm

Even if it takes them 20-30 years to make that decision.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:07 pm

The board was in your grandfather’s day. That changed undeR Bob Harlen. Now it’s a social thing not a group of concerned backers overseeing.

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4thand10's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:57 pm

Proof? I guarantee if Murphy screws up ...he will be gone. If they have a 3rd losing season...it will be more than McCarthy and TT gone. Who hired Murphy? There’s oversight by more than One individual.

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Rak47's picture

May 12, 2019 at 05:05 am

Murphy already screwed up and left Ted behind the wheel too long. He let communications breakdown and then tried to reorganize and consolidate two years too late. The board and Norbert's just watched and did squat as the team fell apart missing the playoffs two years in a row with AR at QB.
I personally can't say I have much faith in the board to remove the Captain before he sinks the ship even though he has already been caught sleeping at the helm for a long while.

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4thand10's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:05 pm

Proof? I guarantee if Murphy screws up ...he will be gone. If they have a 3rd losing season...it will be more than McCarthy and TT gone. Who hired Murphy? There’s oversight by more than One individual.

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Red Foreman's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Another negative expose’ whose arguments are affirmed by ‘anonymous sources’. Thanks for lending credibility to it. I don’t personally care for Murphy but I am also tired of the bs attributed to people who are afraid to use their names (if they really exist at all). I mean geez, I could say that according to my anonymous sources interplanetary aliens have invaded earth and taken over management of the Packers. It would have just as much credence and we know that could never happen....right? Right?

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MWendlandt's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

How much do we want to bet that his sources currently work for Cleveland and are upset that they didn't get the GM job, so they're now throwing mud to wreck public perception of the team that "spurned" them?

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:33 pm

Dorsey says that Browns fans are more passionate than Packers fans.

As to the others, an equally valid explanation was that they found a home that was not as messed up at the top. Alternatively, you unsubstantiated attribution is complete fiction. Again, support cited from something that doesn’t actually provide support. Symptoms beget speculation. Is it better to look or just trust that the downturn was all TT and is better now. That’s naive if you ask me.

I don’t know whether it’s true, but I’d like some accountability and explanation. This team is not Murphy’s personal sandbox, but he has very little real accountability.

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:11 pm

There is a large difference in the weight held by the words and reporting of Tom Silverstein and Michael Cohen or Tyler Dunne..

Tom Silverstein has diligently covered this organization for a long, long time, and I can not think of any point during that career where he could have been accused of mud-raking, abject sensationalism or wild speculation.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:36 pm

It also strikes me that to write this piece given what he does seems unwise if he doesn’t personally believe that it has a basis in fact. Going to be fun on the Packers beat after this.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:03 pm

His reporting can only Help Gutekunst and LeFleur. Murphy has been out of his league from the Farve retirement fiasco to the Shadow-play with Ted.

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MWendlandt's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm

For all the hand-wringing and constant bloviating about the new structure (that isn't all that new), why don't we give it a chance? Whatever you may think of Murphy, he's no idiot. The work he did at Northwestern, among others as AD shows that.

And, instead of the constant focusing on Dallas as the model, how about the successful ones like Pittsburgh or New England? You can win and be successful with this structure. It's not a guaranteed failure just because it's different. Sometimes, change is a good thing.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Belichick answers to no one. He has control of the football operation and keeps the machine well-oiled in a remarkably sound system. Murphy still acts like an amateur in the big boys sandbox.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:18 pm

Robert Kraft would beg to differ with you.

Robert Kraft = Packers Board of Directors.

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:14 pm

Kraft = the entire board of directors?
That asian woman down in Florida must have a case of carpal-tunnel syndrome something fierce.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:16 pm

No, Kraft = owner who demands information and success. Board of directors is no longer that of the 50s. It’s a networking opportunity for the great and good and has been since the structure changed under Bob Harlen.

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4thand10's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:27 pm

Murphy’s title is CEO, and he answers to a board. If he screws up the board will hire another head hunting firm to find another one.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 03:42 am

There were lots of reports that BB didn't want to trade Garapollo for a 2nd rounder, and that Kraft insisted along with Brady. Is it true? No idea. I do think BB pretty much runs NE, but on big issues it may be, even probably may be, that the owner and Brady have a say or the final word.

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NJMagic's picture

May 11, 2019 at 12:44 pm

I am not sure why people are dooming the structure before seeing the results. It's different... Is different bad? Not necessarily, who knows?

Let the on-field product be the judge.

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WilsonMaywick's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:18 pm

There may be short-term success because #12 when healthy and engaged covers many ills. If Silverstein's piece is accurate the long term prospects are not good. The packers of the 70s and 80s were woefully mismanaged. I hope we are not tacking in that direction.

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Qoojo's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:01 pm

As far as hiring that special teams coordinator goes, there's a big difference between open checkbook and freedom to hire anyone. To me is just more 24 hour reporting noise, where conflict and entertainment sells. I do think Gute should have all the football decision power, especially given TT and MM are gone, and TT health issues.

Also this quote, "The innocence of one of the NFL's most storied franchises was shattered which left the organization searching for a new culture and a new direction. ", so what innocence was shattered exactly? I mean GB has been around for over 100 years, and has gone through turmoil at about every position and level.

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fastmoving's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:27 pm

Good Point, Qoojo. Thank you.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:18 pm

If you mean the one about Gute should have full authority over football, yes.

The one about the purple prose is nice too, but the Gute comment goes to the heart of accountability as well as to giving him a shot to lead us back to the Lombardi.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 03:51 am

I thought I was cheap. Rizzi's money doesn't count against the cap. At some point I'd agree that the salaries of coaches is something that Murphy and/or Ball should oversee like any organization. Balking at $1.5M for a coordinator is simply being cheap. It isn't out of the customary range for a top talent.

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Qoojo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm

I thought it was 4.5 mil per season when I read it with less detail due to a cold. I was wrong.

"but was not going to sign for less than three years and total of $4.5 million, a source said"

Yea, it sounds cheap on the packers, but I think it could have been Rizzi was pissed at negotiations.

"...when it came time to talk about a contract, the Packers offered Rizzi less than he was seeking and Rizzi felt he had been led astray..."

So contracts are negotiations. If the packers offered less, which is the norm in negotiations, I could see Rizzi going, "this isn't a negotiation. I told you my price. <insert favorite term here> you Packers". Then when he went to the Saints, the agent informed the Saints not to play around using packers as example, and he signed for his agreed amount.

I'd look at this as Russ Ball being a moron by not reading the person and situation correctly, and trying to save what is pocket change for NFL teams. Same thing could have happened at any time during TT's time as well because Ball handled negotiations for TT too.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:04 pm

OMG Jerry Jones is the GM.

It's poor comparison to the Packers, who believe it or not have an extraordinarily common power structure for the NFL (around half of teams), and a similar power structure to what every major corporation has with the Leadership Team all reporting to the CEO.

I'm pretty sure most of the folks who are up in arms over this have very little experience with Leadership Teams at large organizations. At least, it sure sounds like they have none.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:20 pm

Actually, not true unless you disregard the nature of the “ownership” here and, assuming for the sake of argument that there is some truth in Silverstein’s article, not true as to the role of the GM.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:07 pm

"...we have to wonder whether Murphy thought McCarthy and Thompson were given too much of the credit for the organization's success during their tenures."

This is based on what, exactly? Imagination or the desire to seed a sensationalized story?

Murphy doesn't exactly strike me as an arrogant, power hungry executive. He is more akin to Bob Harlan than Jerry Jones for crying out loud.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:48 pm

No one puts him in the category of GM the of century (who I think reports to his son or similar in theory). The Cowboy fans that I talk to would cringe at Jerry’s hubris and the results it has brought.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:07 pm

Harlan stayed out of the GM's way. He didn't need the silage.

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:16 pm

So at the next stockholders meeting - a motion should be made to remove the current management - to be replaced by Silverstein and Michalski (and no doubt their extensive business, legal, management, financial and football experience) - along with special advisors - Jennings, Finley, E. Wolfe et al. There, that should do it - Super Bowl guaranteed!

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Manitou's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:17 pm

So, Murphy is being criticized for being too autocratic. I disagree. He should have left Thompson go much earlier. I liked the way he acted aggressively and fired McCarthy before the season ended. Most others would have waited until the end of the season. I also like the way Murphy handled the hiring of Matt LaFleur by committee letting all those in a leadership position participate. I do not see Murphy micromanaging either LaFleur or Gutekunst rather he gives them nearly complete autonomy. I also suspect Murphy was very influential in the expansion of the area around Lambeau field.

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Boneman's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:33 pm

Well said. The JJ comparison is just plain silly and alarmist. IF the Gutie and MLF hirings are an utter failure and IF he stacks bad decisions on top of bad decisions for years on years, THEN...maybe. Every organization needs a boss to make sure the organization runs smoothly and I don't mind seeing someone like Murphy making occasional and infrequent course corrections. His job will be to make sure his organization works in concert and without 'agendas'. I'm pretty sure he can do that. Let's let it play out.

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kevgk's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:22 pm

This is even stupider than the tyler dunn rodgers bashing article. I cant muster up any amount of care for another article with more speculation, spite, and anonymous source than actual quotes. What a waste of time.

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CAG123's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:28 pm

LMAO! I was done once you made the slight comparison to Jerry Jones you hardly even see Murphy in front of the camera unless he needs to be and he rarely speaks for the team the way JJ constantly does. These “anonymous sources” from inside the Packers organization is probably Dorsey slinging mud from Cleveland he already thinks their fan base is more passionate than the Packers a comparison he never made when he was in KC.

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DavidMichalski's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:28 pm

It’s funny how all of you run to attack the writers when they write about something that ruins your narrative of the team. So you go and bash anyone with negative information on the inner workings at 1265 Lombardi Ave. If you want to bash the article that’s fine, if you want to attack us to keep your ideal “Lombardi Packer” image alive that’s fine as well. However, Tom Silverstein has been covering the team for 30 years so to say everything he says is BS is irrational. He knows more about the inner workings than the average person who rails on the Greenbay media.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:31 pm

Yet all you are offering here is a "narrative", right?

This isn't the pot calling the kettle black...it is the kettle getting high on pot and blacking out:-)

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Packer_Fan's picture

May 12, 2019 at 01:22 pm

Best one liner I have heard in a long time. And it even fits!

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kevgk's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:37 pm

The problem is that article said absolutely nothing of significance. It wondered why I even read it. This article by contrast made all sorts of clickbait and stupid claims that I'm offended is on an otherwise pretty tame website in regards to opinion articles and stirring discussion
Basically its all a waste of time

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Mojo's picture

May 11, 2019 at 11:49 pm

kevgk hits the nail on the head. The article had nothing of significance.

I kept waiting for the salient reasons for Silversteins disdain for the structure and I came up with none. Instead I got contradictory comment from TS who continuously throughout the article writes about how difficult it is for one person to take on all the duties of GM like Thompson did. If that's true it would make sense then for Murphy to take of some of the burden off Gutes plate.

As far as I can tell the structure is basically the same as it's been the past 30 years anyway. Murphy isn't making the roster, Gute is. Ball handles the financing and little crap a GM shouldn't be concerned about. And who's to say that Gute is the best decision maker of all the Pack higher ups anyway? WTF

Let's compare to the oft lauded Harlan, Wolf, Holmgren and Brandt structure. Murphy replaces Harlan, Gute replaces R Wolf, LaFleur replaces Holmgren and Ball replaces Brandt. It's almost identical.

Does anyone think if Wolf wanted to fire Holmgren, he would do it without consulting and getting Harlans approval first? If Gute has a problem with LaFleur he can go to Murphy and they can hash it out. Does anyone think Wolf could have signed anyone for any price without getting approval? Of course not. In other words, the structure functions much the same now as it did then.

For some reason the scribes don't like the new (really the same as the old) structure. They're not sure why, they have no good reason but it just rubs them the wrong way.

What could be a valid argument is whether the Pack have the right people in those positions, rather than the hierarchy. There's nothing wrong with it.

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LeotisHarris's picture

May 11, 2019 at 09:22 pm

Bingo, Mojo. I praise the author for correctly regurgitating what TS put forth, but even with his attempt to ramp up the drama, it all ends in "so what?" While a waste of time, it was a fairly well-written report.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 04:11 am

I agree with almost all your points, Mojo. Still, the structure is on paper different, but whether in practice he differs is another matter. In practice it may be that Wolf would have called Harlan if Wolf wanted to fire Holmgren, but I don't think Wolf needed Harlan's permission to actually fire Holmgren. On paper Harlan granted Wolf full control, and I have no information disputing that.

The only thing that perhaps Wolf needed Harlan's approval to do was to dip into the reserve fund, but I don't have a source for even that. GB paid 96% of cap in cash to its players between 2015 and 2018 excluding AR, which would be well below the NFL median. With AR it was 104% after paying him $77M in cash in 2018, which would be moderately above the NFL median. After shelling out $56M in signing bonuses for the four FAs, GB must be heading towards the top 5.

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Red Foreman's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:44 pm

And it is also funny how ‘writers’ run to an article full of anonymous sources to affirm their own narrative.

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Samson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:03 pm

Sorry, Dave.... you lose.
If a writer can't handle opinions of his written assertions in the public arena, then he needs to change professions (can you sing?- you're certainly singing for Siverstein).

This has nothing to do with a "Lombardi Packer Image".
It has to do with writing that's at the Nat. Enquirer level.

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DavidMichalski's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:13 pm

Our writers can handle the backlash no matter how unwarranted, it’s a fair take on the structure of this organization.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:44 pm

That won’t be popular with many here, but you make a very strong point about the dual standard of logic applied.

The fact is that most of the commenters here will clearly do anything to avoid having to accept that all may not be well.

They could be right, they may be wrong, but at this point It’s like the Ostrich sticking its head in the sand. There might be a problem but if we close our eyes, ideas and minds to the problem it will go away for sure.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:13 pm

They have Never Handled the truth, whether it be the Bart Starr coach/GM disaster, the return to glory for Forrest w/out any talent being aquired, Infante we trust to /Rhodes Sherman over Andy Reid to" in Ted we trust" chants. We'll see how their triple vision works out over the next couple of years.

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fastmoving's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:05 am

total wrong, you will never know how ist worked out!!!! If they will be good or bad the next couple of years, you will never know why and what has been the biggest reasons for it.
next thing is that "good" or "bad" means something different for everyone of us. Some will need a couple of trophys to call it a success when other find it "good" with reaching the Playoffs or being in contension ......

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:29 pm

Any "reporting" based on mostly "anonymous sources" or "people familiar with the matter" should be treated as fiction.

It is lazy reporting and the "source" could be anyone...a fired coach, a cut player's wife or sister, or another reporter.

"Hey Pete King...are you familiar with the current Packer organization's rumored dysfunction? Yes? Can I quote you in my article? Don't worry I will keep you anonymous."

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 08:54 pm

I disagree. There are legitimate reasons for reporters to use the anonymous source when needed- often, people will not tell their story if they fear there will be repercussions for their speaking to the media. Anonymous quoting is a tool to get information that would otherwise be locked down and never see the light of day.

That being said.. it goes back to the reputation of the author. Would I trust anonymous sources used by a relatively unknown author or one prone to sensationalism? An author with an angle or agenda? No. However, an author with a long and sound track record for fair, even handed, and accurate reporting? Yeah, I probably will give some credence to the use of anonymous sources.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:30 pm

Yet when Silverstein's ONLY sources to support his narrative are anonymous, and the only NAMED sources refute it, I prefer to use my brain and believe it may be mostly tabloid stuff.

Try to win a case in court with "anonymous" sources and "anonymous" heresay. Journalists can use an anonymous source as long as it is fully corroborated by facts and named sources.

That's why we used to have news reports and a separate section of the opinion page. The two are now heavily blurred. TS wrote an opinion piece he is passing off as hard news reporting. It isn't.

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 09:04 pm

You are making the assumption that TS's article is simply his opinion as opposed to a researched piece.

I understand the skepticism people have of anonymous sources used in reporting, and how you're using your brain. Also consider the other side of using your brain: Tom Silverstein is a long-time, accomplished beat writer who makes his living interacting with, and garnering information from, the men and women who make up the Packers organization.

If he wrote this piece without actual sources whom he considered to be legitimate and trustworthy for the sole purpose of pushing his own opinion off as fact... he is willingly committing guaranteed professional suicide, as it's still his job to work the Packers beat. My brain doesn't think that makes much sense. My brain thinks TS must have good reason to believe he has been given good information from trustworthy sources, and even then, I would also assume he had to think long and hard before publishing the story considering the Packers' history of freezing out reporters who rock the boat.

But that's just how my brain works.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:34 pm

Oppy, well said. Reading this thread, however, it is clear that many people just will find any reason to trust that there are no more problems, however illogical, because it’s not proven. The downturn was all TTs fault. Simple nice and final.

I hope that they are right. But that’s all you have if you are not willing to take a critical look at an organization: blind hope.

If there is a mess even half the magnitude that Silverstein implies, it will come back to bite us and hard. Dysfunctional leadership doesn’t bring long term happiness. I hope the heat no evil see no evil crowd will accept the results.

Personally I think it’s time for a lot more transparency. Let’s have Murphy make it crystal clear who makes what decisions as to coaches, the roster and who made the call on LaFleur or Campen or ST hiring. Would the team lose from that? No. Would it allow us to know not trust and to apportion credit fairly? Yes. Would it hurt the person(s) who did? Not if it proves a good choice, and if it doesn’t, well then we won’t unfairly blame the wrong people just because their title ordinarily suggests it.

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Oppy's picture

May 11, 2019 at 09:16 pm

I don't believe we are owed any transparency. I say that even as an "Owner" of the GBP.

I fully understand what my "stock" in the GBP really is: it was a donation to help sustain the team I love to follow in exchange for a nice memento wall hanging that holds zero monetary value and an invite to go to a yearly meeting and cast a wholly ineffective vote that, by design, can NEVER have any affect on the course of business.

I also understand that, effectively, the only thing that makes the GBPs "public ownership" special is that they are a not-for-profit enterprise (Which I love, btw) and the fact that if they are ever sold, Green Bay will be home to the world's most lavish VFW post.

I don't really believe either of these things mean we have any real right or need to know about the way they manage their business.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 04:31 am

Oppy, a fan's share technically gives the fan a right to vote for the members of the 45 person BOD which in turn selects the 7 person executive committee from its own membership. None of them state publicly whether they support Murphy or not, so there isn't much there there.

Coldworld, I think Murphy has been clear about things. My concern is that he has backtracked a few times. Obviously before he hired Gute he said the GM would be able to hire and fire the HC, and after Murphy hired Gute that changed completely. Worse, by pretty credible reports it was news to Gute. That's bad and makes one question Murphy's public assertions. It also leaves Gute in a tough spot when Murphy shoots off his mouth about anything. If you want to read "backtrack" as a euphemism you're free to do so, but it is accurate and I myself am too uncertain about the facts to go further than that.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:11 am

I understand what you are saying. I suppose that this is a definitional difference. Stating that the position is X then changing it to Y without communicating that change is not transparency but obfuscation.

Moreover, the fact of the change you reference suggests strongly that Murphy has been sucked into an internal battle between Gute and Ball and, on occasion wavers. That suggests to me weakness on his part and that there is a power struggle going on. If so, isn’t that what Silverstein was suggesting?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:26 am

Yes. I don't think we're in disagreement, or that it is a matter of emphasis. Lafleur can hire his guy unless one of the other players thinks the salary is too much sounds to me like LaFleur doesn't have full autonomy over his coaching staff.

I think what Murphy states publicly is pretty clear, but what has occurred is not consistent with Murphy's statements, particularly if TS is presenting accurate info.

What is needed is the next time Murphy goes near a podium for someone to ask him who balked at paying Rizzi.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2019 at 09:05 am

The Ball rotates back to point A of the discussion. There is cause for concern.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 12, 2019 at 10:51 am

The proceeds from any sale of the Packers does not go to the VFW post any longer.

It was changed to go to a consortium of Wisconsin charities.

Take a read of Bob Harlans book "Green and Golden Moments" for an enlightening view into how the Bob Harlan era Packer organization was actually run.

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kevgk's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:29 pm

my inside sources tell me murphy hired lafleur to tank rodgers career and force him out to kickstart the kizer dynasty. gute doesnt know about this

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DavidMichalski's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:29 pm

I’ll put the link to his article up here once I get to a computer.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 04:33 am

LOL, three dislikes!

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DavidMichalski's picture

May 12, 2019 at 06:48 pm

Lol I know right? How dare I put up a link to the article.

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DavidMichalski's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:32 pm

Also here’s a novel concept to all you people who bash Dunne and Silverstein for using anonymous sources. YOU CANT GIVE AWAY YOUR SOURCE IF THEY REQUESTED ANONYMITY. It’s poor ethics and you’ll never have anyone talk to you again because you’ll lose trust and credibility.

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kevgk's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:41 pm

I dont blame authors for publishing sourced information, but there is no guarantee their sources are correct or not embellished. (The dunn article was full of incorrect facts, but probably not this one)
At the end of the day, Im more inclined to believe the people who put their names on their qoutes than anonymity. Muphy, Rodgers, LaFleur, and Gutekunst all make claims that contradict some of these rumors appearing. I have to stick with the named sources on this one.

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 01:59 pm

Another novel concept - writing a story with identified sources.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:18 pm

Here is what defines "poor ethics" in journalism....creating an entire narrative using "anonymous sources".

The only "sources" Silverstein quotes directly by name refute his "narrative".

Only his ghosts support his tale. If you cannot directly quote a named source to support your narrative, don't do the silly story. Hint...it may be simple baseless conjecture.

Journalism has increasingly become a "story" filled with anonymous sources to sell an agenda and/or create sensational click bait for attention getting...like Tyler Dunne's creation.

IE Fake news. I am getting very tired of it. It is like social media where all "opinions" are demanded be accepted as "facts".

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:58 pm

it’s not demanding to be accepted as fact when it openly states its opinion.

Fake news is saying it is fact when it’s supposition or worse.

So this piece is not fake news but an overtly stated opinion piece You calling it fake news is asserting that It was not portrayed as opinion but as fact, which is not true. Thus you, in fact, are engaging in the dissemination of fake news.

Irony, sweet irony.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:31 am

“The Tom Silverstein piece confirms what we already knew.....”.

Good grief...do you even read something before you comment?

This wasn’t “In our opinion.,,,”. It was a narrative supporting another narrative as proven fact. Neither piece is fact....both simple conjecture because they report few facts.

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Coldworld's picture

May 13, 2019 at 08:03 am

Really? Have you not noticed the attrition in the Lambeau ranks, the admission that communication had broken down?

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fastmoving's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:03 pm

But the thing is you can write the same article about every system/power structur. and there are pro and cons however you do it. There is no way to know what is the reason for this problems.
I got no problem with the sources, but Silverstein has no chance to know what is wrong. If something is wrong? Its just his opinion and even he covers the Pack for 100 years means he is rigt all the time.

But the ".....what WE already knew" sentence was a good one. Not sure who "we" is and where they are today.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:19 pm

Obviously no concept of the whistleblower challenge or of it’s place in modern jurisprudence and the reason for that.

Very little investigative reporting or government investigation starts with a person willing to announce their identity because, by the fact that they possess non public knowledge, they are inherently connected in some way to the organization and placing themselves in conflict with it by talking.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 12, 2019 at 10:55 am

and if an author EVER prints information from an anonymous source that is later proven to be untrue, they WILL LOSE all credibility with their audience.

It is a 2-way street.

So before you run with the unnamed source article, know the risk to yourself.

As an author you serve at the discretion of your readership, unless you are a paid shill for a group other than your readership.

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Coldworld's picture

May 13, 2019 at 07:59 am

Very true. Silverstein put his professional credibility on the line with this article with out a doubt.

Given that he does have a reputation to lose, one would imagine that he has a considerable amount of confidence in his sources and material.

It is his reputation (and I’ve not counted myself as a fan of his) that makes this story more than one of us ranting here based on mere bar gossip. I agree, that’s almost the archetypal example of placing credibility as a journalist out there.

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DavidMichalski's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:00 pm

So my next question for all of you angry people out there is this? Do you think this current power structure is a healthy one why or why not? Secondly, what’s wrong with stating my case as to why I believe this is a dangerous model and sets a bad precedent using a source is Silverstein who’s been covering the Packers for 30 years? He knows the inner workers, he’s a trusted name in the business. Just because you don’t like his opinion and his inside knowledge and sources does not in anyway invalidate his argument, my argument or the information being disseminated.

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Samson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:09 pm

Again, you're really rehashing an old & beaten subject.
Stick to the game of football.... The logistics of any organizational structure & if that structure can succeed is beyond the background & abilities of Silverstein.... And also you.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:47 pm

Translation: I don’t feel comfortable entertaining this concept. Don’t challenge my comfort levels with questions that I can’t answer.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:26 pm

There is so much in this that is a microcosm of the problems of our society. Do we really think that CHTV or the writer wrote this for personal gain?

If not, isn’t a journalist or anybody entitled to express their opinion freely? Or is it now OK to effectively tell them to shut up because I don’t like your view?

If it is OK to do that then we are all in a lot of trouble. Personally, I’m glad of the opinion. That’s all it is. If the opinion was opposed to mine, i’d criticize its method, deductions or conclusions happily but not condemn the author for holding it.

No one is required to agree with the media. No one is required to read it or engage with it. And no one should have any other right to censor its free speech save with rational argument or a choice to walk away.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:20 pm

Answer the question, this isn't the House Judiciary committee.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:32 pm

David: What is your experience in executive management?

I do not claim to be an expert but have many years in it. My company's greatest success was when our CEO gave accountability and responsibility within clearly defined areas of control. Over time our CFO became his closest advisor and confidant. The CFO had a bit of an abrasive, intimidating personality but he was very very talented. And our company thrived and succeeded wildly. But all the while the CEO kept the executive team in their sandboxes and would tolerate no jumping over fences.

The best indicator of future success are past results. If the current CEO structure succeeds for Murphy it will continue. If not he may need to quickly change or even face replacement.

But I do not give credence to anonymous sources who may have an axe to grind or only have partial knowledge...maybe just opinions based on rumor and innuendo.

By the way...I am not "angry". Are you?

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:55 pm

You are correct that the best judge of any organizational success is hindsight. However, this is the team I support. I want it to win. I am not interested in avoiding issues that might impair that opportunity.

More transparency as to authority should threaten no one. In contrast to Jerry Jones, Murphy is an employee not an owner, and a very well paid one at that. if he has nothing to hide, it’s within his power to end the discussion as to authority and involvement without harming the team’s prospects.

Murphy is only entitled to opacity if it impacts the future of a major transaction off the field or prospects on it. It’s in his power to refute the crux of this article publicly and finally. So I’d rather not gamble on the future of the team in blind faith in Murphy. Just as, as a shareholder in any business I don’t necessarily trust everything that the company tells me.

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kevgk's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:30 pm

I can't see a single issue. Not one. If anything these articles just highlight the complex nature of operating a football franchise. Murphy identified a problem: a lack of communication between parties within the organization. Now they have a system where everybody -- LaFleur, Murphy, Ball, Gutekunst, and others -- can be part of the team and make unified decisions. For the life of me I can't see how anybody thinks this is a power struggle or micromanaging or whatever the hell. I will never believe Murphy overruled Gute's and Ball's opinion of LaFleur unless I hear a named source say so. Even then probably not because I sure heard Gute claim LaFleur matched his football philosophy.
The Rizzi dilemma is a good example. Did they like him? Likely. Did they lowball him? Unlikely but possible. Did he decide to explore all his options before deciding on a team? 100% likely. Did settling on a team much much closer to where he is from, a contender, for an equal contract indicative of Murphy/Management overstepping their bounds and making a decision LaFleur disagreed with? Not at all. Complete speculation.
Basically, its all non-news and we're a little bit raw from the Tyler Dunn article.

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kevgk's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:35 pm

Theyre all going to disagree on things, its inevitable. I rather them communicate, negotiate, and compromise on things rather than sit in their silos and foster resentment when each party is making decisions best for their silo and not for the team.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:25 pm

It is clear as driven snow, Rizzi was low-balled. He had come to the meeting with an agreed upon figure for compensation as an Understanding. When the accountant played a cheap game of carnival barker with him, he left.
After the fail on the deal-making, Packer"management came back with the
cash Rizzi initially agreed to, but they were rebuffed and Rizzi is working in NOLA. Exhibit A.

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Mojo's picture

May 11, 2019 at 11:46 pm

Once again kevgk is right as rain.

Personally I don't care about whether Silverstein used anonymous sources or if he's worked 30 years in the business or his blathering on about nothing of substance.

The "structure" of the GB organization or any other teams hierarchy matters little. I could give a crap who gets to set the decor in the locker room.

It's not that I'm putting my head in the sand or trying to downplay anything that's negative. To me this whole topic is a non-story.

What is important is that the person in charge of putting the roster together brings in talented football players and the coach gets the most out of them.

For Packer fans, their chief concerns should be whether Gute is a good talent evaluator and LaFleur a good coach. That's where I'm going to focus my attention.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 05:25 am

"and the coach gets the most out of them." (Mojo)
"Murphy insisted LaFleur has autonomy with his coaching staff"

That's the problem. Hiring the ST Coordinator is a smack dab in the middle of LaFleur's authority or silo. And LaFleur didn't get his guy.

I can tell you that $1.5M/year is the high end for an ST Coordinator, but it isn't out of the customary area for a high-end talent. Someone overstepped their bounds. LaFleur didn't get his guy because someone from another department (or Murphy himself?) thought it was $200K/yr too much? Are you kidding me? You realize that the ST dept. consists of the Coordinator and some intern or young coach? Every time MM gave a coach a title like passing game coordinator, or run game coordinator, or defensive backfield guru, that cost money too.

Assuming it's true, I find it absurd. To answer the author's question, the problem becomes the blame-merry-go-round. If STs stink this year, do I blame LaFleur because he hired a poor ST coach? Do I blame Ball or Murphy for not being willing to pay for a good one? Do I blame Gute for not acquiring ST players? Did Rizzi leaving for NO make it harder for LaFleur to attract other top coaching prospects knowing that LaFleur wasn't the final decision-maker?

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2019 at 07:03 am

Thank you. A lack of transparency makes accountability impossible.

There is no cap on coaches salaries. If your new head coach wants person X, your new head coach should be allowed to get him without interference, or to retain him.

If anything it’s the Campen one that bothers me. If LaFleur did want to keep him, Ball’s opposition to that would surely have to be on personal grounds. That, and Murphy’s acquiescence would be unforgivable.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2019 at 09:15 am

The story will be verified one way or the other over the next few years, or whenever the parties in this game write their memoirs. I am making inferences based on 59 years of being a Lambeau attendee and a witness
to many a shabby deal in Packerland. Stay tuned.

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Johnblood27's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:08 am

MLF should be given free rein to hire his coaches as he sees fit, however no department within an organization has an open checkbook.

If he was given a budget and his hiring decision would have exceeded his budget (an overall budget, not a line item oversight sham) then the CFO would ceretainly have to step in and say, sir - you cannot spend dollars that you do not control.

At that point, to gain permission to exceed his allocated budget MLF would need the CFO's boss to OK the overspend.

It would be up to the CEO to work with the CFO to re-balance the budget to allow the overspend from the HC's coaching budget.

Thats how management teams can work together to solve problems

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ILPackerBacker's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:38 pm

It is not a question of 'like' or 'trust'. There is no value in Tom S at all. his questions at press conferences are just lame. He has no insight, he has the opportunity to talk football with Butler and if you force yourself to listen to him you will stop and wonder at the wasted opportunity.

He has not, in over ten years, posted anything that indicates 'insider' information. Go back and listen to him about TT even at the end.

His 'information' is nearly nothing. Certainly not new. MM has been a disaster from the first Favre bribe. It makes me wonder if there is a personal connection to him? He was nice to Nagler?

But if you see any, and I mean ANY, danger outside of this wasted article why have you kept it secret?

Wolf did not succeed because he was alone in charge. It was because he made decisions, was accountable but more importantly he knew what he was doing. he was not the inhouse inbred butt kisser so prone to hire in GB.

The difference in GB between Harlan and the Judge was no more than Wolf telling Harlan to keep the F out. And harlan did, focusing on getting his family jobs and money.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:57 pm

Doesn’t that make it more surprising that he would write this, not less? If he doesn’t use inside anonymity for a decade, something made him start now, on this subject?

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Johnblood27's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

You really are ILL.

You have ZERO basis to impugn Bob Harlan's integrity and leadership like this.

You should be ashamed of wasting the oxygen on this planet with your breath.

Get informed or please be silent, for you are not only ignorant, which is forgivable and has remedy, but stupid which has no cure.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

May 12, 2019 at 09:34 am

What is wrong is your article was negative and held fast to a view that is clearly not accepted by most of the readers here. Even your question using the term power structure connotes negativity. Organization is the common term. You've got writing talent no doubt but you can take the negativity and just internalize it please

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:22 pm

I would really be interested to know what Bob Harlan's take is on this issue. Has anyone asked?

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:27 pm

Bob hangs with Wolf in Cleveland.

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:26 pm

I think the main issue here is that many Packer fans, including myself, dislike the negativism that is infused with Silverstein's speculative article. As the management model is relatively new - it will not be known for months/years how successful, or not, it will be. Frankly, I like the compartmentalizing of responsibilities, with clear lines of communication and authority - which is allowing Gutekunst to focus strictly on draft and development. Also the use of the terms "dangerous" and "disjointed" is pure sensationalism - on the level of grocery tabloids. I'm not buying it and judging from the other comments, neither are the majority of fans. It's just poor journalism.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:31 pm

If you think Tom S has inside information, or that his 'breaking news' is anything but old and rehashed nothing then there are two things you should do:

1. Actually read Tom S; then,
2. Sleep well at night

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Red Foreman's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:39 pm

.

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dhamn48's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:39 pm

Referencing the Jones/Johnson conflict is not a relevant comparison. Jones owned, but was NOT a football expert. Jones also tended to make ad hoc choices.

In contrast, Murphy simply places himself in the position of being constantly aware of decisions made by recently appointed staff. There is no indication Murphy will act as the autocrat Jones has proved to be.

How Silverstein's piece CONFIRMS anything is beyond me.

The article makes for "interesting" reading and generates controversy. But, it's far from clear those opining have senior management experience or are organizational experts.

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Guam's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:53 pm

While I agree that Jones has made some bad management decisions, I would go easy on Jones' football expertise. He was an all conference offensive lineman on the Arkansas 1964 national championship team. He has far more personal football experience than the average NFL owner.

That said Murphy has more personal football experience than Jones and almost any other NFL owner. Doesn't necessarily make him a good football executive, but he knows the game.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:43 pm

Generally a 'figurehead' is not the actual person in control. Gute would be the figurehead not MM.

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4thand1's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:48 pm

gobbltygoop

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ILPackerBacker's picture

May 11, 2019 at 02:50 pm

You may also want to go back and see that MikeM extorted MarkM not to promote Ball but GUTE instead.

Make the point giving into extortion is the problem.

Make the point of how TT got sick, fell asleep and nothing happened.

Point out the nobody ever held TT accountable by quoting Mark M talking about finally reviewing "three" player evaluations before moving on from Ted.

Being so week you completely change your career defining decision in a few days. I despise Mark M but this article and TOM S are just reheated crap and ignore the real issues.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:59 pm

I don’t think it was Gute instead, just not Ball. Gute then came out as winner after a lot of departures.

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marpag1's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:00 pm

***sips coffee***

***reads three paragraphs***

***clicks to a different site to read about the Bucks***

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Samson's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:16 pm

Fear the Deer!
Could be the year. -- Milwaukee & Wisconsin deserve another NBA championship.

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marpag1's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:34 pm

The only thing sweeter than winning the championship would be winning the championship while humiliating Boston and Philadelphia along the way (although I'll settle for Toronto, if that's how it works out).

And if we do make the finals, I want KD on the floor. Otherwise it will be "Oh, the Bucks only won because KD was hurt..."

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byu.tech's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:02 pm

silverstein is the worse journalist in wisconsin. i do not even know how he can be a journalist there. he wrote so many bad articles i can´t even remember the number.
he is a shame for his journal

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:05 pm

I believe Murphy put the new structure in place to correct the poor communication that had been growing during TTs last few years...now it seems due to his failing health.

It seemed TT didn't have a pulse of what was going on in the locker room and MM didn't feel the personnel team was listening to the coaching staff needs.

Murphy also wanted to retain talent as several top execs had been leaving the Pack. Gutey was indeed interviewing elsewhere and would Ball leave too if he wasn't promoted to GM....like E. Wolf and Highsmith? Probably.

So he gave Ball a bigger job and gave Gutey complete control over personnel. I feel confident when Gutey goes to Ball and says "we need to keep this guy on the team...do we have the money?" And if Ball says yes...the player gets a K if Murphy says "do it".

And when ML comes to Gutey and says "we have a big hole at X", Gutey will fill the hole if Murphy says "do it".

Why is this dysfunctional? It all looks very familiar to me. I spent some decades working within this framework.

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 03:20 pm

Yes I think the Packers have re-vamped and modernized their management structure. Also to think that MM is the single architect on this re-structure may be naïve. He can draw upon a vast pool of talent and experience from the Executive Committee and Board of Directors - with approval required from both levels for any structural changes of this type. Nor do I think that the E.C. and B.D. , at any time, function as just a rubber-stamping body.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:01 pm

So Murphy is the GM. And Gute head of Player Personnel? If so Murphy should come out and say it and take ownership, but that’s what you describe.

Great draft and FA so far Mark!

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 06:08 pm

No, if you are able to read an organizational chart - Murphy is still President - which means he is the Boss of everything except the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. He then pared-down the General Manager's position - to focus on just draft and development - which really is all a GM should do and what Gutekunst has done to date. All what Murphy has done is better define management roles and establish clearer lines of communication and authority. Well-run organizations continually evolve.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 08:44 pm

I also know that a title on paper is just that. What matters who has what authority in practice and if I choose to usurp my direct report’s authority neither his nor my title changes unless I decide it should.

So yes I am literate thank you, but I also know that labels seldom tell the whole story.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 05:39 am

And when ML comes to Gutey and says "we have a big hole at X", Gutey will fill the hole if Murphy says "do it".

Alberta, you endorsed this structure in this quote. Murphy is solely in charge of player acquisition and the roster in general. Gutey should fill the hole if Gutey thinks GB should fill the hole without reference to Murphy.

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byu.tech's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:16 pm

how many good, if not great, talented directors has lost green bay in the past years? and the last e. wolf. MM did not want to lose gutekunst or ball and also wanted to define a new communication structure. i think he did a good work. what was better? ted thompson and his last one-man-show? we lost years for that...so better to have a new structure with cross-check between more directors

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Lare's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:25 pm

Obviously, Silverstein and Michalski don't like the new management structure. What they, and a number of other people miss IMO is the most important fact.

None of us know whether this is right or wrong, the main point is whether it leads to wins or losses. That is the only relevant point.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:03 pm

So trust to luck that it is right? Don’t seek clarity or transparency? Murphy should start a cult.

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Lare's picture

May 11, 2019 at 06:14 pm

We don't need to trust anything to luck. The W/L record will show if the new management structure works or if it doesn't.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 06:21 pm

That is the definition of doing nothing and hoping for the best if you are a fan.

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Spock's picture

May 12, 2019 at 09:11 am

Coldworld, I AM a fan. ALL I can do is nothing as I don't work for the Packers. Therefore, ALL I can do is HOPE for the best! I choose to do so. TS stated in his video attached to his opinion (stated like facts, in MY opinion) piece that he didn't like the new structure from day one. I distrust articles where the author has a strong desire to "prove" their pre-conceived idea. Reminds me of when so-called experts only provide data to support their idea (like an Archaeologist who is sure "his" explanation of how the pyramids were built is the "only" right answer, while his colleague has a completely opposite idea) and diminish or leave out alternative facts/or explanations to make his case seem greater than it is. The fact is that there are many variations of ways to run a football operation and that Murphy's method is not too different from some of those in the NFL (and some of these work well, and some of them don't). It's the off season and we the fans are desperate for articles about our team but in my opinion this one we could have done without. There's way too much speculation and fuzzy conjecture to make this meaningful reading.

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fastmoving's picture

May 12, 2019 at 11:27 am

you will never have full clarity. that much you should have learned in life.

and the wigmorons cult is more than enought for our Lifetime.

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Coldworld's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:03 pm

duplicate deleted

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Packman60's picture

May 11, 2019 at 04:49 pm

Ball may be a great cap manager, but he has no experience in scouting / personnel and the fact that Ted enabled him to have an impact in that area as his health was declining and he was "grooming" him to take over is troublesome. If Murphy truly has " separated each silo" and allows each to do what they are best at without each overreaching and making power plays into others areas I think the structure can work. It's up to Murph to ensure that doesn't happen.

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 06:19 pm

Murphy's resume should provide comfort that it "doesn't happen".

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2019 at 05:41 am

I don't know about his resume but Murphy's track record so far doesn't look promising. He can't even keep himself from overreaching his own boundaries.

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 12, 2019 at 10:00 am

He is the President - his boundaries are all. So according to his job description he can't over reach.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2019 at 01:56 pm

Most Presidents have a board that actively scrutinizes and shareholders behind that. You make a valid point that Murphy is effectively without that, but not the point you intended.

He is talking about the demarcation in authority that Murphy himself established and publicly stated, but which it appears he may himself be overreaching.

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Lphill's picture

May 11, 2019 at 05:53 pm

I am tired of the drama this off season , let’s just play football !

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Alberta Packer's picture

May 11, 2019 at 06:25 pm

The NFL - the 365 days per year business monopoly - would be disappointed with you.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2019 at 01:56 pm

Time for a proper developmental league Mr. Goodall?

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IshpemingPackAttack's picture

May 11, 2019 at 06:43 pm

So much doom and gloom. Everybody is acting like the Packers are the only team in the league with this kind of structure at the top. They are not. I like Tom Siverstein and enjoy his articles. There seem to be a lot of articles from the local news that are very negative about the Packers these days. Hey.....negativity sells. I don't think that newspapers do anymore. They need to get readers somehow......hmmmmm.

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