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Will Packers Management Structure Lead to Success?

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Will Packers Management Structure Lead to Success?

The Green Bay Packers hired Brian Gutekunst to be their new general manager a week ago.  That much we know.  What we don't know is the truth behind the process that led to that decision.

There were many reports about who the favorite candidate was and how the discussions were going around 1265 Lombardi Avenue.  One report had Russ Ball as the favorite.  Another said if Ball was hired, Mike McCarthy would step down as head coach.  Then another report that quarterback Aaron Rodgers was also not on board with the hiring of Ball.

Last Sunday morning, the search was over and Gute, as he's called, was the man.

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy made the hire.  Murphy was the one who had to disseminate all of the information he had and that was floating around media land and do what was best for a team that just moved one season further from their last Super Bowl title.

After the Gutekunst hire, we continued to learn more about those involved in the process and the evolving roles they would have.  Murphy stated, prior to hiring Gutekunst, that the GM would have the ability to hire and fire the head coach.  However shortly after, we learned that McCarthy will report to Murphy, not Gutekunst.  

In response to that structure, Murphy said that there were "silos" within the organization that were hindering communication.  McCarthy wasn't seen talking to former GM Ted Thompson as often.  McCarthy wasn't even aware of some of the things Thompson was doing. 

OK, so Murphy had some issues to resolve.  But wouldn't a big part of that problem be solved by moving Thompson out of the GM role and giving McCarthy a new boss?  And one that he reportedly gets along with?  Apparently not.  

That Murphy got to the bottom of the communication issues is a good thing, but why did it take so long?  Murphy, until now, has not been intimately involved in the football operations of the team.  He has left that to Thompson, Ball and the coaching staff.  Perhaps he was so removed he didn't see the current issues.

But for Murphy to take the steps of having Gutekunst, Ball and McCarthy report directly to him seems a little reactionary.  Pro sports are not corporate America but in that arena, many successful leaders have adopted the idea that you want to hire the best person for the job, get out of their way and let them do it. 

That is the complete opposite of what Murphy has done.

Egos are high in the NFL.  I'm generalizing and don't know how big the egos of Murphy, Gutekunst, Ball and McCarthy are.  But from where I sit, a scenario where the four of them need to sit down and hash out an issue seems to be asking for a lot of drama.

If McCarthy wants to air a grievance about personnel, he now goes to Murphy who would then, conceivably, pass the message along to Gutekunst.  Ball might then approach Murphy and gripe about the fact that signing a particular player will hinder the team's financial situation.  The game of "telephone" is not usually reliable.

Some reports were that because Gutekunst is a first-time GM, Murphy didn't want him to have to worry about the looming questions about McCarthy's status as Packers head coach with just two years left on his contract.  Gute can now focus on the scouting and player acquisition side of his job and ease into the role.

Will Murphy's structure work?  The Packers have had a GM who made all personnel decisions for nearly 30 years and they were largely successful during that time.  But this is a new NFL and a new era.  Other teams have a structure similar to that which Green Bay now employs.

Are the Packers setting themselves up for problems and stunting their ability to return to being top contenders?  The ultimate test will come via the team's record in 2018 and how well the pieces that are added this offseason contribute to that success.


-- Jason is a freelance writer and has been on staff since 2012.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (111) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RCPackerFan's picture

While there are some questions about the structure and some wild speculations on what my happen, I really like the moves overall.

I like them promoting Gutekunst to GM. It sounds like he earned it.
As a GM you need a guy that can spot talent and not be afraid to go after them no matter where they are from. It sounds like Gutekunst will be that guy. If he utilizes all revenues for player acquiring, that will help. Just hopefully he picks the right players!

Ball is a tremendous person to have in the organization. He keeps the salary cap in great shape. I'm happy they decided to not make him the GM.

I think its smart that Murphy is now more in tune with the team. As long as he doesn't micromanage and allows each of those guys to do their jobs, I think it will be a good move. The problem with teams usually start when Owners start getting involved in decisions that take place on the field. Whether its player acquiring or who certain QB's that get forced onto the field. (Johnny Manzel).
Overall I think Murphy decided that after seeing a lot of issues between Thompson and the front office guys and between him and the coaches, that he needed to get more involved. Simply that Thompson didn't do enough and that everyone was getting tired of it causing issues.

Nick Perry's picture

"I think its smart that Murphy is now more in tune with the team. As long as he doesn't micromanage"

But isn't that exactly what Murphy is doing now with this arrangement?

RCPackerFan's picture

I don't think so.
I listened to Murphy on the Bill Michaels show last week and I thought he was really good on there. He basically said that he isn't going to have any involvement in player acquiring, or what plays are ran on the field. He is basically just going to be there overlooking the business. He is letting everyone do their job. If someone has a problem they will come to him. Unlike before where they all went to Ted, and he was the one that most had problems with.
He said too, that everything that Ted was doing at the end was to much for one person to do. Therefor splitting up some of the responsibilities and having everyone report to him was a good decision.

I like what he said on the Bill Michaels show.

Nick Perry's picture

I'm guessing that's a local show because I've never heard of it or saw it. If it improves the communication which must have been pretty bad like yourself and Hank have alluded to then I'm all for Murphy being more involved.

I can see this working well with Gute and McCarthy. I think they're both more less on the same page with what this team needs and the most effective way to get there as quickly as possible. My biggest concern is Ball having any say in who the Packers pursue and try to sign in FA.

Coldworld's picture

So why not give Gutekunst the authority Thompson had and just pay attention to cap management.

Nick Perry's picture

At the end of the day your right, Gutekunst should have been given full control but that's not what happened. The next best option WITH Gutekunst as GM would be for McCarthy and the GM to at least be on the same page right?

On a similar note....

I've been listening to podcasts like crazy and one I just listened to today on ESPN with Wilde, Chewy, and Craig where they were discussing Peppers. It's of their opinion that Russ Ball made that decision not to bring him back. Wilde thinks is a false rumor he wanted to go back to Carolina. He went back there AFTER he wasn't offered a contract by GB and was more less to kick rocks. Then there's also the thought he ran Hyde out of town and low balled Lang which IMO is right on the money. THAT'S why I'm so damn adamant of Ball NOT BEING INVOLVED in anything other than negotiating the contracts. Give him credit for being a good with the cap. but when you hardly ever sign a FA why wouldn't the cap be healthy. Just leave him the hell out of the decision making process of acquiring Free Agents.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, he is in Wisconsin. He I believe is on state wide. You can find him at He had Mark Murphy on last week and it was a really good interview.

I have no idea how good or bad the communication was, but sounds like it was pretty bad. Murphy talked about it in his press conference.

I agree. I think Gutekunst and McCarthy will work well with each other. There was a lot of talk that McCarthy was getting frustrated with Thompson. I heard rumblings that both he and Capers were very upset that they didn't try to resign Peppers. Also that McCarthy had to answer questions about everything that Thompson did. I think Gutekunst and McCarthy will work well with each other (based on what I have heard).

I agree about Ball. I don't think he will have say in who they go after. But I hope he doesn't become a thorn in Gutekunsts side when he does pursue someone.

Tundraboy's picture

Thanks for the link, RC.

Nick Perry's picture

Thanks RC..I'll check it out.

HankScorpio's picture

Not necessarily. Maybe Murphy found some simmering issue due to a lack of communication and he's just trying to make sure that all 3 are communicating. In any organization, there is no more important thing than effective communication to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

For example, it is widely speculated that there was a disconnect between the type of player TT was drafting and the type that Capers needed. I happen to believe in that speculation. If true, it was a failure of communication between TT & MM to not either move on from DC much earlier or alter the drafting strategy.

WKUPackFan's picture

Correct. The new system does not prevent communication between Gute, Ball, and MM. In fact, it could facilitate more honesty between the three.

mcduff67's picture

As a long time Packer-backer I don't concern myself with the management of the team. I do hope "Gute" is an improvement in our draft. This overall movement in our team was needed, next season is going to be different for sure, lets all be positive the team is on track!!

The TKstinator's picture

What does the “67” mean?

Savage57's picture

I would think as a "long-time Packer backer", you'd be one of the most concerned. The clown-show from 68-91, with a bunch of clueless old white men playing at Football Executive led to nothing but aimless and disastrous decisions.

I thought when you had communication issues within management ranks, you just replaced the people who couldn't communicate, not revamp your entire reporting structure to accommodate them.

I give the move a D.

Coldworld's picture

Thumbs up despite the white men comment. The critical factor is cluelessness.

One definition of cluelessness is the fact that this disfunction went on for at least 3 years and Murphy has suggested as his motive that he was not reallyaware of it until he decided Ted should move on. That should concern us all.

rdent's picture

It is now apparent that there was a disconnect in the front office, due in large part to Mark Murphy being so wrapped up in the Titletown District. With Murphy preoccupied with his pet project the football side of his job was left up to TT to manage and it looks like Ted had too much on his plate. It was a broken system that I hope they fixed, we will see.

Finwiz's picture

You haven't even given it a chance to see if it will work yet?
If they aren't communicating after next year, there will be more replacements in GB - namely the coach and the resident cap specialist.

Barnacle's picture

Are you anti “old white men”? I am anti McCarthy, but not because he is white, only because he is “clueless”.

egbertsouse's picture

Being an old white guy, I know plenty of old white guys and most of them are clueless.

Turophile's picture

The moves made might be fine..........but not as a permanent change.

I believe the final structure should be Mike reporting to Gute, who in turn reports to Mark. Additionally, a weekly meeting (or one called specially, for a major decision) where Murphy, Ball, Gute and McCarthy get together, would keep everyone in the loop.

As was the case with TT and Ball, I'd hope that Gute sets the overall upper cap limit on any players contract (this should include conversations with Ball). Then Ball negotiates the details and gets a deal done for as little as he is able. Admin stuff should go to Ball wherever possible. Gute doesn't want to be involved in this kind of detail. Even Ball should be able to delegate most of this stuff downwards, just making the big-picture decisions.

With the structure as it is now, there is a tendency for each of the guys reporting to Murphy, to snipe at the other guys. This is especially true if they all report seperately. Sniping may not happen straight away, but eventually it will, because that is human nature.

That is why I hope this is an interim measure and not a final's also why I included the weekly meeting - everyone meeting face to face regularly, helps to keep each person's beliefs, attitudes, needs, constraints, (on all topics), clear to everyone else.

Coldworld's picture

Agree wholeheartedly with the comment that such structures are only effective in the short term.

This structure is often defended as being similar to having an owner. For other teams an owner is a necessary evil. He or she has bought the right to interfere and also feels the financial impact of protracted failure.

In GB, we are free to have football people making football calls. This is how it should be, with the President simply ensuring that the GM has not lost his or her focus and vision.

What I see here is increasingly clear evidence that Thompson had lost touch with a vision, with his own scouts and with the coaching staff, apparently over at least a 3 year period.

That means that, under the old structure of responsibility, Thomson had become detrimental to the organization. This happens even to the greats. That means Murphy failed in his one football responsibility.

Allow one year for the disfunction to be detected, which means for 2 years Murphy was negligent in his duties to correct the problem one way or another.

In a commercial environment, I do not believe that such a failure of that duration would be tolerated in a President given the centrality of the role of the roster.

Yet here, instead of being on the hot seat and carrying the can as the person responsible for overseeing TT, Murphy has faced no consequences and has in fact simply made himself the ultimate arbiter for all matters.

This is not a reassuring development and suggests that the structures (exec committee) that formerly watched over the President are either clueless or simply ossified after a quarter century of irrelevance.

When a President fails to be aware of happenings in his or her company, giving that person more power based on their ability to identify and preempt problems is not a common reaction nor one I would want to have to defend to shareholders.

In essence I think Murphy did this as an easy way to mollify the coaching, personnel and player finance folk who were not getting along for three years while he was seemingly unaware of the strife in his own domain. Such palliatives are at best a short term response and likely to be only partially and temporarily effective until one faction becomes dominant.

As a result, this should last no more than a year and there needs to be some soul searching among the BoD as to whether they are fulfilling their role and whether Murphy is worthy of such power as they are de facto allowing him given the disfunction allowed to develop on his watch.

CheesyTex's picture

A "missing link" for you to consider: Murphy played in the league for several years (even more than Thompson) and Gute never did.

S.L.C.Cheesehead's picture

While I'm grateful for the championship under Thompson; at some point his management style felt borderline apathetic. To that end, I can't help but feel strong enthusiasm on the new direction of the franchise, and can't wait to see what moves "Gute" makes in the off-season.

Tundraboy's picture

That's the spirit, for now.

HankScorpio's picture

I think the structure that had been in place was largely successful. I'm not sure changing it was such a good idea.

Having said that, I'm willing to wait and see how things play out. Right now, it's a lot of talk and speculation. If all Murphy wants to do is ensure that Ball, Gutekunst and McCarthy are communicating effectively, I think it will work out fine. I also think it must have been a pretty bad communication breakdown to prompt such a shift.

OTOH, if this is Murphy trying to meddle in football operations, well, I hope that would be closed down quickly. One of the best things about GB is that there is no meddling owner to muck up football decisions. I'd like to keep it that way.

RCPackerFan's picture

'If all Murphy wants to do is ensure that Ball, Gutekunst and McCarthy are communicating effectively, I think it will work out fine.'

Listening to him on the Bill Micheals show last week, that is exactly what the impression I got. I can't remember word for word what he said. But he basically said he is doing this to improve the communication, and make sure they don't have communication issues.

'OTOH, if this is Murphy trying to meddle in football operations, well, I hope that would be closed down quickly. One of the best things about GB is that there is no meddling owner to muck up football decisions. I'd like to keep it that way.'

He also said he isn't going to get involved in that stuff. Which I agree with you Hank. I don't want him to meddle with it. Let everyone do their jobs.

Nick Perry's picture

My biggest concern is how much "Juice" Russ Ball will have in personnel decisions. Ball can go to Murphy and tell him the Packers can't afford player A, B, and C in Free Agency and POO POO all over anything Gute is trying to build. Now Ball is very good at what he does and what he does is contracts. But being able to squash a potential FA deal shouldn't be part of the equation .

My hope is this whole "Arrangement" is a temporary thing. Eventually Gutekunst MUST be given full control of all rosters decisions including who the Packers HC is. I mean the guys job IS tied to how well the Packers do. The longer this type of arrangement is in place the more likely the Packers Front Office implodes.

dobber's picture

I think this leads, to some degree, to people needing to make cases for their actions. In the Russ Ball example, he's going to have to do some legwork to show that the moves Gutekunst is asking for don't work. Otherwise, he's being an obstructionist and he's going to run into problems. Gutekunst is going to have to keep others informed on what he's trying to do for them to be able to react in this way. In all, I suspect that the communication must be good or everything will go into a death spiral. I'm giving Murphy the initial benefit of the doubt and assuming he's serving more as a moderator than anything else.

I agree: I hope it's temporary.

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed. If RB is disagreeing with the GM about an inability to sign the players that Gute wants, he's going to have to make a damn good justification. His job is to manage the cap and oversee football operations. That's it. He is not in personnel.

But I personally don't think that will be an issue. RB is reported to be a company man through and through. I'm sure he (and TT) is very disappointed that he didn't get the GM job - for whatever reason. But I doubt he'll cause problems like EW may have. He just doesn't have the strong personality for that. (reportedly).

RCPackerFan's picture

I think Ball will be more worried about the cap numbers then the actual player.
Murphy said that Gutekunst will be in charge of player acquiring. So i think Ball will be more in charge of how to get the cap numbers to work. But Gutekunst will basically say I want this player make it work. And it will be in Ball's court to figure that out.

Just my guess.

Houndog's picture

Dammit Nick!
If not for a rookie mistake you'd have gotten your wish.
Man, that sucked!

Houndog's picture

We'll see!
I still have the question regarding "accountability", who holds who accountable should it not work? As it stands it would seem to fall on Murphy's shoulders to recognize and correct any problems, be it sniping, buck-passing, finger pointing, or whatever!
As he chose to anoint himself 'all powerful', that's exactly where it should land.

croatpackfan's picture

Jasone, if you were involved in management, very fast you'll learn that people with huge ego in organization does not lasts to long. Since the fight among managers (or people positioned in the position of power) quickly leads to a failure of the organization...

No matter how large ego one person have, showing it on regular basis leads to termination of contract (nice term to describe someone is fired!).

Clever person,with huge ego, if you want, will silence that ego and, to help himself, hire another persons with knowledge and capabilities to do job they are hired for. This is the way how you (no matter how large ego you have) makes your job easier and successful...

What you are calling ego, mostly is just the way how someone comunicate. When you, as fan (no matter how good you are in understanding football, or how much you know about football) start to challange person who is in the position to be HC or GM or any other position on the team and they are doing that for living, you might find yourself getting rough answer. Because no reporter knows more about football than coaches... If you know better, that is your chance to get six - seven figures salalry...

So, talking about someone's ego, just because he do not want to listen people with less knowledge and less information, is huge mistake...

Finwiz's picture

Excellent post Croat.
You must be having a good day.
1st paragraph nails it totally.
In this day and age autocratic, egocentric management styles are not in vogue.

Coldworld's picture

Lots of things are in vogue. It doesn’t make all of them right after the test of time or effective in every situation. Moreover, you can add arrogant and distant. Applied to the current question either would plausibly turn the conclusion on its head.

Handsback's picture

A recent scout said that Green Bay had one Blue chip player, Rodgers, and one Red chip player in Bak on offense. They had no Blue chip players on defense (considered the best in the league) but Red in Daniels and lots of purple.
This scout also said that this talent drain was of course laid at TT' and his staff's feet. So part of me thinks that maybe Green Bay made a mistake in promoting Gutsey, who had a hand in this roster make-up. Since I really don't know, I'm going to go with him being a good hire.

As most of us have experienced, a management change is meant to shake up the status quo because the current method isn't producing. Many have probably lost jobs in our own companies when these decisions happen and the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater. Green Bay is going through this change and you have to look at Murphy as the change agent. I don't know if it will work or not, however the path they were on wasn't bringing in the players they needed to win the SB.

I hope that in the coaching changes a gem of a coach wasn't let go because of needing to improve. I also hope that losing Wolf won't turn out to be a talent drain. that the organization can't sustain. (Although one perosn said losing Zo will have more impact because he could spot talent as good as anyone.)

So when you decide to make it as thoroughly as possible so that you only do it once. That is probably why the management reporting structure was done it once and if it makes sense set it in stone.

nostradanus's picture

After watching all of the talent that teams like the Vikings have acquired (and watching them win in Rodgers-esque fashion yesterday) I took a good hard look at the talent on the Packers roster. Here is my conclusion:
*By my count there are only 30 players that are locks to make the team in 2018, yes thats 30 to of a 53 man roster!
*Conclusion - Ted Thompson has let the talent and depth dwindle in the past few years, his was no longer fit to run this team, Murphy had no choice.
*This is a short term fix hoping to keep the Rodgers-McCarthy duo together for one more run.
*In 5 years this structure will change again I'm sure

dobber's picture

If you're saying that 30 of 53 players are so good that there's no chance they could get beat out, you're saying that 23 of 53 are utterly replaceable (or are replacement level or lower). I think that's not too far off for many teams in the league.

Most teams are defined by those 30 players you mention...not the other 23.

NMPF's picture

Most teams are defined by those 30 players you mention...not the other 23? Those teams started 2018 watching the playoffs.

Coldworld's picture

All these are good points Handsback. However, the multiple seasons this festered before Murphy acted undermine the conclusion for me. Murphy failed in his one football task: ensuring the divisions within Lombardi Ave were functioning in reasonable unison. As such he is part of the problem and ultimately responsible for it. He should be held to account not seen as a part of the solution and certainly not empowered further.

Also, the corollary of the return to the Harlan era structure is an active BoD. In the total absence of any sign of that and, look at the membership, of connections with football among its membership. We are unbalanced in a way we were not even in the bad days pre Wolf. That is just as much a part of the structure as the changes beneath Murphy.

WKUPackFan's picture

A lot of the angst over the new structure seems to relate to opinions on Russ Ball. Ball, for some reason, has become the devil in some people's eyes. There have been unsubstantiated rumors that Ball was behind the failure to sign Hayward and Hyde. There were further unsubstantiated rumors that Ball was angling for the GM position.

In reality, the most logical scenario is that Ball presented the relevant analysis regarding Hayward and Hyde to TT and TT made the final decisions. With respect to Ball's alleged ambitions, one would hope that he desires to advance his career. That doesn't mean that Ball was overreaching his authority prior to theses changes, or that Ball was involved in a power grabbing scheme.

dobber's picture

I haven't seen anything that ever said that Ball had the authority to initiate anything on his own. By all reports I've read, all those directives came from TT (which is not to say that I can't be proven wrong). That's why I suspect your second paragraph is right on. It could be that TT asked Ball to run the numbers on a likely contract for those guys and it ended there (with no substantive negotiations between the Packers and the player(s)). That doesn't mean that Ball didn't play up 'worst-case-scenario' information that impacted TT's decisions, but I'm not going to run toward those conspiracy theories.

I think you're also right on Russ Ball: if he wants to advance himself any further, it's in his best interest to do his job very well and be a model citizen. If anything, this model for running the team will make any discord at the top easier to see or leak out. A potential negative here for Ball is that I don't think there's any scouting in his job description, which could make it harder for him to advance. By all accounts Ball is a stand-up guy, and his relationship with the previous GM seems to have poisoned his image in the eyes of Packers fans.

Coldworld's picture

I am not sure that that is logical. It might be the desirable and would be a preferable scenario, but it is just as predicated on supposition as the opposing view that Ball was trying to assert himself or the primacy of cap management in the vacumn created by TT lessening his personal control.

If Ball has not played a much more influential role, I am unsure why Murphy would remove him from direct reporting to Gutenkunst

cuervo's picture

"If Ball has not played a much more influential role, I am unsure why Murphy would remove him from direct reporting to Gutenkunst"

Because they wanted to keep him, so he got a promotion to go along with it. As mentioned in another post, I don't understand the angst and hatred for guy that has exceeded expectations at every level of the NFL he has been at (Ball). To me that's the perfect employee....I guess I'm in the minority.

Coldworld's picture

Hate who? When speculation on decisions such as this, one must form an opinion as to what happened. That is not the same as forming an opinion on the person who made them. Rational people do irrational things all the time for want of enough information or inaccurate perceptions.

If Ball required removal from the authority of the GM to stay, then I would say that points to TT having delegated far more authority to him than we knew. If that was the case.

At that point, no matter how good Ball is, one must consider how his function sits in the grand scene of the organization’ current position and objectives. Before uprooting the structure and diminishing the new GM’s effective control of the roster, Murphy should have simply put him back in his place and risk him leaving. Sometimes leadership requires tough choices not accommodation.

cuervo's picture

Unless I heard it wrong, Gute , has complete control over the roster....which to me means MM and Ball have none. They can offer opinions, have requests, etc. but Gute has the final say. That's been stated many times by Murphy. I choose to believe don't. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but I just think you and others are "speculating" that the ghost of TT is present in Russ Ball.

Coldworld's picture

He has complete control subject to Murphy and the council of 3 who must review this together. That is not full control. This is what Wolf insisted on getting rid of when he agreed to become GM.

cuervo's picture

That is not what has been stated by Murphy. Never has Murphy said "control of the roster will be made by a joint meeting of MM, Ball, and Gute." He has said multiple times Gute has complete control of the roster. Again, I choose to believe him.

Coldworld's picture

The very fact that they must all meet to discuss major decisions contradicts complete discretion by the GM. Since Murphy said that must happen, I am forced to take his Gutekunst has complete authority as being less complete than TTs was.

D.D. Driver's picture

It's deeper than that. It's not about individual personalities, it's about history. The angst is this: the Packers suffered close to three decades of incompetence and dysfunction. Then the Packers hired Wolf who came in with the following dictate: I am in charge. What I say goes. Keep your nose out of football business. And when egos git too big, Harlan did not renege on his promise and have Holmgren report directly to him. Holmgren had to go. Because Wolf was in charge.

That structure works. The Packers have been a model for success and stability. Now we have a team President that thinks the Packers can benefit from him meeting with the Head Coach on a weekly basis to discuss "game plans." For many longtime fans, that is a huge warning sign.

dobber's picture

That structure worked because Ron Wolf made it work. It's turning out as we learn more that TT was no Ron Wolf. It's my understanding that TT delegated some of his responsibilities to Ball over the last few years. Mike Sherman was no Ron Wolf. The Packers have not had a Ron Wolf since Ron Wolf.

I'm not fundamentally opposed to this change IF the personalities involved and the division of responsibilities works. There's only one way to find out.

CheesyTex's picture

Spot on. Tracking from when the Viqueens sent multiple draft picks for Bradford, the Packers had a big time advantage in roster building. But the 'queens have done a better job of solidifying their roster than the Packers despite losing Bradford to injury for much of his time there -- with a solid defense at the core.

Razor's picture

Murphy can change the structure back at any time.

Seems like he is setting McCarthy up - no excuses you can talk to me and to the GM and hire your coaches.

Later on - well we gave Mike every opportunity to make it better and it just didn't happen - so bye Mike.

Murphy gave Ted, Mike & Dom seven years (since super bowl) to get back. Way too long IMO.

At any time during those years Murphy could have had a meeting with Mike & Ted and basically said - you two are not getting it done and you will be gone if this doesn't improve.

I was in favor of Ted and Dom being gone - improve the defense and this team will be better. I still think that except Mike has been the primary weak link and he is still there. If Ted was giving him weak talent, he had many seasons to complain.

If I was Mark and next season doesn't get off to a good start, I would let Mike go. Yes you can hope and threaten but why wait for more disappointment.

Anyway, the team has a better chance to improve now and let's hope that Mark pushes Mike and Brian hard with direct and vigorous communications!

Bearmeat's picture

"Seems like he is setting McCarthy up - no excuses you can talk to me and to the GM and hire your coaches."

This is what I think too. MM is now directly on the hot seat. The team had better have a deep playoff run next year, or MM will be the one that is gone. Not Gutekunst and not Ball. They both got promotions and shiny new contracts for 5 years. MM got 1 year and no promotion.

If (when?) MM goes, then I believe that BG will be getting full control back. Although it might start well, this power-sharing thing won't work well for long. Backbiting and power grabs will happen. I'd bet within 2 years.

That's how long MM has left I'd bet.

dobber's picture

I read it differently: I read this set-up as Murphy insulating Gutekunst from McCarthy and from Ball while he grows into the job. That might be an optimistic way of viewing it, though.

I think, in part, this is Murphy saying, "these are the people I want." And then trying to figure out how to put the pieces together to give them a chance of working.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Were are in rebuilding mode. Trade Aaron Rodgers for some draft picks.

dobber's picture

Silly silly!!!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Why not? Trade him to the Browns. . We could get a slew if picks. Remember, the Ricky Williams deal or the Hershel Walker deal?

Now is the prime time !!! Look at the Jaguars. Fix the defense. Any QB coming out of the draft is decent. We could even get Sam O'Donnell.

Guy Rogers is 34 years old. He is just about done. Get something for him now

dobber's picture

You've just identified the one team that might have the draft capital to get him, and the team that might be the least likely to do so. They have the opportunity to build a dynasty with the picks they've got, and do it on cheap rookie contracts.

Tell me what you'd take in return for ARod and it's still likely to be significantly less than his real value. He'd have to drop off dramatically to be 'just about done'.

In each of those deals (Williams, Walker) the acquiring team shot themselves in the foot, and the team dealing the pick/player made out like bandits (the Vikes, in large part, built the Dallas dynasty of the 90s). Teams learn from those things...

Finwiz's picture

Although this idea is worth entertaining, the likelihood is, you won't get anything close to a comparable replacement.
With the luck the Packers have had over the last 30 years with QB's, it's not likely they will have another HOF player in the rest of our lifetime.
Rodgers is here for the rest of his career because he's not a DIVA threatening to retire every year like Favre.
They will pay him for at least the next 4 years.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Favre is not a diva. bonehead. He is best QB in the history of the NFL. Screw Brady.

Finwiz's picture

Wrong again - Brady is close to being number one, if not there already.
Favre is top 5, but not number one.
Brady just defies all logic he's so good.
Of course it could be Bellichick, but more likely the combination.

cuervo's picture

"Favre is not a diva. bonehead. He is best QB in the history of the NFL. Screw Brady."

Well I know it's early, but that may go down as the dumbest post of the entire year.

Farve is not a Diva? Seriously what planet are you on? He's gone down as the biggest Diva in the entire history of the NFL, at that's saying alot.

The bigger the game, the better Brady plays...exactly the opposite of Farve...end of story

Finwiz's picture

Brady is so good because he's so driven.
I love that guys competitive fire. He never quits and hates to lose.
He oozes confidence which is contagious to the team.
Don't like the Patriots much, but you have to admire that guy for the way he plays. Worth the price of admission.

dobber's picture

At least he's using punctuation today.

cuervo's picture


Tarynfor12's picture

It's done.....many got what they wanted. Let the draft and play have a chance to see if the moves in the FO are correct and if the same things are seen. Then you'll know who runs the show, who was responsible and who is still running the show.

Coldworld's picture

If it is only the draft that we should wait for then we haven’t learnt much and would be making a judgment on thin air as we all comment after every draft when discussing our picks. Sadly, we won’t know either way for a couple of years.

It will take that long to repair the neglect. If the FO gets it wrong now, then Doug N might get the complete rebuild he fears we need.

High stakes here.

Since '61's picture

I think Murphy didn't move sooner because of the team's results. In 2014 and 2016, the Packers went to the NFC Championship game. In 2014 the team was one play away from the SB. In 2015 they were one play away from returning to the NFC Championship game and in 2016 they made it back to the NFC Championship game when the wheels fell off in their 16th consecutive game due to their early bye in week 3. Now granted Aaron Rodgers carried the team for most of those seasons but I can understand a reluctance on Murphy's part not to break up the existing structure that nearly made it to 3 consecutive SBs.

2017, we're 4-1 when Rodgers gets injured and we finish out 3-8, resulting in a 7-9 record, missing the playoffs and looking bad in doing so. Murphy basically asks, "What the hell is going on out there?" Gets feedback and takes action. I think the appointment of Gutekunst to GM is a good move. Is the new structure a good move? We'll see but it can easily be changed if and when necessary.

Why is Murphy apparently getting closer to the team at this point? The usual reason, money. But in this case money in terms of free agents. If the Packers were to go into a period of losing seasons what would attract free agents to come play in Green Bay? For the last 25 seasons the attraction has been the chance to win an SB with either Favre or Rodgers. That window is closing. 2-3 consecutive losing seasons will close it completely.

Murphy needed to show the league that the Packers are acting to right the ship in 2018 with a healthy Rodgers. He keeps MM as a sign of continuity and maybe at Rodgers request and he moves TT aside as a sign of the Packers becoming more free agent friendly. The new structure shows the league that he is involved and is paying attention to the performance of his team.

The 2017 results showed that the team needs to upgrade its talent especially on defense and that it can no longer afford to wait for draft picks to develop if at all and if the Packers are going to return to an SB in 2-3 seasons. I think the structure is more about window dressing than funcutionality. Yes, Gute's role is probably more streamlined than TT's which is a good thing. Ego's aside, we either have professional people (MM, Gute, and Ball) or we don't. We'll find out.

We'll also see if MM can pull an almost entirely new coaching staff together and get the Packers back to the playoffs at least. I hope that the Packers continue to make solid moves as they have so far this offseason. Thanks, Since '61

Coldworld's picture

If the ship is letting in water, no excuse not to act before it gets to the point of sinking simply because it is making good speed still.

According to Murphy, he did not realize the significance of the problems until after the season’s end. He can’t have it both ways. Well, he can because he has no one holding him to account.

WKUPackFan's picture

Respectfully, it is possible that Murphy was taking steps prior to this season to correct any issues. Those steps may just have been less severe than firing a bunch of people. Perhaps those lesser steps did not correct the issues, leading to Murphy's decisions over the past couple of weeks.

Since '61's picture

WKU - that's a good point. It is unlikely that we will ever know when or for how long Murphy was considering some of these moves, especially moving on TT. Thanks, Since '61

Coldworld's picture

His statement that he only realized the scale of the disfunction after he instigated the GM search would seem to counter that.

Since '61's picture

Except that you have no idea when he began the search for a GM. Thanks, Since '61

Since '61's picture

Coldworld - When exactly and how would you define that the Packers ship was taking on water? Yes, we were all disappointed that the Packers did not return to another SB during the period 2014-2016, but 8 consecutive playoff appearances and 2 out of 3 seasons in an NFL championship game probably represents a very successful franchise to every other team in the league except for NE and apparently GB. Thanks, Since '61

Coldworld's picture

Conservatively about 3 years ago. I get the playoffs run is exceptional, but rosters are rather like momentum when you have Rodgers. It takes time to dissipate momentum and time for the squad to degrade to a point where it is obvious to outsiders.

It should not take so long for a President of an organization to realize that there were deep rooted communications failures and imbalance in his ranks or that people thought the roster was going in the wrong direction.

The very fact that TT is unanimously accepted to have been delegating more should have prodded Murphy to at least pay attention to what was going on.

Since '61's picture

How do you know that there were deep rooted communication failures or imbalance in there ranks or when any of it began. Fact is we have no idea what was actually going one in the organization or when it began. What are are all of your assumptions or accusations based on. Where are your facts. Thanks, Since '61

Finwiz's picture

Back to the no-paragraph novels I see.
To which I simply say....TL DR.

WKUPackFan's picture

At least '61 can construct a coherent thought without using racial epithets or vulgarity.

Since '61's picture

Thanks WKU. Since '61

Coldworld's picture

Now now, under the new structure, we are all required to go straight to the President Mark’s office and have a group hug and determine why we are not all on the same page philosophically.

Houndog's picture

And let's not forget to sing Kumbayah together after that group hug! :)

4thand1's picture

Everyone wanted change. Now we have change and it's being put under the microscope and questioned by everyone. Tarynfor said it simply, "it's done". The bottom line is we still have Aaron Rodgers, that's good for 10 wins in itself. Murphy , McCarthy, and the rest of the brass knows this. The team and organization knows the window is closing with a HOF QB, and nothing short of a SB will save their asses over the next few years. I guess some people wanted the Packers to completely gut the whole organization, which would mean Murphy firing himself, lmfao. Just like any move ever, we have to give it a little time. The real question is, how much time?

dobber's picture

"Now we have change and it's being put under the microscope and questioned by everyone. "

...I would argue that this is true in part because we don't have much other news out of the organization to direct our attention toward.

Since '61's picture

Dobber - Regrettably this is true and even with the microscope we still have much more speculation and assumptions than facts. Thanks, Since '61

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Rogers is 34. He will be 35 in December. Its getting close to moving on time. We will need to draft a QB in 2019 in the 1st rd.

Its time to start fresh and rebuild.
7 years wasted !!!

Coldworld's picture

Yes, but we can afford to develop one. We are not at the final curtain yet. We need to cut the cord on Hundley though. I’d like to see a vet back up and a project. Wish we still had Hill, even though he was older than most.

4thand1's picture

I still say one of Ted's big f-up's was letting Tysom Hill go. NO's seems pretty high on him.

The TKstinator's picture

“7 years wasted !!!”
Explains a lot about your posts.

Tundraboy's picture

All I know is, let's see what they can do. Found this quote from yesterday that jumped out me.

Cameron Jordan, Saints defensive end: "We had them exactly where we wanted them. As a defensive end and player of my caliber, I should have been able to eradicate that play all together. ... Had I been a half-step faster, I would have been able to get off the tight end and tackle and completely take over that play."

Even in a losing effort that's the type of football player we could use more of. No finger pointing. No BS.

Hope that is the focus this off-season.

stockholder's picture

I think Murphy is just being CAUTIOUS. TT and MM have had communication problems. Especially with signing his own. ( It's been written by several people. ) But I believe MM is still the good general. And everyone knows it. { Another point is : The history of Sherman and TT.} The problem is what usually happens in the NFL; has a way of making everyone change. Dorsey got thrown under the bus in KC. By his own. It stops a coach from becoming to powerful, outspoken, and keeps his mind on coaching. Murphy has taken over. It's a safe guard for everyone until the given powers can judged, without interference. I don't like murphy. But this decision might just be a no brainer. Report to me and show results.

Coldworld's picture

I thought Dorsey fell out with the owner, or at least that was the rumor. I agree with your point that an all powerful coach is a recipe for disaster, but here it seems we had an all powerful GM out of synch with the Coaches and, possibly his own talent evaluators. Murphy eventually stopped that by requiring TT to step down.

There was no reason to make the structural change unless he fears McCarthy would dominate Gutekunst, in which case BG was a poor hire. Therefore why change: either Murphy had a personal motive or the only other major stakeholders, Ball and maybe still TT fought it and Murphy took the easy way out.

I personally think Gutekunst was a good hire who should be trusted rather than having to justify his decisions to Murphy.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

At 40 years old in 2008_2009. Favre had his best stats ever and let me remind all of you no player ever in the history of the nfl has ever been MVP 3 years in a row except Brett Favre. Never bet against Brett Favre he is the GREEN BAY PACKERS.

dobber's picture

If you're holding up Favre as having one of his best seasons at 40, then why are you saying that a 34-year-old Rodgers is close to done? Or that the Packers should cut bait on him now?

cuervo's picture

If Brett Farve is the epitomy of the Green Bay Packers, then I need to find another team to root for.

4thand1's picture

Doug, you really should think a little more before you post sometimes.

The TKstinator's picture

He’s spent the last “7 years wasted”, so cut the dude some slack.

worztik's picture

I suggested to Spofford on the Packers’ site about trading Rodgers early in the season! I was called crazy but, as long as we have him, the rest of the team will remain insignificant! Just sayin’

Coldworld's picture

If we had any basis for believing that we could find a passable successor, it is true that the best chance of an elite squad is when your QB is good and still cheap. However, as the vast majority of teams know, a passable QB is hard to find, let alone a good one.

Given that we do not have a QB not named Rodgers whom I ever want to see start for us on the roster, I would say no amount of draft picks is likely to get one for us in the next couple of years. Even if we struck gold on a pick, we would have to strike it twice to get a QB who could carry us to a SB in his first couple of seasons even if Gutekunst registers historically brilliant offseason recruitment in that time.

We are closer with Rodgers by far. There will be plenty of time for cheap QBs and plentiful cap after that.

The TKstinator's picture

Welcome back, muchacho!
The other day I baked a pie. I’m actually pretty good at it except for the part around the edges. I asked for divine intervention, or, to put it another way, I did a little
“Crust prayin’”!!

lou's picture

Bloggers, your messages have been heard (in half of the comments it was indicated that nothing would change that you were requesting). Here is the answer in a nutshell - MUPHY'S MOVES HAS PUT HIM AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ORGANIZATION ON NOTICE - THE GREEN BAY PACKERS FANS MADE IT HAPPEN. Talk about grass roots protests, where better to happen than the smallest franchise in the NFL.

Finwiz's picture

I wouldn't over-exaggerate the bloggers impact on changes in GB.
That would be stepping into a delusion of grandeur.
It may have been a minute factor, but the Packer management isn't sitting out here everyday reading this blog.
It's the internet where millions of critical comments get posted every single day. They'd be awfully busy keeping up with all of the amateur opinions.

Coldworld's picture

I wonder if any of the BoD luminaries ever read a Packers blog. Otherwise, I would say we have no influence at all.

4thand1's picture

The overall bad decision making made it happen. We got exposed and the entire football world saw it. The organization had no choice, stats don't lie. The fans would have sold out every game this year as usual. Losing is unexceptable in the NFL and we are one key injury away from being bottom feeders. There is no "I" in team, but apparently there was an AR. We got 20+ years of winning and found out that losing sucks. Ask Rhodes and Sherman.

4thand1's picture

The queens just moved closer to the bottom of the draft,hee hee. Silver lining.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

”If McCarthy wants to air a grievance about personnel, he now goes to Murphy who would then, conceivably, pass the message along to Gutekunst. Ball might then approach Murphy and gripe about the fact that signing a particular player will hinder the team's financial situation. The game of "telephone" is not usually reliable."

If that happens often Murphy will fire them. Watching folks who don't understand management talk about it is like listening to my Aunt talk about football and celebrate when they kick a "home run".

Coldworld's picture

So your recipe for effective management is that, rather than communicate directly, everyone should do it through an intermediary?

HankScorpio's picture

It's a fine line between communicating and pointing fingers. One is fine, the other is a problem.

MarkAlan's picture

I woulds of Let McCarthy walk, there's a reason we only got 12 Super Bowl with Rodgers, look at New England

4thand1's picture

I would love to be a fly on the wall to see the draft board.

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