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Will the Packers Be a Top Destination for Head Coach Candidates?

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Will the Packers Be a Top Destination for Head Coach Candidates?

What many considered to be the inevitable happened a lot earlier than expected when Mike McCarthy was relieved of his head coaching duties following the ugly home loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.  While the firing coming mid-season was certainly a surprise to many and out of character for the Packers organization, the decision to cut ties with McCarthy is probably a blessing in disguise to him and also to the franchise as well.

As the Packers embark on their first head coach search since the 2006 offseason, Mark Murphy made it pretty clear in his Monday press conference that the franchise would be waiting until the conclusion of the season to finalize the decision of their next head coach.  But that doesn’t mean that the wish list can’t be compiled by Murphy and GM Brian Gutekunst now. 

More importantly, the vacancy at 1265 Lombardi Avenue gives top-tier candidates the early chance to ponder the pros and cons of coaching the Green Bay Packers into the future.  And while this hire will ultimately be a huge factor in the direction of the franchise for the remainder of the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay and hopefully beyond, Mark Murphy and the organization need to project their best foot forward for the candidates they will try to woo to be the next head coach of the storied Packers franchise.  

Just like in any other business or industry, an organization looking to hire the best talent for a job comes down to a mutual fit for both parties.  Murphy and company will be looking for the best fit and talent moving forward and the candidates that are interviewing will be looking at the same things as well.  From the candidate’s perspective, let’s take a look at what they’ll potentially be weighing as the Packers look to hire the coach of their future.

As with any job search, competition between employers is always a factor for job candidates and it is no different for head coaches in the NFL.  Outside of the Green Bay opening and the current opening in Cleveland, other potential openings will be left to speculate over the coming month or so.  With a known opening in Cleveland, a new head coach would be coming into a situation with a surging young team and a GM that has shown he is willing to go out and find the missing pieces to the puzzle on the team.  These factors are certainly attractive. 

If Tampa Bay gives Dirk Koetter the ax at the end of the season, a tough division, a roster not brimming with talent and a rumored GM change don’t make that potential highly attractive.  If the Dallas Cowboys were to falter down the stretch, Jason Garrett could be ousted as the head coach and working for “America’s Team” under a meddling owner surely has its upside and downside.  Other coaches on the potential hot seat are Todd Bowles with the New York Jets, Vance Joseph in Denver, John Harbaugh in Baltimore, Doug Marrone in Jacksonville and Steve Wilks in Arizona.  All are potential jobs that the highest profile candidates would be considering over the job in Green Bay.

When potential head coaching candidates then take a deeper look at the Green Bay Packers organization and list their positives and negatives for the gig, the beauty will lie all in the eye of the beholder when they look at all aspects of the current state of the franchise.

To start, having Aaron Rodgers under contract with the potential for five more great years will certainly be eye-catching to most.  For a young, upstart coach, a chance to lead a team with Rodgers under center certainly puts them a leg up on a lot of the competition when looking to make a name for themselves in the league.  But, will candidates look into the potential souring relationship that Rodgers had with Mike McCarthy and be scared away from the chance to coach the Packers? 

Another internal consideration head coaching candidates will face is the current state of the roster in Green Bay.  The talent is there on the offensive side of the ball in spots and some promise exists on the defensive side of the ball.  When factoring in other potential openings, the Packers overall state of the roster is relatively healthy when compared to the other teams and should be a bright spot to potential candidates.

Head coach contenders for the Packers job must also consider the history, culture and location of the franchise.  Lambeau Field and the rich Packers history certainly put the Packers above most of their competition and the rabid fanbase helps make the job appealing to all.  But the question must be asked if the city of Green Bay and the small market scare away high profile candidates that would be more enticed by higher-profile markets like New York or Phoenix.

The final unique piece of the Green Bay Packers puzzle for potential candidates is the newly developed power structure in 2017.  What was originally played by Mark Murphy as a communication stop-gap in the organization, the decision to have the head coach and GM reporting directly to Murphy as team president was certainly a new direction based on how other franchises operate their organizational chart at the top.  Based on Monday’s press conference, GM Brian Gutekunst will be involved in the process of hiring the new coach with the final say still falling in Murphy’s hands.  And while we may not know the fine details of the relationships between President, GM and coach with the Packers organization, how it works may be a key factor in a candidate finding the Packers job appealing or not.  Candidates interviewing in Green Bay will surely have this as one of their top questions during interviews and Mark Murphy needs to be able to make this relationship both clear and appealing to any coach interviewing for the job.

With all of the internal and external factors being considered by head coaching candidates, I think the Packers will have the most desirable position in the league for many reasons.  While any head coaching job comes with some difficult territory, the gig in Green Bay will provide the new coach with some challenges and it is in Mark Murphy’s hands to find that candidate that best suits the franchise.  Over the coming weeks, and really having started already, the candidate rumor mill for the Packers will be running at full steam.  Hope really does spring eternal for Packers organization as they embark on their first head coach in almost 13 years and us as a fanbase wait in anticipation for the next leader of the team to be hired.


Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (88) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bure9620's picture

Yes, this is an attractive job. More than most NFL jobs. It is a destination job. You don't typically see HC gigs with these type of fanchises come open, particularly with HOF QBs. This will be the most attractive opening in the league.

D.D. Driver's picture

Maybe, maybe not. Recall: the next coach has to be willing to humor the team President with weekly meetings to go over game planning. Do we really think the next Mike Holmgren is going to be eager to explain to Howdy Doody why he plans to call the plays that he calls?

I don't.

LambeauPlain's picture

What makes you claim MM was updating Murphy on weekly game plans? That would be like the CEO reviewing the sales calls scheduled by the sales reps for the coming week.

The Triumvirate reporting to Murphy was to remove the silos that were erected by TT and foster communication within the football operation.

I do see a time in the near future where Gute takes over...and it is very possible after the new coach is hired, Murphy has him report to BG.

D.D. Driver's picture

I think that because that is what Murphy said he was going to do!

We have very short memories around here. And I totally agree, Murphy's meddling is 100% "like the CEO reviewing the sales calls scheduled by the sales reps for the coming week."

Rak47's picture


Rak47's picture


EddieLeeIvory's picture

This is the only possible gig that Josh McDaniels would leave New England for.
He almost left for Andrew Luck & Indianapolis, but apparently didn't want to compete with New England & Belichick/Brady in the AFC.

We won't face New England until 2022 (barring Super Bowl), and Rodgers still has 5 years on Brady.

McDaniels is arrogant. He's cocky.
He won a playoff game with Tim Tebow as QB.
He's kept Brady succeeding despite 2, 3, 4 new WRs every year.

Perfect match....

Bearmeat's picture

I have no interest in a failed HC who left another team standing at the altar. Who also happens to be a prominent member of the worst coaching tree in the past 20 years.

No thanks.

Since '61's picture

Bearmeat we agree as usual. I believe that McDaniels is most likely to be BBs successor in NE. That is probably why he bolted from the Colts. Bob Kraft may have allowed Brady's successor slip away to the 49ers he was not going to let BBs successor get away as well.

Plus as you point out BBs coaching tree is a legacy of failures. Thanks, Since '61

LambeauPlain's picture

Yeah, very true. The Coordinators from the Belichek regime have been mostly duds as Head Coaches.

Nerd's picture

McDaniels just told PFT he has no interest whatsoever in Green Bay. Says he'd rather go to Cleveland.

Bearmeat's picture

Again, I don't want McDaniels... but he's already shown that he is a liar. And what would he possibly gain by telling the truth here?

Chino's picture

It was Bruce Arians that made that comment, not McDaniels.

croatpackfan's picture

That's pity. But Bruce Arians already made his decision...

Stic's picture

TT and MM have driven this team into the dirt. It us bereft of credible NFL talent. Who in their right mind would come too GB?

The TKstinator's picture

Someone ...coherent?

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Hall of fame meaning. ..his career is done?

cheezit's picture

> He won a playoff game with Tim Tebow as QB.

Wasn't that John Fox?

Pizzadoc's picture

I like him, he is a proven winner, making Tebow into Tebow-ade. Just don't let him have any input on the next QB.

Nerd's picture

This team could very well be radioactive. Who wants to have to come in and deal with Aaron Rodgers at this point?

Bearmeat's picture

A guy who's smart and has huge balls. So...most NFL head coaches who are alpha males?

HankScorpio's picture

All decent coaches believe they can 'fix' whatever ails a player. The coach that shies away from dealing with Rodgers is a candidate that was never going to work out anyways.

Bure9620's picture

Yeah no kidding, what HC opening is a better situation than dealing with Rodgers?

croatpackfan's picture

You may have the biggest balls in the world, that will not help you to fight against very well equipped and intelligent opponent if you have cuffed hands. Because you'll have to pay attention what you have right to do and what you have not right to do. E, g. you may shout on your QB, but you are not allowed to sit him w/o his consensus. How you'll solve that problem with your balls?

LeotisHarris's picture

Croat, this hot take has been completely ignored by the media. Can someone connected with PTI get this to Tony and Mike? "Next up: what if you have the biggest balls in the world, but you're handcuffed? How can you solve that problem with your balls?

Tundraboy's picture

Exactly,Bear.. Saved me a post. What truly ambitious coach would pass up such an opportunity? Not any I want.

bigGuy's picture

Twice in the last week, the organization has been in denial over Rodgers. If a new coach feels he is subordinate to Rodgers within the organization, If I have options, this may not be the most desirable place. It’s not about having balls, it’s about where will I succeed

bigGuy's picture

Tho I do believe Rodgers will have no direct influence on the process, if I’m the chosen candidate, I’m requesting a meeting with Rodgers before I accept. The organization is tied to Rodgers for next 5 years, I need to know if I have the leader I need, willing to do what I need him to do.

greentiger74's picture

Who wanted to come in and coach Brett Favre? People forget Favre had his two of his worst seasons as QB at the end of Mike Sherman era. Mike McCarthy came in and righted that ship. Sort of ironic this team is in the same position 13 years later though I don’t think this team is as bad as that team had been. It certainly will be a challenge for any HC but it can be done.

Stic's picture

You're right this team us far worse. Totally bereft of NFL caliber talent. Welcome back to the 80s

LambeauPlain's picture

Did you have the same silly feeling when MM came to GB?

Because Favre was out of control during the 4-12 2005 season and did anything he wanted on and off the field. Sherman even gave him his own locker room and let him cater in lunch rather than eat with the team in the cafeteria. The team was a mess.

MM came in and told Favre "you will run the plays I call and play QB the way I expect". They went 8-8 in 06 and 13-3 to the NFC Championship game in 07.

Stic's picture

Christ that's a hell of a bullshit story with quotes and everything. Lol

Bearmeat's picture

Mark Murphy has and will make the Packers a LOT of money with the TitleTown District, but him acting as a meddling owner is a negative, no doubt. I hope he lets Gute run the show. When is his forced retirement again?

Aaron Rodgers being a petulant, whiny brat at various points the last three years will also (I believe) balance out the extreme positive of having a HOF caliber QB running that side of the ball. Rodgers is smart - almost too smart. If he doesn't like something, he's going to let people know about it. That's going to alienate plenty of people. The new coach had better put his big boy pants on, cause he's going to have to match wits with ARod. Not easy.

The defense has some nice young pieces, but very little proven talent outside of Clark and Daniels. The offense has Rodgers, Jones, Bakh, Adams and Linsley, and then some nice young pieces. While there are plenty of roster holes (SS, FS, RT, RG, TE, OLB1/2), that's more talent than most teams have who are looking for a head coach.

The potential to win right away is there - especially if GB ends up losing most of the rest of its games - which very well could (should?) happen. That, again, will be attractive to a coach.

When you factor in that there are only 32 of these jobs in the world, and that GB is a much more laid back city than basically any other NFL location that lives and breathes football and NFL history....for the right coach, this will be a jewel of a job.

flackcatcher's picture

I heard media reports and have been told Murphy's contract ends in early to mid 2019. If the executive committee is fine with Murphy doing this, than they should issue a statement backing him. While I'm not happy over what is coming close to a power grab, if the committee backs Murphy, than that's it. Otherwise a power struggle could break out over the vacuum of leadership in Green Bay. At the risk of sounding like a very broken record, this could go south in a very big way, and get real ugly real fast. Here's hoping the executive committee gets their act together.

fastmoving's picture

If you read some of the posts her this is going south since 5 years at least. other than that you can not go more south than missing the playoffs! and everything in life can go south any minute, you can never be feel safe. and if you do it anyway, thats the biggest risk of getting hit.
just pointing it out for the drama queens and cry babies..... and sitting behind a pc its just the right place for you, by the way.
Murphy is a really good leader and its easy to see.

Stic's picture

No its not or else the packers would have won at least one SB since 2010 not wrecked an entire franchise.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Bottomline if Rodgers truly is so disruptive as a prospective coach I would discuss this with Murphy and Gute that if I had to bench Rodgers to get him to follow the playbook would they support me? The answer to that question is the only way I'd take the Pack head coaching job.

Bearmeat's picture

That's great in theory, but in practicality, you can't do that with his contract. I mean, it would have to be something like a Terrell Owens conduct detrimental thing and banning him from the building.

Obviously, ARod is not that dumb and it would never happen. So... he's the QB. Just have to find a way to rein him in.

Nick Perry's picture

"So... he's the QB. Just have to find a way to rein him in."

I can't help but fell you guys are making Rodgers into some wild man QB who's become un-coachable. I believe Rodgers WANTS to be coached. I believe Rodgers wants to be pushed and challenged in a way McCarthy hadn't been able to do for the last several years.

The beginning of the end happened in Seattle in the NFCCG and the trust in McCarthy continued to erode right along with the talent on this roster. Just LOOK at the drafts in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see all the mistakes Ted made in his final 3 years and really before. The ONLY reason Thompson began to sigh a FEW FA was his drafts were so God awful he knew time was running out as GM. I mean he HAD to.

Rodgers is the BIGGEST reason to come to GB....Period end of story but that's just my opinion.

Samson's picture

It's the TT apologists (the numbers are dwindling with time) and especially the MM apologists today. -- Most of them are still waking up in the middle of the night in a panic when they realize that MM is gone.

Most if not all HC candidates for the GB job would view AR as the most attractive part of the puzzle. >>> the most important position on a football field & manned by a future HOFer. --- It will be an easy decision for anyone who's fortunate enough to be offered the job.

fthisJack's picture

if you get the right coach that can scheme an innovative offense and keep it fresh, Rodgers will be like a kid in a candy store. he will be smiling and winning which is all he wants. just don't fire his friend and position coach for no apparent reason.

The TKstinator's picture

Another very attractive piece would be full, “behind the scenes” access to CHTV, and all the wisdom therein.

Citizen AJ's picture

Nick Perry BRAVO !! The only post so far that makes sense. Everything you said is spot right on !

Stic's picture

You have to understand the TT/mm buttt rangers still rule here.

Since '61's picture

I agree completely that Gute needs to run the show especially when it comes to selecting his HC. Murphys' involvement could be seen as driving a wedge between Gute and the HC.

If a coach does not want to coach a team with Aaron Rodgers then I don't want him to coach the Packers. If you want to be a coach in the NFL you need to be able to deal with all kinds of players and their personalities.

Rodgers has a boatload of confidence. A good coach will build off that confidence and utilize it to make Rodgers and the offense more effective than they have been. I would prefer confident players over players who are always questioning themselves or their abilities. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Again. Exactly right.

croatpackfan's picture

Here is different view on the problem:

And I think this is very fine article...

Tarynfor12's picture

This HC better have the ability to draw FA's to GB and not just the end of their career types. If not, the Draft and Develop needs to be much better than has been over the last 6 seasons and that means asst's that can do a better job than what we've been getting. Rodgers doesn't have time to wait for each draft class to grow for 3 years, which means he just may have to trust them much quicker or close to immediately.

Bearmeat's picture

I think all of the above is what needs to happen. Great post.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I'm more concerned about assistant coaches following him to GB. FAs follow the money these days.

Oppy's picture

No HC in the league outside of the hoodie draws FAs to their team as reliably as a premium salary.

The only guys who get to free agency are players a team didn't want to keep or couldn't afford to keep. Generally speaking, cash is king in the FA market.

The TKstinator's picture

Yes, but don’t underestimate the draw of double secret CHTV access.(Still trying to get that myself.)

4thand1's picture

TT is NO LONGER PULLING THE STRINGS. Gute and company had a pretty good draft and look to have another with two 1st rounders next draft. Also he almost landed Mack but the Raiders figured they'd get more from thebearsstillsuck. That backfired on them. Gute is pretty young too and looks to be aggressive also. He looks to have a lot of say with who will be the next HC, I think he convinced Murphy to cut the cord on MM.

fastmoving's picture

I dont think you have to convince Murphy, he is his own man and a really good boss. I like what we have in him and Gute.

Stic's picture

Rest assured TT is in fact in charge at 1265. It stinks to high heaven in there.

packerbackerjim's picture

Winston Moss got canned, probably for tweeting
Smack about Rodgers. No great loss.

Since '61's picture

More good news. I was hoping that would be the case when Philbin was named as interim HC. Thanks, Since '61

LambeauPlain's picture

He got canned because Pettine and Phiblin wanted him gone.

He could have called Rodgers Satan and MM would have protected him.

Moss was the ONLY assistant MM protected from the media and would not let him talk to the press.

That's amazing.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

That's ridiculous. ..

You want 5 million a year and play with the Bears or i will give you 3 million and you can be coached under Vince Lombardi

I will take the 3M to play for Vince Lombardi

The TKstinator's picture

Sobriety now.

Dontworrygopackers's picture

blah blah blah, this is the best head coaching job in nfl. mccarthy, capers, thompson were all great but ran their cours

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Yeah, but some may say forget Green Bay. Rodgers is out of his prime..35 years old...not much time left and right now he is NOT the QB he used to be.

4thand1's picture

Doug, this isn't the NFL of the past, QB's life expectancy improved by 5 years with all the friendly protect the passer rules. AR could be the league MVP next year, don't count him out.

croatpackfan's picture

Wrong location!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I haven't. ..however he is not the pin point accurate passer he used to be when DBs were all over the WRs.

KamThomps's picture

When his heart is back in the game, he will find his groove again.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Time to draft a new QB!

fastmoving's picture

If the Pack wins its because of AR and when they lose its all on the HC? other than that its all about to get along with the QB, nothing else. Would I want that as a coach?
I just dont know.
........and the protect the QB rules, did not help AR this season at all, even it wasnt much of a change by midseason

PAPackerbacker's picture

I would think Green Bay would be a great opportunity for the right coach to make the Packers a contender again and one of the top openings for the position of HC. I'm sure there are coaches already being considered for the position and looking forward to an interview for the job. Just have to wait for the right time for the process to begin. Firing MM when it happened was the right thing to do for both the Packers and MM. It gives each party a chance to get a jump on the opportunities that lie ahead. There are some great candidates out there that would be a great HC. Now all that is needed is to find the one who is the best fit in Green Bay.

croatpackfan's picture

Listen how Bruce Arians refuse even to think about job in Green Bay. He said he would only come back if he can go to Cleveland. And he admitted Green Bay is good job, great opportunity, but NO! Why? He never say.

Someone can read and someone not...

Pizzadoc's picture

"It's cold outside..."

Lots of people don't want to live in a small (white) town or deal with the weather. On the good side, as previously stated, rabid fans, no distractions, weather can be a plus (theoretically after the AZ game).

Hell, I don't want to live there.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

It's way past time. Get our heads out of the clouds. THIS TEAM IS IN MAJOR REBUILD MODE.

Stic's picture

You are correct DN.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I personally would go after Jim Harbough.

I know, I know, I'm gonna hear how he wears out his welcome.

But back in the Civil War Days Abraham Lincoln went to George mcclellan's house and he said I'll Bridle his horse if he can bring me victory , so even Abraham Lincoln would humbled himself if he could get a general that could lead his armies to Victory, so I don't care about Jim Harbaugh wearing out his welcome all I care about is a Super Bowl victory

Let's light a fire undet this teams butt!

LambeauPlain's picture

Jim Hairball is a jerk. I would like to see his older brother in GB much more. John loves solid D and STs.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I like the thought of John Harbough....But the league is changing ... I would go after Josh McDaniels. ..

mrtundra's picture

The guy I do not want as HC is DeFillipo, the OC of the vikings. The offense he ran in Minnesota is as bad as ours is, in GB. The "throw the ball deep to Theilen" game plan is not going to work in GB.Is there anything innovative in Minnesota's offense? Even though ARod is better QB than Cousins, the poor offense DeFillipo put on the field, under Zimmer, will need a lot of work to fix. We need a head coach who can make our offense, defense and ST coordinators and players run like a well oiled machine. To do that we will need help from the Draft and FA to get the players we need.

LambeauPlain's picture

The vyqueen fans are calling for Zimmer's head.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Maybe the Packers need a WINNER of a JERK for a change.

LambeauPlain's picture

The Packers are not that far off.

The D kept them in virtually every game so far this year even as it lacks some key starting talent and lacks quality depth. Sunday they started with 6 preferred starters out.

STs just need a good coach and HC that actually demands performance. STs is mostly attitude and "want to" perform for their coordinator.

It was the O that held this team back and MMs failure to identify the strength of his players and develop an offense to take advantage of them.

I really believe the right HC will do absolute wonders for the Packers.

And any candidate would have to be excited about the Packer facilities, all the profits plowed back into the franchise, the rabid fan base and rich tradition. Sure, it is a small city...but many Packer players and coaches live there all year.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

No team is that far off..

That is the problem!!!

Look at other teams...You have to be ELITE.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We need a SUPERBOWL Victory!

Not just playoffs...ugh...

I don’t want to compete.

I have come that i might. DESTROY! !

Stic's picture

You are on a roll DN. That Rodgers has only one ring is criminal. But no TT and MM are HOFs. Ugh.

jsb937's picture

You replaced Mike McCarthy with Casper Milktoast instead of a disciplinarian Winston Moss. You lost. And sign Kareem Hunt you pussies.

Lare's picture

Vikings troll.

LeotisHarris's picture

Meh. At least give him credit for done gradjiating 6th grade. That's some darn good writing right there. No doubt he showed the post to his buddies before they spent the night lighting their farts.

leaerin4's picture

In my opinion we're all missing the obvious next head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Bill Belichick. Josh McDaniels takes over in New England and Bill comes to Green Bay and the Packers win at least two Super Bowls with Belichick as our coach.

leaerin4's picture

In my opinion we're all missing the obvious next head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Bill Belichick. Josh McDaniels takes over in New England and Bill comes to Green Bay and the Packers win at least two Super Bowls with Belichick as our coach.

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