Packers president Mark Murphy met with the media to explain the decision to transition G.M. Ted Thompson to a role other than General Manager. Murphy described it as a joint decision made by him and Thompson.
Murphy, who acknowledged on multiple occasions that Thompson had become a “lightning rod” among the fan base, also said there’s “no truth” to the report from Bob McGinn that the Board of Directors instructed Murphy to make the change. However, Murphy managed to avoid addressing the broader question of whether Thompson is having health issues that will keep him from performing the job at the appropriate level.
The process started a year ago, Murphy explained, with Murphy and Thompson discussing what Thompson eventually would like to do. Thompson, who was conspicuously absent from the press conference even though he’ll remain the G.M. until a new one is hired, told Murphy that he’s a scout at heart. The conversation continued more recently, resulting in the decision to make a change.
“Where we are now, it’s in the bests interest of the Packers and Ted to make this transition,” Murphy said.
Murphy added that he will hire the next G.M., and that the Packers have “several very strong internal candidates.” Murphy also said he won’t necessarily limit himself to the “tree” of executives that traces back to the structure Ron Wolf brought to Green Bay in 1992.
Murphy further explained that the next G.M. doesn’t need a scouting background, a comment that definitely bolster the case for early favorite Russ Ball, who doesn’t have that background.
The search will proceed with “all deliberate speed,” Murphy said, explaining that he’ll adhere to a concept of “fire quickly, hire slowly.”
Key factors, per Murphy, will include work ethic, humility, and knowledge of the game, along with an appreciation of the “unique culture” that they have in Green Bay.