Mark Murphy, Mike McCarthy emerge from G.M. search with bigger roles

AP

The G.M. search and significant organizational restructuring that it triggered in Green Bay has created various winners. Unlikely victors as a result of the decision to replace Ted Thompson with Brian Gutekunst are CEO Mark Murphy and head coach Mike McCarthy.

Six days ago, Murphy said that the new G.M. would have the power to hire and fire the coach. On Monday, Murphy told reporters that he, and not Gutekunst, will supervise the coach and have the power to make changes, if and when changes are necessary.

The goal of the unexpected adjustment to the power structure is, per Murphy, to improve internal communication. The team president spoke of “silos” that have developed in the organization, causing periodic “breakdowns” in communication in recent years.

It’s odd that Murphy came to this epiphany in the handful of days since proclaiming that the G.M. will continue to supervise the coach. Did Murphy know as of last week that it was heading this way, or is this his way of justifying after the fact the unexpected shift?

It could be the latter. McCarthy made a public power play on Thursday, talking openly about the importance of a “fit” with the new G.M., and sending the not-so-subtle message that he could choose to walk away before the new G.M. runs him off. With Russ Ball, who also emerges from this search with a new title and greater authority, previously on track in the opinion of some to be the new G.M., McCarthy’s comments may have been calculated to ensure that Ball didn’t become the new G.M. and that, ultimately, no one other than Murphy would have the ability to control and direct McCarthy’s employment.

Murphy explained that the job previously performed by Thompson will be split between Gutekunst and Ball, which means that, although both of them are getting more authority, no one is getting Thompson’s complete authority. Which also means that Murphy and McCarthy have emerged with, relative to everyone else, more authority.

And even though it was believed that Murphy wanted Ball, Murphy experienced a sea change at some point since creating the impression that the goal was to simply replace Thompson and eventually doing something very different than that, engaging in a dramatic overhaul of the power structure — one that gives McCarthy a bigger role and that throws Murphy more directly into the fray.

Previously, Murphy had a firewall between his role and any actual football accountability. Now that he’s serving as the boss of the coach, which will include as Murphy said supervising “game plan, games, coaching positions. everything that’s under the head coach’s control,” Murphy is in line for much more credit when things go well, but much more blame when things go poorly.

47 responses to “Mark Murphy, Mike McCarthy emerge from G.M. search with bigger roles

  1. So scapegoats were fired and those that should have been fired were given more power?

    I guess thats how it goes in GB.

  2. Personally, the packers did a disservice to their fans.

    All they did was create an impression that they were going after change, yet kept the same people. The only thing that will matter is the change in defense.

    If they hire a DC from within, everything they did was window dressing to fool their fans.

  3. Not going to end well, my packer friends! This could quite possibly the beginning of the middle of the end. Or it could be the middle of the beginning of the end. But rest assured…the end has begun.

  4. Brian G’s presser brought forth more information than most realize. When talking about FA and he said basically We’re not going to sign every guy but we’re going to know about every guy and be able to pull the trigger if necessary. We’re going to at the least, look at them and know about them. – that spoke more about how Ted did things than anything else.

    Also – Murphy requested BG’s scouting report on the Packers’ top 3 picks every year for the last 3 years. What BG said they were is exactly who they turned out to be on the field. That bodes well. Note – he didn’t say BG wanted those guy but just what BG saw those guys as…

  5. Let’s get off the packer pages, Viking fans. We are going to avenge the 2009 NFC Championship and take another step closer to our first Super Bowl victory this Sunday.

    Let’s focus on that!! SKOL!!!!

  6. How can any of my fellow packer fans be okay with this? They just rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic. Significant overhaul was needed if we were going to make another run before Aaron hanged them up. New GM, new coaching staff. We’re done.

  7. My Packers need new people to change things. But it won’t happen. Incestuous, isn’t it? We are set in our ways. In football. And everywhere else.

  8. So….they hired a GM and immediately stripped him of power
    Way to go, Green Bay!
    Why hire a GM at all? From within the organization or otherwise

    So Murphy has more power
    McCarthy has more power
    Gutekunst is, what….a lackey??
    Getting coffee for the other two? LOL

  9. This is a teachable moment why it’s better to have an owner that can fire everyone if he wants to. The Vikings used to have a 10 person ownership group that couldn’t agree on anything. They sold to Red McCombs. Oops. Now Zygy has people in place that know what they are doing and it’s running like a machine. The Cheesers are going at it the wrong way.

  10. More of the same in Green Bay. Bad decision making. Big egos. Big chokes. Scapegoating. Declining. Disappointment. Depression. And then there’s our NFL team. Wasting Aaron.

  11. Murphy is really pissing a lot of us Packer fans off, Why not give BG full power, it’s only worked for like many years now, maybe he should be gone

  12. Liberalsruineverything says:
    January 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm
    This is a teachable moment why it’s better to have an owner that can fire everyone if he wants to. The Vikings used to have a 10 person ownership group that couldn’t agree on anything. They sold to Red McCombs. Oops. Now Zygy has people in place that know what they are doing and it’s running like a machine. The Cheesers are going at it the wrong way.

    ====

    Fans in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Washington probably would disagree with this statement. I’m no fan of the Packers, but they seem to have a pretty good organization there, despite the fact it is in a smaller market.

  13. Jerry Jones won multiple Super Bowls with Jimmy Johnson. That was a dysfunctional relationship.

    Green Bay has a great QB. They need to surround him with talent.

    That’s what matters.

  14. As a Packers fan for 57 years, I have seen the op of the mountain and the bottom of the valley with this team. There is no doubt that under Ted Thompson’s reign as GM and Mike McCarthy’s reign as head coach, this team has been one of the most consistently winning teams in the NFL. So on the surface, one would seemingly be an ingrate to question their leadership. But — once you dig deeper and see what could have been, you come away feeling that their stats are misleading.
    First of all, you cannot forget that these guys had two Hall Of Fame caliber QB’s on the field for about 99% of the snaps. Those two QB’s won many games when they had to lift the team on their shoulders and carry them to victory. And often, it was in spite of the talent they were given by Thompson and the game day coaching by McCarthy.
    It’s no secret how Thompson felt about free agency. He viewed it as evil and rarely used it, and even when he did, he never brought in a top free agent who was a huge difference maker on offense or defense.
    Ted Thompson’s two biggest faults were ignoring free agency and keeping sub par players around solely because he drafted them. The result was the team was always good enough to compete for the NFC North and make the playoffs, but couldn’t get to or win Super Bowls, except in 2010 when they pulled off a miracle by being a 6th seed with 17 players on IR, and winning the Super Bowl. But most of the players on that team were handed to Thompson when Holmgren left. He did luck out and sign Charles Woodson, whom everyone else passed on because they thought he was washed up, so I have to credit him for that. Woodson was a big reason why the Packers won that Super Bowl.
    McCarthy has been called a great coach and a QB guru. But Packers fans know better. He has a lot of what one of his protege’s has (namely Andy Reid) and that is that he often gets out-coached in big games. Another thing he has that drives a lot of Packers fans batty is he never, ever accepts the blame for losses. It’s always the team’s fault, or everybody’s fault, but never Mike McCarthy’s fault. Re-wind that playoff loss to Seattle in 2012 for a case in point. McCarthy totally lost control of his team in that game, and he played it way to close to the vest in the 4th quarter, which allowed Seattle to steal the game all the while McCarthy’s players were celebrating behind him on the bench. That was a disgraceful way to lose a game they had in their hands, and McCarthy should have been fired in the locker room after the game. And worse — he allowed back up TE Brandon Bostick to take all the blame for muffing the on-side kick and allowing Seattle to score the winning TD on that drive. But make no mistake — that loss was all on McCarthy.
    So — now they have removed Ted Thompson’s GM title and hired from within to replace him. And, Thompson will be an “advisor” to the new GM, who they won’t even let fire the head coach. So in effect, nothing has changed. Mark Murphy, the President and CEO, is still there, only now he has all the power. Everyone answers directly to him. Well — take a look at his resume. He played in the NFL and then went to two colleges to become their athletic director, and then straight to the job he has now in GB. What is it that he’s done which makes him so great? Other than stand back and watch Ted Thompson ignore free agency and draft lousy players on defense, that is.
    I think the Packers are making a big mistake by making the changes they’ve made. I think they should have cleaned the house totally, by firing everyone from Mark Murphy on down, then bringing in a new President/CEO from outside the organization, and letting him hire a good football man as GM (again, from outside the organization), then by getting the hell out of the way and letting him do his job (hiring a head coach and his staff, etc).
    The Packers have had a great run since 1994. Only the Patriots have done better. And sooner or later, it had to come to a halt. That halt was this year, and I think the moves that have been made will allow it to continue. It’s a shame, because Favre won just one Super Bowl with those Ron Wolf / Mike Holmgren Packers, and it looks like Aaron Rodgers will only get one win, too. Those two guys deserved better.

  15. schmitty2 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    I’m shocked Csrl Gerbschmidt didn’t interview for the G.M gig.
    ________

    He’s an owner. He was probably in on the interviews.

  16. “So scapegoats were fired and those that should have been fired were given more power?”

    Wish I could disagree, but I cannot.

  17. I’m glad the hiring saga is finally over. I hope everything works out for wolf & ball. They tried. And, if they’re bitter or smart, they’d look elsewhere.

  18. Murphy told reporters that he, and not Gutekunst, will supervise the coach and have the power to make changes, if and when changes are necessary.

    any time you hear someone say they will make changes IF and WHEN necessary….it means they are content with standing pat. this whole thing was a smokescreen and a rearranging of deck chairs on the TiTaNiC..this whole thing accomplishes nothing. they saw what happens when rodgers goes down. they are a garbage team with a garbage coach.

  19. As a season ticket holder and “owner,” I’ll admit I’m much less optimistic today than I was one week ago. I have not been an admirer of Mark Murphy, and have no faith that his hands all over the football decisions are going to make anything better. And now we will have an incredibly arrogant head coach thinking he’s even more important. Bill Walsh was right… after ten years, a coach and his “message” go stale. Years from now, this day will be looked upon as fondly as the day Lombardi handed the keys to Phil Bengsten in 1968. *Sigh*

  20. All good. New gm who is younger and will consider free agents. New dc who is not capers and gives life to a stale defense. Mccarthy has no more excuses. Here we go.

  21. nyneal says:
    January 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm
    As a Packers fan for 57 years, I have seen the op of the mountain and the bottom of the valley with this team.
    ***************************************************************************************

    Very honest assessment of the Packer’s org. I cannot stand many of the Packer trolls & the smug office workers who’ve made their livlihoods & raised families in MN, but don’t really know or watch football, they are just from WI. Honest to goodness, most of those people are not even aware how their fan-experience is directly related to Pete Rozelle’s League revenue-sharing model. 2 HOF QB’s in a row, very very rare indeed.

    Aaron Rodger’s is iffy in the Packer’s Rushmore, which is a total shame. With his ability & a savvy GM, even a coach like McCarthy could have done way more with his career. But, he’s not done yet.

  22. Packer fans are JUST like their head coach. Blame anyone but the pack for a loss….cry like a baby…eat like a there is no tomorrow…are CLUELESS about the sport of football…etc, al. We fans in the NFC north could NOT be happier with this move. SKOL pack!

  23. Remember the Queens and their “Triangle of Authority” lmao. I hope this isn’t like that or we are screwed.

    Also remember the Randy Ratio, I love it the Vikings are always good for a laugh.

  24. “arealisticpackerfan says:

    January 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    How can any of my fellow packer fans be okay with this? They just rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic. Significant overhaul was needed if we were going to make another run before Aaron hanged them up. New GM, new coaching staff. We’re done.#

    Realistic Packer Fan huh!
    25 years, 2 HOF Quarterbacks, 2 Lombardi Trophys. Sounds to me like we should have had a ton more success. We are going on the 8 year mark since the last SB the Packers were in. A significant change is what we need now. Changes are good and it’s a wake up call.

  25. Sad to admit, but maybe Rogers should think about salvaging the end of his career by moving on. Stone face Murphy who has never showed us anything gets all the power, McCarthy is now untouchable, knows it and probably acts like it, and the new GM has the other stone face, TT, as his adviser. What a fiasco. I am retired, and at the age where I no longer have the time for hypocrisy, lip service while nothing really changes, and little people on power trips using a professional sports franchise to feed their egos, and we let them.

  26. The Triangle of Authority did not work out well for the Vikings.
    We will see how this mish mash of authority will works out for the Pack.

    No wonder no one from the outside really wanted to come in.

  27. Packers are on the decline. GB has AROD, but they need upgrades all over the offense needing to bring in offensive linemen, wide-receivers and tight ends though they can get by possibly in the meantime. The real issues GB has is defensively. The Defensive-Line is not all that great outside of Daniels needing additions, OLB is a real weakness for the Packers as Matthews is on the decline and isnt himself anylonger while their #2 OLB position needs upgrading as well w/ Nick Perry posting 7 sacks. Perry would be better as a #3 OLB in a rotation. The Packers badly need to replace BOTH ILB’s, they should of traded up last year and grabbed 6″2/239pd (4.48 40 with a 37in vertical) ILB/OLB Hasson Reddick, that kid is going to be an outright monster in year 2. Roquon Smith out of GA is this years Reddick who can be had in round 1, he will be an absolute monster. The Packers need to bring two ILBs in. The Secondary needs a lot of work as well. CB Kevin King ranked 115 of 118cbs via PFF, Who knows if he is the answer, I personally would of taken Budda Baker out of UDUB who ranked as one of the best safety’s in the NFL via PFF as a rookie with an 85.5 overall grade and both 1st team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors as a rookie, he will be one of the best safetys in the NFL for a long time and was a much safer pick. Packers definitely need to bring in both a CB and Safety this off-season, that defense needs a lot of work.

  28. It’s no secret how Thompson felt about free agency. He viewed it as evil and rarely used it, and even when he did, he never brought in a top free agent who was a huge difference maker on offense or defense.

    ============================================

    See Charles Woodson. See Julius Peppers. See Ryan Pickett. Those are pretty big difference makers. When he did sign a FA he didn’t miss except for that snake Marty. Also – that Seattle choke job was in 2014 – not 2012. Do you now watch football?!? I do agree McChumlee should have been let go the day after that Seattle collapse. There’s no coming back from that and the team hasn’t been the same.

  29. Wow , so you say there was a breakdown in communications so you bring in more people and muddle the chain of command even further . You do a complete about face on who’s in charge of potential coaching changes because of McCarthy’s public powerplay .Pretty much everything you could do to set an organization up for failure Murphy accomplished with these moves .

  30. Thompson is gone. Capers is gone. Two out of three ain’t bad. McCarthy had better be screaming for the front office to stop wasting Rodgers like Sherman wasted Favre. One year. McCarthy gets one year.

    To the Packer-hating Viking trolls that maintain the Packers should have more trophies, keep this in-mind: In the SuperBowl era the Vikings have had more HOF QB’s under center than the Packers. Plus, and in addition, the Vikings have had more annually designated Pro-Bowl QB’s under center than the Packers.

    What’s their excuse?

  31. Who has the final say when there are 3 highly touted players available with their 1st round pick? just curious

  32. Frazier28/7 says:
    January 9, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Who has the final say when there are 3 highly touted players available with their 1st round pick? just curious

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Gutekunst. They’ve made this very clear… to those that read and understand English.

  33. stellarperformance says:
    January 9, 2018 at 9:28 am

    To the Packer-hating Viking trolls that maintain the Packers should have more trophies, keep this in-mind: In the SuperBowl era the Vikings have had more HOF QB’s under center than the Packers. Plus, and in addition, the Vikings have had more annually designated Pro-Bowl QB’s under center than the Packers.

    What’s their excuse?
    _________

    You appear to be saying that the Vikings have had more different HOF and Pro Bowl quarterbacks playing for them since 1966 than the Packers have had. What difference does that make? What matters is how many games have been played by HOF and Pro Bowl quarterbacks.

    Now look at the mental gymnastics that are necessary for this guy to make what he considers some kind of point. Because Brett Favre played for both the Packers and the Vikings, he considers that as one HOF QB for the Packers and one for the Vikings. Never mind that he played 16 years for the Packers and 2 for the Vikings, he counts the same for both. Then he isn’t considering Aaron Rodgers a HOF QB because he isn’t officially in the HOF yet. That way, he can say that the only HOF QBs the Packers have had since 1966 are Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The Vikings have had Fran Tarkenton, Warren Moon, and Brett Favre, so the Vikings have had more HOF QBs than the Packers. Therefore, the Vikings should have won more Super Bowls than the Packers, but they didn’t so the Vikings have no excuses.

    Now the way I would frame the argument is that Tarkenton, Moon, and Favre played a total of 13 seasons for the Vikings since 1966, whereas Starr, Favre, and Rodgers played 32 seasons for the Packers (not counting Rodgers’ 3 years as a bench warmer). Never mind that Moon and Favre were brought in near the end of their careers as short-term starters so their last season with the Vikings was nowhere near HOF-level play.

    Same with Pro Bowls. The Packers have had two quarterbacks for the last 25 years, so that only counts as two Pro Bowlers. The Vikings have had many more quarterbacks in that time and so have had more Pro Bowlers. In this guy’s mind, Teddy Bridgewater making the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2015 counts the same as Brett Favre’s 16 years of Pro Bowl-level play.

    No excuses here. The Vikings haven’t won a Super Bowl and haven’t had success in finding a long-term quarterback answer. But for someone to suggest that the Vikings have had better quarterbacks than the Packers as a way of making excuses for the Packers’ lack of success is ridiculously absurd.

  34. The only change necessary was to the DC. There’s no reason to make massive changes to a perrenial playoff team because they lost their QB in the front office unless Gutekunst was about to leave for another team.

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