Mark Murphy: Matt LaFleur had complete control over hiring assistants

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Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy responded to a recent report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that said head coach Matt LaFleur wasn’t allowed to have full control over which assistants were hired for his coaching staff.

According to the report, LaFleur wanted to hire Darren Rizzi to be the special teams coach but Rizzi wound up in New Orleans after the Packers “offered Rizzi less than he was seeking.” There were additional claims made by anonymous sources that Murphy and director of football operations Russ Ball took a bigger role in staffing decisions than they had in the past.

Murphy was quoted in the article as saying that wasn’t the case and returned to the topic in response to a question posed by a fan for a mailbag column on the team’s website.

“Coach LaFleur had complete control over the hiring of his coaching staff,” Murphy said. “The report was the result of an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel based on interviews with 20 anonymous sources. I told the author that Coach LaFleur had complete control to hire his assistants, but he included comments to the contrary from an anonymous source. The editors said they wanted to present a “balanced” view of the hiring process. Interestingly, they never asked Coach LaFleur if he was able to hire his assistants, something he would have confirmed. … Hiring assistant coaches is one of the most important factors in the success of a head coach, and I’ve always felt it is foolish to restrict them in any way.”

If the Packers have a winning season, it’s unlikely that questions about the assistant hiring process will be a big topic. Should they miss the postseason, though, some will likely wonder if the organizational setup is the right one for success.