Handicapping the Race for Packers’ Job Openings

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Ben McAdoo

The Green Bay Packers have more job openings for crucial positions now than they’ve had in years. Let’s take a look at them and I’ll give you my pick for each position.

General Manager

If I had my choice, this position would be filled by either Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie or Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider. Yes, both of those guys — both of whom have strong ties to Green Bay — are under contract with their current teams. They likely can’t interview with another team to make a lateral move, but there are some things that are still unclear. The Raiders are hiring Jon Gruden as coach. They are giving him just about whatever he wants to take that job. Does he want personnel control? If he does, then McKenzie’s role will be reduced. The Packers give their GM full personnel control, so in that case, McKenzie would be taking a better job with more responsibility and the Raiders couldn’t stop him. Schneider already shares personnel control with coach Pete Carroll in Seattle, so I don’t see how the Seahawks could stop him from coming to Green Bay, unless it’s written into his contract.

Additionally, the Packers could also compensate either team in the form of a draft pick for plucking their employee. Of course, I don’t ever see that happening.

The bottom line here is, I expect the Packers’ new GM to come from within. If I had my choice there, it would be director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst. You put a guy with a scouting background in the general manager position.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that will happen. Everything points to director of player finance Russ Ball becoming the new GM. The Packers have made it a point to note how Ball has been sitting in on film sessions for the past several years. Who cares? Why would they do that?

Only if they wanted to ease Ball’s transition into the GM role and try to limit negative reaction from fans. Plus, coach Mike McCarthy has talked about how he needs to be a fit with the new GM. McCarthy has known Ball since 1993. And finally, team president Mark Murphy is a money guy and so is Ball. Plus, they’re close. Every arrow points to Russ Ball and I would be surprised if he doesn’t get the job.

GM: Russ Ball

Offensive Coordinator

It was a surprise to me when the Packers let Edgar Bennett go. The candidate list to replace him appears to be some guys we all know — former OC Joe Philbin, former quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and current offensive line coach James Campen.

I can’t say I dislike any of those options. All three were on staff the last time the Packers won the Super Bowl.

To me, this one is easy. Joe Philbin was the Packers’ offensive coordinator in 2010. He knows Aaron Rodgers, he knows Mike McCarthy and he knows the job.

OC: Joe Philbin

Defensive Coordinator

I don’t cheer for people to lose their jobs, but the dismissal of Dom Capers — Teflon Dom — was long overdue. The Packers will interview three internal candidates for the job — cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, safeties coach Darren Perry and linebackers coach Winston Moss.

The way we hear it, Moss is probably a token interview and McCarthy doesn’t want him back on staff either way. Perry played for Capers and came up under him as a coach. He isn’t the choice to replace Capers, although I would expect him to remain on staff, unless he leaves voluntarily.

Among the internal candidates Whitt is the best bet. Not only have former players like Charles Woodson endorsed him, but Whitt is notoriously hard on his guys. Capers wasn’t hard on anyone. It has been detailed how the defensive players weren’t held accountable (which reflects poorly on Perry, as well). Whitt will hold guys accountable. And here’s something else to note — Whitt was on staff a year before Capers. He’s not going to run the same-old system.

While I am warming on the candidacy of Joe Whitt more every day, I don’t think he’ll be the guy. I think the guy is coming from outside the organization, as McCarthy alluded to on Thursday.

I am betting on former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. In three years, he transformed the Bears’ defense into a top-10 unit. And if McCarthy wants some outside influence, as he says, then this is the obvious spot.

DC: Vic Fangio

Quarterbacks Coach

Let’s get the band back together!

Okay, there may be an internal candidate here. That would appear to be offensive perimeter coach David Raih. He worked with the quarterbacks in 2017, but it was his first year on the job. He previously served as assistant offensive line coach.

Clearly, Aaron Rodgers will have to sign off on this move. But there’s an obvious answer. Yes, let’s get the band back together. The answer is Ben McAdoo.

QB Coach: Ben McAdoo

Receivers Coach

Luke Getsy left to become the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. This was before the shakeup, so good for him.

This one is pretty simple, as well. If there’s another candidate, we haven’t heard of him. The Packers are negotiating to bring Edgar Bennett back.

This is his spot. And where is he going to go?

Bennett served as the Packers’ receivers coach from 2011-14, prior to being promoted to offensive coordinator. He did that job well.

Let’s get him back at it.

Receivers Coach: Edgar Bennett

Defensive Line Coach

This one is easy. Assistant defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is getting promoted.

The players like him, the staff likes him. It’s a no-brainer.

DL Coach: Jerry Montgomery

Linebackers Coach

While this isn’t an opening yet, I strongly suspect Winston Moss is out. We’ve talked about that, even though he’s getting an interview for the defensive coordinator job.

Who would replace him? I have no idea. I suspect that will be left up to the new defensive coordinator. And the assistant spot, which Scott McCurley was fired from, will also be up to the new guy.

That said, I’m going to take a flier here.

Kevin Greene is currently the outside linebackers coach for the New York Jets. He previously held the same position with the Packers. Greene brought the same fire he played with to the Packers as a coach. He got the best out of Clay Matthews. Since this would be a promotion, Greene should be free to take the job if it were offered.

The Packers need some fire on defense.

And even though he’s a Capers guy — Capers presented him for the Hall of Fame — I would suspect Greene would love to come back to Green Bay.

LB Coach: Kevin Greene

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

12 Comments on "Handicapping the Race for Packers’ Job Openings"

  1. Kato

    Greene isn’t coming back. Fangio is still on the bears staff. Only way he leaves is if the new bears head coach (assuming he isn’t named head coach) dismisses him.

  2. PF4L

    Whatever happens, if they win, great. If they don’t, will any of us be shocked?

    The only way i’ll be shocked with this team, is if they reach another Super Bowl in 5 years, even with Rodgers.

  3. FTS

    You would pick Reggie Mckenzie? He was responsible for the biggest bust in Thompson era. Who, you might ask? Justin Harrell. Let that sink in folks.

  4. KILLER

    OK, my enmity for the Packers is well known. But even I would feel bad if Russ Ball became the GM. What a disgrace. As someone else pointed out this guy never was and never would be considered as a GM candidate — would never even get an interview — anywhere else. There is a reason for that.

    A GM, primarily, is in charge of personnel. People. Players. Free agents from within, free agents from the outside, and the draft. Ball is not a personnel guy. He has no expertise. He watched film? Are you sh*tting me? Hey, I watched Star Wars so I guess I’m a Jedi Knight.

    His own staff will not respect him except for the bootlickers who then will also not know how to do their job (bootlickers are never good at their actual job). The players will not respect him either. Players from outside the organization will think he is only signing them because he thinks he is taking them financially speaking and not because he knows and believes in their skills.

    This Ball thing is a travesty.

    Even worse it will further gut the talent evaluators if the other guys follow Highsmith out the door.

    It hasn’t happened yet, but, if it does, I will feel pity for you guys.

  5. KILLER

    Hey, I found this on a Vikings web site and thought you may enjoy it. You might not get some of it as it has literary references. For you Packer fans “literary” roughly means “book stuff”:

    ” Lots of drama in Green Bay! They finally sort of got rid of Ted Thompson, by “transitioning him to a new role”, just like that kid “transitioned” Old Yeller into a new role. I just envisioned the end ‘Of Mice and Men’, with Thompson staring out blankly into the sky, asking Mike McCarthy if he will still be able to refuse to pick up free agents/tend to rabbits. Green Bay does have Aaron Rodgers, who will come into 2018 with a chip on his shoulder, literally. His injury really exposed the multitude of problems that the Packers did have and while he is good enough to carry a bad team to the playoffs, it feels a lot like the Packers are in semi-rebuild mode.”

    Packers are like the Browns, the only substantial difference being old QB vs. young QB.

  6. Adam

    Interesting article published this morning by McGinn, stating that MM is threatening to quit if Ball is promoted to GM.

    • Kato

      That and Rodgers would be pissed. It appears McCarthy isn’t a total idiot when it comes to the GM situation

      • Adam

        IF there turns out to be any truth to it, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how much leverage and influence he has, and in turn how much faith Murphy and whoever the new GM is has in him. It could reveal a TON about the power aspects inside the business org, and the trickle down effect.

        It could reveal exactly how much influence Mike really has with Murphy. And if none, then we could see exactly how much support Mike has from Aaron, and how much influence he has over the org leadership.

        Of course, we probably only see behind that curtain if the report is accurate and they actually do promote Ball as GM.

      • PF4L

        Murphy has one job and one job only, when it comes to football operations. And he’s fucked it up already , before he even hired anyone……Priceless…lol

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