We’ve talked about Green Bay Packers’ president and CEO Mark Murphy’s new power structure. For the first time since the Packers have a GM and coach that are not the same person, the general manager, director of football operations and coach will all report directly to Murphy.
Those men would be Brian Gutekunst, Russ Ball and Mike McCarthy. Previously, there was a linear structure where everyone on the football side reported to the GM. Murphy has rarely, if ever, meddled in the football side of the corporation. But he’ll be meddling now.
Part of the issue here is the power grab by McCarthy. When he held his season-ending press conference, McCarthy talked about how he had to be a “fit” with the new GM. Many saw that as McCarthy threatening to leave if Ball got the top job, as was rumored all along.
The belief is that McCarthy — and Aaron Rodgers — believed Ball wouldn’t pursue free agents, much like Ted Thompson. There are also rumors that McCarthy wouldn’t accept a boss that was younger than him. Gutekunst is 44. McCarthy is 53.
Can anyone picture the four of these guys sitting around in a room discussing football, as they will supposedly do on a weekly basis? Festivus has come early and often.
Pete Dougherty talked about the risks of such a power structure here. That perhaps it could work for a year or two, but isn’t sustainable.
And here’s former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo.
“I personally am not a big fan of that type of troika running an organization. The sharing of power is a very delicate balance. When you bring in more than two, it can get nebulous and loyalties can become divided. I’m not saying it can’t work. I’m saying I wouldn’t structure it that way given Murphy’s background. If he were a former general manager and had years of experience, I might have a different attitude.
But to have him sitting in the judge’s seat without ever being in the fire makes it very difficult in my opinion for all of them. The relationship of the GM and head coach is everything to a franchise. To potentially muddle it up with another opinion, particularly of someone in charge, makes it a little dicey.”
Yeah, this is going to work tremendously.
This move right here might end up being Mark Murphy’s legacy. Not record profits, not stadium expansion, not the damn tubing hill, but the time he put too many cooks in the kitchen.