Mark Murphy’s Brilliant Power Structure will Backfire

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Mark Murphy

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.

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.

8 Comments on "Mark Murphy’s Brilliant Power Structure will Backfire"

  1. Matt Barnes

    Has anyone seem the huge ski hill snow grooming machine that is used for mountains parked in the tent next to the sledding hill? Lol. It must be close to $300k for the machine to take care of a 100ft hill. Someone needs to get a pic of GGT sitting in it to complete his legacy.

  2. Capt. Fritter

    Keep a sharp eye on the Steelers. If Tomlin goes McCarthy will be out of Wisconsin so fast there won’t be time for a yard sale. In the meantime, everyone in the organization is looking forward to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Packers, just to be a part of it, no matter what the team record is. I saw the same thing happen with a certain Milwaukee based motorcycle company back in 2003. People who should have retired earlier held on until the big celebration and then left the year after. After which the brand really went downhill. The situation with the Packers has so many similarities. Murphy will fuck thing up and it will take years to fix it. Just like the infamous Hadl trade. We may have a good year or two with Rodgers at the helm, but I suspect Murphy will not be able to keep his mouth shut and stay out of the way. He’ll leave with a fat bankroll and the Packers will be mediocre again.

    • Deepsky

      It’s possible McCarthy will go back to Pittsburgh. It wouldn’t surprise me. That being said, his wife and kids (the ones who are not his own) are from Wisconsin and I think they will never move.

  3. Deepsky

    I have my doubts too. Like I said earlier to the Thompson haters, be careful what you wish for.

    This isn’t as bad as when Sherman was given both GM and coaching duties and Sherman had no scouting or personnel experience. That lead to the drafting of Jamal Reynolds,
    Ahmad Carroll and salary cap issues.

    It’s more like when Tom Braatz and Lindy Infante shared power. During that time is when Mandarich got drafted. Infante wanted Barry Sanders, Braatz wanted Mandarich because he had just drafted Brent Fullwood in the first round. They deferred to the executive committee who sided with Braatz. Braatz wasn’t all bad. He also drafted guys like Sterling Sharpe, Chris Jacke, Tony Bennett, Bryce Paup and a few other decent players.

    • Jamal Reynolds was Wolf’’s mistake. Wolf traded Hasselbeck to move up and get Reynolds. Probably Wolf’s worst draft mistake alongside recommending Sherman as GM. Sherman had many faults as a GM, but we should not put Reynolds on Sherman.

      • Cheesemaker

        It was Wolf’s worst draft period. It’s like he mailed it in because it was his last.

        Re Tomlin, he isn’t going anywhere. He’d have to have a longer record of failure than Marvin Lewis before the Rooneys would fire him, and even then I wouldn’t bet on it.

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