There have been a lot of comments made in the Green Bay Packers’ press conferences that have occurred since the season ended. Primarily there was the Mark Murphy presser of January 2, the season-ending press conference by coach Mike McCarthy, and the introduction of new coaches on January 24. After listening to them again, I’ve come up with some comments that did not get the attention they deserved.
On GM Brian Gutekunst
Mike McCarthy: “Communication between Brian (Gutekunst) and I, you know, it’s progressing.”
The norm from McCarthy is to assure the faithful that everything is hunky-dory. This quick comment by Big Mike departs from his routine. There is either some friction there, or McCarthy is continuing his efforts to assert himself as the dominant male of the herd.
Since both men have been with the same organization for at least 12 years, you’d think their relationship would be on stronger footing.
This is consistent with other signs that McCarthy keeps pushing to assert his superiority and control – over Gutekunst and Russ Ball.
These guys need to start working as a team – and working in the team’s best interests, not just out of self-interest. A small clue, but worrisome nonetheless.
On Mark Murphy
Mike McCarthy: (When questioned about the front office structural changes) “It’s been going great. I’ve talked to Mark more in the last three weeks than in the previous 12 years.” (paraphrased)
Total Packers, pretty much alone, has repeatedly expressed a concern that the CEO has had minimal involvement in football operations up to now – but suddenly he’s assumed more direct control and responsibility over them. McCarthy’s off-hand comment is proof that Murphy has indeed stayed hands-off concerning football affairs and details until now.
Is Total Packers the only outfit that’s concerned about Mark Murphy suddenly immersing himself in football operations after showing so little interest in it for 12 years?
On QB Aaron Rodgers
Mike McCarthy: “I thought number 12 had a little trouble changing the huddle after year 12.”
This came out of nowhere, and disappeared just as quickly in Big Mike’s season-ending wrap-up. Any criticism of Aaron Rodgers by Big Mike is newsworthy, and calls for analysis. You can bet Aaron heard about the comment. I confess I don’t know precisely what “changing the huddle” refers to, and what trouble Rodgers might have been having with regard to it? What I do know is that McCarthy seldom critiques Aaron Rodgers publicly.
On Coaching Changes
McCarthy: “Coaches are salesmen.”
Big Mike explained further that the different coaches just have different ways of saying the same thing. My reading of this is that while the names and faces of the coaching staff have changed greatly, there aren’t many changes in store re: structure, schemes, formations, plays, techniques, etc. McCarthy’s view seems to be that the coaching changes are mostly an effort to find new ways of motivating the players.
There’s nothing wrong with that goal, but more visceral changes are needed for this team to reverse its course. I would have liked McCarthy to indicate that the new people he brought in were going to bring about more major and substantive transformations.