When he was hired, former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was given the authority to choose his coach. After a year, he did, firing Mike Sherman and hiring Mike McCarthy. It’s the way the organization has been run since. Until this year, that is.
When the Packers hired Brian Gutekunst as general manager, they also changed the organizational structure. McCarthy now reports to team president Mark Murphy, who is also who Gutekunst reports to.
He doesn’t sound too keen on the whole thing, although he says he’s gotten used to it.
“It was certainly different than what I’ve been exposed to here in Green Bay,” Gutekunst said to PackersNews.com. “I needed some time to kind of process it. I think the thing to me that made it OK with me was the people. The relationships I already had with Mark [Murphy] and Mike McCarthy and Russ Ball. I think that’s what made it OK and made it easier for me. But it was certainly something I hadn’t seen or been a part of in my professional career.”
“It was something I wasn’t expecting but I’m pretty happy with where we’re at with it now,” he added.
Gutekunst has been a busy man this offseason, making a number of free agent additions, while McCarthy has reassembled his coaching staff. For the most part, it appears McCarthy and Murphy have stayed out of personnel and draft decisions.
It will be interesting to see how this structure holds up over time. Some believe it isn’t tenable long-term. And what if McCarthy needs to be fired? Then who gets to bring in the new coach?
That hasn’t really been made clear.