Well, how do you like that? Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy took the opportunity of hiring a new general manager to give himself power over the entire football side of the organization.
The new general manager is, of course, Brian Gutekunst. He reports to Murphy.
Former director of player finance Russ Ball is now executive vice president/director of football operations. That’s a promotion in title, but Ball will still have the same responsibilities. He also reports to Murphy.
And then there’s coach Mike McCarthy. And… wait for it… he will also report to Murphy.
“The process of identifying our next general manager gave us the opportunity to analyze our entire football operation,” Murphy said in a news release. “While we have enjoyed a lot of success, we need to improve. With that in mind, the head coach, general manager and executive vice president/director of football operations will report to me moving forward. While I understand this is a departure from the Packers’ current structure, it will serve to increase the breadth and frequency of communication and collaboration. Ultimately, it will make the Packers better.”
In the past, everyone we just mentioned reported to the general manager. Murphy essentially had no say over the football operations. His lone authority in that arena was over the general manager.
This was the structure put in place by Ron Wolf in 1991.
That being said, it is not uncommon in the NFL. Several teams have everyone report to their owner, which Murphy essentially is in Green Bay.
The interesting thing here is really Ball’s title. You see director of football operations in there. That’s what Eliot Wolf’s title is.
That would seem to suggest that the Packers have not convinced Wolf to remain with the organization. Rumors have it that Wolf will leave for another organization — most likely joining John Dorsey with the Browns — after he didn’t get the GM job.