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Mark Murphy Is Happy With Mark Murphy’s Plan

Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy made an odd move earlier this offseason. He essentially elevated coach Mike McCarthy and vice president of football operations Russ Ball to equal footing with general manager Brian Gutekunst.

Since Ron Wolf started running the show in the early 90s, the coach and everyone in the front office reported to the general manager. Well, now those guys report to Murphy.

Unlike a traditional NFL power structure, Gutekunst doesn’t seem to have any authority over the coach. It’s something he wasn’t too keen on when he found out, which was after being named GM.

Murphy talked about it as a move to improve communication within the organization. He claimed there were silos among the team’s leaders. That he wanted to eliminate those communication silos.

I mean, the obvious thought here is that Ted Thompson was the general manager. Has he ever effectively communicated with anyone?

From the outside, it essentially looked like Gutekunst was being punished for Thompson’s failings in that department.

It was suggested that perhaps this power structure would work on a temporary basis, but would eventually fail. That remains to be seen. However, Murphy likes his brilliant plan thus far.

“Well, we’ll see how things play out,” Murphy said. “But my hope was it would improve communication.

“And quite honestly, with a new general manager, a first-time general manager, putting him in a position where he can have success and really focus on the most important part of his job, which is the draft and acquiring players and determining the 90-man (roster) and the 53-man roster, I think it’s worked well so far.”

We don’t give Murphy credit for much, but at least he seems flexible in terms of this.

Murphy says the four principals meet weekly. That communication has indeed improved. That’s great.

However, I would agree with the notion that this can’t work forever. What if the coach needs to be fired? Who makes that call? The other three guys jointly? Do they take a vote? Is it a democracy? Who chooses the new coach?

Personally, I think Mike McCarthy probably has more NFL job security than anyone besides Bill Belichick. I don’t think that should be the case, but I believe it is. So this isn’t likely to come up soon.

But eventually someone is going to have to make a call and have definitive authority to do so.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. PF4L June 30, 2018

    Murphy has said he discovered communication silo’s during his search for General Manager.

    Here’s the thing………as CEO and President of the Packers since 2007…. how does he have no clue this was going on?
    Doesn’t he talk to anyone?
    Does anyone talk to him?
    Does he here any rumblings that may clue him in during the last 10 years?
    Are upper management positions within the Packer organization so unaccountable, that the President is clueless of the communicative relationships of those directly under him?

    Because of Murphy’s ignorance of what’s going on right under his nose, the Packers power structure needed to be changed?

    What really needs to be changed….the structure, or the personnel overseeing the structure?

    Next time the Packers hire a CEO/President, they might want to consider hiring someone with actual NFL experience. The job entails more than just buying up real estate, and thinking up ways to increase the fan experience like building a sledding hill. All that, while having no clue what is going on with the team, other than having Aaron Rodgers as your QB (job security).

    As a Packer fan, articles like this concerning Murphy make me feel ill. It reeks of a revelation of forward positive change. When in reality, it merely exposes the failures of a top NFL executive whose job it is, is to oversee a football organization.

    Murphy seems to be patting himself on the back, assessing his new power structure by saying “……..I think it’s worked well so far.”

    Mark Murphy…forward thinker, or clueless?

    Make no mistake……Big changes were made because Aaron Rodgers wasn’t available. If Rodgers was available, we wouldn’t have heard about any silo’s, or changes in power structure, and Capers is likely still the Def. Coordinator.

    So in reality…..If (one man) Rodgers is available to win games and get to the playoffs, everything is fine in Packerland (as it’s been for years and years.)…..If (one man) Rodgers isn’t available to win games, this organization needs to be flipped on it’s head, apparently.

    Good job Mark.

    1. Mitch Anthony July 1, 2018

      Silo is such an annoying term du jour. One of those buzzwords that gets tossed around and we hope is short-lived. Sort of like saying, let’s share some face time and effort a dialog, instead of saying, get together and shoot the shit.

      But there might be an appropriate connection to using a silo reference. Because stuff stored in silos gets fed to cattle, processed through the cattle, and comes out as bullshit. Murphy’s plan appears to be a bullshit solution to a problem of his own creation.

  2. PF4L June 30, 2018

    So with training camp less than four weeks away, how does Murphy believe his changes are working?

    “Well, we’re undefeated,” Murphy said with a chuckle during an extensive interview with me in Green Bay on Thursday.

    So what are Murphy’s expectations for 2018, a season that will mark the Packers’ 100th year of football?

    “Well, we are in Titletown,” Murphy said.

    Ok, i’ll admit it, now i’m confused. Murphy expects us to win a Super Bowl this season? Am i reading that correctly?

    Because i’m sure if the Packers make the playoffs, the head clown will once again proclaim yet another successful season in Green Bay.

    1. Ferris June 30, 2018

      Superbowl? I guess you didn’t hear…they are giving the trophy to the Vikings prior to the season. Someone said they have the best team, GM, coach, QB, receivers, defense, fans and stadium.

  3. John D July 1, 2018

    A few months back, when all these Packer leadership changes took place, Murphy said, the new GM was only required to keep Mike McCarthy as head coach for this upcoming season. Then the GM(Gunst) has freedom with the head coach position and is no longer obligated to MM. — Does anyone else recall this?

    1. PF4L July 1, 2018

      From what i recall John…..Murphy told the press that the new GM will have full authority, as much as GM’s in the past. Then if i remember correctly, like a week later he announced the Gute hire, and explained that the new GM will no longer have much power other than making player acquisition decisions.

      The circus is still in town, grab the kids, buy some cotton candy and enjoy.

  4. PF4L July 1, 2018

    Projecting NFL teams future performance is usually futile. With the few exemptions being team’s with consistent franchise QB’s whose presence dictate a winning season.

    But i’ll say this about the queens. Prior to each season, a small handful of teams have the legitimate aura of believing they will get to the Super Bowl. I strongly believe the queens are in that category. I said they have a shot, and they believe it, i didn’t say it was going to happen.

    They have two things going against them. They have been in this situation before, and have shit the bed each and every time. Kirk Cousins has to learn, and jell with that offense and be on the same page in one off season. If that happens they have a shot. IMO they have a strong team A-Z with Cook coming back and signing Richardson for a beast of a D-line. Although losing Wright will sting a bit. Could be next season when the queens have to crunch numbers and might lose some key players, which is why Hunter was re-signed recently.

    So…….Cousins has put up some good-great numbers the past 3 seasons, easily enough to win a Super Bowl if the queens defense can retain their highly ranked status. But from what i saw in last seasons NFCCG, who knows what these perennial losers will accomplish, or not accomplish.

    Bottom line…..Cousins has never won anything….the queens have never won anything. Can they team up and win something? Time will tell.