Let’s take a look at the last week and a half for the Green Bay Packers.
General manager Brian Gutekunst trades starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington for a fourth-round pick. Fine. Clinton-Dix was garbage as far as we are concerned. However, the Packers coaches clearly didn’t share that opinion. Clinton-Dix played 100 percent of the Packers’ defensive snaps before the trade. Maybe that was because there was no better option. Certainly a plausible conclusion, considering Uncle Ted left the Packers without an actual free safety on the roster.
Nonetheless, that move made the coaching staff adjust. And let’s be honest. That’s something they aren’t too keen on.
Gutekunst traded running back Ty Montgomery the same day. Sure, he was a third-string running back, but Montgomery was also the Packers primary kick returner. We wouldn’t consider Montgomery a big loss, but he was a contributor. And like Clinton-Dix, the Packers only brought back a draft pick — in 2020, mind you — and not anyone who can help the team now.
After these moves, Gutekunst comes out and insists the Packers aren’t tanking. He insists that he isn’t trying to send a message to the locker room by getting rid of two players who had become distractions.
The Packers go to New England and lose to the Patriots. In this game, cornerback Bashaud Breeland is the team’s kick returner. Meanwhile, receiver Trevor Davis sits on injured reserve, could be practicing with the team and play this week. Davis is the best return man the Packers have. Yet, they won’t pull him off IR.
On Monday, Gutekunst released safety Jermaine Whitehead. This is a guy who was more or less a starter as a third safety or second inside linebacker. He played extensively and has been lauded as one of the smartest defensive players the Packers have. Or had, in this instance.
Lastly, the Raiders released edge rusher Bruce Irvin over the weekend. The Packers have a pass rush that is basically shit. Irvin could have helped that situation. Did the Packers make an offer? If they did, it wasn’t competitive. Irvin signed with the Falcons. After he did, he mentioned that the Steelers and Patriots offered more money, but he wanted to be in Atlanta.
The Steelers and Patriots are all in on improving their teams and on the Super Bowl. Apparently, so are the Falcons.
Who isn’t all in on either of those things? The Green Bay Packers.
Here is my creeping suspicion.
Gutekunst wants Mike McCarthy out. We can’t blame him. We want McCarthy out too. But we can only bitch and moan about Gravy Head. Gutekunst now appears to be doing something about it. He’s taking away contributors and, in many of these cases, forcing McCarthy to play rookies or young players.
Do you know what that is?
That’s rebuilding. No one in Green Bay will ever use that word, but that’s what is going on with the Packers right now.
As for McCarthy, Gutekunst is effectively sabotaging him as coach. Unless McCarthy is in on the plan.
Even if he is, I would find it hard to fathom that anyone would remain the coach of the Packers after two consecutive losing/non-playoff seasons.
McCarthy is on his way out and Gutekunst is ready to show him the door. Unfortunately, that means this is another lost season for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
Well, you can’t have the cake and eat it too. We either have a crappy season, wasting one more of Rodgers’ years, and hopefully get rid of McCarthy, or we make the playoffs by the skin of our teeth, get blown out of the water and get to keep McCarthy, the highly successful coach that took us to the playoffs. In both cases we are burning one of the handful of years Rodgers still has.
Except…. CAN Gute really show him the door with this triumvirate of a power structure that was set-up last year? That means Murphy has to be in on it too unless this hierarchy was always a one-and-done idea, pre-planned for a possible transition that returns to a normal management structure after this year.
I don’t see what’s going on as a full-blown rebuild – because there is a decent level of talent on this team, and on both sides of the ball. I do see Gute forcing the evolution and turnover of the roster, which is forcing the coaching staff to play up the rookies – something I’ve long bemoaned about McCarthy and his staff. If this were 2016 for example, MVS, EQ, and Jaire probably have next to zero snaps this far into the season.
I think it’s becoming clear that Gute isn’t the methodical draft & develop kind of guy that Ted was. He doesn’t look to be content to let his picks slowly develop behind the scenes, wasting years and decimating roster depth to find out if they can play or not. He expects the guys with talent to be thrown into the mix and contribute sooner. A breath of refreshing air if you ask me, personally. And that runs in full contradiction to how McCarthy and his staff have managed the roster during his tenure.
McCarthy was always on thin ice the moment Ted was removed from his position. Remember that he was only offered a one year extension on the last remaining year of his deal, and that was primarily only to entice a quality defensive coordinator to want to come to Green Bay. They had to give the illusion of stability.
Ted replaced Sherman after his first year as GM and I suspect the same fate is waiting for McCarthy. I think Mike knows it as well, which would mean that Murphy is probably in alignment with it too.
If this was 2016, we’d have the TD leader in pass receptions in the NFL.
Now as far as calling this a “rebuild”. I believe there are different degree’s of rebuilding. In a draft and develop philosophy, a successful one. You are constantly rebuilding to a degree, but for the future.
A full rebuild means dumping your star players, their high salary’s, and malcontents. While building draft and cash capitol for a full reset. Possibly a new coach and GM, maybe both.
We’re in the middle…we will be getting rid of our former star players, sans Rodgers, Adams and Perry (COUGH). We are already getting rid of players that A) won’t be here next year for various reasons (bad play, bad attitudes, etc) and that will continue in the off season. Also hopefully replacing a coach and President.
I’m hopeful Gute will share my belief of, you can either play and contribute, or you can’t. If you can’t, we don’t need you wasting years of a roster spot. I don’t care if you are a 2nd round pick.
Unfortunately, we should of been having these conversations at least 4 or 5 years ago imo.
But Murphy can’t (won’t) make decisions on his own, he has to be told. I have no confidence in him making a decision on his own, without the Board or Committee giving him instruction when to act. In other words, when to do his job.
Funny thing about Murphy, is he wouldn’t make any football decisions prior to being told what to do with Ted, then…..takes it upon himself to give himself more responsibility and authority to make football decisions. Am i the only person that views that with complete bewilderment? I lose my fucking mind watching this shut unfold. Murphy needs to be let go now, he’s the President of the Green Bay Packers and he’s mentally weak. He talks like a moron in public. How he kept his job this long is beyond me.
Cue the circus music until this clown leaves. Hasn’t his refusal to do his job done enough damage? His inaction’s have set this team back and if some people don’t see that, i can’t help you.
“Unfortunately, we should of been having these conversations at least 4 or 5 years ago imo.” — PF4L. Best sentence on this site this year. Truer words could not have been spoken.
Thompson wasted Rodgers time with draft and develop. Develop who? China, porcelain figures. Gute will now have his chance. Next year better be dynamic or run his sorry ass out of town too.
This almost automatically puts Josh Jones in for safety which wasn’t happening. They probably want to see what they have with him in flashes. Also not counting on taking compensatory picks is in play. Free agency and a lot off garbage left. What if he cuts Kendricks?
Gute also knows that come the end of this year they will shed more veteran players. Matthews, Cobb, Bulaga, and their salary numbers. Plus they will shed 350 pounds of goo. It is a rebuild, nobody needs to say it in Green Bay. Saints did it fast, look where they are.
They might as well tank and get a top 10 draft pick. Whereas a top 10 pick would be wasted by Uncle Ted, who would trade back to Rd. 2 for an extra 7th rounder or use it to draft a volleyball player and convert him to CB, Gutey might actually get some talent to help this team.
That Saints pick looks like a 28-32 range pick now. So 2 firsts and 2 fourths now. Plus they will have like $50M in cap room. Gute-reboot. That rhymes.
Like these player cuts mattered, or are these players somehow relevant to whether we lost or won this season?……C’MON people, where have you been? If anything it gives more carries to Jones, and Dix doesn’t have to worry about tackling…not that he ever did.
Anyone watch this Belicheck mic’d up thing from the game? That’s how you fucking coach. You never see McCarthy going over to a position group and talk like the way Bill does to his guys. Hes part chewing their ass, part building them up, part lying to them all at the same time. Its just brilliant.
i agree with you, and i wish our D-coord was on the field during games too.
Gutekunst is in his first year!
Do Gutekunst really wants to start is tenure in GB with a losing record?
I don’t think so…
I like the approach, forcing McCarthy to play the younger guys to actually see what he (Gutekunst) is working with. Their adversity football production sucks anyway. The pad level isn’t where it needs to be either. When McCarthy is let go, I want to see the line of teams waiting to sign him. If he breaks .500 with any other team after Green Bay I will be shocked.