Are You Really Ready to Blow It Up?

Change is not always the answer.

Sure I get it.  The Packers are terrible.  So fire everybody.  Start at the top and work down.  Fire Murphy, then Gutekunst, then LaFleur.  Get rid of the whole coaching staff.  Dump Aaron Rodgers, sell off any veteran who may have some sort of value and pile up draft capital.  Start over....from scratch.   

The emotion is understandable.  After all, this proud franchise is on its way to a humiliating season, likely a losing record and absence from the playoffs.  We’re not used to that around here.  Someone has to pay.  Heads must roll.  Time for a fresh start. 

But I write today to sound a cautionary note.  Starting over is a long, painful process, and it’s certainly not a sure thing.  You may not relate to this if you’re under the age of forty.  Younger readers grew up in the highly successful eras of Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, Mike Sherman, Mike McCarthy and, at least up til now, Matt LaFleur.  You have had the luxury of basking in the brilliant play of Brett Favre, Leroy Butler, Reggie White, Sterling Sharpe, Ahman Green, Donald Driver, Charles Woodson, Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams.  For over three decades, Green Bay has never had to truly start over.  Fill in a few weak areas maybe, but never a complete reset.  

Younger fans weren’t around when the Packers really did try to start over from scratch, several times, each time failing miserably.  I’m old enough to remember it.  To have suffered through it.  I’m telling you it’s not fun.  It’s worse than what we are going through now.  Much worse.  Today we still get to watch the occasional greatness of a future Hall of Fame quarterback.  He’s fading of course, but a few times each game, Aaron Rodgers still does something on the field that drops your jaw.  A pinpoint throw that nobody else can make.  I watched this team play for 25 years without seeing a quarterback make a throw like that.  You think a declining Rodgers is hard to watch?  Try getting excited about the play of signal callers like Scott Hunter, Jim Del Gaizo, Jerry Tagge, Carlos Brown, Randy Johnson, Jack Concannon, David Whitehurst, Rich Campbell and Randy Wright. 

Never heard of them?  With good reason.  Think Brett Hundley, only worse.  I can recall two who were decent.  In the early 1980’s Lynn Dickey had a strong arm and was fairly accurate.  In the late 80’s the Majik Man, Don Majkowski had a nice year.  One nice year.  But neither ever remotely approached the talent and skill of Favre and Rodgers. 

Start over?  I remember the Packers trying to start over with coaches like Phil Bengtson, Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg and Lindy Infante.  They tried to start over with running backs like Barty Smith, Eric Torkelson, Eddie Lee Ivery, Willard Harrell, Paul Ott Carruth, Keith Woodside, Terdell Middleton, Brent Fullwood, Vince Workman and Travis Jervey.  None of them would begin to compare with Aaron Jones. 

They tried to start over with receivers such as Barry Smith, Steve Odom, Aundra Thompson, Phil Epps, Walter Stanley, Jon Staggers and Perry Kemp.  Trust me, you wouldn’t trade Allen Lazard or Christian Watson for any of them.  James Lofton was a rare star, but he couldn’t lift the team to contention status.  From 1968 to 1992 the Packers went to the playoffs exactly twice, winning just one post season game. 

My point is, don’t be in such a hurry for change.  It’s not always the answer.  It’s premature to call for everybody’s ouster.  It’s a knee jerk reaction to the frustration of six bad losses in the past seven games.  It’s not practical in the middle of a season.  Fire Joe Barry?  And replace him with who?  Jerry Gray?  His unit (the defensive backs) are the most disappointing unit on the entire team.   

To be sure, the time for starting over will come.  Eventually Rodgers will move on.  Bakhtiari, Cobb, Lewis, Amos, Crosby and the like will follow.  I’m just not as anxious as some of you for that time to arrive.  The Packers will have to find a new quarterback capable of leading them to the playoffs.  They are hard to find.  Jordan Love?  Maybe, but I sure haven’t seen it.  Perhaps our future opening day line up will have Zach Tom at left tackle, Yosh Nijman on the other side.  Our starting receivers will be Watson, Doubs and Toure.  Will that be good enough to actually win games?  How do you suppose such a line up would fare this Sunday night against the Eagles? 

How many times have the Detroit Lions blown it all up and started over?  How many years did the fans of the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets have to suffer through before their teams finally, through eternal trial and error, stumbled upon the right coaches and enough talent to be respectable?  Do you think fans of the Houston Texans are in a good mood these days? 

So go ahead, call me a homer.  Call me a shill for the team.  I’m really not.  I’m just a fan who’s been around long enough to understand the risk of prematurely cleaning house, and the failure rate of starting from scratch.   The team is in disarray for sure. But maybe a little patience is in order. It’s only been seven weeks. Not even half a season. Murphy-Gutekunst-LaFleur should at least be given a chance to right the ship.  At least they have a track record of producing winning teams. Making changes at this point guarantees nothing.   

Nobody thought the Packers could beat the Dallas Cowboys, but there was enough veteran talent on this team to rise up and give Green Bay at least a chance to win.  That will be true again Sunday night in Philly, and in every of the team’s remaining games. 

So you’re saying there’s a chance?  Yep.  A slim one of course.  But I’m good hanging in there with Rodgers and all his inconsistency, with LaFleur and his questionable play calling and tactical decisions, with Barry and his erratic defense.  I’m sure I’ll often be frustrated and angry, but I will find consolation in the knowledge that the time for a complete rebuild is looming inevitably down the road. 

And I know from experience, that may well be more painful to watch than this. 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (117)

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Johnblood27's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:24 am

A voice of experience and reason... nice take ken.

Two quibbles...

One... Eddie lee ivery should not be on your list of never-was rb who can't hold Aaron Jones jock. He was a stud and a really great runner who succumbed to the shitty turf at Soldier field TWO times with very serious knee injuries. Oh what he could have done with healthy knees...

Two... Firing of Joe Barry right now is the right thing to do. Getting new leadership can bring out the talent and desire that has been stifled under Barry and his loser schemes. Sometimes change is completely justified and for the better and another warm body in place of the Joe Barry corpse would be an improvement.

Thanks for the intelligent read with no analogies, metaphors or similes. I have had enough pop culture references in Packer articles lately... you know what im talking about...

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KenEllis's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:20 am

Blowing it up without a plan makes no sense.

Maintaining the status quo, which involves paying a QB who will be 40 next season $50M after getting rid of his best WR to start the 2022 season, continuing to trot out terrible Special Teams (now ranked 30th as opposed to 32nd last season), and constantly drafting defense in round 1 year after year after year (other than the time they used a 1st on a backup QB) only to see the D be mediocre or worse on the field also makes no sense.

Did I mention that the team has severe cap limitations due to the Rodgers contract in 2023 and 2024?

Blow it up? Maybe not and without a real plan definitely not.

But Continuing with the same old same old Packer ways that have led to ZERO Super Bowls in 12 season while relying upon our aging and declining hall of fame QB is not a recipe for getting another Lombardi in the trophy case --if that is really the goal.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:05 pm

Ken, i dont see this as a black or white situation. This team has more than enough young talent to keep this from being a complete tear down. Sure the older expensive guys gotta go, but theres plenty to work with on this roster right now. I fear what another year or 2 of turmoil and finger pointing will do to this franchise a hell of a lot more than I fear the unknown.

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MainePackFan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:39 pm

Jblood. Nice response to what I thought was an excellent article by Ken Lass. Your point about Eddie Lee Ivory was a good one. I will add that Terdell Middleton in 1978 was a breath of fresh air for those of us looking for any sign of hope in those days :)

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Tundraboy's picture

November 22, 2022 at 11:03 pm

Yep Eddie Lee was special. And I also liked Staggers!

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GregC's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:26 am

I think it is time to move on from Aaron Rodgers after this season, regardless of the salary cap hit. Beyond that, I'm not sure. We'll see how the season plays out. But I do think there needs to be serious discussion about starting over with a whole new coaching staff. As for Gutekunst and Murphy, I don't know. They bet the farm on Aaron Rodgers and lost. Is that a fireable offense? I'm not convinced it is. I still think there is a good nucleus of talent on this team, even without Aaron Rodgers.

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Gee's picture

November 21, 2022 at 04:02 pm

Nope his hit is massive, almost 100 million before June 1 and only 68 after. I get the desire to move on, but there is no way, his contract counts for 40 million. It's a tough pill to take, but it may be the only way forward. 2024 after June 1 27 million, you can then really start clearing the decks. No sure what happens if he retires, but I don't see after this season, dude does not want to go out like this.

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barutanseijin's picture

November 21, 2022 at 04:53 pm

You bet the farm and lose, you’re no longer a farmer. You’re looking for a job.

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stockholder's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:35 am

Good Points. But Rodgers actually will make less than Love next year, per game. And thats if they pick up the 20 mil. plus gamble, Loves going to get.
If Love starts as opposed to Rodgers; it will hurt the development of these Rookie WRs for years to come. And maybe any new drafted TE.
Love hasn’t played. Rodgers has. Experience is the best teacher.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:14 am

that's what my auntie told me...

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DougXX57's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:12 am

i am not sure love is the answer YET

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fastmoving's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:22 pm

The best thing for the young WRs would be if the chemtrailer, who missed them far more often than not, would take his Ivermectin and his crazy diva style and leave.

He could not carry them in his prime if it counts.....how could he do now?

And when experience is really the best teacher, everybody is sure Love must play now.

AR never played like 20% of the SC or the 50% (Left Tackle, WRs) who paid the Packers to keep him lucky. Since his rookie contract he was always an underperformer compared to his pay.

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Packerpasty's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:05 pm

Ken writes an intelligent article you write a childish immature name calling blurb...dumb ass..

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jurp's picture

November 22, 2022 at 09:29 am

"Experience is the best teacher." And yet you don't want Love to get any experience. SMH. Catch-22 much?

Again - WHY do you hate Love so much? If you're from NE Wisconsin, the answer is obvious.

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NickPerry's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:44 am

Thanks for the trip down memory lane Ken. I'm old enough to remember them all and as a little 7 year old boy watching the Cowboys / Packers game with my Dad when Tom Brown intercepted Don Meredith's pass in the endzone to send the Packers to the first ever SB. Oh, the GOOD times...

I also remember EVERY QB you listed including Rich Campbell...Just OMG!!! Then again they were all OMG followed by a huge UGH!! Starting over is never an easy thing, especially starting from scratch.

But the difficult thing, the real ball-buster in all of this is what Murphy and Ball have dome to this teams FUTURE. They were so hellbent on winning one more at ALL costs to the future, they've totally screwed this teams future. Gute TRIED to set this team up for the future but was overruled at every turn by Mark Murphy. I actually feel a little sorry for Gute. He worked his entire career to get his dream job only to have Murphy CHANGE what had made the Packers so successful (GM runs the team) for the previous 25 years before he got the job. Nope, Murphy HAD to fuck it up.

I honestly don't know where the Packers go as the 2022 season comes to an end. What I do know is Joe Barry IS NOT a Defensive Coordinator. I know Matt LaFleur doesn't know how to stand up to his ego-maniac QB and isn't much of a leader of men. I'd also add until Murphy steps down OR, gives ALL control over the Football Team back to the GM (Gute or someone else). The SOONER you stop pushing EVERYTHING into the future, the sooner this franchise can be back on top.

BUT, it all starts with Murphy making decisions on giant ass slides and NOT the Packers roster, coaches, or ANYTHING related to the product on the field.

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NJmike15's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:08 am

So true. It all starts with Murphy. He changed the way the organization is run by sticking his nose into the GM's job and wanting to be the final OK. How can anyone do one's job with the higher up changing what you want to do? He needs to take early retirement, and soon.

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DEW's picture

November 21, 2022 at 03:30 pm

Management has sucked for years! Sure, we have had some winning seasons and a few Super Bowls, but with the talent and Rodgers, we should have more than two! Mgt doesn't seem concerned with winning now!!!! Rarely do they ever go after free agents; Reggie was a rare exception, and look what he added to the team. Shortly, I'm afraid we will return to the days after 1968 and before the Favre/Holmgren era. Those years sucked! I live in Cleveland now, and I can tell you, it isn't very pleasant losing every year. I'll bet half of the fan base here are Steeler fans. Yes, Steeler fans because they know how to win. Aaron has several more good years left in him; get him the supporting case to win. Also, get a proven winning defensive coordinator. The years ahead could be as cold as winter in Wisconsin. Finally, whatever happened to home-field advantage during the playoffs? The mystic of the "frozen tundra" is gone. Rarely does home-field advantage ever help us. For me, I believe this season is over. And unless mgt does something soon, the future does not look very bright, Go Pack Go!

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Guam's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:07 am

I think I am a touch older than either NP or Ken Lass, so I too have seen the full gamut of Packer ups and downs - from Lombardi's first year to today. And yes, the 70's and 80's were a long, hard dry spell and one that I would prefer not to revisit. Having said that, change on the field is coming soon since our star is a few weeks away from being 39. He is on the downhill side of his storied career and it will end soon enough.

Like NP, I am more concerned with what is happening in the front office. Murphy has made himself the de facto GM of football operations as well as the head of all non-football operations. That puts too much on his plate as well as eliminating all accountability on the football side since the Packer Board and Executive Committee have shown no ability to be more than window dressing.

Murphy making himself King might have worked out fine if he was a good football decision maker. However allowing Ted Thompson to continue to be the football GM for at least two years longer than he should have was a major mistake that resulted in some very poor drafts and zero additions of pro player talent. Hiring LaFleur without really properly vetting him (one interview) was a second major fail. Reversing course from moving on from Rodgers when they had a golden opportunity to jump start a rebuild was a third fail. Murphy has developed a history of bad football decisions. Leaving him in place is unlikely to allow the Packers to get better.

Change needs to start with firing Murphy. While I have some opinions on what should happen below Murphy, I would be perfectly happy to leave those decisions up to a well qualified GM of football operations that is hired by the new President of the Green Bay Packers.

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DEW's picture

November 21, 2022 at 03:34 pm

Agreed! We suffer from not having an "owner" to shake things up. The current leadership is not concerned about winning or championships. They have no one to answer to. This leaves them with no accountability. think most would agree, Lambeau Field would be filled regardless of their record. Wake up management. Act before it is too late. The 70/the 80s were a bust, and you're heading the team in that direction.

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barutanseijin's picture

November 21, 2022 at 05:05 pm

Who would an owner answer to? (After he moved the team to Albuquerque, of course.)

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:37 am

Just remember the used car lot salesmen running the draft circus in 1979 and passing over Joe Montana, THREE times. I remember every tirade as we listened to the draft unfold on the Radio.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 22, 2022 at 11:13 pm

Exactlly. As I posted elsewhere recently. It's a far cry from the Packers culture and identity as we can possibly be. Just going to ride it out until football and a strong leader emerges to guide us back to glory again or at least the real pursuit of that once again. No more arm flapping etc. Just going to watch the batch of young players get some NFL game experience, beats training camp.

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Renllaw's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:44 am

Very good take. But SOME change is needed and healthy. The trick is to recognize an issue and change it before it seaps into a locker rooms culture.

DEFENSE: Joe Barry and his passiveness is starting to take over. We saw an aggressive group of defenders last year, even while playing these damn zones. But this year, defenders are waiting for the action to come to them. During tackling, when the ball is in the air, even by just lining up 10 yards off receivers. We NEED to blow up that side of the ball.

OFFENSE: This team outside of maybe Cobb and Jones has appeared to have quit. In the past several weeks I have seen Watkins, Watson, and Lazzard all quit or pull up on their routes. You cant tell me the coaches havent seen this on tape, yet it continues. Has the staff done anything to correct this? if they allow it, it will continue and become ok in Green Bay to halfass things. I get the impression from LaFluer that he is loyal to a fault. A trait we saw in Mike McCarthy. If he cant separate the relationships from the job and demand excellence from his staff and players, change is needed there as well.

I would LOVE to see MLF step up, demand, and make change. But right now he seems like he can only operate from a front runner position. As things are getting tough, we dont see any adaptability or accountability.

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Packers2020's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:24 am

Disagree on Watson. He is just young and is still learning.

I do agree on Lazard and Watkins, though.

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Renllaw's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:41 am

Yes, I agree to an extent. But, I've seen him do it twice now. Thats why it's so important to make sure it is taught that it is NEVER acceptable in GB to quit on a route.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:49 am

I’ve been saying it for 2 years. It’s Groundhog Day. It’s no longer entertaining. Blow the whole thing up. Get real professionals to run this thing, not Ted Thompson minions, arm-flappers and ass kissers. I’m tired of freaking reruns year after year after year……

I’m 72. I lived through Lombardi and all the crap years. I’m willing to go through more crap years to take some risks and maybe get a Super Bowl worthy team before I croak. Just no more of this soft as mashed potatoes product they have been trotting out the last few years.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:20 am

welcome to rodger 'the dodger' goodells new and improved NFL.

wanna bet on it? we got that!

wanna have the striped team determine every games outcome? we got that!

wanna use safety as an excuse to completely destroy the foundation of the sport we love? we got that!

wanna put a skirt on the guy who handles the ball the most? we got that!

wanna have a completely misplaced sense of priority when it comes to morality? we got that too!

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fastmoving's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:34 pm

Who is "we"? You do the talk for the people here? got that!

you dont know that football is way bigger than ever before? got that!

and "we" are pretty sure you have a completely misplaced sense of priority when it comes to morality......and Football.....and logic!

you sound like the weak orange coward with the wig, who ruined the country.......same sensless fullshit to blame just someone. No matter how stupid it sounds.

"we" my ass and go and watch the cowboys

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Packerpasty's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:07 pm

yup..another ridiculous immature comment writer who thinks its clever to write like a 5th grader...

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MainePackFan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 03:03 pm

How you got upvotes for that garbage comment, is beyond me.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:08 pm

you are and always have been a complete asshole.

read the post.

we clearly represents the nfl administration. You are a complete asshole.

football is 'bigger'? measured by idiots that know nothing of the game dropping more dollars to bet (which impugns the integrity of the games)? yeah right, that is progress. Money is not everything. you are a complete asshole.

morality in terms of wife beaters, child beaters and rapists getting a pass while minor infractions are treated more severely. you are a complete asshole.

...and take your shitty political commentary elsewhere you complete asshole. This is a GBP and nfl web site, not your brainwashed shitbag CNN channel.

You are a complete asshole, and you always have been and will forever be a complete asshole.

The only thing fastmoving about you is your bowels as you spew your shit with every post. Your brain is obviously quite slowmoving as is your hero dimwitted Brandon. Talk about ruining a country, not since jimmy Carter has the USA been in such a downward spiral.

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MooPack's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:55 am

Ken, I’ve been around for those years and remember those coaches and players. This doesn’t have to be a total blow up, but I disagree on a couple things. Joe Barry has got to go. His scheme and getting players to play in a position that suites their skills is not going to cut it. He was a bad hire. I don’t see this team improving with him as the DC. At seasons end he needs to be replaced. Not necessarily with Gray, but if not, there are plenty of defensive coaches from the college and Pro ranks that would be better. Second, Rodgers should start until the next loss. After that, nothing is gained from letting Love still ride the bench. No one knows for sure what they have in Love. Even coaches cannot say with 100% accuracy that he can’t be a starting caliber QB. I didn’t say HOF, All-Pro, or Pro Bowl QB. Just starting caliber. Let’s see what they have. They only reason they wouldn’t is ego. If that’s a part of personnel decision making, then this team will suffer longer. After a loss, find out if he has a legit future, if not, they can now plan accordingly and not wait another year. Or two.

I believe the difference in this team compared to those teams of the 70’s and 80’s is better overall talent. Those teams had some good players, but overall talent was lacking. They can make these changes without blowing up the whole team and see if there is improvement. If there is further decline, then it becomes easier to see where the problem resides.

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Razer's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:33 am

...Rodgers should start until the next loss. After that, nothing is gained from letting Love still ride the bench...

I too would like confirm what we have in Love although I suspect that the coaches who watch him every day have a good idea. The biggest problem to sitting Rodgers is that we lose all leverage on a post season trade. Once he is benched there is no coming back, he will never be our QB again. Teams will not bargain with a GM who has little say in the matter.

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MooPack's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:45 am

No down vote from me. Don’t completely agree with that, but if they don’t want to lose face or some leverage, use ‘the thumb’.

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joeblowinski's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:08 am

Anytime one makes changes, there are only three possible results with only one positive:

1. Things get better.

2. Things stay the same.

3. Things get worse.

On the other hand is the definition of insanity:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So where are the Packers? I'll take the chance and go with change.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:02 am

Well said Joe and along lines with what I was going to say.

I will add....the team has a lot of good young talent. The problem is they do not have the cap space to retain all of it, or to select talented FA's to fill in where needed.

I do not see anything where complete change from the front office down to the field is necessary, but yes...change is necessary. I believe Murphy, Joe Barry, and Rodgers are the main priorities needed for significant change.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:29 pm

We might trade ACR with deal to his future franchise to eat up the half of his contract, and the receiving team to eat other half. And maybe we can get 2nd and/or 3rd round draft pick or some above average young prospects for the positions we need.

That will save Packers a good portin of the SC, if not immediately than in 2024.

But, for that to happen, the Idiot has to go first, or at least to pull of his fingers from football part of organization.

So, yes, it is impossible to be done.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:19 am

Should we start over?

NO!

Lets assume the season ended today. What are the biggest things we need and what are the biggest changes that need to be made for next year?

1 - They have to get a new DC. Joe Barry is not the answer. I wish they would have gotten rid of Barry after the Titans game. They had a mini bye and they could have put Gray in as DC. What I would have liked about this is we could have seen how the players would have reacted to a change. I just feel like the players on defense are not being utilized to the best of their abilities. For example. When Stokes was healthy, why did they not have Stokes and Douglas outside with Alexander in the slot? Why are the DB's constantly playing 10+ yards off the ball when its 3rd and less then 10? doesn't matter if its 3rd and 3 or 3rd and 20, you will see our DB's playing 10 yards off the ball. I just don't get it.

2 - Offensive weaponry. I really like Watson, Doubs and Toure. They are rookies and hopefully take a big step next year. After them though what do we have at WR? Lazard, Watkins, Cobb. Watkins won't be back. Cobb, may not be back? Lazard I think is a free agent after the season but I can't remember off the top of my head. They have to get more weapons at WR. And they need more speed. Look at the difference Watson makes when he is on the field. Clearly its a different feel when he isn't on the field. They need to invest more high round draft picks into the position. And depending on the status of Lazard and Cobb, they may need to go out and find a veteran WR that could come in and provide some reliability.
Along with WR they have to improve the TE position. They need a field stretching type of TE. Tonyan is not the same as he was before his knee injury. He isn't explosive and can't make anyone miss. Deguara I like but they haven't used him as much as they should. Davis is jag. They need to invest into pass catchers for this team! They need a bigger weapon at TE.

3 - Pass Rushers. They have to get more pass rushers. With Gary out for the year you can see we are severely lacking a pass rush. Preston isn't a dominating pass rusher. He will get you a few really good reps in a game. He is very good at setting the edge, but he isn't a guy that will wreck and offense play in and play out. I really like Enagbare, but they need more.

4 - Return Specialist - They have to find someone who can put some fear into opponents. They need a shifty and fast returner. Maybe Nixon is that guy, but they they need to find someone. It was clear that Rodgers wasn't' the guy a year ago, but they stuck with him. They have to find someone that could possibly change games. Someone that can create a spark when the offense needs one.

5 - DB's. They have to improve our DB's. I like our trio of CB's. Nixon has been ok, but they need more depth at CB. Also they need to figure out what to do at Safety. Amos has regressed this year, and Savage has also. Perhaps some of this is the way they are being used? Perhaps our Safety's would look better with a different style of defense? But some of the things they are doing is fundamental things. Savage has missed a number of tackles. For our defense to take a step we need improved play at safety's.

These right now imo are the 5 biggest things we need to change for next year. It isn't a lot really. We need a different direction on defense. We have some very good players, but I think we need a better scheme and better leadership. On offense we just need more playmakers.

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Packers2020's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:36 am

I would also add offensive line and DL in there.

We need a replacement at LT. Is Tom the answer? Maybe but still not known. Our interior o-line is very average. I am not sure Meyer is the answer at Center.

Our DL is junk except for Clark. Lowry needs to go. Jarran Reed is just a guy. Slaton is inconsistent. Wyatt is still green.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:33 am

Yeah, I would have added them, but didn't want to keep adding to my list. I talk long enough. But I also put these positions lower on the needs then what I listed above.

I'm not sure what will happen with Bakhtiari. I know that when he plays he is a difference maker and he improves our OL when he is on the field. The question is will he ever be right again?
I am good with most of the OL. Jenkins and Bakhtiari's health is the biggest question. I like Myers. He has now played I believe 16 games in the NFL. He is getting better and better each game. Yosh looks god at RT. I really like Tom. Hopefully Rhyan can figure things out. Walker could be a really good find late in the draft.
I like our OL, but as always we need depth. But it is also relying on them staying healthy.

DL I agree with. Clark is a stud. Its time to get Wyatt more playing time. More time over Lowry. He just hasn't been that good. I like Reed overall. but he should be a rotational type of guy. They need to keep adding to the position.

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stockholder's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:49 am

I would pass on the OL. No Rookie will start. They will have to re-sign Jenkins. And let the others push their way on now.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:22 pm

Need an OT by the #two pick, who will start, same as this year. Myers is picking up his game. Not sold on Runyan and Nijman. Bhak will have to refi or he's gone. Jenkins is an interesting storyline. See if he gets better as the remaining games play out. Edge guys can be had in the 4th round. I would still shift to a 4-2/4-3 look. Reed can bring pass rush. He should be a fair value guy. Will A.Jones hold up through this campaign? Safety is a priority. Draft RBs and a WR, every year.

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stockholder's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:36 pm

I would sign a FA before drafting one. Most of the Ots at the top, will be moved to Guard. Runyan will be back at LG next year. Just a Hunch , but Jenkins wants out. Bahk will be back; if he plays in the remaining games.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:39 pm

Clifton and Tauscher rookie starters. The top OTs will be on the left side, only Packerland feels the need to move them inside.
It will be a coin flip between Jenkins, or Bhak.

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stockholder's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:43 am

#3 pass rushers. I get you never have enough. But they get hurt way too much. Nick Perry, CM3, Smith, etc.( on the EDGE PLAYER.) The Packers have put too many eggs in this basket. Leaving other weapons for the next team.
The game changers are in the secondary this draft. Drafting a Safety: Frees Cap. Less developmental Time. Big play ability. Better tackling.
Think about "Bigger is better" for #3. White, Johnson, Kampman,etc. The legends stay healthy.

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HarryHodag's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:19 am

There's a story at Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about a guy from Wisconsin Rapids who has been to 488 Packers games. It should be VERY enlightening to the younger fans who want complete change and are booing the team and don't understand what the older Packers fans know: we are very lucky to have a team here, the Packers are a global asset and you learn to live with the down times as well as the good times.

Eddie Lee Ivery: I'm outside the former Carlton West in Green Bay after a pre-season game. I was smoking a cigar. Up walks Eddle Lee. He wanted a cigar which I gave him and we chatted about the Packers for awhile. Nice guy. We went inside and he was mobbed by 20 women. I wasn't.

Lynn Dickey: he was hurt a lot, but when he was healthy, he was among the best passers in the league. One play is burned in my mind and showed how good the pros are. James Lofton did a post pattern then did an abrupt out. From my seat in the northeast corner I had a perfect angle to see Dickey loft a pass 50 yards down to a pinpoint. Lofton caught the ball two steps from the boundary without even raising his arms much.
Amazing.

Back to today: it's time to throttle back the rage and realize the Packers are a marathon and not a sprint. I know attention spans have dwindled to near nothing, but the key is patience. Even if they don't turn it around, at least there's great tailgating.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:05 am

Nice!

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MainePackFan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 03:13 pm

Very well said Harry.

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barutanseijin's picture

November 21, 2022 at 05:22 pm

I was at the game where the Rams broke Dickey’s leg. Fortunately he was able to come back from that. Those were dark days.

Lofton was a Hall of Famer. Definitely deserves to be there.

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Boneman's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:20 am

How right you are Ken! I remember. The best of times were seasons when we got near .500. A brief glimmer of hope with Lynn Dickey and then poof, nothing till the Majic Man, Through it all we fans persevered and supported the Pack. I wonder if 'modern fans' are even capable?

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TheVOR's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:46 am

I just cringe every time I hear the clambering for Jordan Love. He is exactly, and nothing more, or nothing less than a place holder who will be out of the NFL inside of 3-4 years, after he's exhausted his 2 chances to show that he has all the same problems he did on draft day. Erratic accuracy, poor ball security, and he doesn't read the field well. Everything he'll ever be was on full display in any game he's played in. He's not 40% as good as Rodgers, and thru the entire preseason, every team we faced had better 2nd and 3rd string prospects on their rosters.

Are we ready to blow it up? We will return to the 70's so quickly in the post Rodgers era, it won't even be funny. Even with a superior talent at QB, this team is not winning. Put Love in there and it would be a nightmare from which we couldn't awaken.

Coaching changes perhaps? Hell Yes! We need a real DC, and a real OC. Enough screwing around here, Never liked Berry as a choice for DC, and talk about someone who's stock has plummeted? Adam Stenavich and his offense is abysmal. I'd be fine with the organization surfing the coaching fires post season for new a new OC and DC.

Also, Gutz is looking mediocre as a GM. Still need WR, TE, OLB, DL and now OL. The roster needs help.

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coolhand's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:30 am

Blow it up and we will look like we did against the Jets or the Lions even though we have 3 guys getting 40% of our cap space.

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whysoserious's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:45 am

Nobody knows for sure if Love will be any good or not.

"Everything he'll ever be was on full display in any game he's played in."
- It's nice to know that one preseason and a couple of games are enough to determine Love's future in the NFL. I am guessing you would have written off Josh Allen and Justine Fields. Josh looked awful his first couple seasons and Fields took a year and a half to start showing anything. Allen is now an MVP favorite and Fields is showing a lot of promise. I also remember everyone calling for Brett Favre to be benched a few years into his career because he couldn't read defenses. Some QBs take a little longer to develop.

"Put Love in there and it would be a nightmare from which we couldn't awaken." - We are about to be 4-8 and have one the worst offenses in the league.

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fastmoving's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Just right......but some guys dont get it. If you have a guy who get 20% of the SC he has to play like it and not like 2 or 3%. And thats its just like AR played even in his better years he never played like 20%.
In 2011 he played like 30% and his paycheck was 3%. That was the time he was a good deal for the Packers long ago......

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barutanseijin's picture

November 21, 2022 at 05:35 pm

If Jordan Love is the modern day David Whitehurst, Scott Hunter or Randy Wright, then Rodgers is the 1970-1971 Bart Starr, the guy who can’t play like he once did.

Bart was always the gentleman and understood what was happening to him. Unfortunately, Rodgers lacks his grace and self awareness. There’s no knowing what sort of tantrum Rodgers would throw if he had to ride the bench as Starr did in’71.

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mrtundra's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:47 am

Another thing, IMO, is that the Packers don't seem to plan for the team's veterans leaving. We didn't go after any of the top Safeties, in recent drafts. Guys that are playing now and will be solid additions to their teams, in the very near future. We will need someone to fill in Amos's spot on this team, when he leaves. Savage has been disappointing, as well. We will need Love to step up and fill in Rodgers's spot. At least he knows our system. Getting a veteran QB, does not seem likely, in FA, with our cap situation and especially when we can keep Love, at a much cheaper cost, to the team. I think our young WRs will do fine, over time. I think the WRs would do well with Love, as their QB, too. However the Packers need to win, now. Who will be our next Aaron Jones? Jones may be gone next season, mostly due to our cap situation, as he will want to be paid. We cut Kylin Hill for attitude issues. Is Patrick Taylor the answer as RB1or 2? I doubt that , very much. We need a TE to stand out. Someone who can play up to Marcedes Lewis's level of play. Someone who can do all the blocking this offense calls for, and someone who can move the chains. We need to tighten up our run defense and quit playing that god awful soft zone coverage that gets opposing teams easy 1st downs, on passing plays. Our STs still needs to be fixed. I like Nixon back there on returns. I think we need to look at replacing Crosby, at some point. Is Ahmed the answer, there? So many questions and not enough draft capital to fill the holes we will have when players leave.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:48 am

Every player we release will have to be replaced on the roster. Including practice squad, that’s 69 people. Some people will be salary cap decisions. We have 7 draft picks. So unless we want to put a team on the field that’s mostly UDFAs, we’re going to have to resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Gutekunst and LaFleur just received extensions, so they aren’t going anywhere. Accept that. Pretty much every guy who is under contract for next year will be back. We’ll add some guys in the draft.

Every time in the last 30 years that we’ve had a losing season we’ve had a quick rebound to the Championship game.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Fear has no place in this game. This organization is rotten and MUST be blown up. Theres no point in giving a dying cancer patient a face lift. It is time.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:31 pm

RTS.......????????

Murphy is under contract for a couple more years. Gutekunst and LaFleur were given extensions 4 months ago precisely as a guard against firing everybody when the season ended. They aren't going anywhere.

I don't get "this organization is rotten". Aren't these the same guys who had us as one of the best teams in the league the last several years?

Calm down, Amigo. As the great prophet, George Harrison, said "All Things Must Pass". This will, too. The issue with Rodgers will be resolved. We can trade away two of our other big contract guys, Bakhtiari and Jones. We'll draft some people. We'll extend Lazard and Jenkins. We don't have cancer, we have a bad stomach ache caused by eating something we shouldn't have (Rodgers contract). No need to call for a priest yet.

Of all the people who I thought would probably overreact to what's happening, I never thought you'd be one of them.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:59 pm

True, they rigged the game, meaning Murphy kept the Silage piled high. I don't see any institutional energy coming from this outfit.

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fthisJack's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:49 am

Ken you bring up fond memories of the not so golden years. Charles Martin body slamming McMahon to the turf and wrecking his shoulder. Walter Peyton running wild with over 200 yards rushing against them in the 70's The last game I saw. Lynn Dickey throwing to Lofton and Jefferson. It's too bad Dickey's knees were shot. The 1983 shootout at Lambeau where the Pack beat the defending champion Redskins 48-47. I remember "Pull Dickey!" "The Gravedigger" Gilbert Brown stuffing the middle. Paul Coffman, Mike Douglas. Chuck Cecil decimating receivers and himself. Larry McCaren busting that pinky. Travis Williams returning kicks. Bad years but a lot of good memories.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:05 am

I love it, and so true! "bad years but a lot of good memories"!

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

Gilbert showed up for the winning teams in 1993, not on the '80s squads.

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:57 am

Solid take, Ken. I do think the Packers need to lovingly set Joe Barry free, but I agree with you that handing the reins to Jerry Gray would be misguided at best. Our Passing Game Coordinator has been AWOL, for sure. I also don't think LaFleur is the HC to lead going forward.

I, too, cringed through an era where Terdell Middleton and Will Harrell were referred to in a Packers Yearbook at "the Touchdown Twins", where Rich Moore was drafted in the first round, where every kickoff was at noon, and many seasons were spent striving to get to 8-8. We drafted poorly and kept trying to find "the next" great player from the 60s as the game evolved.

So, blow it all up? No, there's a ton of talent in Green Bay, but continuing on the present course with current leadership isn't the answer.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:35 pm

Leotis....remember Brent Fullwood? He was a first round RB selection., the 4th overall pick. But he was not a stud, and we unloaded him in his 4th season.

My favorite story about him is one day his coach, HOFer Forrest Gregg, was chewing on him and Fullwood asked "Coach, did you ever play in the NFL"?

You can't fix stupid. You can muffle the sound with duct tape. But this guy Fullwood was dumber than a dog's foot.

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 21, 2022 at 02:52 pm

I remember Fullwood as a prolific fumbler, and had heard he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. I didn't remember he was picked 4th overall. Damn.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 22, 2022 at 11:33 pm

"where Rich Moore was drafted in the first round, where every kickoff was at noon, and many seasons were spent striving to get to 8-8. We drafted poorly and kept trying to find "the next" great player from the 60s as the game evolved."

Oh the memories, as bad as those days were it was still a lot of good times and great moments to look back on.
Pretty good summary of the 70s and 80s too.

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Coldworld's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:58 am

The fallacy here is that it’s already blown up. The question is whether or not you want to sit in the ruins and wish it hadn’t or start to think about building anew.

This is agonizing about whether to invest in a new gate after the horse is long gone.

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Since'61's picture

November 21, 2022 at 08:58 am

Ken your article is among the reasons why I have been posting that I'm not sure how much Love will play this season even if/when the Packers are eliminated.

I prefer not to discuss what's next for the Packers until the season is over but here we are.

The Packers need to make several strategic decisions once this seasons ends.

If the Packers decide to rebuild they need to decide where they start the rebuild. Does it start at the top with Murphy or does it start with the GM or with the coaching staff. Personally I believe that if a team is going to rebuild they should start with the GM and the coaches similar to how Bob Harlan did it with Wolf and Holmgren. Then again later with TT and McCarthy. It is critical that the GM and HC are in alignment with the type of team they want to build and how they want to build it. If the rebuild starts with the players then IMO the team is doing nothing more than sophisticated tweaking.

As for the players I think that many of the veteran players Ken mentioned in his article will be gone next season rebuild or not. Some will be cap casualties, some will retire (BaK and Crosby), and maybe some will be traded (Jones). Once again Rodgers will be the key to the Packers short term strategy. If they decide to chuck him and take the cap hit the rebuild, at least at the players level, will begin. Rodgers might decide to retire which would help with the cap hit or he might decide to return to play again in 2023.

If Rodgers returns we can expect more tweaking and how do we replace players like Bak and Jones on the offense? Watkins and Cobb will be gone which means more young receivers acquired via the draft and maybe an FA veteran.

ON the defensive side regardless of which strategic decisions the team takes the Packers need a new DC. Barry is not working out. With 7 #1 picks on defense this defense should be playing much better. Unless our GM has failed badly on some of those #1 picks. In which case we are back to the question of where should the rebuild start?

I'm guessing that Murphy will remain until he retires in 2025/26? And what about Love? What if the Packers hang in the playoff race until the last week or two of this season and Love doesn't see much action? Do we bring in a new HC with a new offense for Love to learn in what could be his first season as the starting QB if Rodgers retires?

Ken is correct that rebuilds are long, difficult and messy. I've just touched upon a few of the myriad of issues the Packers will need to address regardless of which direction they decide to take. It also points out how much of a mess the current management has created for this team and I'm in no position to adequately discuss the cap implications for the next 2-3 seasons. We need TGR who sadly has not participated recently. And as I have posted before I don't believe that they can get the Packers out of this mess.

Do we really want to blow it all up? Not until the end of the season at least. Then we can discuss blowing it up in a series of articles that would address each of the factors of a complete rebuild. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:16 am

On the spreadsheet the CAP is up 17M in '23 and another 31 M added in 2024. I believe those amounts would cover some risk and temper some of the dead money. The priority will be having a GM that can hit on 60% + of his picks and not deal draft capital away with wild swings and misses. They have to get better in the personnel dept. and choose real football players, preferably with intelligence and leadership skills. For example, Stokes is fast, but linear, slow in the breakdowns. His college running mate Tyson Campbell is better with technique and tackling. A Scout has to see these qualities, not just a 40 time.

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 21, 2022 at 03:12 pm

jb, do you think the talent drain within the personnel dept as a result of 30 years of success can be addressed by those in positions to do so? If we look at the Ron Wolf tree and all the success those men had together while with the Packers, and then the varying success with other teams, it seems the Packers are missing more than hitting these days.

Gute rose to the top (Peter Principle?) after Schneider, Dorsey, McKenzie were gone. Then E. Wolf, Highsmith, (add more, it's a long list) moved on, and I still find it very hard to believe that a kid who played linebacker for two years at UW-LaCrosse somehow became GM material by what he knew as opposed to who. So, if we look downline, who filled those scouting positions and what were their credentials?

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:48 pm

When Wolf came in he cleaned house. He interviewed guys who were hungry to prove their mettle. He bagged the best up and coming guy on the list from Walsh's tree. Schneider was the big loss. He went along with Ted to work for Holmgren. That's on Wolf, losing Holmgren and making some big draft whiffs on his own. I do not understand GMs getting a HOF jacket? He held too much influence for too long a time. Ted inherited some of the gang and all that, but the due date has expired.

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T7Steve's picture

November 22, 2022 at 07:40 am

Holmgren left because he wanted to be the GM AND head coach. The packers weren't organized to allow that. The seahawks bent over backwards for him to do that and it cost them.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2022 at 11:26 am

Wolf could have moved on from GM, gone up the food chain and given both gigs to Holmgren. The result of the organization's "pathway" was Ray Rhodes and the double whammy of installing sherman as coach, then GM. The same request Holmgren made. A six-year fail.

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DougXX57's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:10 am

Man O Man,, I got cold sweats looking at the names you brought up from the deep past and yep, I lived those also which the cold sweats.. The motto back then was 8-8 is great and nothing is fine with devine.. You forgot one player that really hurt getting the 1, the 2, the 1,2,3 john hadl... ouch!! I use to pray when Harrell went back for a punt return to just don't fumble and catch it and fall down.. I think Rodgers has aged but I also think a lot of his problems this year besides the young receivers is his thumb.. So yep, to all my friends out there who call for a total fire job(much like my brewer buddies did this year) calm down, lets play out the season and if changes are needed, do them then.. Reload, don't rebuild as I saw the 70's and 80's rebuilt every 2 years.. YIKES.. The young receivers are getting better and the line will get figured out and the D,, well that might need fixing as in coaches.. I would love to see more man to man and a more active D line.. well lets finsih the season and look ahead folks

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T7Steve's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:14 am

There's a big difference between rebuilding now as opposed to the early 70s and 80s. Free agency! Remember the first free agent? Reggie White. The parity in the NFL is such that you just need to find a piece or a coach (Mathew Stafford to the Rams for instance). Some teams screw this up time after time but, it doesn't have to be that way.

We don't need to rebuild the team. Just add a piece here or there in coaching and find a new Reggie somewhere.

Like Harry said above, it's hard to believe a Packer fan booing the team into the locker room at half time, down 14-6 and getting the ball. We used to brag that as bad as it got, we supported our team thru thick or thin. We pitied teams whose own fans booed them and thought it would never happen in Gree Bay.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:21 am

How many GM/FO/coaching changes have the Bears had over the past 10-15 years or so? Detroit? Jacksonville? Houston? They're all still trying to figure it out after "blowing it up" every few years.

Over the last 30 years, 3 of the most successful franchises have been New England, Pittsburgh and Green Bay. What do they all have in common? They all maintain continuity throughout their organizations. Whether it's coaches...Belichick has been around for 20 years or so. Pittsburgh has had 3 HC's since 1969. Or QBs...Green Bay has had 2 starting QBs since 1992.

I was a little surprised how soon the "Let's Fire Everybody" crowd showed up this year. I believe it was right around the time we lost 2 games in a row for the first time in 4 years. That's how teams like Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston operate. How has that worked out for them?

This team/organization does not need to be blown up. Joe Barry needs to be replaced. Murphy needs to allow Gutekunst to do his job without interference. MLF needs to stop deferring to Rodgers and prove he's more than an OC masquerading as a HC.

I know that will not appease a lot of the fans. But successful organizations don't allow fans to dictate to them how to do their jobs after one crappy season.

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Guam's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:42 am

"Murphy needs to allow Gutekunst to do his job without interference."

If I am reading the Packer organization chart correctly, Gutekunst is not the GM of the Packers. The coaching staff and the salary cap manager report to Murphy, not Gutekunst. Gutekunst is effectively the director of the draft and pro player acquisition. Murphy is the General Manager of football operations despite Gute's title.

Murphy would have to step back and make Gute the true GM (coaches and salary cap report to Gute) to "not interfere". That would be a significant organizational change and a return to the Harlan era structure.

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HarryHodag's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:50 am

Thank you for your thoughtful, and correct, interpretation of the situation.
The Steelers are case in point. I don't hear calls for the fans storming the stadium or to do bad things to Mike Tomlin. They know they will be back.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:56 pm

They all hit on HOF quarterbacks. Now we will evaluate their new choices. Will Pickett, Mac Jones or Love
maintain the winning streak? I do like Bailey Zappe.

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Razer's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:24 am

...My point is, don’t be in such a hurry for change. It’s not always the answer...

Change needs to happen if we are to stay ahead of the sticks. Hanging onto players too long, ignoring persistent failure or following poor strategies are all part of poor franchises. The Packers have been hanging onto a fading dream of another Super Bowl run with Rodgers for the last three years at the expense of the future and at the risk of the total rebuild that Ken cites. We didn't avoid the reset - we made it worse.

The Green Bay leadership committee went out and got themselves a new 'boy band' coach because hiring young playcallers from the Shanahan tree (?) was all the rage. Whether it is LaFleur or the committee that has been assembling the coaching staff is uncertain but the results are evident every game through the disorganized play and competitive outsmarting. The coaching failures are one aspect of the shortcoming facing this team. The bigger issue is the lack of organizational leadership for the franchise.

Ron Wolf led the Packers back from obscurity with a philosophy and the right people in the right places. As the architect, he pulled the pieces together to fashion a winning formula and got the right coaches to work with the formula. Howie Roseman is that guy in Philly. He is build the team according to his plan and making sure that coaches and players fit that plan. We have no such clarity on this team or in our front office.

Gutekunst is drafting track athletes because RAS scores are the moneyball metric tape measure for his Packers. We have track athletes rather than football smart players. What is our Packer formula? Not sure, but it isn't win in the trenches and it usually doesn't involve high draft or high FA offensive weapons. So my questions are who leads this Packer team going forward and what is the formula?

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MainePackFan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 05:32 pm

Good take Razer. When I look at this team, I see the say players minus DA. What I don't see is the same coaches in the same positions. I believe some of the biggest problems the Packers have is that many of the promoted coaches were not ready for primetime at their new positions.
I think MLF's biggest downfall is his loyalty to his own coaching tree. I could be wrong, but this is essentially the same player personnel that won 13 games 3 years in a row. which means the biggest change (other than DA) is the coaching promotions. Those changes appear to have been a mistake.

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Booner's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:32 am

This is the Season that the Grinch stole from us! The best way to describe our coaching staff and GM. Stink, Stank, Stunk!

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fastmoving's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:49 pm

You mean the only one who looks like a -grinch and acting like one? The flatearth smartie? Who looks like 50 and plays like 70?

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croatpackfan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:33 am

Ken I appreciate your input.

But I disagree with you. I was fan of "Ask Vic" column till moment I found it and till the end. I consider Vic very smart and experienced guy, who worked his whole life in football. He teach regular fans all those small, but important things in football - meaning of the SC, for example, importance of the draft choices and to be very careful when you are signing FA that other teams are releasing or did not sign for the future. He was rarely wrong.

One of his important mantra was: "If you need to rebuild, rather start earlier than later!" "When you hear whistle of the running SC train that comes to you, it is already to late!" and, maybe most important "It is better to release/trade player one year earlier than one year to late!". All those notes can apply to Packers today. Prolonging changes, those changes will last longer and you'll have it more and it will be difficult to finally dig yourself out of it. Second, by the move of the Mark Murphy he sped up those train and now the whistle is constantly blowing (Dallas game was just short interruption to fill the air in whistle). If we will wait the train to come on us, I bet with you rebuild will looks like Jags or Lions, or Bears one. Move from that track and left your baggage (and garbage) behind for train to hit them.

You do not need to start all over. Thanks to Brian Gutekunst. He was picking in the last 2 and 1/2 drafts for the future, not for the present. And you can not enforce your team with players that still have the necessary fire in themselves, because you do not have money for that. You are damned or blessed to use draft, because one Idiot trying to play GM (Mark Murphy) sold all necessities to one man, aging QB together with crippling "GM by position" (BG) and HC, taking from them what is their rights in hierarchy of football business. What he take from "his" GM and HC he surrendered gracefully to his QB. With those 3 moves (changing football operation, signing SC crippling contract and allowing QB to interact jobs of GM & HC with equal rights) Idiot completely messed up with every aspect of otherwise successful football franchise.

We do not need to blow up everything. Nobody from us, fans, do not call from building from the ground. We call for re-building. The meaning of re-building is that you have foundation(s) on which you will change what is old and worn out with something new and exciting, especially when your foundation was already rebuild - you have young OL (forget David in that formula, he is also to expensive), young WRs, young TEs, relatively young RBs, ILBs, CBs, DLs, OLBs... Only safety position should need some immediate addition - but, you have draft for that. You might miss, but not that much as you'll miss if you did not move yourself from the tracks of the coming ultrafast large train.

I do not want to go into discussion here about is it to early or to late to move from ACR, or to start JL, or to change that or this coach. First what Packers need to do is to go back to what was successful. Change the structure of the football operation back to successful model. Every day more and more fans understand that this, existing model is pure sh*t. Nobody can recognize who is responsible for what. Who make play calls? Can you tell us that? Is it MLF? Or maybe ACR? Or maybe both? DO they agree on play calling?

I would like to get answer from you on this question: DO YOU KNOW ANY FOOTBALL FRANCHISE IN NFL WHERE QB HAS FINAL WORD ON WHAT KIND OF PLAY PLAYERS WILL BE EXECUTE (EXCLUDING IN GAME ADJUSTMENT)? We knows from public statements that HC and "play caller" and his QB "possible real play caller" does not agree on what kind of plays Packers should run. So, who has the last word?

This franchise need clean up in huge way. FISH SMELLS FROM HEAD and you have to remove smelly heads first - GM (in this case real GM, GM from the shadow) & HC & QB. These are smelly heads. Let give crippled GM (BG) 2 years to show his vision of the Packers, let him pick his HC and let that HC pick his coordinators and QB who will be HC voice on the field. Than you have healthy foundation to have fast rebuild. Because you remove rotten foundations from the building.

That is my take. Not build from the scratch, but re-build from healthy foundations.

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Swisch's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:45 am

Let's remove Rodgers, then evaluate the rest of the players.
When it seems so many players are underperforming, then it may very well be that our domineering and temperamental quarterback is dragging down the team.

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fastmoving's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:52 pm

yeah, wondering who anyone can miss that..........12 he is hard to watch and with his strange boddy talk he sucks every fun out of Packer Games

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Razer's picture

November 21, 2022 at 09:47 am

Just to be clear this isn't a question of blowing it up (although that may be a means to an end) this is a question of organizational leadership. The Packers find themselves in difficult CAP position with a last legs QB and numerous talent holes on the roster. Why did we get here? Surely, the leader of this franchise didn't map out a plan to pay crazy money for a singular player and not surround him with weapons or a solid O-line. Now that the popularity of hiring a young inexperienced headcoach has dissipated, someone must have given consideration to the mechanics of assembling a solid coaching staff beyond just a playcaller. The Packers don't need a new quarterback or headcoach - they need a new architect with a formula for building a new team.

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HarryHodag's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:46 am

Sounds good but 31 other teams also have the same vision.

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Razer's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:11 pm

As they should, the principles of leadership are fundamental to every organization. Good organizations are led by good leaders who find good people and put a plan in action. Teams like Detroit and Cleveland have failed at the top and in the front office long before the players hit the field.

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Johnha's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:02 am

The names bring back a lot of 4-12 seasons from the seventies. The names from the eighties bring up a lot 7-9 teams. I did like watching Lynn Dickey, Eddie Lee Ivory, Lofton and Jefferson and Coffman great offense! The one name you brought up that still haunts me to this day is Rich Cambell, The Packers drafted him two picks in front of Ronnie Lott in the 1981 draft! What might have been!

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barutanseijin's picture

November 21, 2022 at 05:57 pm

How about the Bruce Clark pick? He said he wouldn’t play for the Packers and the Packers called his bluff— only it wasn’t a bluff and he went to Canada instead of playing in Green Bay.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:11 am

I've been over at Spotrac.com since reading this article. As it looks to me (don't take my word for it, check for yourselves). The bottom line is that RIGHT NOW, we're only about $3.5 million over the projected 2023 cap.

We have 45 players under contract for 2023. Rodgers, of course, and I don't see any way that we can mitigate the cap hit. It looks like about $30 million. Bakhtiari, too, looks like a $30 million hit, but $18 million of that is salary, and roster and workout bonuses. Aaron Jones has about $16 million in salary and bonuses. IMO, that would make Bakhtiari and Jones trade candidates. Even if we don't get much, it helps our cap situation quite a bit.

On offense, after those big $$ guys, we're bringing back Love, of course. Dillon and Patrick Taylor. Watson, Toure, Doubs. Deguara. That's our returning skill position players. Tom, Nijman, Runyan, Myers, Newman, Rhyan, Walker, Jones are the top 8 offensive linemen returning.

Defensively, we're bring back 15 guys. Amos is a FA. Lowry and Reed are FAs.

So, those are the holes. I count a couple on offense and a couple on defense....IF WE DON"T MAKE ANY MORE!! And that's without upgrading weaker players on the roster. If we do a couple of judicious trade downs, we can probably put a good 45 man team on the field.

At this point, I'd suggest that next year's starting offense looks like this: Love and Dillon in the backfield, Watson, Doubs, and Toure at WR, Deguara at TE, Nijman-Runyan-Myers-Newman-Tom on the offensive line. This is assuming we don't resign Lazard or Jenkins.

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HarryHodag's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:45 am

Good job by bringing in the Sportrac numbers. While the 'fire everybody' crowd would like to see that, in reality we would have a professional team that would be a bunch of practice squad refugees.

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Bitternotsour's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:19 am

I'm in favor of exclusively firing Mark Murphy. He rebuilt the football structure so he is the last word, he made himself the owner. He built the roster, the coaching staff, and he is ultimately in charge of the contracts that will hobble the franchise for a decade. Murphy has to go.

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HarryHodag's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:42 am

Please check the facts of your statement. Inaccuracies, as we find out in other arenas, can lead to misinformation.

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Coldworld's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:10 pm

He’s correct. You are in dreamland,

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:17 pm

Explain how these contracts will hobble the team for a decade?

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:19 pm

He is not the owner. He can be fired. Owners can't be fired. So that's fundamentally inaccurate.

I don't see how these contracts to Rodgers, Bakhtiari, Jones, et. al, hobble the team for a decade. That's hypberbole. It's going to constrain us for a year or two. If Rodgers retires after this season, it'll be even less.

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Bitternotsour's picture

November 21, 2022 at 07:24 pm

Fired by a compliant board? I think not. He rebuilt the structure. He assumed all the power. The GM is no longer the final word on football operations. Murphy usurped them all, Football ops, business operations, and all the sledding hills. He is the defacto owner. He staged a coup in the light of day.

Mark Murphy has no business running the football operations. NONE. He's an ass-kisser at the NFL offices, an errand boy for Roger Goodell.

All of this mess is on his doorstep. The Rodgers decision (Denver wanted to give us the store), the contracts for Bakh and Rodgers, and the selection of the overmatched (by his quarterback) MLF. ALL OF IT.

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PACorey's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:29 am

Ken this is an award winning article. However...... I think you are being a little hard on TD Terdell Middleton, he was the man in those days!!! I so hope the young folks read this... especially our own beloved Andy Herman... his stuff has been a bit painful of late. Also a bit of a David Whitehurst apologist, really hate having him in the same category as Scott Hunter and Jerry Tauge, if they could have thrown a decent pass we would have taken that game against the Redskins. KEEP WRITING!!!! A while back I always wanted to ask Ted what would be more important to his legacy, winning another Super Bowl or successfully finding Aaron's replacement? As much as I hate to say it we need an asterisk for the Favre/Rodgers era that the Bears, Lions, and often Vikings sucked for 30 years. So now with our current cap situation, and having to figure out what to do with Jordan Love??? I think Mark needs to step in, put his big boy pants on, gather Matt, Brian, (sorry our financing guy), include Aaron and do some planning. With the sad truths about Favre, I think Aaron's complete legacy is not yet written, based on with what level of class he exhibits going forward. Green & Gold until I am Dead and Cold!!!

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Qoojo's picture

November 21, 2022 at 10:38 am

They are held hostage for at least one more year by AR's contract, which they signed and bought into. They have one year to get it done, and probably their best only shot for a long time.

- Given one more year of AR, it doesn't make sense to blow up the offense and go with new one. MLF stays.
- Defensive has no excuse to suck this year. Changes must be made there. Barry must go.
- AR will be better next year
-- Thumb will be better. It's clearly affecting him. He is one of the most accurate QBs in history and I never seen him miss easy passes like he did in the last game.
-- AR has an excellent memory. The offense currently runs has a lot of MM offense in it because that's what AR likes. It requires QB and WR to be on same page when running routes because the routes require QB and WR to make same adjustments. An extra year should help this.
-- OL should be better and can get more upgrades via draft or FA. If you want an old QB, then you need an awesome line and defense.

The time to get rid of AR was this past summer when they could have got a lot for him. They prepared for it with the selection of Love. They just didn't have the nerve to do it. Could have had plenty of draft capital to help the move.

MLF has lost this team. No motivation. I think Barry kills all motivation on defense. AR has too much say in offense and that will not change. MLF needs to take charge and be a HC.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Qoojo, there's a lot to think about in this post.

MY understanding, which is probably wrong, is that if Rodgers were to retire after this season, it would mitigate the cap hit. If he doesn't retire, he can be traded, which probably doesn't mitigate the cap hit but it would clear the runway for Love and we'd probably get some type of compensation. Not as much as he would have brought after last season, but we got a 2nd for Favre.

Your assessment about MLF losing the team is based on what? I actually think they've played better in 3 out of the last 4 games than they did earlier in the season.

AR can say whatever he wants about the offense, he's earned that right. But the bottom line is points, and we aren't scoring many. I don't think Rodgers will be back next year.

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Qoojo's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:40 pm

The first half of the season it looked like they are playing with same attitude that I show up for work on Monday. I see some players are engaged and like playing for MLF. Maybe it's general confusion? I keep thinking back to Wolf and Ray Rhodes one season and why he made the change.

I never considered retirement as an option for salary cap relief.

I do think many are overreacting. Offensively, many things snowballed and contributed to the issues like OL and WR injuries. Defensively, it's just a huge disappointment to see a regression.

After so many years of watching the HC be mostly offense only, I kind of want a HC that can coach a team. See special teams last year and defense this year like "Hey Barry, don't you think Alexander can cover the best WR? Hey Barry, why are you playing so far off the WR in short yardage?..."

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Hematite's picture

November 21, 2022 at 03:03 pm

I sincerely hope that Aaron Rodgers won't be back next year!
I'd be happy if he was traded for a case of Blatz longnecks.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:25 pm

"AR can say whatever he wants about the offense, he's earned that right."

I thought, in football is not what you did in the past. It is what are you doing today!

Or, I'm completely wrong?

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ricky's picture

November 21, 2022 at 11:27 am

I definitely remember the '70's and '80's teams. There were literally weeks I wouldn't watch the games, because it was too painful to see how bad the Packers were, how inept, how far they'd fallen from the heights of the Lombardi Era. The embarrassment of the team constantly going after retired Packers players as coaches. But the nadir of the franchise came during the Forrest Gregg regime, when this proud franchise turned into a group of thugs. Charles Martin, brandishing a towel with the numbers of Bears players on it, was the last straw. However, there are some real problems with the team. And it starts with Rodgers.
There seems to be a total disconnect between him and LaFleur. And Rodgers is winning, because the cap hit if he leaves would be so bad. If he left next year, the Packers would be on the hook for (I believe) $31 million in dead cap. But when, week after week, LaFleur says he has no idea how to fix the problems with the team, that is a huge problem. Give LaFleur a chance to play with a QB who will actually run his system, but also, make it clear that he needs to be able to change schemes to adjust to the other team's scheme changes. He has not shown he ever has a "Plan B" if the original plan starts foundering,
Fire Joe Barry? Absolutely. The players seem totally out of sync with the system. So, either get rid of the players, or (EUREKA!) find a scheme that takes advantage of the strengths of the players. How many times do we have to see Alexander playing eight yards off a receiver on third and three before something changes?
In short, blow up everything? No. But change what isn't working and try something new. Or else, keep doing the same thing, and hope for different results.

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Dragon5's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:12 pm

It's natural for people to hide failure. Lies, deceit, procrastination...name the transgression--it is sure to hide the pain within. Change only happens when pain exceeds the desire to change. We've acquired, in our PTSD annals, the Catch Part II, 4 & 26, Bostick's bumble, etc etc. We've fielded a competitive team most years since our last SB in '10, but the latest sample size of getting owned, with homefield, by more physical, better coached teams has now rung true thrice. Taking away the exquisite QB/WR combo that has masked flaws on every level (performance, drafting, coaching) has only given a glimpse of how septic things have become beneath the skin.

I give Packer fans credit for being resilient; however, decades of success have blinded the fanbase to accept perennial media induced arrogance suggesting every player we sign or draft is the next best thing since sliced bread. Murphy will see to it that the Packer's remain profitable, with the product on the field secondary. Gutekunst will continue to perform adequately, but not enough to facilitate a championship squad. MLF has shown he can't hire, can't fire, and perhaps most damning, can't inspire; he'll fail to make in-game adjustments, and he'll continue to privately play second-fiddle to the real head coach of this team--HoF#12. As they say, as goes Rodgers, so does the Packers. So where are we at Ken? How much more should we take living out the script of insanity? Wise investors cut losses early as BIG losses start small.

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splitpea1's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Whether or not total change is the answer depends on how the last few games play out and if any changes in approach are actually made.

With this team, you don't even get the novelty of seeing them lose in different ways because they lose in the same ways every time. On offense, short-yardage running plays in critical times that they can't block; the QB heaving balls downfield to receivers with DBs practically attached to them; predictable play calling that defenses are ready for more often than not; on defense, playing musical chairs with secondary instead of doing what is logical, and worst of all, an abundance of soft coverage that allows for easy conversions.

So if the same patterns continue, the process of starting over can't come soon enough. The Rodgers era has run its course. "Draft and develop" has run its course. It's nice that we broke our losing streak, but if the team continues to struggle the way it did against the Titans and others, then not making wholesale changes guarantees more of the same. Acknowledge reality and abandon any short-term hope or "chance" with the current cast.

The Bengals, Lions, and new Browns have been saddled with poor ownership through significant portions of their history, so those are really worst-case scenarios in regards to rebuilding.

Gute has done a decent, but not great job. He's made some nice signings, but his upper-round drafting has been a mixed bag. And he is too much in love with his picks--the Savage option is a great example.

Which is preferable: The five or six-win veteran-laden team with the old hat coaching staff or the three or four-win rebuilding team with a couple years of high draft picks, a fresh approach, and a (hopefully) bright future?

At this point, the Packers may not be able to cut the cord on this situation with a meat cleaver, but will have to settle for methodically nibbling through like a rodent....

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Carpy's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:41 pm

Reboots are indeed difficult to endure and as Ken stated, they are nothing close to a certainty. I am not sure the team really needs to "blow it up", but in a manner of speaking that is ostensibly the case in the NFL with respect to QB position. It's rare in the modern era that a team can take home the Lombardi Trophy with only a "game manager" (e.g., Trent Dilfer type, for those who remember him). Every once in awhile a team with a top-5 defense and top-5 running game will do it; e.g., Denver sort of did that with an end-of-career PM, but Peyton was still Peyton and could show his mettle when it mattered. But this is certainly less prevalent now than in decades past. You really need a star QB, but not necessarily HOF-caliber, to get there. That's why teams are wiling to put 25% of their cap into that position's salary. As discussed ad nauseum over the past several years, GB is again sorting through that with respect to the team's future. Until we have a clear plan there, the rest of the discussions may be academic, except of course, for GM. By extension, as some have stated, in GB that implies team president since the Prez has control over GM and thus personnel decisions. I will not even address HC because while it's very important role, I do not think it necessarily gates the two more important pieces, but rather the other way around. So it boils down to: how do you feel about Gutey? If he has shown you enough for you to believe he can be the guy to guide the team through talent acquisition to the "next level" then he's the guy we need, and maybe Murphy can stay if he also lets Gutey be the primary selector of HC. Unfortunately that's not the structure now, so if you like Gutey but don't like Murphy, the Board would have to make that change in structure and ask Murphy politely to "retire". I don't see that happening soon, but who knows. As for the QB, Arod has the management "by the short hairs" with his recent extension. If he decides he's had enough of this not just in GB but as a career and retires, that makes the decision "easier" and the Packers don't have the immense albatross around the neck in the form of $50M towards the cap. That kind of money can get you at least one top-tier FA's at a different position and help extend your best players for the future. Of course then the team will be forced to either pay Love the $20M to give him a full "try out" season while necessarily investing a draft pick in 2023 on QB, or they can refuse to go that route because they already have their answer on Love in their minds and instead they an seek a mid-tier vet FA at the position - a guy who can be a game manager - one you could win with when paired with the running game and defense (no certainty on the latter part, however, at this time). Considering the huge cap hits at key positions such as QB, OT, and even RB (though I gotta believe they stick with Jones), unlike other teams who have turned a reboot into success in relatively short time (1-3 years), by hitting on all the right moves (GM, HC, personnel, ...), I don't see how 2023 version of our Packers looks any rosier no what changes happen or do not happen w.r.t. Prez/GM/HC and QB given the team's relative unhealthy salary cap. 2024 or beyond is a different matter, but the list of unknowns grows larger as additional personnel decisions must be made on expiring contracts. Whatever happens, they're still my Packers and I will follow them and root for them - and I'll try not to gripe too much, but I think as caring "fans" (and some paying ticket holders) we have a right to do some of that. :)

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Alberta_Packer's picture

November 21, 2022 at 12:44 pm

Positive change shouldn't be invoked unless there exists an internal capability to effect it. Ever since Murphy appointed himself the supreme leader of the football operation - the team has remained in stasis and now regression. As an agent of change -Murphy has failed miserably. Also the Executive Committee should be indicted for their complicity in Murphy's action(s). So should the team be "blown-up"? I think that the question is moot - as the team seems to have already imploded. The bigger question for me is how do we entrust the re-construction or re-build of the team to the same person who has been principally responsible for its deterioration?

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crayzpackfan's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:07 pm

Many great points here being made. However, because of Rodgers big contract, the renewals of the GM and HC, and MM tethered to all of it, I think the best we can hope for if this season keeps trending downward is starting next year with some new coordinator’s.
We will probably be saying goodbye to a handful of high cap veterans to garner a bit of draft capital and some needed cap relief as well. Other than that and signing low cost depth in FA, nailing our number one overall pick while hitting on a couple others, I think we’re gonna be stuck riding this thing out. I wish we could’ve done more this past offseason (like trading Rodgers), but that ship has sailed. Perhaps 12 will retire? Who knows.

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greenbaygroom's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:42 pm

Let's not blow it up completely. Imho mark Murphy and his power structure is terrible. Everyone report to me, but I won't make final decisions, but report to me. Dumb 4 years ago, dumb now.

And we gotta jettison Aaron Rodgers. His salary is an albatross which will only hurt the Packers every additional year he's on the team. I'm not saying he's washed, but what I am saying is he too much of a wild gun and MLF won't reign him in. We all know why.

Go Pack Go!

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pacman's picture

November 21, 2022 at 01:49 pm

I think it is pretty clear that this team has enough talent to be better than 4-7. That means it on the coaches.

MLF has failed. He had the team to get to a SB and lost it by not firing Drayton. Everyone can see his man Barry isn't it. But why hasn't MLF stepped in and make him play the CB's tighter. It all goes back to MLF. Play calling this year is very mediocre. Receivers don't seem to be coached well either. Again, back to MLF though. So add that all up with an aging qb (with a sore thumb?) and you get 4-7.

No need to blow it up - except coaching.
And if AR doesn't return to better form, it won't make a difference.
So IR AR. If he wants to come back next year, we have no real choice but we need to see if we need to draft a qb. I don't hear AR saying RELAX. This season is over.

Even though preseason WR looked promising, it was probably too much to hope that they would excel. But I like having Watson and Doubs going fwd for their year2. (Though Davante's year2 was scarey).

My guess is they take the 'safe' way out and only sit AR after being eliminated mathematically.

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vin0770's picture

November 21, 2022 at 05:17 pm

What one move and all the trickle down from doing it would be the biggest bang for your buck? New HC.

MLF is who he is and you’re expecting him to change and become a man’s man, a inspirational leader of men, a charismatic pied piper that magnetically people want to follow, put his foot down and get Barry to coach with some stone….that’s the definition of insanity. The truth is it’s not a cliche that the teams take on the personality of the HC.

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bullsa21's picture

November 21, 2022 at 06:45 pm

We do need a new DC! Also believe as much as Stenovich did well on the Offensive line, he's doing the opposite as OC. Butkus as a Line coach is also an issue basically the same personnel on offensive line; has regressed under Butkus. I am not sure what opposing Defenses have discovered but it seems like they always know what is coming! We run basically same offenses as Denver, LA Rams all have been bad this year. Our coaching staff should be hired to get promoted elsewhere as this will ensure having the best coaches in the best positions.

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jurp's picture

November 22, 2022 at 09:44 am

Ken, the Packers did not start over with Bengston - the core of the SB II team was still in place, but it was old and in some cases hampered by poor drafting by Lombardi. The reset happened after Kramer, Starr and others retired. Devine took them to the playoffs in 1972, with Scott Hunter at QB, although the offense was run-heavy The reset with Starr was successful at first - remember, he took them to the playoffs and beat the Cards in 1982.

Many of the doldrum years are down to poor QB play, poor FO, and poor GMs, Drafting was more often crap than good.

The best example of a "blow it all up and start again" was 1991-1992. Had Harlan not hired Ron Wolf, who started that reset, then the successes of the 90s up to 2021 would quite probably never happened. Being afraid of changes, even on a massive scale, will almost always lead to failure.

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