A bumpy start for LaFleur

After McCarthy was fired and the season ended, Murphy led a search committee for a new head coach. Gutekunst and Ball were his two primary advisers and all three were impressed with LaFleur’s interview in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, Jan. 7.

They flew back to Green Bay and met the next day to discuss the prospects. According to two sources familiar with what transpired in the meeting, it was expected the candidates would be discussed some more and LaFleur would be brought in for a second interview. But Murphy was convinced the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator was the guy and made the decision to hire him.

At the Jan. 9 news conference introducing LaFleur, Murphy insisted the entire search committee agreed that LaFleur was the choice and a decision was made to move quickly. Murphy did most of the talking at the news conference; Gutekunst was mostly in the background. Ball wasn’t part of it at all.

A source said Gutekunst initially wasn’t going to be part of the news conference and that it would be just Murphy and LaFleur. But eventually it was decided Gutekunst would take part.

Once he was up and running as head coach, LaFleur had to build a coaching staff. He was supposed to have complete control over the hiring of his staff. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was not forced on LaFleur, but the new coach was strongly encouraged to keep him.

When it came to other assistant coaches, LaFleur wasn’t the sole decision-maker, sources said.

LaFleur was excited about hiring highly regarded Miami special teams coach Darren Rizzi, who was not returning to the Dolphins and had told the Packers he would come up for an interview but was not going to sign for less than three years and total of $4.5 million, a source said.

Rizzi was told to come. He and LaFleur hit it off in their interview, the source said. But when it came time to talk about a contract, the Packers offered Rizzi less than he was seeking and Rizzi felt he had been led astray.

He left town. The Packers eventually met his price a couple of days later, but by that time Rizzi had decided to pursue other opportunities. LaFleur tried to convince him to change his mind but had no success



Original Post

My  2 pennies:

1.) if this blows up and turns into a complete shit show, to me, that’s entirely on Murphy. It sounds like MLF was pretty much his hire. Murphy also bears responsibility for allowing Ted to stay 2 years too long. Murphy is the guy who created this “triangle”. And history is not on his side that these structures turn out well. 

2.) MLF better grow a pair and quick. He seems like a nice young man, who is agreeable. Likely too agreeable.  If Rizzi is who he wanted, he should have raised Hell if GB low balled him. It also sounds like he didn’t have much of a choice in keeping Pettine either (yes I agree with retaining Pettine but ultimately that has to be MLFs call). If Rodgers even sniffs at MLF being a push over or weak, this won’t end well.  Rodgers will quickly assert himself as alpha male and do what he wants. I’m just crossing fingers MLF is ready for this gig. 

pkr_north posted:

boy, these guys are really fishing for articles to write about.  I am from Canada, but what do you guys call it? fake news?  i really doubt they would have hired mlf if  the 2 capos were not on board, i mean really?

Yes they are really fishing for things to write about.  As you said Hungry there are things to like and that IMHO is Gute, AR, Pettine and a young coach who will bring a breath of fresh air to the team. 

Ok, so AR's been thoroughly raked through the mud, and now put the cherry on top by stirring up the manure pile of the MLF hiring. Might as well declare it all a failure and start the moaning and gnashing of teeth now. Is there a competition to see who can kick up the biggest pile of dirt before TC starts? I know mini-camp and writing about rookies can be pretty thin stuff but c'mon man. 

Finally read the article. Silverstein basically says the new structure will be a problem because it's different than how the Packers have done things for the past 25 years.

You don't have to like Murphy, but to say there isn't a single person in charge is false. From the article:

      "The president is still on top, but there is no single person in charge of the football operation, no Ron Wolf or Ted Thompson to set the course and make sure everyone was working toward the same organizational goal.

Instead, there are three men — LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and director of football operations Russ Ball — all with visions of the way they want their departments to be run, all reporting directly to Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, hoping to steer the organization back on course after two straight losing seasons."

Winning trumps everything, and this will he an afterthought when MLF, ABM, & Rodgers hoist the Lombardi in the next year or so.

Exactly, UBETCHA.  I'm convinced there's an editor over there with a tree limb jammed up his ass going, "Dirt, bring me dirt! We need controversy. Make it up if you have to."

"Bumpy start for LaFleur" really? When the decision was Murphy's, and Ball and Gute were advisers, it's "bumpy" because Murphy went ahead and made the decision after all 3 liked him.  Sure yeah, that's one rocky fricken start, JSO. You're doing great. 

Pistol GB posted:

Exactly, UBETCHA.  I'm convinced there's an editor over there with a tree limb jammed up his ass going, "Dirt, bring me dirt! We need controversy. Make it up if you have to."

"Bumpy start for LaFleur" really? When the decision was Murphy's, and Ball and Gute were advisers, it's "bumpy" because Murphy went ahead and made the decision after all 3 liked him.  Sure yeah, that's one rocky fricken start, JSO. You're doing great. 

Completely agree.  So Murphy makes the hire while consulting Gute and Ball and and all three of them were on board and that makes for a rocky start?  

Give me a break JSO.  Did someone from the Packers mess around with or steal the editors wife or girlfriend and now you have an axe to grind?

In the end the only thing that will matter will be wins & losses , & that is mostly going to be up to LeFleur. Gute has brought a lot of talent in,  retained a great DC, & exudes confidence but not arrogance .....now the question becomes "can LeFleur lead"? We all really want it to happen, but to be truthful after watching his initial press conference I was left asking "does this guy have a forceful enough personality to lead an NFL team?" We will soon find out. 

Players today, and it starts in college, don’t respond well to Pittsburgh Macho. They want to feel respected and like they are partners in the process. As foreign as this sounds to us, they view themselves as equals to the coaching staff, not subordinates.

MLF is that kind of coach. As long as he can make tough decisions and get buy in from his team leaders, it will trickle down and the team will follow. But if he worries about making everyone happy it is too pussified to clamp down when necessary, he’s toast.

#12 has birthday bought in, which means 17 and 69 will buy in...everyone  else will follow. In fact you could tell 69 was not happy with McVinces lack of fining guys for being late. I think this squad wants accountability from everyone.

I am cautiously optimistic MLF will be a good hire.

Yes, many different types of personalities have been successful as coaches. Essentially coaching is teaching; knowledge of the subject, great lesson plans, good stage presence, and the ability to connect with your students. Coaching at this level also involves managing your staff. I disagree that they all want to be equals, the vast majority still want to be led. 

I think people are minimizing this.  This probably could submarine the entire organization for years.  Look at how all the Tom Brady/Bill Belichek infighting articles last year predicted how the Patriots would fall apart.  These columnists are not just spinning stuff so you click their links.  

"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin"? Blah, Blah, Blah,Blah, Everyone has their opinion at this time of the year then come game time 99.9% of the opinions are shown to be wrong.

Having been a Packer Fan since 1962, these days I just enjoy the early spring and summer, put the Pack out of my mind till the start of July camp.

If the Fit hits the Shan well so be it. All things go in cycles, the pack stunk for roughly 28 years but all the hand wringing, moaning, pissing, and screaming didnt do squat. when the cycle began to turn for the better, as it eventually will,we all got happy again.

So here we are, poised for the advent of a new regime. If the whole thing *hits the bed, well, so be it. As I said previously, all the wailing. pissing, moaning,and hand wringing aint gonna mean squat. Look how long it took to get rid of MM.

So lets just ride this horse, if it wins Great. If it looses well thats what proves some of the opinions about the management  structure are correct.

Either way, it is a matter of living long enough to see the Pack go back to winning or back to stinking. Remember it will all even out in the long run.

As Keynes said "In the long run we will all be dead"

Thanks for reading an OLD man's blather.