June 18, 2018, 11:57:18 AM

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21
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: OTA notes
« Last post by craig on June 16, 2018, 12:40:22 PM »
More rambling:  To spin things in the negative, the MM/Gute situation is a potentially a classic conflict of Nowacrat vs Buildican priorities,

The veteran coach riding the aging star QB:  potential to be totally Nowacrat.  Wants to do everything possible to win now, while Rodgers still gives him the chance, and while he's still the coach. 

vs the young GM: potential to be strongly Buildican.  Wants to build his own long-term success, build up young talent that will last, perhaps supporting a durable legacy that might outlast both Rodgers and MM. 

The movie drama could certainly portray a simplistic and powerful conflict of interest, pulling at cross purposes at every decision big and small. 

I'd like to think there could be considerably more nuance, and sincere devotion to common mutual interest.  Perhaps Nowacrat and Buildican do NOT need to be at each other's throats and in constant conflict? 
*Perhaps Gute understand that each season is sacred; that trying to win championships while Aaron is still a weapon is an obvious opportunity and responsibility; so perhaps he's got plenty of competitive Nowacrat burning. 
*Perhaps MM wants to win now of course, but has no intention of conceding future success; he totally wants to both compete and build, fully understanding it's a young-man's game; he has no intention of quitting as soon as Rodgers can't compete; and he as plenty of Buildican passion to build winning that will last into the future; and that he wants to build players and a system that will win beyond Rodgers, and will support a personal legacy as more than just a coach who lucked into a GOAT QB and only tagged along with 12's career and no further. 

So I'm hoping that long-term Buidlican good is NOT being unduly sacrificed for short-term Nowacrat impulses. 

I would suggest that trading for a next-year-first-rounder was a clear Buildican move, reflecting that irresponsible Nowacrat impulses are not running totally wild.   
22
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: OTA notes
« Last post by craig on June 16, 2018, 11:48:21 AM »
....The chain of command structure is a tried and proven method of operations and is the best way to ensure accountability at each level. Allows for people to 'just do their damn job'.

This matrix type structure (a hybrid of divisional and functional structures) that Murphy has setup is flawed because it is a breeding grounds for internal power struggles. Most areas of the team now will have a dual management - coach or GM whats to sign player X, but Director of football operations says the contract demands are too high. Internal power struggle. Cutdown comes and coach wants to keep player X because he can help on a few plays right now and GM wants to keep player Y because he shows traits of being a very good player a year or two down the line. Internal power struggle. I could go on with these examples all day long, but the point is that it is an unneeded waste of time and mental energy in every department.

People that don't work in this type of environment or never have will think that is not a big deal, but it is a big deal. They are in a very competitive business and they are very competitive people who think they are alway right and feel the need to always win. They are dominate A personalities, no one there is saying 'you can have the last donut', they are armwrestling for it. In everyone of these internal power struggles there will be a winner and a loser and by nature of the beast the loser is going to expend even more time and energy to his point of view the next time their is a differing of opinions. All this is counterproductive and a waste of time that should be put to use in the common goal of trying to win a SB.   

A matrix structure will never stand the test of time in that environment because of the tension caused for the internal power struggles will in time erode away at the working relationships of the parties involved.

Thanks, RT, that was really well expressed. 
It's also a really gloomy projection.  In your landscape, we've got:
1.   Gute who's powerless;
2.  MM who's both dumb and stubborn; and
3.  Murphy who must also be dumb, both in selecting a dumb organizational structure that's doomed to fail, and in seemingly shifting more power to the dumb/short-sited coach. 

Seems like a really bleak synopsis!  And unfortunately I really respect your insights.  (Unfortunate, because it seems so bleak.) 

The hopeful part of me hopes that somehow you've seeing it more gloomy than it needs to be.  How might it be not quite that bad?
1.  Is Murphy really so dumb as to choose such a rotten structure? 

2.  Might there not still be some very clear chain-of-command, or elements thereof? 
*For example, might the traditional chain-of-command perhaps remain intact, other than the hiring/firing of head coach? 
*Perhaps Gute has the same complete authority over personnel and roster that TT and Wolf always had, and MM and Gute both know that? 
*Perhaps MM has the same complete authority over assistant coaches, over game strategy, and over roster usage that he's always had? 
*And perhaps Ball is answerable to Gute in the same way he always has been?  Make recommendations, provide pros-and-cons, do all the analysis, but ultimately it's Gute who decides whether it's worth it to sign a Graham, or to not retain Jordy, or to extend Adams and Linsley, or to resign HaHa or Montgomery at the contracts Balls tells him the agents might accept? 

I guess I'm wondering whether there isn't still enough definition and differentiation of responsibility that perhaps it still "Allows for people to 'just do their damn job'."????

3.  Are there perhaps successful examples of matrix-type structures in sports?  Baseball and football have their nuanced distinctions.  But I'm a big Cubs fan, and I think Theo Epstein's Cubs probably tend towards matrix structure and have done so in a successful way?   President Epstein is a huge competitive personality; so is Manager Maddon; GM Hoyer; draft+scouting director McLeod; and many more VERY self-confident voices and thinkers in that team.  So I think there are examples of creative successful teams using variant organizational structures.  That said, within the Cubs matrix there is certainly well-defined respect for different domains.  Theo and Hoyer are certainly at the table in discussing draft picks, but ultimately they know that McLeod makes draft decisions, that's his domain.  Maddon speaks into what he wants, but ultimately it's Hoyer and Theo who make the final decisions on free agency, contracts, and trades.  I suspect that while Hoyer is GM, that in the organization it's probably understood that Theo has the final say on big decisions.  Hoyer and their analytics certainly talk to the manager, but ultimately he does what he wants to do.  Distinct silos have distinct bosses. 

I'm just hoping for the best, I know, and hoping that the Packers aren't set up in a doomed-to-fail structure with a bunch of dumb losers competing to make bad decisions!  If that's the reality, the future could be pretty dismal. 
23
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: Did everyone know this?
« Last post by craig on June 16, 2018, 10:20:11 AM »
I did not know this was a thing.  Think it could have pros and cons.
1.  Gute can focus on scouting/drafting/trading and making personnel/budget decisions.  Good.
2.  Budget is intrinsically intertwined.  Not sure how that works?  Possible conflict.
3.  In a sense, this is making Murphy king in practice.  In past, seemed like TT was effectively king, short of being fired.  I'm not sure that Murphy is really the best decision-maker? 
4.  No idea how personnel stuff will really go.  Is Murphy effectively taking control?  Coach wants a Nowacrat veteran; Gute wants a Buildican developmental prospect.  Who wins?  They argue it out and Murphy decides?  Gute is GM, so he decides, whether MM likes it or not?  MM is king, and basically Gute is instructed to serve MM and give him the guys he wants?  Could be complex. 
5.  Could also be clear-cut, too.  Perhaps GM has total control over roster, and total control over budget?  Budget guy makes recommendations or suggests ways to structure deals, but it's Gute who sets the targets and balances pros-and-cons and makes the decisions on whether to boost an offer, or when to call it quite?  Perhaps Gute has all of the roster power as did Ted.  He listens to input from MM, but he makes the calls even if it goes against MM's preference? 
6.  Obviously if Murphy is king and MM and Gute and Ball all answer to him, there is capacity for griping.  "Gute's not getting me the guys I need.  How can I win with all these young UDFA guys who don't know what they are doing?"  "MM's just stuck with the Nowacrat vets, and won't give my Buildican D+D guys opportunity.  And his choice of assistants isn't really getting teachers and developmental coaches either, he's not the guy for developing for the future."  "Gute's got no sense of financial responsibility.  And why is he making me waste all this time negotiating with the Bears CB when we know they're going to match any decent deal anyway?"   
24
NFL Talk / Re: The Vikes have me worried
« Last post by Twain on June 16, 2018, 09:35:28 AM »
Ricky,

Many of those Browns QB's were not drafted.  I would say half or more were trades or free agents.

Second, why not look at what Ron Wolf did.  I mean his record in QB evaluation speaks for itself.

What Cousins did was to demand an unprecedented contract for the NFL. One that the Skins would not give in to.

 Why Minny gave it to him is puzzling to me.  I already said what I would have done, for varying reasons.  One of them being that Minny is a team based upon defense.  I think this will hurt them there, not this year but in the future.  Secondly, their very promising rookie RB is returning.  Third, they had three QBs already, they did not have to get rid of all of them.

But that is what the NFL has become these days.  Everyone wants their version of Tom Brady.  I guess they look back and say, "Hmm, BB was not that hot in Cleveland was he?  He goes to New England, has Bledsoe and Brady and turns into a genius.."

It seems to me Ron Wolf's success with the QB position was due to his personal ability to evaluate QB talent.  Some guys got it, some guys don't.

I think your point about the Vikings is well taken, but I would point out that they are built on defense because they didn't have success at QB.  It seems to me that they are in transition, and with the NFL being a QB driven league, they are moving to a more offensive mindset with a very good receiver corps, possibly a stud at back in Dalvin Cook, - depending of course on how well he recovers, and a steadily improving offensive line and a top tight end.

Cousins contract really isn't unprecedented- look at what Garoppolo got in San Francisco- for a guy with limited starts.  Cousins has the 3 consecutive 4000 yds seasons that Garoppolo hasn't.  The thing that is odd is the fact they cut it off after 3 years- it gives them a definite out after 3 without the risk of dead money.  Garoppolo will still have 15 million of dead money at that point.

Cousins gets disrespected because "he didn't win" in Washington, but really, who is successful in Washington.  Everything Daniel Snyder does with that team fails.

You are definitely right that the QB contracts are getting oppressive, and it hurts teams because some guys aren't ever going to be good enough to put the team on their back and get you through a playoff run.  I think the Vikings had to make this move though- I think Cousins is better than Keenum, and the other two they had didn't have the legs under them to play. On top of that, none were under contract this year, and they apparently couldn't toll Bridgewater's contract.  I pointed out last season that they were going to have this problem in the off season.  The Vikings are built to win now, and having a guy that has shown he can put up the yards through the air multiple seasons makes them a very formidable offense and very complete team this year.  They are all in.

Personally, I don't know what the Redskins were thinking.  They should have signed Cousins long term 2 years ago- he showed he could play, he would have cost a lot less, and they would have had him a lot longer than Alex Smith.  Daniel Snyder is a bad owner, imo, and that has helped the Vikings.
25
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: OTA notes
« Last post by Twain on June 16, 2018, 09:01:10 AM »
Posted a similar question earlier. Who sets the final roster?

That's a key question.  I don't think we know.  Who has the authority when Gute and MM disagree- I doubt Murphy is the decision maker on that one, but who knows?
26
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: OTA notes
« Last post by ricky on June 16, 2018, 08:54:26 AM »
Posted a similar question earlier. Who sets the final roster? It used to be TT, though I'm sure MM had significant input. But it was TT's job to get the players, and MM's and the staff's to coach them up and utilize them correctly. We'll see how this works, but I do agree RT, there needs to be a clear management structure. The reason given was there were "silos" within the organization (read: kingdoms) that weren't always in synch with each other. This new structure was supposed to streamline the decision making process, and make for more cooeration/comminication. Though it could well become, as you said, become a series of power struggles. And with MM's known penchant for being stubborn... We'll see how this works out. Stay tuned when training camp begins. Especially along the right side of the O-line.
27
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: OTA notes
« Last post by RT on June 16, 2018, 07:26:24 AM »

As for point number 8. I do not think MM or Gute are dumb, but I do believe that Gute's hands are tied on some things and is forced into others. I believe he could be a very good GM if he was really a complete GM, but he is not. As I have pointed out from the day he was hired, MM is calling a lot of his own shots and Gutes is powerless. That is a flawed front office structure.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000937399/article/packers-gm-surprised-to-not-have-authority-over-coach

I am curious RT- why do you think Murphy keeping the authority to hire and fire the head coach is a flawed front office structure?

The chain of command structure is a tried and proven method of operations and is the best way to ensure accountability at each level. Allows for people to 'just do their damn job'.

This matrix type structure (a hybrid of divisional and functional structures) that Murphy has setup is flawed because it is a breeding grounds for internal power struggles. Most areas of the team now will have a dual management - coach or GM whats to sign player X, but Director of football operations says the contract demands are too high. Internal power struggle. Cutdown comes and coach wants to keep player X because he can help on a few plays right now and GM wants to keep player Y because he shows traits of being a very good player a year or two down the line. Internal power struggle. I could go on with these examples all day long, but the point is that it is an unneeded waste of time and mental energy in every department.

People that don't work in this type of environment or never have will think that is not a big deal, but it is a big deal. They are in a very competitive business and they are very competitive people who think they are alway right and feel the need to always win. They are dominate A personalities, no one there is saying 'you can have the last donut', they are armwrestling for it. In everyone of these internal power struggles there will be a winner and a loser and by nature of the beast the loser is going to expend even more time and energy to his point of view the next time their is a differing of opinions. All this is counterproductive and a waste of time that should be put to use in the common goal of trying to win a SB.   

A matrix structure will never stand the test of time in that environment because of the tension caused for the internal power struggles will in time erode away at the working relationships of the parties envolved.   
28
NFL Talk / Re: The Vikes have me worried
« Last post by Gregg on June 15, 2018, 11:21:44 PM »
Ricky,

Many of those Browns QB's were not drafted.  I would say half or more were trades or free agents.

Second, why not look at what Ron Wolf did.  I mean his record in QB evaluation speaks for itself.

What Cousins did was to demand an unprecedented contract for the NFL. One that the Skins would not give in to.

 Why Minny gave it to him is puzzling to me.  I already said what I would have done, for varying reasons.  One of them being that Minny is a team based upon defense.  I think this will hurt them there, not this year but in the future.  Secondly, their very promising rookie RB is returning.  Third, they had three QBs already, they did not have to get rid of all of them.

But that is what the NFL has become these days.  Everyone wants their version of Tom Brady.  I guess they look back and say, "Hmm, BB was not that hot in Cleveland was he?  He goes to New England, has Bledsoe and Brady and turns into a genius.."
29
On the Streets / Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
« Last post by marklawrence on June 15, 2018, 07:40:14 PM »
Tag:

Based on a real story. Several guys play a game of tag every May for 30+ years. A surprisingly engaging and entertaining film. Jeremy Renner apparently broke both arms filming this, which, when you see it, you can believe.
30
Green Bay Packers News Talk / Re: Did everyone know this?
« Last post by Twain on June 15, 2018, 03:46:19 PM »
It was pretty clear this was the case when they announced Gutekunst was hired as GM.  In some ways, the decision makes sense-

Murphy is not like Jerry Jones, in that Murphy's a football guy- he had a reasonable career as a player, then got into the business of football.  He is much better positioned to make big football decisions than the typical owner who got into that position just by being a wealthy fan.

A team's success is dependent on player acquisition and coaching.  The guy in charge of player acquisition has a conflict of interest if the team is failing- he will blame the coach.  At best, both get fired after a bad year.  With the coach and GM both reporting to Murphy, then their career paths can be evaluated individually and changes made independent of each other.

I am ok with this.  If Gute wants more power, he should earn it through outstanding performance with player acquisition.
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