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Cheese Curds, 5/10: Is the Packers’ new power structure already causing problems?

With more than a year gone since Mark Murphy shook things up, continuing to speculate about whether there could be issues down the road seems less important than focusing on the impacts it is making right now.

Green Bay Packers Introduce Matt LaFleur - Press Conference Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It seems that Green Bay Packers fans are unable to go even a few weeks without some sort of drama swirling around our team. Last year it was Ted Thompson’s abrupt step back from the GM job, something we now know was due to his health problems. Then it was the hiring of Brian Gutekunst as his replacement, which coincided with team president Mark Murphy changing the team’s entire power structure.

Near the end of the 2018 football season, it was the firing of Mike McCarthy and eventual hiring of Matt LaFleur as head coach. Then, just when things seemed to be settling in with the team as offseason workouts began, a report that tried to describe McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers’ relationship came out, causing another swirl of drama and frustration.

Now, we have renewed angst about the structure at the top of the organization, which has already been in place for over a year. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a lengthy article on Thursday that examines the structure yet again, this time with interviews from current and former members of the organization. Check out the piece below:

Critics of Mark Murphy’s new Packers management structure say it could lead to dysfunction |

However, this headline and the first portion of the article, which amounts to speculation about whether or not dysfunction could happen down the road, provides nothing new or substantive. Sure, dividing up coaching, personnel, and organizational leadership duties without having a single person with a clear direction at the helm can lead to problems. Plenty of individuals inside and outside the organization have raised these same concerns, starting as early as the day the new structure was announced in January of 2018. Of course, it’s also possible, though arguably less likely, that the leadership triumvirate can work.

Regardless of continued speculation about whether this structure could affect the team, it has been in place for over a year now. That makes the relevant point now whether (and how) it is actually affecting the team, especially since, according to the piece, it does seem to have impacted the way that Matt LaFleur’s coaching staff came together.

Did Murphy see Thompson’s step down as a chance to grab more power over the team’s football operations, and is that already causing problems? Does the fact that Russ Ball — instead of Gutekunst — apparently manages the day-to-day workings of the organization actually matter? Did Ball or Murphy meddle in LaFleur’s assistant coaching hires? These are some of the more important questions that Silverstein does seem to ask in the article, which are hidden deeper in the piece. Naturally, he seems to find some conflicting answers to them.

Still, the biggest factor in the team making it back to a Super Bowl in the near future is probably whether LaFleur and Rodgers can connect and buy in together, not. After all, Rodgers’ abilities certainly have a chance to cover up any problems that might arise from struggles behind the scenes. And if that doesn’t happen, expect things to get a major shakeup when he does eventually leave Green Bay.

As has been the case with this team for the last 18 months or so, there are far more questions than answers about the Packers right now. Here’s hoping that more of those answers are positive than negative in 2019 and beyond.

And here’s some of the other news going around Green Bay today.

Aaron Rodgers surprises child cancer survivors with a photobomb | Green Bay Press-Gazette
Reminder that Rodgers' charity work is just as impressive -- if not more so -- than his work on the field.

Packers rookie Darnell Savage says he’s run 4.29 in the 40 | Packers Wire
And we thought his 4.36 time at the Combine was fast...the important thing here is that his exceptional speed shows up on the tape.

Gremminger went underappreciated as versatile DB for Lombardi |
Perhaps because he left the Packers before the 1966 season, Gremminger's name is one that is lost on a lot of younger fans of the team -- myself included. But he was a critical piece on defense for the first half-decade or so of the Lombardi era, and he was on three championship teams.

Mega NFL projections -- Likely Super Bowl LIV matchups, 2020 draft order, more | ESPN
Basing any part of a projection model on Vegas' win projections seems like a poor idea, but they are a big part of ESPN's preseason FPI. Still, there some interesting items in here.

Seahawks part ways with Doug Baldwin, Kam Chancellor -
Both players were released with failed physical designations, and there's a good chance that neither one will play in the NFL again. There has been quite the turnover in Seattle ever since their last Super Bowl appearance in 2014.

5 NFL veterans who should be back in free agency demand now -
Don't expect the Packers to be in on any of these players, though the thought of Ndamukong Suh playing in green and gold is simultaneously intriguing and disgusting.

Meet the Roomba that swears when it bumps into stuff | The AV Club
Haven't you ever thought "I really wish my Roomba cried out in pain and anguish when it hits something"? Well, thanks to a young engineer on Youtube, you can have just that. The high-pitched voice might be the best (note: some audio is definitely NSFW).