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Former Packers executive weighs in on team's organizational changes

Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy, right, introduces the team's new general manager, Brian Gutekunst, during a press conference in Green Bay, Monday, Jan. 8 , 2018. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- There are new titles on important offices at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, but it will likely be business as usual according to one of the team's former executives.

“In wording, there does seem to be some change, it doesn't seem to me in practicality that much is really changing,” said Andrew Brandt, the Vice President of Player Finances and General Counsel for the Packers from 1999 to 2008.

Brandt's duties were similar to what Russ Ball currently does for the team.

Ball is the newly promoted Executive Vice President and Director of Football Operations. Brian Gutekunst is the new general manager. All three of those titles used to belong to Ted Thompson.

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy says he decided to split Thompson’s titles, and have everyone in football operations report to him, after noticing communication breakdowns.

“We have silos,” said Murphy. “We’ve had some breakdowns in communication and one of the things I really tried to do was I looked at would be the best way to improve communication, improve collaboration among people in our football operations and how do you knock down those silos.”

“I think that is something everyone has to be concerned about where kind of the football people do their thing and the administrative people do their thing,” said Brandt.

Murphy hopes weekly meetings with Mike McCarthy, Gutekunst, and Ball will help communication.

“I think it's just a little more, in my mind, face time, where there hasn't been that much, where it has been departments siloed and football has kind of been separated from the administrative side,” said Brandt.


Brandt says during his time, team President Bob Harlan mostly stayed out of football operations and kept to big-picture items.

Brandt predicts the only time fans might notice a difference in the team's organizational structure is if a coaching change is made, because now that decision would come from Murphy.

“You'd have to say if it got to that point, that would be a collaborative decision on that end,” said Brandt.

Murphy did say that he would consult Gutekunst if he ever wanted to make a coaching change. However, don't expect that anytime soon. Murphy and Gutekunst have both expressed their confidence in McCarthy being the team's coach.

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