Packers' Gutekunst eyes quick return to Super Bowl
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Hired by legendary general manager Ron Wolf and educated under Ted Thompson's front office tree, Brian Gutekunst is well versed in what it takes to be general manager of the Green Bay Packers.
"This is about winning, that is what this is about," Gutekunst said. "The Packers way is a system that has been put in place that has worked well here for a long time."
The 10th general manager in team history inherits a roster that missed the playoffs (7-9) for the first time in nine seasons.
"I don't think we are very far away, there is a substantial amount of work but it can be done shortly," Gutekunst said.
The Packers pick 14th overall in the upcoming NFL draft. "Guty" as he's been nicknamed says draft and development will continue to be a major focus.
However, free agency is a must to get Green Bay back to winning world championships.
"Obviously our foundation is going to be the draft but I think it's an absolute must as an accessory piece," Gutekunst said.
"We must be prepared enough to pull the trigger and that's one of the areas I'm excited to see how we go here and I know our guys are really excited about that part of it."
Gutekunst keeps at least part of his Packers' brain trust. President & CEO Mark Murphy says Director of Football Operations Russ Ball will split duties. A pivotal piece with a tough off-season of contract negotiating ahead.
"Obviously the salary cap is a puzzle and we have one of the best in Russ Ball to kind of manage that for us," Gutekunst said.
"Those conversations have been the last three months because obviously we have some business heading into the off-season and those will continue. I feel like I have a firm grip but I lean on him tremendously and I I will continue to do so."
When your window to win is now, there's no time to waste. Especially when you take over in a place named Titletown.
"We're really excited about the opportunity before us," Gutekunst said. "There are some new coaches, and some new things that will be done on the personnel side, where we can really come together and move this ball forward."