Wrapping up a busy weekend of press conferences in the Lambeau Field media auditorium, Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike Sherman held his annual season-ending meeting with the press Monday afternoon.
Following the recent restructuring of the organization's football operation with the hiring of General Manager Ted Thompson, much of the day's conversation naturally focused on that subject and Sherman's role with the team, which will see him solely focused as the team's head coach.
Sherman was clear in his opening statement Monday, saying that he is behind the decision of team president Bob Harlan 100%.
"The changes that have been made are not about what Mike Sherman thinks or feels," the coach said. "It's about what's the best thing for the Green Bay Packers. Bob Harlan made a decision that he believes is in the best interest of both the Green Bay Packers and Mike Sherman, and I trust in Bob's decision. From there, we move forward.
"The bottom line is that I want what Bob Harlan wants, and that is for the Green Bay Packers to continue to be successful and for this franchise to achieve ultimate success."
Sherman stated that he is proud of everything he has accomplished over the past five seasons in Green Bay, and that he is looking forward to continued, and even greater success in seasons to come.
"I've poured my heart and soul into this job since I've been here and I'm proud of what I've accomplished, both as a head coach and as a general manager," he said. "I look at this not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity for me to shift my focus to the football side of the business and less on the personnel side, although I will still continue to be involved in that process. This will in no way diminish my passion to do the very best job I can do in whatever capacity I'm called upon."
Sherman and Thompson met at length over the weekend and discussed their plans for the future of the franchise. The head coach said that he expects their relationship to be productive and one that will work well for the Packers.
"I shared with Ted that I would do anything I could do to help him become the best G.M. he could possibly be," Sherman said. "And I believe coming out of my conversations with him, that he will do anything he can do to help me become the very best head coach I can be.
"I came away from my meeting with Ted convinced that we shared a mutual goal, which is for the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl next year and in years to come."
When asked if giving up the duties of the general manager office on top of the requirements of his job as the head coach would result in a shortening of his renowned 18-hour work days, Sherman was quick to say that he has no plans on letting up at all in his dedication to the Packers organization.
"I don't see my passion or my desire or my work ethic changing," he said. "You are who you are and I'm going to put everything I have into this job as I have in the past. I've said before, when I was a tight ends coach, I worked just as hard as I do today. And that won't change."
He did say that his family might be able to expect to see a bit more of him though, especially in the offseason.
"As far as going home and having things weighing heavily on my shoulders at nighttime and over the summertime and me coming in here during my vacation, maybe that changes a little bit."
While Sherman will now be working with Thompson in regard to the makeup of the players you will see on the field next season, the coach still holds authority in the constitution of his coaching staff, and he did say Monday that he is still evaluating what - if any - changes will be made among his assistant coaches.
The head coach stated that decisions regarding the coaching staff will be well thought out and won't be rushed in any way.
"There's no set timeline in regard to that. Those are tough decisions to make and you want to make them with the appropriate information. Obviously you garner and gather information throughout the season, which I have, and also through conversations with your coaches and your players. This process has been deterred a little bit because of what's transpired here as of late, but I'm back on it - I'm meeting with the defense this afternoon and I'll continue in that light and go forward."
Through any amount of changes that might occur, one thing has, and will remain completely consistent - Mike Sherman is fully devoted to the success of the Green Bay Packers, and he is going to do whatever it takes to carry on the team's proud tradition and add to it.