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What do you make of all the changes? senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in Mike's Mid-Week Chat


Hey everybody, thanks for logging on. Lots going on around here, obviously. Let's get to it.

Comment From Charles

What can you tell us about Mike Pettine?

Unfortunately, I can't comment on any coaching hires until McCarthy makes them official. I'm guessing he's waiting to get his entire staff in place before doing so. What I will say is if it indeed is Pettine, it would signal McCarthy's vision for the defense is to be very aggressive and very multiple scheme-wise.

Comment From Zach

With the GM move and the rumored OC/DC hirings, it's a Gute time to be a Packers fan.

The one and only pun I'll allow in this chat.

Comment From Matt

So do you root for the Vikings or the guy that orchestrated Bountygate?

I'm not a fan of either team, but it should be a whale of a game. I think given how the Packers' season changed so dramatically, the Saints will be a popular team in Wisconsin this weekend.

Comment From Spike

Mike, what position on a football staff, coaching or personnel, do you feel most qualified for?

None of the above.

Comment From Adam B.

What are the reasons for folks saying Damarious Randall is best in the slot? What are the things that make someone better suited for the slot?

I think a lot of it has to do with his size, because the bigger receivers are generally on the boundary and a tougher matchup for a 5-11 corner. But he's also got quick reactions to blitz from the slot or make plays on the short slants.

Comment From Lynn

Morning, Mike. As the Packers have split the duties of the GM into two jobs, Gutekunst's role is easier for me to understand (scouting/drafting/selecting the roster). But what will the Vice President's job responsibilities look like?

It looks like Russ Ball's job responsibilities will be a lot of the same things he's done, and done very well, for years under Thompson. But now with the title he has, he possesses final say in those areas and doesn't necessarily need the GM's approval. I think Thompson often gave him that authority anyway because he trusted him so much.

Comment From Joe...Arborist

We have gotten no TT interviews after the change, which is expected... Will Eliot Wolf be more gracious and grant an interview now that he is with Cleveland? Sorry to see him go but I understand his predicament.

I don't expect it. It would be highly unusual for a personnel executive to do anything formal with the media upon departing. If reporters get a hold of him on their own and he's willing to talk, we may hear from him in that respect.

Comment From Blaine

Pretty hard not to believe it will be Patriots vs. Steelers for the AFC championship, but which 2 do you see in the NFC championship game?

I think it'll be Saints-Falcons, but I can see it going any number of different directions.

Comment From Charles

Is the atmosphere in the office more fearful of change or optimistic for the future?

Everyone is excited to see where this goes. A lot of people I've known for a long time are leaving, so from the personal side, it's tough. But you also get used to it in this business. It's part of the deal.

Comment From Rick

What is your favorite memory during your time working for the Packers?

Super Bowl XLV for sure. I hope to cover another one before too much longer.

Comment From Pluto

What home game are you most looking forward to in 2018?

San Francisco coming in here with Garoppolo looks really intriguing, as far as the non-division home games.

Comment From Paco

Do people ever call you Miguel?

My father does, because I went to Spain my senior year in college on a study abroad program he created. A couple of my friends from the program still call me that as well. But it's pretty rare.

Comment From Adam B.

I heard some things about Josh Jones playing multiple positions this season due to a number of factors. Just how many different roles or positions did Josh Jones have to wrap his mind around this year?

Too many for a rookie, in my opinion, but it was out of necessity. The times he could settle in at one spot, his impact on games was noticeable, but he didn't get that chance often enough, unfortunately.

Comment From Andy

How is it to cover the team when they go through a season like this where they have some struggles?

It was obviously disappointing to go into the final two games of the regular season not playing for any postseason hopes and knowing the season would be over in Week 17. I had gotten used to not knowing when the season would actually end, so that was the biggest change. Otherwise, the job is the job, and I've always said it's more fun when the team wins.

Comment From tghn

Sometimes a change in leadership makes one feel they need to make a statement move. Do you think Gutekunst feels the need to make a statement?

I don't think that's in his nature. We'll see. I think a lot of fans are wondering if he'll be pursuing the top-tier free agents, and maybe he will, but I've stated I think his different ways will manifest themselves more in the depth chart, with more experienced players ready to fill in when injuries hit. That could mean more mid- to low-level free-agent activity.

Comment From Ray N.

Any clarity as yet on Philbin's role ?? Glad he's back ... he put up great numbers ...

Again, nothing is official, so I can't comment directly, but if Philbin is indeed coming back, that would be neat. He's a great guy and I always liked being part of media interviews with him.

Comment From Chuck

What's your off season like until the draft, with no playoffs?

Trying to find some time off here and there, but Wes and I are still doing Unscripted regularly, and we'll go to the combine for several days at the end of next month.

Comment From john

Murphy stated at his press conference that he will be meeting with McCarthy on a weekly basis. When a reporter asked him what they will discussed, one of the items mentioned was game planning. How is that not micromanaging?

I think Murphy might ask him about the upcoming game plan out of curiosity, but I don't think he'll be sharing his opinions on it unless McCarthy asks him to.

Comment From tghn

It seems the Packers reporters like to stir the pot on social media (i.e. - Russ Ball will be the next Packers GM. McCarthy may resign if this happens). Do you get as frustrated as I do with this?

I don't get frustrated. I take it all with a grain of salt, because you never really know. Reporters are doing their jobs, using sources they trust to ferret out the news as quickly as possible, but no one's sources are ever 100 percent right.

Comment From Don H.

You have any observations about coaching and front office changes taking place in DET and CHI? ... a lot of disruption in the division...

I haven't followed Detroit's situation as much as Chicago's. I'll be very curious to see how Nagy does with Trubisky for the Bears. It all hinges on that coach-QB relationship and his development. There's a reason Thompson hired McCarthy right after drafting Rodgers.

Comment From Vinny

Why allow Wolf to interview with Cleveland or elsewhere if they want to retain them on their staff? They are under no obligation, especially if it not deemed a promotion. I understand potentially allowing him to interview Houston for their open GM spot but not for a non-GM position. Thank You

He's been denied permission in certain spots before, and if he wants to move on, there's no point in having someone on staff who's always thinking about being somewhere else.

Comment From Scott

Mike, with the recent departures of Highsmith and Wolf, two of GBs best talent evaluators, my question is does this reflect more on Ted, Murphy, Mike or all three? Sounds like there was more than a little dissention in the operations department?

I don't call it dissension. It's a bunch of highly qualified guys with similar aspirations who are trying to find the best situation for themselves to get noticed and get to the top. I don't begrudge anyone his choice for how best to accomplish that.

Comment From Matt

Will the in-house staff that interview for DC leave if MP is indeed hired or will they be part of the staff? I think it could be beneficial to have a few guys from the past that know the players on a personal level. By the way Spoff, we met at the pep rally in Carolina and you were real nice. Thanks for the picture also.

That's still to be determined. McCarthy made it pretty clear in his news conference last week that he wants his new DC to be on board with the coaches under him, involved in hiring new ones, etc. I'm sure all those issues have been discussed in interviews.

Comment From John

With the change in power structure is not a concern that we will go back to the days of Infante/Braatz.

I don't really understand all the alarm bells, frankly. I think Murphy decided on the people he wanted in which roles and has built the structure he thinks will work best with these people. Down the road the structure may change again based on the people involved.

Comment From Schmiddy

Is it funny how a month ago we criticized the front office for a lack of talent, now we're worried how we'll replace the people leaving? Why are we afraid of what we ask for?

Everyone wants assurances all the time. There are none in this business. You hire good people and get to work.

Comment From Ray L.

With a GM just hired in Green Bay, I could understand Highsmith and Wolf wanting to move on, since it will be a while before there is an opportunity in GB, But, Cleveland just hired Dorsey, does that choice for Highsmith and Wolf puzzle you?

Not at all. Working for a guy they know and trust, if you can be part of turning that operation around, more doors could open. I totally get it.

Comment From Linda P.

Mike, Do you think not hiring his son will create bad feelings between Ron Wolf and the Packers? I saw another report and he seemed ticked off.

I'm sure he's disappointed. Any father with the legacy he has here would be. But Ron Wolf knows how competitive this world is.

Comment From Sean

Hi Mike! What do you think the Packers are going to do with Morgan Burnett? Will he be the next to get a contract extension or will they let him walk in March?

Really good question. Could depend on how the new DC sees him fitting in, playing certain roles perhaps. Personally, I hope Morgan is back, but I don't know what all will go into the decision.

Comment From Eric

Mike, wouldn't letting Burnett go be a slap on the other cheek for letting Hyde go?

I don't think you can look at it that way. Burnett has been in the league 8 years now. Hyde was half that when he departed.

Comment From Guest

Any idea how Kevin King's shoulder is doing? Should we be worried about the frequency of Davante Adams concussions?

I haven't heard anything on King's shoulder. Perhaps we'll get an update when the players return in a few months for the offseason program. Regarding Adams, he did not sound concerned when he spoke to reporters last week. I've come to understand that every player reacts to/recovers from head injuries differently.

Comment From Reggie

So, I counted the number of people in the Front Office as posted on site. Roughly 285, including coaching staff. Any idea how that number compares to other franchises?

No clue, but I'm guessing it's more because of all the Atrium businesses and such that are here. Not every franchise's stadium is like this one.

Comment From Guest

Mike, everyone seems to be hoping we keep Cobb and Nelson, but the reality is we just signed Davonte and no team has three receivers making >$10M on their roster. Given the recent change in the organization, do you see all three men on the roster next year at their current salaries? I know sometimes restructuring is possible.

I would guess a restructure or two are coming if all three are to remain in Green Bay in 2018, but I've been surprised before.

OK, I have to get going soon. I'll take a few more. Thanks for all the questions today.

Comment From Ken

With all these front office and coaching moves I am ready for the old school 1965 title game rematch. Packers vs Browns Superbowl

Who knows? Super Bowl LV?

Comment From Matt

What's MM's big letters promise going to be in 2018? I think it's going to be related to speed.

I think he's focused on continuity, and achieving as much of it as you can on both sides of the ball even when you're dealing with injuries.

Comment From Susie

I'm reading along, thanks for the chat, Mike, great job!

Thanks for the participation, everybody. I have to sign off for now. Not sure how many chats I'll do in the offseason, but I'll try to pick and choose some worthwhile spots. Best, Mike

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