Dynasty-Fantasy Football Offseason Notes, Rumors, Musings (4/7/2019) *The Green Bay Article
Throughout April and into the summer, we’ll be dropping Dynasty-Fantasy notes every day or two as we have some things of interest, rumors, etc., to talk about.
*Writing them on the fly, forgive any errors…
Everyone’s talking about that recent Green Bay Packers article…and it’s held up for several days because unlike most ‘speculation’ pieces with ‘unnamed sources’/made up stuff by reporters (or their supposed source) this piece is a giant pulling back of the curtain on how the sausage is made running an NFL team…complete with names sources and quotes.
And every time we see a well-done piece about how an NFL team functions or we watch the Amazon and HBO documentaries on teams – it shows us they are always a giant cluster___.
I have a couple thoughts after reading the piece (and you should read it if you can find the time, it’s lengthy/good). Link: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2828649-what-happened-in-green-bay
1) Was I right or was I right?
You might think I’m too over the top on making fun of NFL management, owners, GMs, coaches, etc., and sometimes I am – but I’m mostly right. I’m writing it because it’s real and needs to be addressed.
Between my sense of things early on in my career…speculating from a distance at first, and then getting to see things up closer myself at NFL-related events over time, and then making friends/sources throughout my career – I hear and see it from all angles on how messed up NFL teams are operated. It’s as bad or worse as you’d think.
That doesn’t mean the NFL is now something to hate.
The company you work for is messed up, run by some buffoons at some level (or all levels). Our country’s recent Presidents have been…Businessman/Casino owner/Reality TV star, who beat out ‘wife of former President’. Prior to that a no resume/no real experience Senator won two elections…his first one trouncing a legit American war hero/POW who had 20+ years political experience. Prior to that we had ‘son of former President’ as President. You think the NFL is corrupted by nepotism and or the business inept…it is, but we tend to have those types of people to choose from for President and see them all throughout American businesses. It’s just life in American 2019.
Heck, if a great writer wrote an insider article on your/my family dynamic…how our household (marriage/relationships/parenting/finances) was run or is run – we’d probably look foolish too at some point. There is no perfect businesses…seemingly.
It’s just…we worship the NFL, so we crave this juicy, raw look at ‘reality show’ drama. And then love to laugh at it. They’re just human…and as messed up as anything else going on.
The chaos and idiocy running NFL teams is real, so I always laugh at people who glom on to one team as ‘their team’ and defend everything they do to the death. Yes, YOUR team is so awesome and beyond reproach because YOU picked them as your favorite when you were six or eleven years old, and/or you lived in that city/state growing up.
We just have to acknowledge the team management factor in all this fantasy and handicapping stuff. It’s becoming one of the biggest study points for me for projecting the NFL for fantasy week-to-week and especially in scouting draft prospects themselves over the past five+ years…I had to wake up to it after my first couple years as a professional scout. I have to judge things like how much Mike McCarthy was holding back Aaron Rodgers…and I’ve said that was a problem for five years…and I feel good that I knew what I was talking about based on this recent article.
It’s not just a Green Bay problem. It’s 32 teams of various dysfunction.
And, thus, you cannot scout NFL rosters or the NFL Draft, etc., with just old-school eyeballs or simply analytics – because you have to account for the organization and the head coach plus his assistants. The Browns couldn’t win a game under Hue Jackson…even win by accident/luck. The moment they dump him, some assistants are rushed to takeover a mess doing so with a rookie QB – and then they start winning almost immediately and nearly make the playoffs. Bad coaches can kill teams and individual players.
You have to scout Baker Mayfield not only as a talent but how he is affected by Lincoln Riley, Hue Jackson, and then Freddie Kitchens. There are Nick Foles’s projections and performance judgement under Chip Kelly, Jeff Fisher, Andy Reid, Doug Pederson – he was wildly successful under two of those coaches. Yet, he’s judged to this day by his Jeff Fisher stint. When Doug Marrone Jeff Fisher’s him, the media (who are worse at their job than anyone mentioned in my rant) will go, “See! We knew he was bad!”
Team management assessments matter in fantasy and handicapping…it’s why I spend all year on researching the players AND their coaches, and have analytic models that tries to accommodate for strength of opponent AND the internal positives/negatives with the system the player was coached in.
Marquise Brown is small and fast and played two years at Oklahoma with possibly the two most talented quarterbacks in CFB history. Mecole Hardman is small and fast (4.33 40-time) and played at not as effective passing/run oriented Georgia. No one cares about Hardman, and yet Marquise Brown is ‘Hollywood’ and going to be hyped into the 1st-round WITH A CURRENT LISFRANC INJURY.
Coaching matters. Opponent matters. Systems matter. Media hype matters/affects. Football analysts are mostly blind to it all because they’re unstudied throwing darts hoping you won’t notice, hoping you still continue to worship them. Plus, they care too cozy with the coaches.
Word of problems in Green Bay were lurking for 5-10 years now…where were all the national football media ‘insiders’ knowing this and telling us about it?
2) Mike McCarthy is effectively done as an NFL head coach.
This piece ruined him…exposed him. He’ll either be hired as an assistant, in pity, by an NFL head coach who is his friend/owes him – and he’ll be an assistant for life (and he’ll be OK with that because he’s just trying to earn years of service)…or if he really wants to be a head coach and ‘show everybody’ you’ll see him at a bad college football school in a major conference…he’ll try to show people he was a genius by turning around Kansas or whatever – and he won’t…and we’ll never hear from him again.
3) Aaron Rodgers is coming off as a diva in this story to the fans/media…but in reality, he should get some credit for being ‘right’.
If McCarthy is a buffoon and the team was being run into the ground by the GM on top of bad coaching, what else is Rodgers supposed to do (as the face/the most important thing in the franchise)? Just sit there and be quiet? There have been problems for a decade…we’re hearing about it fully now…I’d say Rodgers did not act like an impetuous fool running and telling at the first sign of trouble.
Rodgers will take hits in the media because at the end of the day, football fans and media have an inexplicable love for football coaches and the blind following of them. I’ll never understand it. Even as this piece exposes yet another coach as a total fool -- some are mad at Rodgers for not liking McCarthy. Why should he have?
The media/masses hate and mock the President of the United States, Congress people, their own bosses/company they work for…basically anyone in authority, but then they think all the football players need to shut up and take bad coaching and put the team first by ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ standards? For what? Because you’ve been a fan of the team since mommy and daddy bought you your team’s bed sheets when you were eight? Worse…because you’re paid handsomely by the NFL to spin and cleanse things for them?
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4) The old Packers’ GM Ted Thompson was basically shown to be running the team while in a declining state of mind.
Green Bay super-fans…your team was literally being run (into the ground) by a person who was slowly becoming incapacitated. How do you factor that into your equations?
You think NFL teams are this pristine business you’d sacrifice everything to go to work for? Shows how wrong your thinking is…just as bad as NFL management decisions day-to-day.
You think I’m getting a call or a real opportunity from an NFL team to work for them in personnel at a higher level? It’s why I’ve said for five+ years, the more I got to see behind-the-scenes…no, thanks. I’ll try to prosper by observing their beautiful mess and trying to predict its outcomes for gambling profits.
5) The Packers’ CEO Mark Murphy allegedly told Aaron Rodgers, upon letting him know the hiring of the new coach, “Don’t be the Problem.”
If that’s true, they might as well trade Aaron Rodgers right now.
You only get one shot in a lifetime, if you’re lucky, to possess an Aaron Rodgers…flaws and all. You do everything to build around and with him. You definitely don’t give him ultimatums and more nonsense management speak.
Which came first…the chicken or the egg? What’s more important…the franchise/elite QB or the management team and their ‘system’ and their ‘culture’? Management thinks it’s them that stirs the drink. In 2008, if you were starting a new expansion football team, and you could pick one person to take from Green Bay for your new franchise…would you pick up and coming football coach Mike McCarthy, veteran GM Ted Thompson, emerging operations guy Mark Murphy, or the greatest QB talent of our lifetimes – Aaron Rodgers?
Aaron Rodgers is more important than all the management Green Bay has ever employed combined over the past two decades. Management doesn’t see it that way. Not the old one, or the new.
If you’re a Green Bay fan…do you want peak/great Aaron Rodgers to shine the next 2-3 years…or peak Mark Murphy? I know you want both, but you’re about to get one or the other…one of them you don’t want.
Prior to this, I thought Aaron Rodgers had some minor hand in selecting the new coach…that he was given that respect. I didn’t know CEO Mark Murphy was on a power trip…I thought he was changing everything with Rodgers somewhat pulling the strings. Apparently, not.
With this new information, I take down my Green Bay Packers 2019 enthusiasm down at least 20%. Rodgers is still Rodgers, and this team has a good nucleus of players. They’re an ‘any given Sunday’ team, and better than most -- but they’re not unified for greatness at all. They are more set up for more in-fighting…and the new, young head coach is caught in the middle. He’s almost set up in a position to fail now. He’s being paid (as a ‘Murphy guy’) to fight/break Aaron Rodgers…and he won’t win that. No one wins in that scenario.
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