Could coach­ing move af­fect Mur­phy?

Packer Plus - - NEWS - Ryan Wood Colum­nist USA TO­DAY NET­WORK – WIS.

Pack­ers beat writer Ryan Wood an­swered ques­tions from read­ers Mon­day. Read the com­plete tran­script at json­­ers.

Q: Hi Ryan, if Mur­phy makes the wrong hire here, when would he be re­placed? I see a com­plete mess and he caused ALL of it!

A: Good ques­tion, and it’s hard to an­swer be­cause there’s a lot of pos­si­bil­i­ties. If it is a bad hire, we prob­a­bly won’t know for two years at the ear­li­est, maybe three. Re­mem­ber, the Pack­ers are an or­ga­ni­za­tion known for valu­ing pa­tience, so they’re go­ing to give this hire ev­ery pos­si­ble chance to suc­ceed. That said, if it be­comes clear, I could see two pos­si­ble out­comes. The first, of course, is to fire Mark Mur­phy. The sec­ond is for Mur­phy to re­or­ga­nize the in­ter­nal struc­ture, so that he’s again head of the busi­ness side, and places the GM as head of foot­ball. That would not sur­prise me at all, as Mur­phy has been very good for the Pack­ers busi­ness op­er­a­tions, and this re­ally isn’t Gutekunst’s hire.

Q: Ryan, a clip came out about McCarthy’s of­fense not be­ing suited well for TEs (Martel­lus and Mercedes Lewis spoke about it). I re­mem­ber of­fense in 2010 be­ing tai­lored around Jer­michael Fin­ley be­fore he got in­jured. Don’t re­ally re­mem­ber a large amount of pro­duc­tion from the po­si­tion af­ter that (cor­rect me if I’m wrong). Thoughts on TE po­si­tion in GB? I think Gra­ham should have an­other year with Rodgers in new sys­tem.

A: I saw that clip too, and I thought it was very in­ter­est­ing. The rea­son it caught my in­ter­est is it re­minded me of this Aaron Rodgers quote from his fi­nal in-sea­son in­ter­view late in De­cem­ber: “We haven’t, re­ally since J-Mike – and I’ve said this be­fore – we haven’t had an of­fense that gave the tight ends a ton to do. We’ve al­ways been schem­ing up plays for Jordy Nel­son and Greg Jennings and Ran­dall Cobb and Da­vante. So I think that’s some­thing we need to look at this off­sea­son, how we can uti­lize the tal­ent we have at the tight end po­si­tion, and give them more op­por­tu­ni­ties to be that No. 1 read on cer­tain plays so we can see what we’ve got.” Seems to be say­ing the same thing, no?

Q: Do you have any in­for­ma­tion on Cole Madi­son and whether he will be avail­able this year for the team? Thanks.

A: I think it’s safe to as­sume Cole Madi­son does not fac­tor into the Pack­ers’ long-term plans af­ter be­ing away from the team his en­tire rookie sea­son, but that’s yet to be con­firmed. As a fifth-round pick, the Pack­ers don’t have much in­vested in him, in terms of foot­ball as­sets. So it would be easy to move on.

Q: Ryan, how do you ex­plain the sig­nif­i­cant drop in pro­duc­tion from Clay? His first few years he was feared — nearly Mack-like. It doesn’t seem his speed and quick­ness have di­min­ished yet he should also be more savvy. And he’s been rel­a­tively healthy as of late. Can he be coached back to the player he was?

A: Clay Matthews is 32, turns 33 in May. It’s likely his days as a dou­ble-digit sacker are over. It’s cer­tainly log­i­cal that he needs to play fewer snaps than he has the past cou­ple years. He was over 70 per­cent this past sea­son, most of which were as an edge rusher. Con­trary to your ob­ser­va­tion, his speed and quick­ness have de­te­ri­o­rated, as will hap­pen with age. In Matthews case, his long his­tory of in­juries can ac­cel­er­ate the ag­ing process. That said, he’s a good player. Not the dom­i­nant force he once was, but still could be one of the Pack­ers bet­ter de­fend­ers in the right role. It wouldn’t sur­prise me if he’s back next sea­son as a hy­brid de­fender, some­one who can drop down the line of scrim­mage at times but also plays a lot off the ball. I haven’t in­quired much on what his mar­ket might be.

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