The son of a college football coach Jonah Williams Jersey , Brian Gutekunst has an idea of the kind of scrutiny that he’ll receive as the new general manager of the Green Bay Packers.
Gutekunst watched his father, John Gutekunst, take heat during six-plus seasons at the University of Minnesota that ended in 1991. The new GM has heard the criticism that predecessor Ted Thompson took from some fans for a conservative approach to free agency.
”My mom was reading in the paper some nice comments about me. I go, `Yeah, wait `til we lose,”’ the 44-year old Gutekunst joked this week.
His task is to build a roster that restores the Packers’ status as a Super Bowl contender following the team’s first losing season since 2008.
Promoted from player personnel director, Gutekunst had a hand in helping Thompson shape the rosters for an organization that just had its streak of eight straight postseason appearances snapped. The Packers won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season during Thompson’s 13-year tenure.
Thompson moved to a senior adviser role in the front office two days after the season ended with a 35-11 loss at Detroit.
”I’ve grown up in football all my life and my dad went through some times at the University of Minnesota where it wasn’t very good and they weren’t saying very good things,” Gutekunst said. ”The one thing I learned about that, usually (for) the guy in the chair it’s not as hard to take. You worry about your family.”
Added Gutekunst: ”To me, for the guys who work here, you just expect it. … You have to keep moving forward.”
It is what Gutekunst has done in the game since playing college football for two seasons at Wisconsin-La Crosse. He served as an assistant coach for his final two seasons after a shoulder injury ended his playing career. Gutekunst coached the linebackers when La Crosse capped an undefeated season with the Division III national title in 1995.
That year, Gutekunst got his first taste of the pros after assisting in New Orleans Saints training camp in 1995. He was a summer scouting intern for Green Bay in 1997 and a scouting assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs the next year before returning to the Packers full time as a scout late in 1998.
Gutekunst didn’t follow his father’s advice to stay out of football entirely.
”I think looking back at it right now Elgton Jenkins Jersey , the coaching business is so volatile, and moving your family every two to three years is a tough deal,” he said. ”We’ve had a lot of stability here, and I feel very thankful for that, for me and my family.”
The Packers plan to stick with a ”draft-and-develop” philosophy as the roster-building foundation, though Gutekunst has also indicated he might be more open to making additions through trades and free agency as well.
He is already starting to differentiate himself in another noticeable way.
The first transaction under the new regime was the signing of a relatively unknown running back, first-year player Joel Bouagnon out of Northern Illinois. The accompanying post on Twitter included a picture of a smiling Gutekunst next to Bouagnon.
Thompson was notoriously media-shy. Coach Mike McCarthy was often left with the task of answering questions about high-profile topics that might be more appropriate for a GM, such as when outspoken tight end Martellus Bennett was waived at midseason.
”I don’t think the new GM could do less than Ted did,” team president Mark Murphy joked last week. ”There (are) some positives that come from it, but obviously there’s some downsides … Ted saw some of the downside and decided not to be overly involved.”
According to Gutekunst, one of the first pieces of advice that Thompson offered after getting the job on Sunday was to smile more at his first press conference.
John Gutekunst told his son to be humble, and to make sure that he takes care of his staff.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs hired Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator Thursday, moving swiftly to replace Bob Sutton after his unit’s dismal performance against the Patriots in the AFC title game.Spagnuolo began his coaching career as Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s assistant in Philadelphia, where he worked with several position groups over the course of eight seasons. He left to become the Giants‘ defensive coordinator, and has held similar roles with the Saints and Ravens.He’s best known for his two stints as head coach, though. Spagnuolo went 10-38 over three seasons with the St. Louis Rams and 1-3 as the Giants’ interim coach during the 2017 season.“Steve is a bright defensive mind with a lot of coaching experience and success in our league,” Reid said in a statement. “I know him well from our time together in Philadelphia and I feel that his leadership skills and teaching abilities, combined with his scheme, will be a great fit for our team.”Spagnuolo Dexter Williams Jersey , who spent last season out of coaching, has primarily run a 4-3 defense, which would be a change from the 3-4 scheme that Sutton had run. But the Chiefs drafted last season as if they planned to move forward with two defensive tackles and two defensive ends, so the adjustment should not be a big one for a defense that returns many of its key pieces.One big change will be the mentality of the defense.Sutton orchestrated a bend-but-don’t-break approach to defense, while Spagnuolo — who learned under defensive mastermind Jim Johnson — prefers an aggressive, blitz-oriented approach. But he’s also been willing to adapt, running variations of his defensive scheme with the Giants.100<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj MehtaSutton was fired Tuesday, two days after his defense collapsed in the fourth quarter and overtime in a 37-31 loss to New England. The Chiefs failed to stop the Patriots in OT, meaning star quarterback Patrick Mahomes never got an opportunity to step on the field.That was likely the final straw for Sutton, whose defenses regularly ranked among the worst in the NFL the past few seasons. The Chiefs were particularly bad against the run this season, and they allowed at least 29 points in each of their five losses.Spagnuolo doesn’t come without some concerns, either.While his Giants defenses finished in the top 10 three times Nick Bosa Jersey , two of his last three units were last and second-to-last in yards allowed. And while the Eagles were regularly stout with Johnson as the coordinator and Spagnuolo in various roles, his Saints defense in 2012 allowed more yards than any other in history and Spagnuolo was ultimately fired after the season.Now, the attention in Kansas City turns to Spagnuolo’s personnel.Pass rusher Dee Ford is ready to hit free agency, though it’s becoming increasingly likely that he will be franchised. Defensive end Allen Bailey is also a free agent, while defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback Kendall Fuller are likely candidates for contract extensions.Longtime safety Eric Berry has been beset by injuries the past few years, and he is set to take up $16.5 million of the salary cap next season, while linebacker Justin Houston carries a cap hit of $21.1 million next season. The Chiefs could cut both over the summer and free up substantial space, or they could attempt to restructure their deals for a more manageable number.The Chiefs will be looking to plug holes just about everywhere on defense, but particularly at cornerback and middle linebacker. They are projected to have about $32 million in salary cap space and will have one first-round pick and two second-rounders in the upcoming draft.