Russ Ball Favorite For Packers GM?

Packers vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball is considered the favorite to become Green Bay’s next general manager, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who reports there is a “preponderance of opinion” both inside the Packers organization and within the NFL as a whole that Green Bay president Mark Murphy is simply “going through the motions” in seeking a replacement for Ted Thompson.Russ Ball (Vertical)

Following Thompson’s reassignment within the Packers’ hierarchy, the club is hoping to hire its next general manager by next week. They’ve started the search process by interviewing director of football operations Eliot Wolf today, and will also meet with two other internal options: Ball, and director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst. Although Green Bay seems likely to promote from within, the team reportedly also has interest in former Bills general manager Doug Whaley.

Unlike Wolf and Gutekunst, Ball doesn’t offer personnel experience, as he’s spent his career on the financial side of operations. However, Murphy said earlier this week that a personnel background won’t be required for the Packers’ next general manager, an indication that Ball could be a serious candidate. If Ball is promoted, though, Green Bay could risk losing Wolf and Gutekunst to other clubs, defections that would weaken a front office that has already seen executive Alonzo Highsmith take a position with the Browns.

Ball, who originally began his NFL career as a strength and conditioning coach, has completed 10 seasons in his current role with the Packers. Prior to joining Green Bay, Ball spent time with the Chiefs, Vikings, Redskins, and Saints, all the while working in administrative roles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Russ Ball Favorite For Packers GM?

    • sidewinder11

      Agreed. I’d prefer to see Wolf get the job, especially since he and BG are expected to leave if Ball becomes the GM.

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  1. nbudahn33

    Ball is a clone of Thompson no experience with football personnel. Complete disaster pays to be close to Murphy look for the Packers to take a big fall. Wolf should be the pick but he won’t be because of politics

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    • jjgreedy

      TT has been a scout for decades and Ball is just a money guy. Not really a “clone”. But I agree, it’s Wolf or bust.

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      • brewcrew08

        TT also didn’t have much to any experience in the financial side of things. I don’t think Ball is the best option (still would choose Wolf myself) but maybe having an opposite of TT is a good idea. Keep in mind Wolf doesn’t have a lot of experience by any means either.

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        • milbaybreckers

          Wolf has been scouting football personnel since 2004; that’s pleanty of experience. Not to mention who his dad is

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          • brewcrew08

            Ball has been in an NFL front office in some from or fashion since 1990.

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            • dae089

              seems like BG is the best talent man. wolf is a little young. could hire BG and still keep ball, no one ells wants him! tells us all we need to know. ball was picked long ago. its all a sham/ going threw motions.

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    • ARKScout

      Ironic seeing that Wolf got his position in the first place because of politics straight out of college.

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  2. wrigleyhawkeye

    I’m really not sure how Ball is a candidate to be GM with no scouting background to begin with. Is there a GM in any sport that has no scouting experience? I really don’t know. I would think you’d want someone who will be drafting talent to your team to have experience evaluating actual talent.

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    • wrigleyhawkeye

      To me it’s like having a nurse perform surgery. Sure they’ve been around the doctors when they do surgery and they’re there to help lend a hand, but at the end of the day, they don’t know how to do a triple bypass.

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      • lucienbel
        lucienbel

        I sort of get the metaphor, but it’s incredibly dramatic solely for the purpose of being dramatic.

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    • Marytown1

      This was tried before- in Cleveland a few years back! I’ll let you figure out how that went. This would be an epic failure not only at the GM level but in the purging that would follow. Hightower is already gone, Wolf and Gute would be leaving on the first bus. The fact that most fans have never heard of Ball explains that he’s a finance guy in the background and that’s where he should stay.

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    • milbaybreckers

      Brewers GM David Stearns never scouted baseball, and has done pretty solid in his short tenure with the crew

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      • 11Bravo

        That’s not exactly true. He was assistant GM to Luhnow down in Houston for 3 years and received high praise from Luhnow. And I think we all know how Houston did this past season. That team has Stearn’s fingerprints all over it.

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  3. jwoh13512

    I’d rather they not pick Ball either but the guy has been good at everything he does so if he has a good group of scouts under him I think he will do a lot better than TT did. Ball isn’t an idiot and I’m sure he has a good plan to compensate for his lack of experience or else they wouldn’t even be considering him.

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  4. dae089

    seems to me strange they keep saying how ball is a great negotiator and cap man? How much of that has he even done with tt always having one of the cheapest and youngest rosters yr in and out? he is almost 60 and never been a candidate for any gm spot before, while rest of wolf/tt scouting tree is coveted by nfl execs. seems to be tt hand picked man at least a yr ago, so tt can still call shots, while satisfying board of directors pressure to move on from him.

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