Managing an NFL team like the Packers is a thankless and highly scrutinized job. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Staffing the Green Bay Packers


The renowned German psychologist, Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Change is essential for human growth and development.”

This famous quote has been the basis of many articles, textbooks, self-help books and lectures within the industry.

It’s safe to say this quote holds true for NFL personnel managers, given the amount time and money every NFL teams spends on this effort.

This is not just an annual event. Although the need arises annually, it can pop up any time, whether it is daily or hourly, oftentimes right down to the game-time seconds on the clock.

Some jobs will get you out on the street after not doing it well enough to show that things are better than most others. Scouts can turn into managers, and managers can turn into legends, only if winning ways persist. The season is over, so personnel managers can sit back and relax today … WRONG.

The draft is a long month away and we are in the midst of the annual player hawking, reeling, dealing, and signing up the best talent in the land.

It’s not just trying to fill a spot and hope it works out, like back in the office. It’s life or death for the players and oftentimes the team’s director of players. Some do it well and then there are the great ones. The good won’t last too long, they have to be very good to great, and winning as a team.

Only the great last for decades in the NFL and history is made every day this time of year – not in W’s and L’s, but for the tryouts, who make it or go back to their 9 to 5 job.

It’s all part of the process.

Teams do not stay competitive unless good decisions are made now and in upcoming weeks that lead up to the pre-season, making excitement year-round, even while players rest and heal now.

There are scouts, coaches, other players, office help and others who all play a part in the success or failure a team may have.  It sure looks like it has worked well over the past two-plus decades.

We can be proud of these team members who shake a big stick around the NFL, keeping the Packers as challengers year after year after season. Need I say more? Yes, one more thing: If only the great ones stick around for decades, how long will the Packers have their personnel manager around?  Hint: Ted Thompson’s record as a Packer administrator is 196 – 124, a .613% winning record, without post-season included.  Those playoff games have been frequent, with 31 playoff games during this time, along with three SuperBowl appearances.

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