The GM Search?

Super Nomario

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If the Director of Football Operations is going to be a separate position from the GM then I can see Jonathan Kraft assuming that role where he would handle all things financial such as contract negotiations, managing the cap etc and then have a "grocery shopper" GM handle personnel, draft and free agents with input from the HC. I think that with this move away from the BB "all in one" coach / GM / Director of football ops that JK is going to stakeout some territory with this new realignment.
I don't like this, it's murky.

I don't know that I think it's great, I'd prefer some of the names I listed up thread.

I just note that a lot of the knee jerk anti-Groh stuff doesn't make much sense to me because:
1. Bill had final say.
2. Groh wasn't even the top guy under Bill until 2022.
3. He came up through college scouting, and was not here for some of the worst drafts. His 2 drafts as the top guy are to me... pretty decent. Last year was excellent (when allegedly he had the biggest role), 2022 has the Thornton miss, but otherwise pretty good evals (Bill is gonna be the one who decided to go Strange in rd. 1 but the Strange eval itself was good, he looks like a starting caliber player when healthy maybe more)
Draft wasn't bad in 2020 or 2021 either when he was fairly high up in the college side.

Ziegler was more the guy I would be worried about, because when he was the top guy under Bill is when I feel we were at our worst.
The 2022 draft was horrible, one of their worst in years, and they've had a lot of bad ones.

My larger issue with a Mayo / Groh pairing is it's pretty green. Mayo would be a rookie head coach who was never even DC. Groh would be a rookie GM who only spent two years as Director of Player Personnel (and before that, only one year as College Scouting Director). Maybe Mayo would be fine with a Pioli; maybe Groh would be fine with a Vrabel. As a pairing, I don't like it.
 
Oct 12, 2023
801
I don't know that I think it's great, I'd prefer some of the names I listed up thread.

I just note that a lot of the knee jerk anti-Groh stuff doesn't make much sense to me because:
1. Bill had final say.
2. Groh wasn't even the top guy under Bill until 2022.
3. He came up through college scouting, and was not here for some of the worst drafts. His 2 drafts as the top guy are to me... pretty decent. Last year was excellent (when allegedly he had the biggest role), 2022 has the Thornton miss, but otherwise pretty good evals (Bill is gonna be the one who decided to go Strange in rd. 1 but the Strange eval itself was good, he looks like a starting caliber player when healthy maybe more)
Draft wasn't bad in 2020 or 2021 either when he was fairly high up in the college side.

Ziegler was more the guy I would be worried about, because when he was the top guy under Bill is when I feel we were at our worst.
well I’d certainly dispute the 2021 and 2022 drafts being something Groh should be credited for as some sort of achievement but the point is, Belichick was fired because of a lack of talent, specifically on offense. It’s bizarre to me that the guys who got paid to scout and advise him on rookie and veteran talent are even in the conversation for GM

As it is, if all the problems in the team are due to Bill having final say, how can anyone possibly say for sure that Groh or Wolf know what they’re doing? We can’t possibly absolve Groh/Wolf from blame and simultaneously credit them for stuff that has gone right. If Bill gets the blame for all the bad, he should get credit for all the good (talent on defense for example)
 

Cellar-Door

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well I’d certainly dispute the 2021 and 2022 drafts being something Groh should be credited for as some sort of achievement but the point is, Belichick was fired because of a lack of talent, specifically on offense. It’s bizarre to me that the guys who got paid to scout and advise him on rookie and veteran talent are even in the conversation for GM

As it is, if all the problems in the team are due to Bill having final say, how can anyone possibly say for sure that Groh or Wolf know what they’re doing? We can’t possibly absolve Groh/Wolf from blame and simultaneously credit them for stuff that has gone right. If Bill gets the blame for all the bad, he should get credit for all the good (talent on defense for example)
We can't absolve them, to me the question with Groh in particular is do I think they generally seemed to scout well at the things he was heavily involved with when he was involved, and I generally think they did. At least to a degree that I'm fine if they are on the list, but would prefer other options.

Edit- I'd also say part of it is that we aren't in the rooms so we'll never know what Groh or Wolf told Bill, which players they were high on that he was, which they were high and he wasn't, which he liked and they didn't and which decisions Bill made with or against their recommendations.... HOWEVER... the Krafts do have access to quite a bit of that important data, and if Groh is on the list, I would guess it is partly because they thought that his suggestions aligned more with what they want going forward than Bill's actual moves.
 

Kull

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I don't like this, it's murky.
I'm not surprised. To quote a certain Dave Archibald from The inches we need: "Dysfunctional organizations tend to lack clarity around accountability and power, usually with multiple football people reporting to a non-football person who must adjudicate football conflicts"

My larger issue with a Mayo / Groh pairing is it's pretty green. Mayo would be a rookie head coach who was never even DC. Groh would be a rookie GM who only spent two years as Director of Player Personnel (and before that, only one year as College Scouting Director). Maybe Mayo would be fine with a Pioli; maybe Groh would be fine with a Vrabel. As a pairing, I don't like it.
From the same book, you note that owners go outside the organization for a new top man when they want to "change the culture". Given that Mayo appears certain to be the coach, and there's been no indication that Kraft is unhappy with the "Patriot Way", aren't they kind of forced into rolling the dice with Groh as GM?
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm not surprised. To quote a certain Dave Archibald from The inches we need: "Dysfunctional organizations tend to lack clarity around accountability and power, usually with multiple football people reporting to a non-football person who must adjudicate football conflicts"



From the same book, you note that owners go outside the organization for a new top man when they want to "change the culture". Given that Mayo appears certain to be the coach, and there's been no indication that Kraft is unhappy with the "Patriot Way", aren't they kind of forced into rolling the dice with Groh as GM?
Not really, there are a LOT of execs around the league who came from the Patriots. For all the coaches who "failed" after getting poached from NE, a lot of the execs and scouts who got poached did just fine
 

Kull

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Not really, there are a LOT of execs around the league who came from the Patriots. For all the coaches who "failed" after getting poached from NE, a lot of the execs and scouts who got poached did just fine
You're a knowledgeable guy. Do you have or know how to get that list? With the semi-confirmation that Mayo is going to be the coach, it seems very likely that the Kraft's want a GM who is comfortable with him. A mismatch between coach and GM is one of the biggest "known fails" in the NFL. Since the GM is almost certainly going to be a "Patriot Way" guy, who are we talking about?
 

Cellar-Door

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You're a knowledgeable guy. Do you have or know how to get that list? With the semi-confirmation that Mayo is going to be the coach, it seems very likely that the Kraft's want a GM who is comfortable with him. A mismatch between coach and GM is one of the biggest "known fails" in the NFL. Since the GM is almost certainly going to be a "Patriot Way" guy, who are we talking about?
No particular list I know of, just guys who were here or if it comes up in articles, top of my head you have:
Dave Ziegler, Jon Robinson, Thomas DiMitroff, Nick Caserio, Monti Ossenfort, Jason Licht, Adam Peters, Trey Brown, Bob Quinn.... then I'm sure there are guys who went with various of those when they left. Like Brown and Peters who didn't get up to the top levels here so I only know they were here because it was mentioned when they were brought up as candidates.
 

CR67dream

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Not necessarily a hands on GM, but I could see Vrabel taking on a President of Football Operations/John Lynch type role with a GM under him somewhere.
I have no idea if it's viable for Vrabel to slide into that type of role, but I certainly wouldn't mind that kind of structure. Spread out the chores. It's not a one-man job, never mind doing all three as Belichick did. I find it kind of ironic that a guy who lived by the code "do your job", is gone now largely because he could no longer do his own the way it was structured, and they decided it was too late to change that structure and have it be effective.

I'll also say that I have no idea if it isn't viable for Vrabel either, it would be brand new for him and he may still have a strong desire to be a coach, but if he wanted to do it, and Kraft thinks he's qualified, I don't think I'd hate it. Lynch turned out OK to say the least.

It's not high on my probability list, but with it looking more and more like Mayo will be HC, and the noise surrounding Vrabel, certainly not a crazy thought.
 

Super Nomario

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No particular list I know of, just guys who were here or if it comes up in articles, top of my head you have:
Dave Ziegler, Jon Robinson, Thomas DiMitroff, Nick Caserio, Monti Ossenfort, Jason Licht, Adam Peters, Trey Brown, Bob Quinn.... then I'm sure there are guys who went with various of those when they left. Like Brown and Peters who didn't get up to the top levels here so I only know they were here because it was mentioned when they were brought up as candidates.
Belichick also built the what became the Ravens scouting system when he was in Cleveland, so you've got guys from that tree. When Howie Roseman got back into power in Philly, he pulled Joe Douglas and the Weidl brothers from Baltimore, so Philly is running NE's system. Peters brought it to SF (John Lynch has never been a scout). Les Snead came from Atlanta, where he worked with Dimitroff; now you've got Snead guys out there like Brad Holmes in Detroit. The executive tree is very strong and covers a big portion of the league.

I've seen Scott Pioli's name come up ... he would make sense as a bridge guy if they like the long-term future of a Mayo/Groh pairing but want a veteran voice in the room.

Just a general thought: it is super hard as an outsider to evaluate members of front offices who don't have final say. You don't know whether the director of college scouting was totally on board with that crappy pick or fighting the GM on it. And the sample sizes are so small. It's like trying to evaluate an OC when the head coach calls the plays, except instead of 65 plays a game, there are 10 plays a year.
 

boca

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Not sure if this has been posted yet but Rapoport has tweeted a few names with Patriots connections that may be of interest in the GM search -

https://x.com/RapSheet/status/1745815909858484598?s=20

As the #Patriots plot out a new direction and set out to hire a GM, a few names to consider with ties to New England: Former #Raiders GM Dave Ziegler, former #Titans GM Jon Robinson, #Chiefs assistant GM Mike Borgonzi, #49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, #Bengals exec Trey Brown
 

Cellar-Door

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Not sure if this has been posted yet but Rapoport has tweeted a few names with Patriots connections that may be of interest in the GM search -

https://x.com/RapSheet/status/1745815909858484598?s=20

As the #Patriots plot out a new direction and set out to hire a GM, a few names to consider with ties to New England: Former #Raiders GM Dave Ziegler, former #Titans GM Jon Robinson, #Chiefs assistant GM Mike Borgonzi, #49ers assistant GM Adam Peters, #Bengals exec Trey Brown
sneaky wording there by Rap... New England connections. used it because Borgonzi is on the list and has no Patriot connection. He's just from MA and worked at BC.
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

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Was the title of this thread changed to "The GM Search Is Over" or something like that, and then changed back again almost immediately? Or am I just having a senior moment?
 

Kull

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Having a Head Coach already in place means there's a certain degree of risk associated with hiring a GM from outside the organization, even those with former ties to the Pats. Even if the candidates were here when Mayo was a player, he's only been a member of the coaching staff since 2019, so anyone who left prior to that would not have worked in the same room with Mayo the Organization Guy. Those are two very different roles, and knowing how somebody operates in "the decision room" is a lot different from having to rely on the word of others.

Accordingly, it seems more likely that the Pats will select somebody in-house who has the comfort level of already having worked with Mayo as a coach. Of the two candidates, Wolf appears to be the clear frontrunner just based on his additional experience. Groh has 11 years with the team, but only the last two have been higher level positions (Director of College Scouting 2 years go, then Director of Player Personnel last year). By contrast, Wolf has 14 years of experience including upper level positions for multiple organizations. Director of Player Personnel and Director of Football Ops with Green Bay (2015-17) and Assistant GM in Cleveland (2018-2019), immediately following which he came to the Pats in 2020 as a consultant and then elevated to Director of Scouting in 2022.

As he posted above, Super Nomario is rightly concerned about the inexperience on both sides of a Groh-Mayo pairing, but Wolf-Mayo is a lot less risky in that regard. I'll be completely unsurprised if Eliot Wolf is chosen to be the new GM.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Having a Head Coach already in place means there's a certain degree of risk associated with hiring a GM from outside the organization, even those with former ties to the Pats. Even if the candidates were here when Mayo was a player, he's only been a member of the coaching staff since 2019, so anyone who left prior to that would not have worked in the same room with Mayo the Organization Guy. Those are two very different roles, and knowing how somebody operates in "the decision room" is a lot different from having to rely on the word of others.

Accordingly, it seems more likely that the Pats will select somebody in-house who has the comfort level of already having worked with Mayo as a coach. Of the two candidates, Wolf appears to be the clear frontrunner just based on his additional experience. Groh has 11 years with the team, but only the last two have been higher level positions (Director of College Scouting 2 years go, then Director of Player Personnel last year). By contrast, Wolf has 14 years of experience including upper level positions for multiple organizations. Director of Player Personnel and Director of Football Ops with Green Bay (2015-17) and Assistant GM in Cleveland (2018-2019), immediately following which he came to the Pats in 2020 as a consultant and then elevated to Director of Scouting in 2022.

As he posted above, Super Nomario is rightly concerned about the inexperience on both sides of a Groh-Mayo pairing, but Wolf-Mayo is a lot less risky in that regard. I'll be completely unsurprised if Eliot Wolf is chosen to be the new GM.
I think some folks (not SN, to be clear) are overstating the degree to which Wolf or Groh are mere Belichick supplicants/will conduct their work just like Bill with the same recent personnel results (look at Wolf’s background, for example), and underrating the risk of the true worst case scenario, a fundamental clash/disconnect in philosophy and personality between Mayo and an external GM he hasn’t worked with/is unfamiliar with.
 
Oct 12, 2023
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I think some folks (not SN, to be clear) are overstating the degree to which Wolf or Groh are mere Belichick supplicants/will conduct their work just like Bill with the same recent personnel results (look at Wolf’s background, for example), and underrating the risk of the true worst case scenario, a fundamental clash/disconnect in philosophy and personality between Mayo and an external GM he hasn’t worked with/is unfamiliar with.
Isn’t the true worst case scenario that they stick with all internal guys (Groh, Wolf, O’Brien at OC, Mayo) and the offense continues to flail and the defense struggles because the “groceries” on defense are no longer of the same quality as they were with Bill?

the all internal approach may be lower risk in certain ways but it’s basically saying “everything bad with the Pats the last few years has been Bill” which I find hard to believe. And then you’re left in the same position as you are now in 2 or 3 years
 

Cellar-Door

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Isn’t the true worst case scenario that they stick with all internal guys (Groh, Wolf, O’Brien at OC, Mayo) and the offense continues to flail and the defense struggles because the “groceries” on defense are no longer of the same quality as they were with Bill?

the all internal approach may be lower risk in certain ways but it’s basically saying “everything bad with the Pats the last few years has been Bill” which I find hard to believe. And then you’re left in the same position as you are now in 2 or 3 years
Well... it's really saying some of the bad the last few years has been Bill, some has been players. And I think that's pretty fair. Last year was obviously a disaster, on the other hand, the two years before they went .500 with a pretty bad QB. If you hit on the QB and maybe 1 or 2 other spots you're likely looking at a playoff team.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Well... it's really saying some of the bad the last few years has been Bill, some has been players. And I think that's pretty fair. Last year was obviously a disaster, on the other hand, the two years before they went .500 with a pretty bad QB. If you hit on the QB and maybe 1 or 2 other spots you're likely looking at a playoff team.
Oof I think we should temper our expectations for the playoffs with a rookie HC and rookie QB next season. If they bring in a vet QB stopgap in front of the rookie QB, then maybe.

If BB was still here, I'd be more optimistic of playoffs, and I'm over the moon about the Mayo hire.
 
Oct 12, 2023
801
Well... it's really saying some of the bad the last few years has been Bill, some has been players. And I think that's pretty fair. Last year was obviously a disaster, on the other hand, the two years before they went .500 with a pretty bad QB. If you hit on the QB and maybe 1 or 2 other spots you're likely looking at a playoff team.
some has been players…the players Wolf and Groh had a lot of input towards? Not confident in either of those guys building a competitive roster if that’s the direction they go.
 

Cellar-Door

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Oof I think we should temper our expectations for the playoffs with a rookie HC and rookie QB next season. If they bring in a vet QB stopgap in front of the rookie QB, then maybe.

If BB was still here, I'd be more optimistic of playoffs, and I'm over the moon about the Mayo hire.
I didn't mean they are a playoff team this year, I meant more that the "bad" wasn't that bad if they had a QB, they won 18 games in the first two years with Mac, who was even at his best not what you really expect out of a 1st round QB.

some has been players…the players Wolf and Groh had a lot of input towards? Not confident in either of those guys building a competitive roster if that’s the direction they go.
I mean, we have no idea how much input was theirs vs. Bill's, but also... that was a competitive roster in 2021, you could argue 2022 as well, they were a fringe playoff team. If competitive to you means "one of the favorites for the SB" well... that's going to primarily depend on the QB and not much else at this point.
 
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some has been players…the players Wolf and Groh had a lot of input towards? Not confident in either of those guys building a competitive roster if that’s the direction they go.
I think we have to defer to Kraft and Mayo here until we see what happens. Who's to say Groh wasn't activly pining for certain players and BB prefered someone else... We weren't in the room when those convos happened but maybe Mayo and/or Kraft were.
 

jsinger121

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A little jealous of Washington's Adam Peters and (coming soon) Ben Johnson hires. But 2 years from now I might be thanking my lucky stars Kraft picked Mayo. Nobody knows anything.
Agreed. But Washington at least for them has real direction for the first time in years.
 

brendan f

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I think we have to defer to Kraft and Mayo here until we see what happens. Who's to say Groh wasn't activly pining for certain players and BB prefered someone else... We weren't in the room when those convos happened but maybe Mayo and/or Kraft were.
If the Krafts ultimately stay in-house on the hires, it's likely a sign they thought the right people were in place all along but that Bill wasn't listening to them. There had been some noise in the media a couple of years ago about Kraft being unhappy Bill wasn't using the voices in the room (e.g. Harry selection), and based on Kraft's press conference this may well have been true. He did say allowing Bill full control of the team worked well for a while....until it didn't. He mentioned specifically the concept of "checks and balances" which he signaled had eroded under Bill.

So my guess is they do stay in-house on the hire and select Wolf. I'm not sure Wolf was ever used in the capacity the Krafts envisioned when he came over, and it seems as though he was potentially bypassed in the pecking order by Belichick when Groh was promoted over him:
This is from SI: "While Groh was unquestionably qualified for the position [Director of Player Personell], many had considered Wolf to be a potentially better fit, due to his experience in both collegiate and pro-level scouting."
 

Spelunker

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The Commanders made both of the hires I wanted most for the Patriots, hope I look like a dumbass a year from now.
Yeah, they're who I wanted. Given who hired them, my new* prior is that I'm an idiot.

(...ly reminded of it, really)
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

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The Commanders made both of the hires I wanted most for the Patriots, hope I look like a dumbass a year from now.
I see they hired Adam Peters as GM, but who is the other hire that you mention? I can't find reference to any hire except Peters on a quick search.
 

Van Everyman

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Assuming it’s true, the overruling his scouts on Deebo Samuel and AJ Brown thing because the ASU coach recommended Harry personally to Bill, is really interesting. We can all get angry and upset about it – the arrogance!

But really, it’s a very human thing as you get older to lose people around you that you trust. Ernie Adams and Bill went to high school together fer chrissakes. They could probably finish each other’s sentences by the “Malcolm, go!”/Pink Stripes era. He’d worked with Scar for 20+ years as well as the year back in 1996. Ivan Fears. Josh, who had worked with him since 2001. That kind of stuff is not just “hard to replace” – it’s literally impossible to replace.

So human nature says you start doing stuff to compensate. Leaning on guys you have known a long time (ASU coach) but who don’t work in your organization. Or weird things like hiring guys you know super well for jobs they aren’t trained for (Patricia).

In addition to it being for the GOAT, the human element of this is partly why I think Kraft went out of his way in that joint appearance and the followup presser to be generous towards Bill. Because, putting aside the quibbles we’ve read about in the postmortems, the mistakes he made the last few years were not made out of malice or anger, but rather because he had lost the support system he had nurtured and built over more than thirty years. His work ethic and commitment to winning, as have been described numerous times, never wavered.

That’s partly why I’m not entirely surprised the Patriots are reportedly considering keeping the personnel structure in place. By the end, it seems like the bottleneck was, for the most part, Bill. And as with the Mayo hire, they seem to feel like while some of the decision making may need a reset on the personnel side, the culture and organization they’ve built are worth preserving.
 

BigJimEd

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When Groh took over, they reportedly revamped a lot of the draft process. Adding more voices in the draft and having a more collaborative approach.
 

phineas gage

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Rewinding things with a first-time coach seems like a questionable plan at best.

If we now start hearing about the Mac Jones revival it will be time to worry.
 

Bongorific

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This is the predictable outcome based on the Mayo hire. It seems the plan was for BB to coach until 2025ish, have Mayo under contract so he doesn’t leave in the interim and then take over at HC, and leave most of the FO in place. That plan was developed before this l bottomed out and 4-13 accelerated the plan. They don’t stick with part 1 of the plan of Mayo taking the HC role if they were planning on drastically deviating on part 2.
 

jsinger121

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If anything they need to start to beef up the scouting and personnel departments now.
 

DJnVa

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Lol, the Krafts think Bill was the only problem apparently.

Mayo better be an amazing coach or this team is in trouble.
LOL, no he doesn't. You're oversimplifying things. It's like saying the Patriots only had 2 issues this year, offense and defense.
 

Silverdude2167

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LOL, no he doesn't. You're oversimplifying things. It's like saying the Patriots only had 2 issues this year, offense and defense.
Huh? If you fire Bill and don't bring in a GM and the only real change you make is the coach. You are saying the issue was Bill and everything else will be fine without him.
 

rodderick

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Huh? If you fire Bill and don't bring in a GM and the only real change you make is the coach. You are saying the issue was Bill and everything else will be fine without him.
I'm inclined to agree. I can't interpret the Mayo + in-house GM combo as anything other than "the system Bill put in place still works, Bill just had too much power, fucked up with personnel and was too much of a pain in the ass".
 

Kull

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Huh? If you fire Bill and don't bring in a GM and the only real change you make is the coach. You are saying the issue was Bill and everything else will be fine without him.
To be fair, it's not what DJnVA thinks, it's what the Kraft's apparently believe. Future results will tell us whether they are correct.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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I guess this should come as no surprise. When the Krafts formulated the Mayo sucession plan they would have had to anticipate the vacuum this would cause at the GM level when BB was no longer there. RK is swinging the football ops pendulum from a highly centalized model (BB and no one else) to a more (much more) decentralized model with an empasis on collaboration among JK, Groh, Wolf and Mayo. It raises the question whether they will even name an OC /DC or just mimic the Mayo/Steve B collaboratively running the defense for both sides of the ball.
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

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I guess this should come as no surprise. When the Krafts formulated the Mayo sucession plan they would have had to anticipate the vacuum this would cause at the GM level when BB was no longer there. RK is swinging the football ops pendulum from a highly centalized model (BB and no one else) to a more (much more) decentralized model with an empasis on collaboration among JK, Groh, Wolf and Mayo. It raises the question whether they will even name an OC /DC or just mimic the Mayo/Steve B collaboratively running the defense for both sides of the ball.
I wonder if we get to find out who the final decision maker is on personnel.
 

brendan f

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When Groh took over, they reportedly revamped a lot of the draft process. Adding more voices in the draft and having a more collaborative approach.
Maybe, but if you fire Bill, say that you gave some thought to retaining him as coach and stripping his GM duties, and promote everyone else around him, that suggests to me there were still issues with the collaboration.