Aaron Nagler hosted a Facebook Live session with readers following Brian Gutekunst's introductory news conference as Packers GM, sharing his thoughts and answering questions. (Jan. 8, 2018)
GREEN BAY - When it was all said and done, the Green Bay Packers’ search for a new general manager included just a single candidate from outside the walls of Lambeau Field.
In addition to Eliot Wolf, Russ Ball and Brian Gutekunst, who eventually won the job, team president and CEO Mark Murphy met with former Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley for the fourth and final interview of a selection process that lasted less than a week.
“I was very pleased with the process,” Murphy said at a news conference Monday. “Obviously it was very quick. Wrapped it up little bit (under) a week. It was very intense. I felt we had four very strong candidates and I was just very pleased with the way the process unfolded.”
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Whaley, 45, served as general manager of the Bills from May 2013 through the 2017 NFL draft, after which he was relieved of his duties. He first joined the organization in 2010 as an assistant GM/director of pro personnel after 11 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His primary role in Pittsburgh was coordinator of pro scouting.
By interviewing Whaley, an African-American, the Packers complied with the Rooney Rule. Murphy was impressed with Whaley’s resume and character when they met Saturday in Green Bay.
“Doug Whaley really did a job with the interview,” Murphy said. “I think it was not confirmed, but he was the fourth interview. I knew him a little bit, so I enjoyed having a chance to spend some time with him. I'm a Bills fan, so I follow the Bills a little more closely than some of the other teams.
“But he put together that roster, and it's a playoff team without a great quarterback. It made the playoffs. They have a good roster. I think that was a tribute to him. Very interesting candidate. Fascinating background. Was a stockbroker for a year, about to be a pilot and done a lot of good things. And obviously served as a GM and his background with the Steelers was intriguing, too.”
Matthews surgery: Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews last week underwent knee surgery that was described as "a cleanup," according to an ESPN report.
Daniels to Pro Bowl: Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels has been named to play in the Pro Bowl in place of Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, who can't participate due to an injury, the team said.
This will be Daniels' first Pro Bowl trip after being named an alternate in each of the last three seasons. No other Packers have been chosen for the game, set for Jan. 28 in Orlando, Fla.
Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed.