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In a spirited discussion, former Packers safety LeRoy Butler and reporter Tom Silverstein debate president Mark Murphy's decision to take the reins of the football side of the Packers. Bill Schulz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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GREEN BAY - The friendship between Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and Blanchardville native Milt Hendrickson, spawned more than 20 years ago at Wisconsin-La Crosse, has led the two to the same place,

This week, Hendrickson officially became part of the Packers organization after 14 seasons as a regional and national scout with the Baltimore Ravens, an NFL source said.

The Packers announced Thursday that Hendrickson's title will be director-football operations.

A source said Gutekunst tried to hire Hendrickson last year, but the Ravens denied the Packers permission.

It is believed Hendrickson let his contract run out so he could join Gutekunst.

General manager Ozzie Newsome hired Hendrickson as a player personnel assistant in 2005 after Gutekunst had helped him get a scouting internship with the Packers. Hendrickson became the Ravens’ Midwest area scout, then a regional scout before being promoted to national scout in 2016.

Hendrickson primarily scouted offensive linemen for the Ravens. Among the linemen the Ravens drafted during his time as a scout was tackle Michael Oher (‘09), tackle Jah Reid (‘11), guard Kemechi Osemele (’12), guard Gino Gradkowski (’12), tackle Ricky Wagner (’13), center Ryan Jensen (’13), tackle Ronnie Stanley (’16), tackle Alex Lewis (’16), guard Nico Siragusa (’17) and Orlando Brown Jr. (’18).

Hendrickson is in Mobile, Ala., with Gutekunst and the rest of the Packers’ college scouts working the Senior Bowl.

Gutekunst has two trusted assistants in co-directors of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowski. In addition, Sam Seale is a national scout and Lee Gissendanner is a personnel executive.

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Hendrickson attended graduate school at UW-La Crosse the same time Gutekunst was finishing up his undergraduate degree at the school. Both served as assistants under coaching legend Roger Harring before heading in different directions.

Hendrickson has lived in La Crosse while serving as an area, regional and national scout. It’s unclear if he’ll need to move to Green Bay or will be able to remain in his home.

Special teams candidate

The Packers have interviewed Jacksonville Jaguars assistant special teams coach Mike Mallory and had discussions with at least two other candidates for their special teams positions, sources said.

Mallory was the Jaguars’ special teams coach from 2013-16, but was demoted after a terrible season on special teams in his final year. The Jaguars hired Joe DeCamillis to take over the coordinator position but retained Mallory, who has been assistant special teams coach ever since.

Mallory served as New Orleans Saints assistant special teams coach from 2008-12 and coached defense at Louisville, Kansas, Illinois, Maryland and Northern Illinois, among other, before reaching the NFL. Mallory played football at Michigan and is the son of former Indiana coach Bill Mallory.

It’s likely that Mallory was interviewing for the coordinator’s position.

The other two coaches under consideration might be for assistant jobs. 

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