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01-12-2018 07:55 AM
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The son of a college football coach Adidas Jonathan Toews Jersey , Brian Gutekunst has an idea of the kind of scrutiny that he’ll receive as the new general manager of the Green Bay Packers.

Gutekunst watched his father, John Gutekunst, take heat during six-plus seasons at the University of Minnesota that ended in 1991. The new GM has heard the criticism that predecessor Ted Thompson took from some fans for a conservative approach to free agency.

The football lifer is ready for the pressure that comes with the job.

”My mom was reading in the paper some nice comments about me. I go, `Yeah, wait `til we lose,”’ the 44-year old Gutekunst joked this week.

His task is to build a roster that restores the Packers’ status as a Super Bowl contender following the team’s first losing season since 2008.

Promoted from player personnel director, Gutekunst had a hand in helping Thompson shape the rosters for an organization that just had its streak of eight straight postseason appearances snapped. The Packers won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season during Thompson’s 13-year tenure.

Thompson moved to a senior adviser role in the front office two days after the season ended with a 35-11 loss at Detroit.

”I’ve grown up in football all my life and my dad went through some times at the University of Minnesota where it wasn’t very good and they weren’t saying very good things,” Gutekunst said. ”The one thing I learned about that, usually (for) the guy in the chair it’s not as hard to take. You worry about your family.”

Added Gutekunst: ”To me, for the guys who work here, you just expect it. … You have to keep moving forward.”

It is what Gutekunst has done in the game since playing college football for two seasons at Wisconsin-La Crosse. He served as an assistant coach for his final two seasons after a shoulder injury ended his playing career. Gutekunst coached the linebackers when La Crosse capped an undefeated season with the Division III national title in 1995.

That year, Gutekunst got his first taste of the pros after assisting in New Orleans Saints training camp in 1995. He was a summer scouting intern for Green Bay in 1997 and a scouting assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs the next year before returning to the Packers full time as a scout late in 1998.

Gutekunst didn’t follow his father’s advice to stay out of football entirely.

”I think looking back at it right now, the coaching business is so volatile, and moving your family every two to three years is a tough deal,” he said. ”We’ve had a lot of stability here, and I feel very thankful for that, for me and my family.”

The Packers plan to stick with a ”draft-and-develop” philosophy as the roster-building foundation Adidas Corey Crawford Jersey , though Gutekunst has also indicated he might be more open to making additions through trades and free agency as well.

He is already starting to differentiate himself in another noticeable way.

The first transaction under the new regime was the signing of a relatively unknown running back, first-year player Joel Bouagnon out of Northern Illinois. The accompanying post on Twitter included a picture of a smiling Gutekunst next to Bouagnon.

Thompson was notoriously media-shy. Coach Mike McCarthy was often left with the task of answering questions about high-profile topics that might be more appropriate for a GM, such as when outspoken tight end Martellus Bennett was waived at midseason.

”I don’t think the new GM could do less than Ted did,” team president Mark Murphy joked last week. ”There (are) some positives that come from it, but obviously there’s some downsides … Ted saw some of the downside and decided not to be overly involved.”

According to Gutekunst, one of the first pieces of advice that Thompson offered after getting the job on Sunday was to smile more at his first press conference.

John Gutekunst told his son to be humble, and to make sure that he takes care of his staff.

”Now, you know, on Mondays after watching our game,” the younger Gutekunst said, ”he’ll tell me some other things.”



Keon Broxton has made challenging plays look routine for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The center fielder’s latest gem may have been his best one yet.

Broxton helped preserve a lead in the ninth, rookie Nate Orf hit a solo homer in Milwaukee’s two-run seventh and the Brewers beat the sliding Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Wednesday.

Broxton was on deck when Orf went deep two batters after Brad Miller hit a solo shot off Jose Berrios (8-7) to lead off the bottom of the seventh. It was Orf’s first career hit after coming up empty in his first seven at-bats.

Just a couple weeks ago, Broxton and Orf were also teammates at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

”Yeah I think I’m more excited about Orf’s home run,” Broxton said with a smile.

The Miller Park crowd was just as deliriously happy with Broxton’s catch. He ran full speed back to the wall and jumped with an outstretched glove to rob Brian Dozier of a homer for the second out in the ninth.

Broxton, filling in for the injured Lorenzo Cain, also made a tough catch at the angled part of the wall in center in a 6-5 win over Minnesota on Friday. He made a diving grab in the ninth last week to preserve a win at Cincinnati.

But manager Craig Counsell said Broxton’s latest catch was ”special … that one, he was on the run and had to time everything absolutely perfectly.”

The play prevented a rocky ninth for Corey Knebel from getting any worse. Eduardo Escobar hit his 13th homer and Jorge Polanco singled with two out Adidas Patrick Kane Jersey , but Max Kepler flied to left to end the game. Knebel picked up his 10th save.

The Twins closed out a 1-8 road trip with their sixth consecutive loss.

”Frustrating. Dozier hits that ball and they made a heck of a play on that ball and then (Escobar) goes deep,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

BIG HIT

Jesus Aguilar and Manny Pina lifted Orf up by his legs at the dugout steps to help the rookie answer a plea for a curtain call from a vocal crowd following his homer in the seventh.

”They picked me up and that’s when I noticed they wanted a curtain call,” Orf said. ”Next thing I know, I’m in front of all the fans on their shoulders. It was awesome.”

ON THE MOUND

Jeremy Jeffress (6-1) picked up the win despite allowing Dozier to score from third on Jorge Polanco’s bloop single to left for a 1-all tie in the top of the seventh. The hit snapped a stretch of 20 1/3 scoreless innings for Minnesota against the Brewers.

Berrios allowed five hits, struck out three and walked two in seven innings. He got little support from Minnesota’s punchless offense, which managed just three hits in the first 6 1/3 innings against Chase Anderson.

”I feel mad. As a pitcher, I never want to lose,” Berrios said. ”We had a chance to win the game and then they hit me for two homers. So I don’t like that.”

MAUER MILESTONE

Twins first baseman Joe Mauer got his 414th career double in the fourth inning, matching Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett for the franchise record.

QUOTABLE

”Yeah, that whole play, I think it was the best play I’ve ever made.” – Broxton on his ninth-inning catch.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Two-time All-Star RHP Ervin Santana (right middle finger surgery) is scheduled to make his next rehab appearance on Thursday at Class A Fort Myers. … Molitor said utility player Taylor Motter (concussion symptoms) is on a ”pretty good track” to return from the 7-day disabled list on Friday.

Brewers: OF Christian Yelich went 1 for 4 after being held out of the starting lineup for five games with lower back tightness. … Counsell said it’s a ”pretty good sign” that Cain (left groin) is running the bases. ”We are close, we’re just not there yet,” the skipper said.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Aaron Slegers will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start the opener of a four-game series on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. Slegers, who has made one appearance this season in the big leagues, is 5-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 starts in the minors. Left-handed reliever Gabriel Moya was optioned to Triple-A to open a roster spot.

Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-3) opens a four-game series against the visiting Atlanta Braves. Chacin is 1-4 with a 3.94 ERA in six career starts against Atlanta.

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