"I think it was the worst decision I made, quite honestly," Harlan told Green & Gold Today on Tuesday, via ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Harlan always believed coaching and GM duties should be kept separate, but he wrestled with the notion of replacing Wolf with an outsider. Sherman and Wolf had worked well together, and Harlan was reluctant to shake things up.
"I was concerned that if a new man came in from the outside, (Sherman) might have trouble getting along with him, (or) the new man might want to come in and want to totally change the scouting staff, which I thought was a capable young scouting staff. And so I decided to do something that I don't like to do -- give one man both jobs," Harlan said. "And (Sherman) didn't hurt us on the field -- we went 12-4, 12-4, 10-6, 10-6. (He) did a great job of coaching. But it got to the point when we started having problems with players that he almost seemed to be ignoring the team."
Harlan pointed to the long, contentious holdout of cornerback Mike McKenzie in 2004 as a breaking point. McKenzies' battle with the team left Sherman frazzled heading into the season, according to Harlan, who finally stripped the coach of his GM duties and named Ted Thompson to the role in 2005. No regrets there. Thompson is one of the game's premier personnel men and the Packers have a recent Super Bowl title to prove it.