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It\'s Not Just Thompson

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It\'s Not Just Thompson

Everyone, especially those in the national media, want to pitch the Favre situation as Thompson vs. Favre. This couldn't be more wrong, as Thompson alluded to in his press conference yesterday:

We don't just make arbitrary decisions. We talk it over with all of our staff. We go through this over and over again, and yeah, we've talked through the different scenarios. And I understand why there are people out there that think, 'Holy smokes, you're crazy.' I just think it's important for people to know we believe this is the right direction for the Packers to go both now and in the future.

For the record, it is Favre vs. Thompson, McCarthy, Moss, Philbin, McKenzie, Clements and Schneider. Combined, they have spent over 100 years in NFL front offices and/or as coaches in the league. Each one of these men has staked their professional careers on the decision to choose Rodgers over Favre.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

manolito's picture

Wonder if their assessment at the end of the year was that there wasn't that much rubber left on Favre's tires? We'll probably never know clearly but that had to have been some of the motivation, anyway.

packeraaron's picture

I think that's pretty much the case. If you go back and look at his game by game performance, he not only struggled in the cold, he really struggled against the better defenses the Packers faced last year. (Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys, Giants playoff game, even the Bronco game despite the two huge TD throws)I think Thompson and crew just think the big slip is about to come, and it's better to get out a bit early than a bit late.

PRC's picture

I think its more likely that they decided after the Farve unretirement Waffle in March that it was time for the TEAM to move on, not because Farve could not still play but because this "will he/won't he" act was wearing thin in the front office and the locker room.

Farve's inability to commit to anything combined with having Rodgers waiting for his turn was enough to say it was time to turn the page.

Remember they were willing to take him back before he retired, and even AFTER he retired...It wasn't till late March when he said he was coming back and then did an abrupt about face that they decided as a team to "move on".

packeraaron's picture

Read it this morning. The letterhead is the best... ;)

manolito's picture

PRC, I think you make the right point. As part of my job, I see how interpersonal dynamics on project teams influence performance every day. Having people committed to the delivery of work product (wins, playoff berths, superbowl rings) is an essential part of getting the team optimized. I can imagine the Packers brass feeling (especially with the youth movement on the team overall now) that going with youth at the QB position would create a better team environment.

To your point, packeraaron, I'm reminded of the Favre's press conference after the Redskins game, wherein he was pressed to discuss his having underthrown the deep ball. He fervently defended himself, saying "it was just one game!" Telling? Perhaps...

packeraaron's picture

Well, the media did make a ludicrous deal about his arm strength after that game. As every sane Favre observer knows, his arm strength will be the last thing to go. His frustrated response was a bit out of character and perhaps was telling. As to PRCs point - indeed the Packers were willing to bring him back in early April. I just keep going back to the McGinn article after the Giants game when McGinn intimated that for the first time there were people in the front office that wanted to move on without Favre.

manolito's picture

Do you have the link to that article? It'd be an interesting read at this point.

PRC's picture

I remember the article and I think thats been the case for longer than that but ultimately the decision even then was to take him back next year...until he retired.

I am sure the questions about wether to move on or not have been lingering for a few years because if we're hearing it in the press then either its being openly discussed in team offices or they want us to hear it. Or both....

packeraaron's picture

manolito - email me at aaron@cheeseheadtv.com

Keith's picture

Ugh, I hate to always sound like a biased Favre defender, but I really believe context is needed for the aforementioned games.

Sure he struggled against the Skins, but it was very early in the season and they had no semblance of a running game. If memory serves, I believe Jennings was also out. I just can't get on him for that game. He's never played well in Dallas, so those tea leaves seem a bit spoiled to me. I don't recall the Eagles game all that much, and since I'm working I don't have the time to research it. The Giants playoff game: their D-Line was otherworldly down the stretch and in the postseason. They beat the crap out of everyone. Tom Brady had a rough go of it against that front. I'm inclined to give him a pass on that game, especially since the offense demolished Seattle the week before.

I think we're making things more complicated than they need to be. Brett played very well last year and would probably done very well this season. Any slight dip in performance would have been offset by the improvement in the running game. He would be in training camp now if he hadn't screwed around with the front office in March. McCarthy and Thompson are selling a certain king of culture and they need a QB who is committed, so they're going with Rodgers, for better or worse. It's Brett's prerogative if he decides he wants to play, and Thompson should try to accomodate him without hurting his own team in the process. Things got ugly because Brett's feelings were hurt when told he could not just re-ascend to the throne he abdicated and also because Thompson is trying to squeeze too much out of the teams who want Favre. Everyone knows he won't be traded in division and everyone knows that the longer this drags out, the crazier the circus in GB will become. Thompson should just trade him for a 4th/5th rounder and be done with it.

packeraaron's picture

Great points Keith, though you are indeed being far too easy on ol' Brett. (And for the record - Jennings only missed the first two weeks - the Eagles and first Giants game) Sorry, things like 'He never plays well in Dallas' don't really absolve him of chucking it down into triple coverage.

Keith's picture

Still, I think the Dallas game was more of a mental thing than a physical thing, which is usually the issue when Brett has a poor game.

For me it's simple, the dude can still throw bullets and was a top 5 QB last year. He bought into McCarthy's system and pretty much carried the offense until Grant's emergence. I was interested to see how he would do with a second year of restraint coupled with a more consistent running game.

packeraaron's picture

I was interested as well, but I'm much more interested in seeing what Rodgers does over the course of his career. If Thompson and the crew above are sold on him hard enough that they are willing to put up with the furor over Favre, I say let's see what the kid can do...

PackerBelle's picture

Keith, you said "It’s Brett’s prerogative if he decides he wants to play, and Thompson should try to accomodate him without hurting his own team in the process. Things got ugly because Brett’s feelings were hurt when told he could not just re-ascend to the throne he abdicated and also because Thompson is trying to squeeze too much out of the teams who want Favre."

However, I see the problem not being with Thompson wanting to much but with Favre. According to Peter King the Packers have asked Favre for a list of teams he would accept a trade to and he's refused both times. Thompson doesn't seem to be asking or the sun and the moon. Peter King thinks it is a guaranteed 4th round that could rise to a third or second based on Favre's performance. But no one wants Favre. There are multiple articles about how the Packers are calling everyone but no one is interested outside of the NFC North.

I think Brett had a great year last year and I think he could have had a great year this year. But the way he has acted has been completely inappropriate and he seems to be the one holding up the show - not Thompson.

packeraaron's picture

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/peter_king/07/28/mmqb/2.html
Quote of the Week

"I'm just doing my due diligence for the team. Do you have any interest in trading for Brett Favre?''
--Green Bay director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie, in a telephone conversation with one NFL team last week, according to an official with that team

The team said no. The conversation lasted about 40 seconds.

Keith's picture

The other day I began some cursory prep work for my upcoming fantasy football draft and the state of quarterbacking in the NFL is a sad one. I can't believe that teams do not have any interest in Favre.

PackerBelle's picture

I can understand it. He doesn't seem fully committed, he costs a ton and isn't going to be around for long, and he's shown a willingness to throw everyone and anyone under the bus to get what he wants. I wouldn't want that.

packeraaron's picture

The biggest problem is - the teams that could use him the most (Vikings, Bears) will never be allowed to get him. Unless they offer a Herschel Walker-type ransom...

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Great post Aaron, as always. It will be interesting to see if this story takes a new twist with the allegations and release of the employee leaking information today.

This story gets more Chronicles of Narnia everyday.

packeraaron's picture

Thanks much. I'm dubious about that story, but def looking into it...

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