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\'Need\' Picks No Surprise

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\'Need\' Picks No Surprise

I know a lot of people are seeing Thompson's picking for 'need' this past weekend as a sign that he is 'feeling the heat'. I guess there might be some truth to that, but I think it's much closer to the truth to say that this year we saw a GM who has spent the last three years building his talent base by continually trading back and accumulating picks in the draft who is now picking and choosing to fill the remaining holes on his roster. I also think you saw a GM who has watched his team get pushed around one to many times in short yardage situations, both on offense and defense, and took it upon himself to toughen up his lines.

Now, is there extra pressure on Thompson after a disappointing 6-10 campaign? Of course. But this draft fits perfectly into the trajectory that started with Thompson laying the foundation for his team and then solidifying it once he improved the overall talent level. This draft was the first where Thompson felt comfortable enough with the talent on hand to go after the guys he really wanted.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

JoeBuck's picture

I concur. Whether you agree with TT's approach or not, you have to give the guy props for owning it and not waffling in the face of some serious fan frustration. He proved this past weekend that he can have some flexibility in his approach, and, alas, may even be a threat to make an aggressive move on occasion. If all goes well with the "core" this season, he could be in position to do some cherry pickin' again next year.

grhombe's picture

I've said from the begining of TT that if there was a player he thought could solidify the packers he would trade up, sign him for more than he is worth ect. Needless to say he thought that kid was clay matthews...he got him!

Packnic's picture

i think its all a non issue. every year is different, and just because Ted hasn't, doesnt mean Ted won't. The media and idiot fans have painted a box around Ted as a certain type of GM, when in reality its simply a phase in a process.

I think it has more to do with the team wanting to beef itself up as you suggest more so than any roster holes. Fullback wasnt a need position but if a big physical, aggressive, mean ram hammer falls to you and can make you better you take him.

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

Packnic its not the media and idiot fans, BPA is the philosophy that Thompson himself espouses.

PackersRS's picture

Aaron is totally right... You draft BPA when A) You need to restructure your roster (Broncos) or B) Your roster has no flaws (Steelers). But when you think you're 1, 2 pieces away from a Super Bowl, and you SEE those pieces in the draft (not PROJECT those pieces, you SEE them), then you draft for a need. You still go through the draft board, but you adapt the board to your needs. And there were no reach. CM3 could go as high as #12, and we didn't miss on any player on round 3, au contraire, we got Jamon Meredith with the 5th pick from the Patriots. BTW, the Patriots drafted needs, too. CB, backup DT, SS, OL...

PackersRS's picture

Sorry, forgot about the other style of draft strategy, the "get the track and field athlete and put him on pads" strategy... Just had to mention it, it's thanks to him and Eric Mangini we got this awesome draft...

JoeBuck's picture

Sometimes you get lucky and the player you want falls to you. But, if you really want the guy, you can't risk it, and must be willing to move aggressively to go get him. I applaud Ted for doing just that with CM3. CM3's going to be special. Loved this quote from him: "I was undersized as a junior and I didn't even start and my dad was the D-coordinator. That alone speaks volumes about where I have come from..." It sure does. And it also speaks volumes about the man who preceded him (CMjr).

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

"Sometimes you get lucky and the player you want falls to you. But, if you really want the guy, you can’t risk it, and must be willing to move aggressively to go get him."

---Mike Sherman

Franklin Hillside's picture

Have we taken to quoting Mike Sherman?
Okay then: "Yeah, Brett? Hey, it's Sugar Bear. Just wondering who we should draft this year?" "Him? Really? Okay, whatever you say."

WoodyG's picture

@Packnic
""i think its all a non issue. every year is different, and just because Ted hasn’t, doesnt mean Ted won’t. The media and idiot fans have painted a box around Ted as a certain type of GM, when in reality its simply a phase in a process.""

You posted it before I had a chance. To pigeon hole TT as a certain kind of GM is absurd. If fans would listen closely to what TT has been saying the past four years, the trade-up would not have been a surprise. He built up the core & is now filling in the holes.

Don't be surprised if free agency becomes more relevant for GB in 2010. Timing is the key for all approaches to building a long term successful team. NE changes their strategy yearly.

Franklin Hillside's picture

I love it when a plan comes together.

"His momma named him Teddy, but folks just called him yellow
But something always told me they were readin' Teddy wrong."

Keith's picture

I touched on this in the live draft chat thingy. The first phase of any program is to get competitive. You do that by adding as much talent as you can, and building a solid, well-rounded team. The next phase is to become a winning team. This means you have to target your weaknesses, through the draft or free agency and fill them. The final phase is winning a championship. This is the hardest phase because it's evanescent. You will have a very small window to try and grab that brass ring, so you will have years when you're in championship mode, but others when you take a step back and need to patch holes. Even though the Pack was 6-10 last year, I think they are closer to championship quality than people realize. Last year was a rough one. There was surely going to be a bit of a let down after '07, it was Aaron' first season, Grant held out, the injury bug bit the front 7 a bit, and we had an awful DC. Well, Aaron should be settled in, Grant should have his head on straight, we brought in a new trainer who will hopefully stress explosiveness and quickness rather than strength, and we have Capers as the new DC. Further, when you look at the roster, there is a lot of talent, and Thompson not only addressed the weak areas, but he greatly improved them, IMO. The dline was always getting pushed back, well he got Raji, who is a monster. Our pass rush SUCKED. Hello CM3. The O-Line wasn't that great/is getting old at tackle. Lang and Meredith fall in our laps. What's that you say? The team lacks toughness, especially in short yardage? What say you in regard to Quinn Johnson? Now, obviously any and all of these guys could be busts, but anyone who follows the draft knows that Thompson did a great job of balancing "need" with "BPA." IMO, none of the first 4 guys were reach picks. In fact, I believe Raji, Lang, and Meredith were all value picks of different degrees.

I'll finish with this. Traditionally, I am a baseball guy before all else. But man, after this draft, I wish the games were starting tomorrow. Cannot wait to see our new guys in Green and Gold.

JerseyPackfan's picture

http://cheeseheadtv.com/forum/what_if_raji_is_gone-t718.0.html

Love it when a good thought comes true!!! The drafting of Matthews I mean.

JerseyPackfan's picture

I have a question for you all. What did you guys think of Kevin Greene`s press conference? I love this guy!! The 2 part question from the reporter is the best...hilarious!
This coach is going to add a fire we have not seen in years.

PackersRS's picture

I love all the coaches changes. We lacked intelligence at D? There's Dom Capers. We lacked passion? Hello Kevin Greene. We're just a bunch of physiculturists who cannot run with anybody and can't stay on the field (a.k.a. A.J. Hawk)? Redding is the answer...

L.A.'s picture

Aaron, I'm going to devil's advocate you. If the idea that we have a "team in place" now as the reason why we're suddenly drafting for need, why didn't we start doing that last year? After going 13-3, you would think that we were set at every position, and in fact, we made no major upgrades to any starting positions whatsoever. But then, after falling to 6-10...NOW the team is completely in place and we can go for needs?
I love the thought that this is part of the plan as much as anyone. But if having the depth in place is true, we wouldn't have traded back for our #4 wide receiver last year.
Since that draft, TT has endured:
* Favregate
* Criticism beyond limits of rational thought
* a 7-game decline, historically the biggest drop in franchise history.
* a mass firing of assistants
* a new DC and scheme change regarded as "the answer"
As I said, I love the idea of this being all a part of the genius scheme. But the reality is that this has a lot to do with what has happened in the last 12 months. If the Packers had gone 12-4 or 13-3 this year, I really don't think Thompson's draft approach would have changed much at all.

Mr. Optimistic's picture

Really, who cares what the motivation behind the picks was? If they work out, great, if not, boo!

A totally-need based draft would have included a punter. Maybe not in the 3rd round, though,.

GraveDigger's picture

I too loved Kevin Greene's press conference, specifically the two-part question. For those who didn't see this interview, Greene asks a reporter to rephrase his question into two distinct parts because numerous concussions have supposedly limited Greene's attention span (when really the reporter should have known to ask more succinct questions). His emphasis on toughness, as shown in the interview, shows he prioritizes toughness and will not let any of the linebackers slack off at all during training. I definitely think the Packers players will respond to the "players mentality" that Greene clearly brings to the table.
Along with the hirings of Dom Capers and Greene, I think the hiring of Dave Redding will too be of much benefit to the organization. My prediction is that a regimen more focused on explosiveness and stamina rather than a power-lifting approach will especially benefit A.J Hawk - known for his daily heavy work-out appearances. Many have claimed him as a "disappointment" for the 5th pick in the draft.. and I think that this year and the 3-4 switch will truly allow him and his abilities to shine.

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