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Thompson and McCarthy\'s Failure

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Thompson and McCarthy\'s Failure

Since Ted Thompson arrived, he has overseen the dismantling of a very good offensive line and turned it into dreck. There's no other way to put it. Along the way, we've been told that the veterans on the team were too expensive, that free agents were old and overpriced, and that there was no need to spend high draft picks on offensive linemen.

What we've seen through the first four games is an offensive line almost exclusively of Ted Thompson's making - and it is an unmitigated disaster. We were told to be patient as players like Colledge and Spitz matured in the offseason program. We were told these players were the perfect fit for the zone blocking system and that there was no need to chase stud offensive linemen that were available via free agency or trade because they would be no good in McCarthy's system.

I am finally, after four years, calling 'bullshit'.

Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have completely and utterly failed at one of the most important aspects of their job - protecting the investment they and the franchise have made in Aaron Rodgers.  It is all well and good to 'home grow' your talent, but for the second year running, the Packers look like little boys on the offensive line playing against men.

Thompson and McCarthy now have two weeks to survey the damage and make an adjustment - they are, of course, limited in what they can do. Yes, they worked out Levi Jones and others last week, and signing someone from off the street would certainly give the appearance of action, though who knows how much it would actually help.

The one bright spot in last night's debacle was the play of rookie T.J. Lang, who came in off the bench for an injured Daryn Colledge and played lights-out against Jared Allen. Yes, Allen got the best of him one time, but for a rookie to come in at a point in the game where the defense has all but given up needing to play the run, and for Lang to do as well as he did, it speaks well of the young man and his future.

The same can not be said for Thompson and McCarthy.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (36) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Billy Rosewood's picture

Couldn't have said this better myself and I'll even say I've been a huge TT supporter throughout.

Andyman's picture

And how. Rodgers won't last a whole season if he keeps getting sacked 5 times a game and banged around many more times.

bigfog's picture

Maybe Ted and Mike will finally pull their heads out of the asses and finally scrap that broken down, piece of crap zone blocking system. Get rid of it already!

Ron La Canne's picture

Ahhh, a convet.

Packermarty7's picture

This is so god damn stupid. How was this o-line not an issue in camp. Where is the pressure we saw against the bears. Favre played well but we made him look great!!

JerseyAl's picture

With the bye week coming up, wouldn’t NOW be the perfect time to bring in an OL or two that can actually play? Two weeks to learn the offense…

IronMan's picture

Jersey Al, don't expect any miracles with the O line. This is what we are stuck with.

Ron La Canne's picture

And a Safety, Al.

alfredomartinez's picture

watching this game at work last nite (i work at a bar n grill) it hit close to home. it reminded me of david carr and his struggles due to the shitty o-line the texans had (i go to fresno state), and although Carr aint as talented as Rodgers by damn far, i can see how discouraging playing with guys that cant block for shit would be. your right on the money, TT and MM need to protect a-rod, i mean the guy is a fucking stud!! im just afraid that they are too proud and stupid to realize such. remember TT you always draft towards your division!!

brewers_rule's picture

I think one of the major missing pieces in the discussion on the Vikes/Pack game are Capers/McCarthy's playcalling. The fact a 40yo QB who essentially has NO good WR's to throw to could have a tea party back there the whole game is completely unacceptable. Yes, we're seeing the same moronic moves on the Oline costing us like TT's Dline moves did last offseason, but Capers and McCarthy need to get playcalling right. Running would have helped, as USUAL, as would blitzing Methuzilah #4. Get that right, and we can make hay out of badly fitting Oline until the inevitable offseason fixes can be made AGAIN.

alfredomartinez's picture

also one more thing i need to vent...you know what really grinds my gears, all these "vikings fans" that all of the sudden came out of the darkness and are rooting for the queens off top of their lungs. go back to the asshole you all bastards crawled out of and do yourselves a favor and take that fucking price tag off your nasty ass purple t-shirts (sigh)...ahhhh...much better...

Ron La Canne's picture

Question: Did you feel on some of those that Aaron should get the ball out?
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MM: To be honest with you I need to watch it. In the flow of the game, I don't think it'd be practical for me to sit here and evaluate the left guard and the right tackle, time clock and things like that. I'm calling plays out there, so I need to look at the film.
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"I'm calling the plays out there, so I need to look at the film."
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I guess that tells me that Rodgers is still not given the option to change the plays. It sure sounds like it. So, Rodgers carries out the play as designed, no change. Maybe he is instructed to hold until something happens? I think so!

wgbeethree's picture

You can't really deny that ON PAPER all of our o linemen seem like a perfect fit for the ZBS. Each one of them was considered a prototype for the position that just needed to have his physical talent molded. The fact that James Campen still has a job is completely inexcusable. The line as a whole and each of the individuals brought in have not improved at all since he took over for Jags. Campen has no experience with the ZBS and clearly seems to be a terrible line coach. The fact that we have drafted so many (10 I believe) players that seem to have all the right tools to be successful and yet NONE of them are developing or improving at all shows me its Campen who is the problem. Even a blind monkey could throw darts at a draftboard and find at least one player who would have shown some improvement with the right coaching. I just have a hard time believing anybody no matter how bad you think he is would miss 100 percent on 10 picks. We aren't going to magially find 5 or 6 servicable linemen in free agency this week so I see no other way of improving the oline aside from firing Campen and bringing in someone else who can coach up the guys we do have.

Packnic's picture

Aaron as much as it pains me to say... you're right here, its a failure.

But i personally think firing them is a terrible idea. That only sets us up for more rebuilding and more rebuilding. They have to, have to, have to fix this o-line. Give them credit, the talent is there they just cant protect it. with a half decent Oline we are the best offense in football. And we cant want to fire Ted and Mike because they failed in one aspect, because they succeeded in spades everywhere else.

paco's picture

Name me the 1st round OT they should have taken in the last few years? We don't have a bunch of late rounders. Colledge - 2nd, Sptiz - 3rd, Sitton - 4th, Barbre - 4th. No they haven't worked out. But TT has certainly tried. And free agency, what a joke. No o-lineman has been worth the money in FA.

AndrewInAtlanta's picture

I've stayed silent much of the morning but seeing this post I think it's time to speak. I agree with you Aaron - mostly. My biggest complaint is the musical chairs approach to the Oline when an injury occurs. I rather liked Spitz at C and Colledge at LG. And has anyone noticed that Barbre, while still needing improvement, has not been the total disaster the first game made him out to be? Also, Sitton looks to be developing. Scott Wells should not be on the field. We need a LT very badly.

I don't like the ZBS and I put that on TT & MM. I think you used the word stubborn for MM. I would add TT to that trait. One of my favorite expressions is the "insanity" TT & MM continually display - doing things the same way and expecting the results to be different. C'mon guys. Look in the mirror and admit what you have (or don't have)

Having said all that, I want to come back to the Defense. If you look at my posts in the offseason, this is where I had the most concern. I simply don't think we have the personnel to run the 3-4 effectively this year. It's probably not a bad idea to put Kampman in a 3 point stance for a good number of snaps. We simply can't get to the quarterbck. I also no longer think it's far fetched to consider trading him for a safety, OLB or OL. I had some bad memories last night of last year's D. Maybe Capers has turned conservative all of a sudden but I'm more inclined to think there is only so much he can do with what he has. Forget preseason. It's artificial. Watching the ILBs try to blitz a few times last night was painful. Just like last year - big plays from time to time, but no consistent pressure. I really hate #4 but he could not have done a better job of picking our predictable defense apart.

If MM uses the words "clean that up" one more time I think I will impale myself on something sharp

I can't think of a more hostile environment, more motivated head coach and QB (Chilly & #4) or more media scrutiny than last night. We blew 3 scoring chances deep in MN territory and STILL damn near pulled the thing out. I'm not as angry today as I thought I would be. Perhaps that's because I am just so impressed with A-Rod. But it's time for TT to make a move and I think Kampman and/or Barnett are the bait. As I said, it's just not so far fetched any longer

Nice post Aaron

packeraaron's picture

Paco, Davis wasn't worth the money? Faneca wasn't worth trading for? Michael Oher wasn't worth trading up to get? Lots and lots and lots of options.

andy's picture

Aaron, who is the 'Davis' you speak of?

andy's picture

And I noticed that Micheal Oher is playing left tackle for the very good Baltimore Ravens right now. Yikes.

packeraaron's picture

andy - Leonard Davis. He was a failure as a tackle with the Cardinals, but has been a revelation as a guard for the Cowboys.

andy's picture

Ah yes, thanks. He is a huge dude, though. Doubtful Thompson and McCarthy wanted him for the free flowing ballet that is zone blocking.

PackersThad's picture

I am just going to come out and say it:

I love Aaron Kampman...he's one of my favorite Packers, and HE GIVES MAX EFFORT OF EVERY PLAY, but I think it's time to trade him for an Offensive Lineman (specifically a Tackle).

We need help on the O-line, and we need it now.

matthew's picture

Remember in '96 when they brought in Bruce Wilkerson down the stretch. He was by no way a flashy pick-up but he solidfied the line. I don't see how Levi Jones could do any harm. There has to be something we can do outside of tar and feathering James Campen

packeraaron's picture

Matthew - had something in the post citing the Wilkerson pickup, but I've cited it so many times, I figured people would get sick of it - but you're 100 percent correct. Wolf saw the mistake that needed fixing and plugged the hole. Thompson has been completely adverse to doing anything like that until it's too late.

Mr. Optimistic's picture

Welcome to the dark side. I think we've had enough time with TT to know. Compare where the team was 4-5 years after Wolf to where they are now. The QB situation isn't really my concern, but since people tend to associate TT with Favre vs. Rodgers, i feel obliged to mention it. Here goes: The Rodgers pick was a good one, but it's what i would have done with the #25 pick in 2005. I am just an amateur, mind you. I don't get paid to think about the draft, i don't have assistants and scouts working under me, and if i want to go look at a guy, i'd have to take time off work and buy my own tickets. TT's a pro and ought to be judged as such.
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+1 on the insanity insight above. If things aren't working out -- and they aren't -- you have to try something different. I give Angelo credit for changing the way he did things. I didn't think he had it in him. Now maybe the Cutler deal won't work out, but at least he tried, and he did make the Bears more interesting. I'm not surprised the way this Packer season is working out and that's really kind of boring.

VApackerfan's picture

I'm not going to sit here and analyze draft picks because I think that's a waste of time. We can sit here and talk about Oher over Clay Matthews etc etc., but looking at Matthews this season, I see a rare breed. This is especially true amongst the non play makers we have at linebacker. He is already standing out in his first 4 nfl games. However, TT does need to take the Ron Wolf approach and start plugging gaps. Unfortunately, it is looking too late for that this season. This should have been done early in free agency/offseason. It's pathetic that when your LT goes down, you have to shift everyone over one spot. Talk about zero depth. This should have been addressed in the offseason as well as the backup QB position. We aren't talking about the QB position now, but if A-Rod keeps getting hit like he has, then we are screwed. I too have been a huge Kampman supporter, but last night was bad. I have been hoping that he would somehow adapt to this 3-4 defense. He looked non-existent. I was expecting him to exploit a rookie right tackle all game long with blitzes, but he was eaten up by a 343lb rookie. It's pointless for him to loose all that weight in the offseason if he can't get around a big tackle, or his mobility is bad in the pass coverage. The bottom line is that our 3-4 personnel is not all there, and is very much a work in progress.

shadowsunnyd's picture

Remember about naming streets after Packer coaches and players. Here are some ideas:

McCarthy's name on all "Dead End" signs in Green Bay.
Maybe name the sewer system after Thompson or the sewage treatment plant after him.
Maybe the Kohler company can help by adding M & T's name to their toilets. No that wouldn't be fair now that I think of it; Kohler puts out a quality product to handle crap and who would want these guys name on their quality product.

nerdmann's picture

We as fans have all defended TT and MM this whole time. They owed us this game. You don't have to win, but at LEAST hit Brent hard a few times.
At LEAST fix that idiotic offensive line. This was a HUGE turning point for the TT/MM regime. From now on, they don't have all that good faith anymore. From now on, they're going to have to prove to US, the die hard fans, that they are legit.
And it ALL comes down to the offensive line. If we had that, we'd be unstoppable.
So I say to TT and MM. PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

Oppy's picture

I'm praying that the collapse of Clifton, and ultimately Colledge last night versus the Vikings, may have a silver lining.
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I'm hoping that TJ Lang's remarkably sound performance against the one of the NFL's premier DE's was a blessing.
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While I know that Lang is quite highly regarded by the Packers for his versatility- especially for a rookie- and the Packers have trained him at LG,C,RG and RT, to the best of my knowledge not only have they not toyed with him at LT, but the Packers may not have ever thought he COULD play LT even if they wanted him to.
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What we saw last night may be something special, something that the coaches never would have fathomed had they not been forced into a position to put Lang in the game.. Perhaps TJ Lang can not only play LT, but maybe, just maybe, he may have opened everyone's eyes, and maybe, just maybe, he has the tools to become the future at LT when it's time for Clifton to pass the torch.
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Who knows? Stranger things have happened. But Aaron was absolutely right when he stated it last night during the live game blog- "Lang is handling Allen". Perhaps it's a case of a horrible situation creating a worst-case scenario personnel change which ends up being a perfect fit for the future.

nerdmann's picture

YO, AARON. Can you put some film of Lang up here? I'd like to check him out again. Thanks.

Glorious80s's picture

MM and TT have also put together what has the makings of a good, exciting team, which makes it so frustrating. You can see it now and then and the preseason at least showed what is possible. So, maybe the OL needs a new coach, maybe bring back Jags, whatever. Get it fixed, because this offense could be really explosive. And I'm darn sure I wouldn't like the Favreites get their way with the firing of TT and MM. Both manned up to BF, were right last year and will be proved so. The next round in GB is so critical. I hope the Pack gets it. Shove the Vikes back to MN.

Mr. Optimistic's picture

5 drafts and MM&TT have the "makings of a good team?" Woo. Hoo. At this point in their tenures, Ron Wolf & Holmgren's team was flattening just about everything in its path on the way to the super bowl.
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I know it's a matter of taste, but i don't even find them terribly interesting. Their weakest link (OL) is so weak that no one can really play to their potential, not even the guys on defense.

Glorious80s's picture

Did you not watch the pre-season? Yes, vanilla teams, optimal conditions, but it's what's possible and it's up to the coaches to take it to the next level, starting with fixing the lines and self defeating errors.

Mr. Optimistic's picture

Matt Millen's team went 4-0 in the preseason before going on an 0-16 run. So no, i don't think that's what is possible, not in the regular season. The goals of preseason are very different (evaluation, development, avoiding injury), and that makes for very different conditions.

Glorious80s's picture

The Lions didn't dominate the way the Packers did in those games. There were glimpses of it last year. The pre-season goals must also have been to test the engine, so to speak, since McCarthy actually game planned in the third. How can it not be a potentionally explosive offense with the talent they've got? They have to fix the line and the mistakes.

Mr. Optimistic's picture

How can they not be explosive? By having a completely porous OL, that's how. It drags everything down. Ends and backs are in to block and are not attacking. There are fewer guys running routes, which means the defense has more guys to cover the ones that do. The running game is awful and the QB is running for his life. Lack of offense affects the defense, because the Packers lose TOP and field position. Even the kickers will have problems.
* * *
If you're going to say that there is a link between preseason and regular season, then you have to look at the quality of opponents. The combined record of Packer preseason foes is 2-14.

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