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Wolf's Tree Grows Another Branch

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Wolf's Tree Grows Another Branch

With Packers' Director of Football Operations John Schneider reportedly being hired as General Manager of the Seattle Seahawks, yet another personnel man from the Ron Wolf tree has landed a job as General Manager of an NFL franchise. There's Thompson, of course, as well as Mike Reinfeldt of the Titans and Scot McCloughan of the 49ers. All these guys worked together under Wolf at one point or another.

Losing Schneider can be portrayed as a 'blow' - but the truth is it was probably only a matter of time. The Packers have been top-heavy in the personnel department for years, ever since Sherman brought Schneider back from Washington in 2002. Both Sherman and Thompson certainly benefited from having guys like Reggie McKenzie and Schneider to lean on, but it was really only a matter of time before some of them got picked off by rival clubs - indeed, McKenzie interviewed for the job that eventually went to Reinfeldt two years ago. It will be interesting to see if the Packers promote guys like Eliot Wolf (Ron's son) or Tim Terry or if they look outside the organization to bring in another senior personnel person to keep the department as top-heavy as it's been for nearly the last decade.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Todd From Minnesota's picture

Thank you Green Bay for the special effort to get rid of your MVP player two years ago. From Minnesota with Love.

brewers_rule's picture

So, w/that in mind, here's a debate-worthy topic: who's the better Wolf disciple, Reinfeldt in Tenn or our boy Ted Thompson?

packeraaron's picture

Brewers - gotta be TT.

BubbaOne's picture

I'm happy for John and grateful for all he's done for the Packers over the years. I just wished it happened later. I don't think a team has as strong a draft when it loses a key personnel man just before the draft. I don't know if it's due to losing his expertise, taking valuable draft info w/ him, a combination of the two, or something else.

douglasmp's picture

Pelissero raised an interesting issue in a Tweet. CEO Tod Leiweke recently said coach Pete Carroll will control 53-man roster, GM will be "a master of players and the draft board." Can this division of turf really work for Schneider? Carroll ran the whole show at USC and won the NCAA title outright once and tied for it a second time at USC. Is a 58 year-old college guru like Carroll going to cede all control over the "players and the draft" to a 38 year-old administrator? I have my doubts.

Jayme's picture

I'd be interested in seeing Thompson bring in someone who has come from a team that regularly trades for players or goes after free agents. I don't know if it will happen, but I think that that's something that has been missing (outside of a few very notable hits) from the Packers. I believe that the time to build through the draft has passed and it is now time to fit in those final pieces.

Dilligaff's picture

Was Schneider responsible for convincing TT to trade up to get Mathews, or was he responsible for pushing TT to draft Justin Harrell? This could be a good or bad thing.

bomdad's picture

Jayme, I dont want anyone that used to work for the Redskins, Vikings, Broncos, Raiders or Chiefs.

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Like Wolf, Holgrem sent out many asst. coaches to the head coach position too - but not all of them worked out. I look at the Wolf-Thompson offspring as the Holgrem-Rhodes saga.... I vote for Reinfeldt.
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Oppy's picture

Hey, Ms. Romano!

FITZCORE1252's picture

In all seriousness, what exactly does the "Packers’ Director of Football Operations" do?

Does he schedule travel arrangements and that sort of thing? Does he give Ted his 2 cents on talent? Just curious, anybody know?

GBP 4 LIFE

FITZCORE1252's picture

^^^^^^^ Nevermind,

Wilde cleared it up for me on G&GT. John was "basically the 2nd G.M.", according to Wilde... a "junior G.M."

GBP 4 LIFE

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Obviously Schneider sees more opportunity for himself in Seattle rather than in Green Bay under TT.
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packeraaron's picture

bob - yeah, it's called a step-up. It has nothing to do with TT.

Jayme's picture

bomdad - There are other teams that regularly trade for starters or pick up free agents. The Vikings have a Super Bowl contender by doing just that - albeit not nearly to the degree of the idiots on some of the teams you have mentioned. The Patriots have been known to make a couple trades (Welker, Moss, a host of other guys). I'm not looking for Thompson to suddenly morph into a free-agent only guy, just add a little bit more of it to his skillset. Completely ignoring trades and (mostly) eschewing free agency means that his opportunities to improve the team are limited and he must make the most of them. If he includes other avenues, he can improve the overall team without *needing* to have the top draft board year in and year out.
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bob - Are you kidding me? Trying to make this about Thompson is just stupidity. The guy was promoted to general manager, one of only 32 jobs in the country. One of only maybe 50 jobs that he could hope to land that were better than what he was doing. If anything, you should praise Thompson for having a host of guys on his staff that are qualified to be GM's in the league. To steal a quote from Forbes "The best leaders aren't afraid to surround themselves with powerful people--even if those people might eventually pose a threat."

PACKERS.'s picture

Alternative Title: Seahawks and Packer family trees' connect again.

This is getting rediculous...

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Aaron/Jayme- Both you guys read way too much in my statement (was about opportunity). Probably because you picked up elsewhere that I am no fan of TT.
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Anyhow, when TT can manage a team at least as well as the Vikes (who have balanced out a Divisional/championship team the past 2 years) or just win in the post season again, then I may have a change of heart. Earlier this year (after a miserable 6-10 season) TT was on the block. In 09, first 8 games looked dismal (just go back and look at what his supporters on this blog were saying then!) ... a better run at the end of the season saved him, but w/o a post season, who can tell what lies ahead. I do not have much confidence that he or MM are guys that can turn this team back into a championship team.
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And Brett Favre kicking our ass twice this year and now heading for the NFC champ game is not going to help the TT cause either. And all that talk about Pack being 'a different team' at end of season didn't pay off with the Cards.
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Footnote: I met a 75 yr. elderly lady visiting here (VA) who's lived in GB her whole life and knew more about football than most I've met.... she agreed with my assessment ... in fact, she stated until TT left she would root for Brett.... She went on to tell me there was a large number of folks who felt the same way in GB. Interesting. TT eval may not be as clear cut as you pretend.
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packeraaron's picture

bob- "TT eval may not be as clear cut as you pretend." My evaluation of Thompson is just that. Mine. I don't pretend anything.

PACKERS.'s picture

greenbaypackerbob: At the same time as the Brett Debacle, TT has been quietly building what will soon be a very dominant frachise. Clay Matthews... BJ Raji... Jordy Nelson... Jermichael Finely. While everyone has been criticizing TT for not picking up FAs, he has made some amazing draft picks. True, he's not perfect, but he's done more than most people give him credit for.

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Just curious; why does your name link to ESPN?

Jayme's picture

Bob - First, I'm sorry about the stupidity comment. It was rash, petty, and out of place.
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To start out with your last comment first, I live in Wisconsin (first 18 years of my life I lived in a small town north of Green Bay, then spent 4 years in Green bay, now I live about 2 hours away, but go back every other weekend to visit with friends/family). I can assure you that there are quite a few people who are adamantly anti-Thompson and pro-Favre. Even though there are many of these people, they are a very significant minority. I can't give you exact numbers, but my guess is that they are somewhere about 10 percent, with 60 percent supporting Thompson and the remaining 30 percent ambivalent. The pro-Thompson group has grown tremendously and steadily since the incident, and especially since Favre joined the Vikings.
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As for the management of the Vikings vs. Thompson's management of the Packers, you have to realize that the styles are completely different. The Vikings have been building up to this point with the goal of winning the Super Bowl or going home with nothing. If they don't win this year, you're going to see about 5 years of substandard play in Minnesota because they are not going to be able to keep their team together. They have a lot of high priced free agents, but little depth because of the way they have acquired their talent. Think of this as the Florida Marlins approach. They get a team together, make a run, and then watch as all the stars from that team go elsewhere, before putting another team together.
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The Packers, on the other hand, are built to play well year in and year out, with the hopes that, given enough chances, they will be able to get through one year. Think of the Pittsburgh Steelers under Cowher and now Tomlin. They may not have huge success in the playoffs for many of the years, but every couple of years they’d get hot at the right time and make a push, eventually winning their first Super Bowl in Cowher's 14th? season.
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Which is better? It’s hard to say. If Minnesota can win the Super Bowl this year, I’m sure that they’ll be willing to suffer through a tumultuous rebuilding period before making another run. If they don’t win it, I’m just as sure that the “Fire Childress” chants will be louder than ever. If the Packers can get to the playoffs almost every year, winning a game or two, and occasionally 3, then I call that a success, even if they don’t necessarily win that Super Bowl. If they continue to sit in the shadow of the Vikings because they just can’t seem to overcome that hump and do well in the playoffs, then this approach doesn’t count for a hill of beans.
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Finally, with respect to Favre, I don't actually think he'd be playing this well if he were still a Packer. That drive and motivation that he has had since Thompson and McCarthy said no has helped push him to levels of play that he had never seen before. Without that push, he probably plays well, but never actually approaches where he is at now. This has happened with the Brewers, although the player's name has escaped me. He went to the Rangers and pushed himself harder than ever before, only to piss off all his old teammates because he never put that kind of effort in for the Brewers. If this is what happened (which is very feasible, considering the level of effort he put in during some off-seasons with the Pack), and, considering the play of Aaron Rodgers, then Thompson made the right decision.

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Jayme
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Thanks for taking the time to explain your comments. Very clear, informative and good food for thought! No offense taken.
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greenbaypackerbob's picture

AN- "My evaluation of Thompson is just that. Mine. I don’t pretend anything."
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Ditto.
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greenbaypackerbob's picture

Packers - for the GBP sake, hope you are right about TT - my fault for him is that he has also let some amazing picks go as well - and certainly not all his picks have paid off or have been were the most need existed ... etc.,)
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*Espn is host for my account
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PACKERS.'s picture

Bob: Read Billick's More Than A Game, and you will realize how hard it actually is in the draft. It's practically impossible to never draft a bust in the NFL. Also, if you read the section about drafting quarterbacks, than you would be amazed at the fact that TT got someone as good as Rodgers. Example: According to Billick, six of the eighteen quarterbacks selected in the first round from 1992-2001 went on to have successful careers. TT has done more than anyone has given him credit for, and I think it would be crazy to expect perfection out of him, as some people do.

Go Pack Go!

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Packers
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If you check out my previous posts, I've stated many times that Rodgers was a great pick and I was glad we had him (even though I disagreed with the timing of the transition). Any case, my concern is whether or not TT/MM can produce the support he needs around him to get to post championship games (so far that has not happened). Until, the last part of this season MANY were doubtful. I'm just not there yet.... unfortunately for some, not being there has become almost like a 'moral litmus test' for legitimate debate.
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PACKERS.'s picture

Bob: TT has already started. Finely... Nelson... The offensive line needs to be reworked, and he's already started that by getting Lang. I think Rodgers will have plenty of support in the future.

Go Pack Go!

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Why are we heading into AR year 3 and just now getting what we think/hope will work for AR? AR's stats were good in 08 but we finished 6-10 ... much better in 09 but still 'most sacked QB in NFL' ... AR needed the support as a new QB before transitioning to the top spot on the team.
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