Create Account

Or log in with Facebook


Log in

Or log in with Facebook

A Word On Thompson

By Category

A Word On Thompson

I'd like to echo Andy's appreciation of Tom Silverstein's question and answer session with Packer GM Ted Thompson. Silverstein, taking over for Bob McGinn who has done most of the GM season ending Q&A's prior to this, does just a first rate job asking questions that fans want answered, and, more importantly, following up and not letting Thompson get away with vagueness and generalities.

There's a lot to chew on but for me, the most telling part of the back and forth comes when Thompson is mulling over possible reasons for the Packers losing so many close games.

It just comes down to executing at the right time, finishing. And sometimes finishing doesn't have anything to do with the fourth quarter, sometimes it means if you have a chance to go up by two scores at the end of the third quarter, you pretty much put the game out of reach rather than keep a team in the game and all of a sudden you lose it at the end.

Thompson reiterates this point later on:

Sometimes that has to do with the defense getting off the field one more time and if we do that the game is over and it's not even going to be close. Or it means scoring and making it a two-possession game at the end of the third quarter instead of letting it get into the fourth quarter still a tight game.

It's a very astute point that Thompson is making and one I think is getting lost a bit as the narrative of the 2008 season is being written, that of the inept defense (which, of course, is most certainly true) and a powerhouse offense (which isn't exactly the case).

One need look no further than the second Bears game or the Texan game or the Jacksonville game, etc. to see what Thompson is talking about. I mean, the Packers had a whopping 7 points going into the 4th quarter against the Texans. The TEXANS - a team that also fired their offensive coordinator. (In fact, the Saints, the Jaguars and the Texans ALL got rid of their defensive coordinators, and the Packers didn't exactly light-up any of them) Thompson sees that the offense is as responsible as the defense for the problems the team experienced in the second half of the season. The difference, to me at least, is that Thompson is sure McCarthy is a good coach who can correct things while being equally convinced that Sanders was not.

On a side note, I also wanted to point out something I read on National Football Post this morning. It was in Michael Lombardi's Diner News regarding NFL coaching searches and the following caught my eye:

Last year, poor Jim Fassell was all set to become the Redskins’ head coach, but the front office of the ‘Skins decided to test fan and media reaction before finalizing the deal. When the public sentiment was not favorable, the ‘Skins backed off and went in another direction. It appears the Jets are very concerned about what the media and fans are thinking. They want a friendly press conference and they do not want to have to sell their head coach to the media and fans.

I'm sorry, but that is beyond absurd and it's one of the reasons I like Thompson's approach for the most part. Sure, it can be maddening to listen to his evasive non-answers during press conferences, and yes, he can be deliberate to a fault (see: Frost, Derrick) but he stands behind his decisions whether popular or unpopular. He stands in front of that throng at Lambeau every year on draft day and listens to them boo him. He understands where the passion is coming from and doesn't ever talk down to fans, although most of the time they deserve to be talked down to.

Of course, it all comes down to winning, something Thompson's teams have not done enough of. 2009 will be an important year for Thompson and the Packers (though not the end-all-be-all that most are making it out to be) and I have faith that Thompson has the team on the right track to bring a championship back to Titletown.

  • Like Like
  • 0 points

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

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

People were really impressed with Silverstein? I found the interview to be a bunch of grandstanding.

"Are you arrogant"? What's the point of that question? Like Thompson is going to say "now that I think about it, yes, I am arrogant." The only pount is that Silverstein was trying to show everyone how tough he was.


Here's a great script for Silverstein's next great interview:

"Are you an asshole or just an idiot?"
"When did you stop beating your wife?"
"Why aren't you more like Bill Belichick?"
"Does this sweater make look fat?"

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

Also, all the Aaron Rodgers stuff was annoying. It's funny. The national media gets it.

Why can't the Journal Sentinel guys---the ones who supposedly follow the team more closely---pick up on the obvious point that Rodgers led plenty clutch drives only to watch his kicker and the defense let him down?

The only people in the whole world that don't understand that is Tony Kornheiser and the JS writers.

Franklin Hillside's picture

I thought TT was pretty open and forthcoming.

If you were the Jets or the Redskins, why would you ever let that become public knowledge?!?! That's embarrassing.

packeraaron's picture

DDD, was Silverstein abrasive? Perhaps. But he wasn't grandstanding. I realize you don't like it when reporters inject their audience into their questioning, but I thought asking Thompson if he was arrogant was brilliant. You can't tell me you don't know a hundred Packer fans who would like to ask him the same thing, in much more unflattering terms.

As for the national media and Aaron Rodgers - are you high? We have def not been reading the same publications. And re: Rodgers having a kicker blow the game at the end (twice) or the defense blowing it late (several times) it is still a valid criticism that when he was presented with several opportunities to lead winning drives with under two minutes remaining he failed every time. That's just a fact, no matter how you want to spin it in "The Reporters at the JS Don't Know What They're Doing" Land.

Its funny DDD - you like to write about how fans have no clue and are deluding themselves when it comes to criticizing play calling and coaches in general (which is partly true and partly absurd) and yet you have no problem continually ripping on Silverstein and Bedard for things they write and how they write them. Well...aren't you deluding yourself as well telling professional writers how to craft stories for their newspapers? Can't have it both ways my friend...

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

The guys at JS want to sell newspapers, increase readership and make money. They are not interested in being picked for Obama's cabinet,authoring texts on interview technique or some other noble cause. So what's the best way to get readers - ask the questions the fans want to ask. I liked the questions. The answers weren't all that enlightening, but the fact the questions were asked will make a lot of Packer fans happy. From a strategic standpoint I think it's brilliant.
Was it Wilde who asked at one point during the season - "Do you guys know what you are doing?" The fans loved that question.

packeraaron's picture

Wilde asked that to both McCarthy and Thompson at the beginning of the year after the Favre fiasco. Loved that as well.

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

I would never accused Silverstein and Bedard of not being able to craft "stories." What I wish they would do is craft "journalism."

Critising Bedard and Silverstein is quite a bit different that second-guessing playcalling and I'm pretty sure you know it. You don't need to be an "expert journalist" to know if some hack is cherry picking anecdotes or injecting pure conjecture into an article. Do you?

Speaking of Jason Wilde: read his interview with Thompson. Read how he handles the Rodgers situation. Read how he brings up the Ryan/Frost debacle (a topic that Silverstein didn't even bother to bring up). It's excellent journalism. And he is getting Thompson to answer his questions!

Now go back and read that slop from Silverstein and tell me with a straight face that it stacks up.

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

Here's the Wilde interview for those that missed it:

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

You have much more knowledge of journalism than I DDD so I greatly respect your opinion. It's just that when I think "journalism" I think NY Times or Bob Woodward, but when I think JS that's not the vision I get. For JS I think "sell papers" JMHO

L.A.'s picture

Journalism, by its truest definition, is the window in which we see the world through. Think about it: without the "media" (read: newspapers, television, radio, internet), how would we know anything about the Packers?

We wouldn't. We would only know what we see when we went to the games and if we could break into some non-press conference. We would have never had to know anything about FavreGate, because no one would have told us it ever happened.

So, in essence, what I am trying to say is that journalists have tremendous power to color our view of everything, including the Packers.

And with great power, comes great responsibility. But, we all know that not all journalists and media types take that kind of responsibility. They are out to make a name for themselves, sell papers, and at times, create the news themselves.

I don't know if Silverstein was particularly in violation of such a "code" in this interview, but I can see how he might have brushed against the limits of it. But, that is the view of Packer Nation, and he is getting the answers that they want.

You make tough decisions, you are going to get questioned on it, and I think TT answered them in his usual style adequately.

Ron La Canne's picture

Just heard an interview with Vic Hesson, Jaguar analyst on WSSP

He said - flat out you don't have the talent on defense to play an attack style. 4-3, 3-4 they just won't be able to play it. Rodgers is a franchise QB - going to be one of the best.

packeraaron's picture

"You don’t need to be an “expert journalist” to know if some hack is cherry picking anecdotes or injecting pure conjecture into an article."

And you don't need to be an "expert coach" to know that you don't have the offensive line to convert power run plays on the goal line or that you put the ball in Aaron Rodgers' hands with the season on the line and not John Kuhn's.

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

That's a fair point, but I don't think I have ever said that fans should never criticise playcalling. That would make me a hypocrite. I do it all the time.

jerseypackfan's picture

I wonder if Coors Light are paying attention to Mike McCarty and Ted Thompson`s press conferences? I bet they could find a rare gem or two from these two guys and make a dumb commercial out of it.

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

Coors Light Guy: Coach, is the team taking the train to the game this week?
MM: The train has left the station
Coors Light Guy: So then are you flying or driving?
MM: It all fits together
Coors Light Guy: Won't you get bad press if you don't travel with the team?
MM: I'm not playing the PR game

packeraaron's picture

DDD - Nice semantic dodge.

As for wanting <a href=" rel="nofollow">"...a news story to be well-substantiated and neutral"</a> as you wrote today that's exactly what I want as well - when I'm reading about Gaza or Obama's stimulus package. I don't need a news story about a game I watched myself. I don't need a stenographer for press conferences that I can view online in real time. I want someone who can craft, yes, a story. Yes, I want a point of view in my sports journalism. Schapp did not do neutral. Plimpton did not do neutral. And yes, I understand the 'news story' distinction and yes, it was apt - in 1973. In 2008, when everyone can go to and download any game they want in HD and watch it 1,000 times if they wish, the 'straight news story' is irrelevant. (much like the newspaper itself)

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

Oooo, very nice Aaron

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Semantic dodge? How?

Sure, we can all watch the games, but do we all have access to Ted Thompson? Do we all have access to unnamed scouts for rival teams?

I rarely (and I mean rarely) waste my time reading a straight recap of a game I just watched, because as you point out, what's the point?

But most of sports journalism is not a straight recap of game you just watched. Agree?

I would like well-substantiated and neutral but I would settle for well-substantiated. That would be a good start. Some of the stuff Bedard and Silverstein (and Bedard in particular) is downright cringe worthy.

Like I said above, go compare the way Wilde handled his interview with the way Silverstein handled his. I wouldn't exactly call Wilde's interview a bunch of softballs, but he also didn't come across like a meathead with an agenda. Wilde didn't make his stupid theories the focal point of the interview and let Thompson talk. ...And Thompson actually talked.

packeraaron's picture

Good grief.

I could do a million of these, but I'll just use this one:

WSJ: So if I gave you one mulligan for something you did this year, what would you take it on?

TT: Uh ... I'm not going to do that.

WSJ: Really?

TT: No.

WSJ: How about cutting (punter) Jon Ryan in favor of Derrick Frost? Didn't you blow it on that one?

TT: Well, I'll say this. I like Jon Ryan, I liked him before we released him, I liked him after we released him. We were looking for a little more consistency, and we didn't get it.

You're right DDD - Thompson really opened up for Wilde in a way I never thought possible...

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

And what did Thompson say about JS's very own pet cause veteran leadership? You didn't find that interesting? I did.

I guess we have to agree to disagree.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

I guess I just can't stand interviews with an agenda. We found out far more about Silverstien's ideas than we did about Thompson's. Hell, Silverstein was too busy being heavy-handed with his pet crusades to even *ask* about Ryan/Frost. How is that even possible?

But bloggers eat it up, so I expect to see more of the same in the future. Yeeeeah!

packeraaron's picture

And I guess I find it funny that a blogger/writer who won't even put his real name behind his ideas finds it so easy to criticize professionals who make their living with their by-line.


Nick's picture

Oh snap. It just got real in the "Packer blogosphere"

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Not sure what the last dig is inteaded to prove.

There is simply no way that I can express my uncensored views in the position that I am in. Am I nervous about how my firm my react to my musings on how Michael Vick got a raw deal?


What exactly does that prove?

Stick to the merits.

packeraaron's picture

Wow - for a guy who likes to beat down strawmen... I fail to see what Michael Vick has to do with anything having to do with the Green Bay Packers or indeed, anything written on your blog. Maybe I missed it.

I understand your point, DDD. What I don't understand is your Holier-than-thou attitude toward Silverstein et al. If they are so offensive to your delicate journalistic sensibilities, why do you cite them almost 99 percent of the time on your blog? Almost every Packer story on your blog is linked to the JS. Why not the GBPG or the WSJ?
On a side note, we should probably take this back and forth off the comments and into emails, since the whole point of the post was, you know, Thompson and not the person interviewing him. ;)

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

My point was that I occasionally take controvrersial positions. I try to preserve my anonymity so that I have that luxury.

packeraaron's picture

Last Word freak.

bucky's picture

<i>Last Word freak.</i>

No, that would be me.

IPBprez's picture

Would it be wrong to assess:
1) JS was very Pro-Favre last summer
2) JS "never" asked any hard questions, either
3) JS suppressed Milwaukee fans being 75% pro GBP
For that matter, most of the Press, from coast to coast was (and usually is) very anti-Green Bay and 99% Pro-Favre. Trouble with that nonsense was Favre didn't do his part in propping them up at the end of the season, the way they did at the beginning of the season. So, it isn't like I'm going to bend over backwards to commit adoration for most of the mainstream press, on any level, political, sports or otherwise.
As far as Aaron Rodgers is concerned, most have already read how I feel about him being in a Packer uniform. For my take, the same goes for Matt Flynn. The jury's still out on Brian Brohm, but I did have Brohm as one of my first two draft picks when TT grabbed him. Eventually, I expect one of them to go away onto better pastures - but the Packers are set at QB for the future.
TO HEAR A PACKER PRESS CORPS (I want my Favre back) WHINER premise his interview with slanted attitudes, my friends, is NOT journalism (which I took in High School). It's simplistic blogging, and nothing more, under the guise of a Press Badge. As usual it's just another case of someone venting while they hide behind something.
All in all, PackerAaron at least keeps our feet on the ground. Just wish Silverstein had the stones to do the same. I think the Team is now past the BF nonsense - which WAS the Gunslinger's fault, not GBP's. Many Cheeseheads prefer to forget who started it. And, that's the really sad part.
It's over. Demanding TT commit career suicide grounds for having his credentials yanked in my book. He's supposed to be a Packerfan, yes?Silverstein should just man up (if he actually knows how) and OWN UP.
If Packerfans have a right to be miffed at TT, it would be going one season too many with the GM's preference for "best player available" versus the "best player WE NEED" scenario. Had we grabbed at least one more O-Lineman, then maybe Bootlegger would have had more time in the pocket - something I've already written that I want for our new QB - ALL DAY IN THE POCKET.
NOW --- you two go kiss and make nice!

Log in to comment, upload your game day photos and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.

Or log in with Facebook



"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"The Bears still suck!"