Are McCarthy & Thompson United?

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy recently spoke to the media at the NFL Combine and spoke specifically about a few of his players who are heading towards free agency.  He was asked about Nick Perry, T.J. Lang and Eddie Lacy and, paraphrased, he said that he thinks highly of those players (referred to Lacy as a core player) and would like to have them back.  His words were "we'd like to have all of our free agents back".  

McCarthy did qualify that comment with that he didn't have any solid information about which players the Packers would target to bring back.  To the media, McCarthy has always deferred to general manager Ted Thompson when it comes to player personnel moves.  But does McCarthy truly stand behind his boss in his mind and his heart? 

Heading into the 2015 season, there seemed to be some frustration from some players and McCarthy when the Packers didn't add any outside free agents beyond those who were undrafted.  Add in the comments that quarterback Aaron Rodgers made after the loss in Atlanta that the team needs to "reload a bit this offseason and it would seem that there is at least a lot of hope that Thompson might break from his typical methods and act with more urgency this free agency period.

Many have repeated the old adage "a cheetah never changes its spots" and can only assume Thompson will stick to what he's been doing over the last decade.  Sitting out the early part of free agency when too many teams find themselves over paying for top-tier free agents.  More often than not, those players fail to live up to the money they're paid.  Moves like that also catch up to teams and leave them with less cap space for that season and for the few after.  

Thompson is not about that action.  That leaves the Packers to focus on the draft or gamble on a mid-tier player to blossom or overachieve after paying a heftier sum.

Working with and for the same person for a decade can certainly lead to some monotony and one might have a tendency to grow tired of some of the usual habits.  McCarthy has said that he likes routine and the safety of knowing what is likely to happen.  From that angle, he probably has an appreciation for what Thompson is.  

But there has to be a part of the head coach that is getting tired of getting so close to returning to the big show, falling short and having to look his players in the eye after and explain why.  Especially when there are probably things he would have done differently to stock the shelves of his roster.

So as we sit here for another Combine and near the start of free agency next week, does it seem like McCarthy and Thompson are truly on the same page heading into 2017?

-------------------

Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (27)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Savage57's picture

March 03, 2017 at 06:35 am

I might be mistaken, but the whole FA circus is still a few days away from starting.

Much angst among the faithful.

Next time you're playing poker with your buds, reach over and ask them to see the hand they're playing before you bet.

Ted's operating under a set of objectives and priorities for the franchise that supercede signing a name FA at a premium price.

I don't trust everything he does, nor approve of every move he makes or doesn't make, but on balance he's done a reasonable job running this team.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

March 03, 2017 at 06:44 am

Pointless speculation, really...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

March 03, 2017 at 09:25 am

Ditto.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jasonperone's picture

March 03, 2017 at 08:20 pm

So pointless you're all on here yapping several times more. #winning

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

March 04, 2017 at 01:29 am

Yeah, we're all here yapping. Just not yapping about whether TT and MM are united, that's all....

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jasonperone's picture

March 04, 2017 at 07:34 am

I actually enjoy the yapping, truth be told

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
croatpackfan's picture

March 03, 2017 at 07:43 am

Interesting question. Lets say, Mike McCarthy said something like: "I think we should not bother with some our FA and try to sign them back. I think there is better players out there who are FA and I think we should hire Fa and let our FA to their destiny!"
How would you feel if you hear your direct boss saying something like that? Would you be willing to sign contract little bit under your market price or at your market price but on friendly deal for the team? I'm sure you will.
I respect Packers organization as well lead and well organized one. I streongly believe, Mike McCarthy have same if not higher respect than myself. He knows who is responsible for roster and signing players. I'm sure he discussed what he would like to have for the next season at every single position with Ted Thompson, but he will never ever mess with somebodies else job, especially not with his superior chief job.
People, those questions are rediculous. If Mike McCarthy is not satisfied and he think Ted Thompson is not good, why do you think he stays as Packers HC? I can assure that Mike McCartyh will be coaching soemwhere else if he is not "united" with Ted Thompson...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

March 03, 2017 at 07:44 am

McCarthy isn't going to openly criticize Thompson but he has to become frustrated at times with Thompson's lack of involvement in Free Agency or even trying to make a Trade. The Packers build their team one way, the draft. Sure they've added a FA who's been cut here and there and have actually been pretty successful with the ones they've signed.

In 2014 they sign Peppers and make it to the NFCCG. IMO they don't even get to that game without Peppers. Just look at what Peppers did that season. 9.5 sacks including 2.5 in the playoffs. 6 FF including the 2 in the Dallas playoff game. 11 Passes Defensed plus 2 interceptions both returned for TD. Pretty impressive numbers and worth every dime, especially when you look at the cap hit he cost the Packers in 2014.
At the end of 2015 season McCarthy opened his mouth for the first time I could remember and said something about needing a TE. Coincidence or not Thompson goes out and signs Cook. The Packers were 10-3 with Cook on the field including playoffs. Rodgers numbers with him on the field are night and day different. Not only that the Packers go 6-1 to close the regular season and Cook was a monster in the playoffs.

This is what's so frustrating when it comes to Thompson. When he does bring someone in the Packers reap huge benefits because of it. McCarthy is going to go with the flow and would never publicly go against his boss. But I bet he'd love it if Thompson did a little more trying to bring in players to get the Packers over that hump and do it a little more often.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

March 03, 2017 at 11:04 am

"This is what's so frustrating when it comes to Thompson. When he does bring someone in the Packers reap huge benefits because of it. "

That's an awfully weak argument, though. It's built on the assumption that it all depends on Ted and his spending mood, and not on the available players or the market. Basically, you seem to be saying, "Even though he's good at it, Ted only feels like spending once in a while, and that frustrates me."

Is it possible that maybe Ted's success rate with free agents is built on the fact that Ted realizes that there WON'T be a Charles Woodson or a Julius Peppers available at a good price very often, and therefore he DOESN'T do this as often as you want him to, and that's why he is GOOD at it?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
ShanghaiKid's picture

March 03, 2017 at 02:15 pm

@marpag1 I agree that he is very judicious in how he handles FA, and erring on the side of caution is good. But when you preach draft and develop, and your talent is either A) Not good, or B) Not developing, you need more than 1 means to improve your team.

Example: New England had a weakness at CB headed into the year. Realizing that no rookie corner can cover that weakness, their GM signs Revis to a 1 year 20+ mill contract. They go over the salary cap for ONE year. Outcome: Aided by a throw at the 1 yard line, Revis played an integral part of a SB winning team.

Is this a move that Ted makes to help improve the football team get over the hump? Unequivocally, no.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
fthisJack's picture

March 03, 2017 at 04:32 pm

and BB makes trades before his desirable players hit FA and stockpiles draft picks up the wazzoo so they have 11 or 12 every year. then he shuffles around the draft like a guru and targets guys he wants.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 03, 2017 at 05:07 pm

TT hit on Woodson, PIckett, and Peppers. Missed on Saturday and Manuel. The only coincidence I see is that Saturday and Manuel were "need" FAs. Looking at his drafts, I'd suggest that his best picks were luxury picks there as well. In some ways, that makes sense that those picks would turn out well.

Here is a link to an article guessing at TT's parameters for signing a FA.

http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/packers-free-agency-2016-news-reports/...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

March 03, 2017 at 07:56 am

If TT looks at FA, it will be once the dust has settled from the initial rush of aguiring those few bright gems. I would love to see Barwin, but know several teams will go after him before TT starts his process. More than anything the Packers need better depth and maybe not starters (except CBs) so when those injuries hit they have depth to hold the line.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

March 03, 2017 at 08:21 am

Why do we presume that these comments that come from McCarthy, that lead us to think he's trying to manipulate TT, haven't been said behind closed doors a million times?...or that he hasn't made it clear to TT that he's going to air this out beforehand? Much ado about nothing.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bert's picture

March 03, 2017 at 09:33 am

I dunno if there is a disconnect between McCarthy and Thompson so much as there is a disconnect between Ted's D&D philosophy and our defensive coordinator's philosophy. Capers complex defense and Ted's D&D just don't meld very well. Just my opinion but a DC with a more simple scheme might be a better fit for the draft & develop approach.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stevehj's picture

March 03, 2017 at 10:18 am

Totally agree with this. It's hard to believe the secondary can struggle so much in many situations. If you look around the league, the talent level on other teams in the secondary is not vastly superior or even better. But how Packers games do you see a guy so totally wide open and ask, "How can they not cover that guy?"

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

March 03, 2017 at 10:52 am

First, MM is not going to throw his own players under the bus. If Lacy, Lang and Perry are resigned he wants them 110% positive and committed rather than remembering MM being critical of them prior to the FA period, so of course MM is going to say that they are solid players and he wants them back. Secondly, MM is not going to criticize or disagree with his boss in public. It's just not the way MM conducts himself nor should it be. I am confident that MM provides his input on player moves including his preferences for FAs and draft picks. finally if they were not on the same page (for the most part) they could not have worked together successfully since 2006. If MM were unhappy he could move on at any point and have another HC job before he made it out of 1265 Lombardi Avenue. I doubt if they agree 100% on everything, nor should they, but it's pretty clear to me that they have a strong working relationship. The number of years and the team's record is indicative of that. Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

March 03, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Well stated. Couldn't have put it better myself...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

March 03, 2017 at 09:42 pm

Thanks Dobber. Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

March 03, 2017 at 11:20 am

This article is only written to stir the pot and start waves. MM already said TT and he were on the same page . TT wants to still be the GM. Murphy is behind TT. MM wants to still coach. MM can't do anything about the revolving door. It's business. And the money comes first now.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
JacFrost's picture

March 03, 2017 at 03:25 pm

The Giants GM swung for the fences last year, top RB, llb, pass rusher, took the team from so so to contender. Team wasn't expected to make playoffs. Spending the money on top free agents is quite different than spending it on one's at the end of there careers.
Ted has the money, Rogers ain't getting younger and our competitors are doing it to improve now not develop in five years.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Matt Gonzales's picture

March 03, 2017 at 04:37 pm

OK, so the Giants swung for the fences and made it into the playoffs, only to be eliminated by a team that rarely makes waves in FA. I wouldn't call that a roaring success. The Giants are now also going to have to PAY for these players, not just for that first pretty good (but still short of the goal) year, but for several years, IN ADDITION to all of their core players already on the team, or they're going to be restructuring contracts, OR cutting players and absorbing dead more dead money than they'd like, all to fall short of the ultimate goal?

Not sure this is a great example.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
fthisJack's picture

March 03, 2017 at 04:39 pm

after a year watching that defensive train wreck, they have the balls to raise ticket prices for the 8th year in a row.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

March 03, 2017 at 08:31 pm

What, you expected they would go down?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

March 04, 2017 at 05:42 am

And speaking of "eight years in a row," the Packers have also made the playoffs for eight years in a row, which is currently tied with New England for the longest streak of consecutive playoff appearances in the NFL. Nine years would tie the NFL all-time record.

But maybe you'd prefer other teams. SEA is on a five year playoff streak, which is tied for the longest in their history. They also are one of the highest priced tickets in the league. So are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are on a three year playoff streak. HOU and KC have a two year playoff streak going, and Houston's pathetic two year streak is the longest in their history.

Other than those six teams, which NFL team has been to the playoffs for even just two years running?

And there's this thing called "supply and demand" ...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

March 04, 2017 at 08:38 am

FA I believe is most useful when a team is close to winning, disastrous when used to a large degree as a means to rebuild. This team has been so close, that a key veteran or two, a veteran presence particularly on Defense could have made the difference the last two years. Whether by trade or FA. Even by supplementing this by bundling some picks to move up in the draft. We all know the rest.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Shavager's picture

March 05, 2017 at 02:08 pm

FIRST of all Packers fans--Belichik's a better talent evaluator than Ted Thompson AND P.S.---Miami and Buffalo would ROUTINELY whip North division rivals of Packers just as Miami nearly beat GB a couple of seasons back and Buffalo BEAT the Packers the last time they played. NO, the Pats might play in a 'weak' division in AFC, I assure you the teams in that division would give Packers a hard time! Ted Thompson will NOT put a defense on the field this season that can WIN games or protect leads--secondary is a HOLE that's wide open down the middle and DON'T expect Randall or Rollins to improve enough to cover it. Packers NEED a FA CB that can actually COVER, they need SPEED in secondary and SPEED at LB. Peppers ain't coming back, stands to reason Thompson's not likely to resign BOTH Nick Perry and Datone Jones--and if ya' think DRAFT PICKS are gonna fix this team--then explain to ALL OF US--why some 70+ NEW players drafted or signed by Thompson in past SIX YEARS--hasn't FIXED this defense? NO, Thompson's gonna HAVE to get off some money for DEPTH, it's obvious Packers DON'T have enough talent on defense for this team to reach SB level, and DON'T expect DUMB Capers to make it any better--he hasn't got the job done in SIX consecutive years, CHANGE has to start with the DC who hasn't accomplished it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment 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.