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Clock Ticking On Thompson\'s Tenure

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Clock Ticking On Thompson\'s Tenure

The bye week is typically a time when teams will take a look at themselves, see what's working and what isn't and then try to make the adjustments they deem necessary.

And you have to think that practice extends all the way up to Mark Murphy.

The Packers are four games into a season that was meant to wipe the awful feelings of a disastrous 6-10 campaign from the memories of their players and fans alike. After an offseason that saw a complete overhaul on the defensive side of the ball of everything EXCEPT the players along with an offense that is now made up almost entirely of Ted Thompson's guys, it stands to reason that Murphy may very well start asking himself some tough questions about Thompson's tenure as General Manager of the Green Bay Packers.

Thompson has had some 'hits' - the biggest was obviously making the switch at quarterback from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. Yes, Favre looked good on Monday night, but he won't be in the league by the time Rodgers' contract is up and had Thompson taken Favre back, Rodgers would have been long gone with no adequate replacement on the bench when Favre finally did retire. And no serious observer of the game of football can say with a straight face that the Packers were going to the Super Bowl last season had Favre quarterbacked that team - not with that defense.

Thompson's had other 'hits' as well - drafting Greg Jennings, letting Mike Flanagan and Ahman Green walk just before they broke down, signing Pickett, Woodson and Chillar in free agency. The positives are there.

But it's hard to deny that the 'misses' are piling up.

Thompson's biggest failing, and it isn't even debatable, is his handling of the offensive line. We could (and have) debate his decision to let Rivera and Whale go. Regardless of your opinion, it would have been a moot point had Thompson had any semblance of success in replacing them. But the fact of the matter is that four years on, his hand-picked replacements have been inconsistent at best and downright awful at worst.

After the offensive line, you can point at any number of decisions Thompson has made throughout his tenure - just last year there is the cutting of Jon Ryan on the eve of the season, which, again, on it's own would have been fine had he had a competent replacement. But he didn't, and when the whole world could see that Derrick Frost was not the answer - Thompson held onto him for five more weeks, killing his team over and over in the field position battle.

There are others of course - from the botched attempt to trade for Randy Moss to the extension that he signed Mike Sherman to, only to fire the coach a few months later. From drafting Justin Harrell and Brian Brohm to letting Joey Haynos leave (that one is for you Corey!) and cutting Anthony Smith, Thompson's misses are plentiful.

Now, any General Manager is going to have 'misses'. The trick, obviously, is to have more 'hits'. That seemed to be the case with Thompson back in 2007 - but that certainly seems to have changed. And even after all of that, that's not the most damning case against Thompson. When Murphy sits down and looks at the 2-2 Packers and tries to see how they're different or how they have improved from the 2008 version (which had an identical record after four games) he will be hard pressed not to notice all the same problems that torpedoed the team last year.

The penalties are there.

The horrible tackling is there.

The miscommunication if the secondary is there.

The inability to run the ball is there.

And on and on...

At what point does Murphy stop and say - we changed schemes on defense, we changed coaches, we can change a lot of things, but ultimately, the players that Ted Thompson is providing the Packers just aren't very good? At what point does seeing the same problems pop up over and over and over again tell him that Thompson's way is not working?

No one but Murphy knows the answer - but as of now, in my mind at least, the clock is definitely ticking on Thompson's tenure in Green Bay. He and McCarthy need to get things fixed - now.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (66) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

cow42's picture

My $'s on MM gettin' the ax before TT.

James Alstridge's picture

Mark Murphy has to look at both TT & MM and asked himself "what have they achieved?".... in my view the answer is "very little".

RockinRodgers's picture

If things get bad and they fire TT and MM at the end of the year. I wonder who would replace them. Some big names out there.

I still like those guys though and I think this team turns it around.

bigfog's picture

If McCarthy gets fired, do they keep the defensive staff? That'd be a strange situation for the new head coach.

CSS's picture

All fair criticism at this point and it's amplified by a home loss and a painful divisional rivalry loss. I will reserve judgement on the effort of all leadership parties until we reach the eight (8) game mark.

BTW - you will have a great sense about the competitive nature of this club based on how they play against who the play. During the 07' run they played only three (3) teams over .500 and won the games they were supposed to win, despite the easy schedule. Last year, they played nine (9) teams over .500 and couldn't finish. This year they've played three teams likely to make the playoffs (Bengals as a wild card, Vikings and Bears) based on their performance through four (4) games.

Packers have been 'competitive', but I want to see how they respond during the next four (4) games. At that point, my concerns will be affirmed and my criticism will be quite vocal; or, I will see a team that's adjusting to the 3-4, minimizing mental errors (penalties), and winning close games, not just competing.


Kevin Purcell's picture

OK. So you want to replace TT. So do I. But to use your own criteria of criticism, who is the decent replacement to have on hand? You repeatedly said letting so and so go would have been OK but he didn't have a suitable replacement on hand. So who is the suitable replacement for TT?

Keith's picture

Great post, Aaron. In my opinion, TT's greatest failing has been building both lines. The problems w/ the oline are well chronicled, but I have also been quite vocal that I'm not all that impressed w/ the defensive line either.

D.D. Driver's picture

KP: You bring Wolf back for 2 years, and bring Holmgren back as coach. During those two years, Wolf grooms Holmgren to take over as GM and Holmgren grooms his replacement to take over as HC.

Rich Beckman's picture

Of course the clock is ticking. But, barring a complete collapse, it will not sound until the end of the year.

When the schedule came out, we all figured the game at Minnesota would probably be a loss. So the team has only lost one game everyone expected they would win.

I'm with CSS. I'm waiting for the eight game mark before I'm making any big judgments.

CSS's picture

Wolf faded down the stretch and I submit recent Seattle Seahawk's roster and record as an indictment of anything that is Holmgren. Probably still a great coach when motiviated, but he destroyed the overall talent and depth on the Seahawks roster.

lmills34's picture

I'm not defending him by any means, but wouldn't the personel decisions fall on TT's shoulders and not MM?? MM might be partially liable for this team, but I don't feel that he's liable for the bad roster situation. That's on the GM's shoulders correct??

packeraaron's picture

Kevin P - Where did I say I was calling for his firing? Murphy has got to start looking at the overall body of work, that's all.

packeraaron's picture

DDD - I know you're joking, but I was thinking just last night that it could be time for the Packers to finally break out of the Ron Wolf tree.

retiredgrampa's picture

I would opine that the next three games are not a fair barometer of this team, although a second loss to the Vikings could nail a coffin or two, and definitely end any hopes of a good season. Somehow this team must utilize the talent they have. More imagination in the play calling. The coaches MUST see that blind adherence to failing concepts is a sure sign of insanity. E.G. running 3 times headlong into the strength of the Vikings at the goalline...insanity personafied. Especially with the RBs we have.

We have great "talkers" on this team...Barnett, Colledge, e.g. whose performance doesn't match their rhetoric. It's like they are whistling past the graveyard. But it isn't only the players...Kampman is totally out of his niche. Hawk is stuck in the middle where he has shown he can't shed a blocker. Our vaunted 3-4 puts no pressure on the QB. We might just as well go back to the 4-3. MM doesn't have the talent he needs (TT) but I question if he would use it correctly if he had it.

MCS's picture

The Packers are 2-2. The Vikings won a game they were supposed to win. That leaves the Packers at 2-1. Were they supposed to beat Cincinnati as well? I had it chalked up as a win, but I think we can all agree that Cincy is better than advertised. The book is still out on them though. For argument's sake, let's say Green Bay should have beaten Cincy.
I put the Pack at 3-1 Not it win/loss but in performing as expected. Three times they won when they should have or lost as expected. Once they did not do as we expected them to.
Is the OL bad? Hell yes. There are injuries though. All in all, I am disappointed in TT's performance with the OL.
I expected the defense to be poor through the first half of the season. Anyone that didn't had their Green and Gold blinders on. It's a completely new scheme and players will be out of position.
Let's give it a few more weeks before we clean house and start over again.

D.D. Driver's picture

I'm actually only half joking. Holmgren has been pretty candid that he wants to try his hand at GMing again and dedicate himself to being a GM and only a GM. He is a smart, highly competitive guy that knows football. The GM/coach model just doesn't work.
Now, would all of thesse egos agree to a scenario like I outline? Doubtful.
And is it still considered the "Wolf tree" if I propose hiring Wolf. I guess he is just the trunk.

Chitown Packfan's picture

MM bought himself 2 years with the NFC championship in 07. If he has two losing seasons after the success of 07, there should be no reason he would survive this season with essentially the same roster in 09 as there was in 07, except at QB. The QB was picked by TT, and if you want to believe some of the press, MM had more than his opinion in choosing Rodgers over Favre. One can exclude 08 and sum it up to all of the Favre distraction that the team never fully recovered (nevermind the defense SUCKED last year) which is why MM picked Capers to clean up that mess.

So now in 09, we are looking at a defense which is better than last year, but other than Woodson, has shown zero consistent playmaking ability. The OL is a mess, the entire offense looks out of sync, and special teams has not really looked special. If the Packers do not finish at least 9-7, MM would have to be put on the firing line, even though he is doing what he can with the roster Thompson has given him. And if Mccarthy is fired, one would think that Mark Murphy would start the clock on Thompson as well, especially if we continue to drop in fan standings, revenue continues to decline, and if the team would have to answer the questions if a certian former QB does take his new team to the Super Bowl, after Thompson was the one who dealt him.

dgtalmn's picture

My issue is that the Packers will stick with TT and MM until the bitter end and we end up like the Lions.

Keith's picture

Honestly, I'm not sure MM is doing what he can with this roster. With a struggling oline he decides to call... deep drops with bombs downfield?


The best coaches figure out how to best utilize the talent they have. Since we're talking about "trees," the best example of this is the Parcells tree. Coaches like Coughlin, Belichick, and Sparano don't beat their heads against a tree (har har) trying to fit square pegs into round holes. They adapt their game plans to suit their players' skills and exploit weaknesses in the other teams. Imo, this is the best way to coach.

wgbeethree's picture

I don't think TT is on the hot seat quite yet but it should definitely be warming up a degree or two.
As far as moving away from the ron wolf tree should TT be replaced I would go in just about the exact opposite direction. Not only would I stay in the tree I'd go to the family tree. I think that Elliott Wolf, Ron's son, who has been working with various NFL organizations in scouting departments since he was in his early teens, would be the ideal canidate.

Dave's picture

I would be really surprised if either MM or TT are gone after this season, barring a complete collapse. I think the 2007 team overachieved with the help of a soft schedule and good luck, while the 2008 team underachieved with help from some defensive lapses, breaking in a new QB and some bad luck.

Now that we've got a somewhat seasoned QB and a defense that seems to show some promise and should improve as the year goes on, this team really does seem to me like a team on the rise. If we could stop being hamstrung by our o-line - which is on both MM and TT, I agree - this team would be amongst the top teams in the league, I have no doubt. I for one am not ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

IF, however, we're having this conversation about o-line struggles at the beginning of next year I'll be leading the charge for heads to roll.

D.D. Driver's picture

Dave: I think Thompson and McCarthy survive, but . . . if Rodgers or Woodson gets hurt this could be a 4 or 5 win team. If that happens Thompson and McCarthy are toast.

Asshalo's picture

I don't care how many wins we have, if we're not in the playoffs, there's no reason we shouldn't clean house.

RockinRodgers, the problem with all of those big names is that they want to have control of personnel. That never works. I don't care who you are, there aren't enough hours in the day to be in charge of both of those positions. Now say, if Holmgren wanted to strickly be a GM I would love it.

NickGBP's picture

I feel a lot more confident about this team after 4 games than I did last year after 4 games. As Dave said it feels like things are on the rise.

Ron La Canne's picture

3D, love the Holmgren idea.
This is the year for both TT and MM. If they can't turn this team around in the next two weeks so they are ready for the Queenies on Nov 4th, the season is over. A good team wins both games easily and comes out at home on the 4th snoorting fire. We'll see.
A 2-2 record on paper should be no reason to panic. Yet, that statement requires measurable progress being made by the team each week. That has not been the case. This year-to-date each game has gotten worse. A bad trend that must be reversed now. A sense of urency must be instilled and a whole new team attitude takes the firld starting with the Lions.
If the team has a losing record this year, it's time for Murphy to use his position and demand that TT and MM hit the road. Keeping them for another year would only result in further degredation of the team strength.

MC Iced Borscht's picture

I don't know that Mark Murphy is willing to make bold moves, ala Bob Harlan. Murphy strikes me as the type who would let another 6-10 season slide and welcome back MM and TT for "another shot." I've yet to see anything from Murphy that indicates he is a quality replacment for Harlan.

nerdmann's picture

The offensive line is on MM, not TT. And that's the biggest failing on this team. TT got MM the "smaller, quicker" offensive linemen he wanted. I'd also look at Campen. Get it done!
This last game was a huge one for the fans. We put our faith in the Packers and gave them the benefit of the doubt. They embarrassed us. They let Favre shove excrement in our faces.
It's put up or shut up time.

Packnic's picture

good grief Aaron... how many times are you gonna bring up Anthony Smith. He is the third string Safety on the worst team in pro football. It wasn't a bad move letting him go, now Aaron Rouse we can talk about. Anthony Smith is garbage and is playing exactly where he should be.

He has blown it on the offensive line i'll give you that. but everywhere else we are full of talent. Look we all know that it all starts with the line, and Thompson deserves criticism for not handling that properly. But with a competent offensive line this team is one of the best in football period.

Mark Murphy should definitely take a look at things and he should always be looking. Complacency is unacceptable, we should always be getting better. But i think Thompson has been dealt a situation that he has to work within, and i personally think hes done more good than bad. If you dump your head coach, general manager and everyone else every 2 years, you will be a consistent loser and never go anywhere. Just ask Detroit. We got something good here, it just needs to be fine tuned.

packeraaron's picture

Love it - everyone's counter to the Smith cutting is "He's playing for the Rams" - yeah, because they were FIRST IN LINE. Four other teams put a claim in on the guy. You're right - he must suck. (rollseyes)
"If you dump your head coach, general manager and everyone else every 2 years..." TT and MM have been here a hell of a lot longer than 2 years.

alfredomartinez's picture

everyone on this board (from nagler, to la canne, nickgbp, and dddriver) has said everything that a packer fan could possibly think of. yeah i think its too early to panic, yeah i think that TT and MM should be on a short leash, yeah i think that the D should be getting in synch (as well as the offense) by mid season, yeah we need to beat the queens on Nov 4th...and yes we should look to trade Kampman or Barnett for a decent defensive deal. also love the idea of holmgren as GM (aint never gonna happen though) and heres a crazy thought...Cowher as a head coach replacement (oh im like a salivating dog staring at a juice steake when i say that!)

Mr. Optimistic's picture

Detroit stuck with Millen for more than 2 years! He ran the Lions from 2000-2008. Sticking with a mistake was the problem there, not dumping him too early.

lebowski's picture

I can only hope Thompson sat at the dome, saw the impact that free agents Favre, Winfield, Williams, Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, and others had on that game, and realized that his stubborn approach to building our team just might need a little tweaking. The draft is all good, but when you miss on your picks (like many teams do) you need to plug the holes another way!!

jrarick's picture

Dudes, I fully understand that we lost to Minny and the panic is setting in. The problem is that we didn't have a viable back up left tackle or safety. Granted. But it is way to early of thinking so negatively. Favre lost so many games up in Minny. Holmgren did not win there until 1997. I think we reevaluate at the end of the season or at the 8 game mark. Other than that, chill a little.

Think about it...we had 8 sacks, two turnovers that should have been points, multiple penalties and drop in the endzone, and we still had a chance to win in the end. Minny played their best game and we still were in it. So many games Favre played would have been a complete blowout....a certain game in Indianapolis comes to mind. Just chill a little.

packeraaron's picture

jrarick - It's not "way too early" for any serious look at Thompson's tenure. The man has been on the job for five years.

jrarick's picture

Thanks Aaron. But if they finish 12-4 or 11-5 all this talk goes away. I guarantee it.

But maybe I am just dreaming.....

packeraaron's picture

And if they do, it will be because they did what I told them to in the last sentence of this post. ;)

Keith's picture


Right now the team is not playing well, so that is what is being discussed. This team is not living up to its potential. I don't know what those of you who are telling us to "chill" expect us to discuss.


"Think about it…we had 8 sacks, two turnovers that should have been points, multiple penalties and drop in the endzone, and we still had a chance to win in the end. Minny played their best game and we still were in it."

First of all, moral victories are for losers. Secondly, the sacks, turnovers, and penalties have been issues with this team in this early season and going back to last year. So to point to them as if they're an anomaly and won't happen when we play Minnesota is not paying attention to how this team has played in the last calendar year.

jrarick's picture

Keith--my discussion was with the talent of this team. Coaching is another issue entirely. A completely overmatched team would not have been even close, not in that environment. That is all I said.

Now, why they coached Barbre all off-season and he looked that bad opening day is completely beyond me, unless he was overwhelmed by the situation. Bad coaching, I think.

Keith's picture

jrarick - Honestly, I thought the final score wasn't indicative of how "close" the game was. I felt like Minnesota controlled that one from the beginning. Remember, one of the TDs came from CMIII and another came at the very end when Minnesota was playing prevent (at least I think it was prevent.)


As for Barber, maybe he just isn't that good.

wgbeethree's picture

I think the discussion of a clock starting to tick is in the right vien but who's it is is wrong. MM is the guy who should be worried and IMO rightfully so. A general manager's main job is to bring talent to the team. A coach's is to make the team play at or above that talent level. I would judge that by how we match up talent wise against the teams we face and how we end up faring against them. How many times over the last three years did you go into a week thinking?...''We have no chance at this game. The other team just has too much more talent than we do even if we play at our best.'' At least for me the answer is almost never. How many times have you gone into a game saying... ''If we play a solid game we should be able to win.''? For me that has been the majority of the time. It's not that they aren't capable of winning the games (the gm's job) it's that we aren't playing at or above our talent level (the coaches' job).

Keith's picture

wgbeethree - Great post, and I largely agree with you. HOWEVER, I would not consider the talent level on the line to be all that great.

jrarick's picture

Keith, there is kind of a double standard. Favre at home wins against SF because he is playing against prevent defense and makes a great pass, and he is a savior and the team is great. Now, Rodgers gets a TD, a field goal and sets up for a tie on the road in an incredibly hostile environment and the team sucks? What's the difference?

Also, the defense made a play, a great play by CMIII. Jarod Allen made plays too. Do we have to discount Jarod Allen's plays as well, saying, "Well, if it wasn't for 4 1/2 sacks by Allen the game wouldn't be that close." The team made some plays with some great players. We cannot discount one or another.

I am trying to find hope for the season. Mike Vandermause says they will not make the playoffs. So, I might as well not watch anymore. I will support this team to the end and dig through the carnage at the end. We'll see. That's all I'm saying.

packeraaron's picture

Keith - that final TD was a great play by Nelson, not the result of a prevent D.

Keith's picture

Fair enough. My general point still stands.

jrarick's picture

Yeah, it will be an interesting year. They have to win the next two games. Have to.

Mr.Man's picture

Given that someone was willing to trade for Tony Moll after three completely inconsistent years, guys we cut get snatched up by other teams (Tyrell Sutton, Rouse), and four teams were in line for Smith, I don't think the overall talent on the team is lacking.
I do think Thompson whiffed badly on Hawk and Harrell, unfortunately. (Ngata, Jones-Drew, DeAngelo Williams, Cromartie, Greenway-- all taken after Hawk.) This has left us with few difference makers on the defensive side of the ball, and none in the front seven, beyond a healthy Cullen Jenkins.
And I do have a problem with James Campen, however. I don't know why he was hired in the first place, and I don't know why he remains here, given that the team's most reliable linemen were drafted and developed under Larry Beightol. Favre was miked in a game at Minnesota two years ago (when he broke the all-time TD record), and at one point on the sidelines, he shook everyone's hand and said, joking, "Way to overcome your coaching" with Campen (Favre's former center in the early 90s) within earshot. Sadly, I'm starting to think it was one of those jokes that's funny because it's really true.

wgbeethree's picture

I agree about the talent level of the offensive line. It is average. Their results have been below average to say the least. I'll use an analogy for how I feel about the line's play and who is at ''fault''.
There is a math test that all students have to take. The principal(TT) hand selects 20 C students from the school(all the ''average'' linemen TT brought in) and has them take a crash course taught by the schools math dept. (MM and Campen). ALL of the students fail do better than a C and most flunk the test terribly. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM shows any improvent over the course of the class. Is it more likely that the principal selected ALL terrible students or that the teachers weren't very good at doing their job. I'd say it's much more likely to be the latter of the two because if taught properly odds would suggest that at least a few of the students would have learned something. It's possible that the principal just happened to pick the 20 dumbest and laziest students possible who despite good teaching failed to improve but very unlikely IMO. It seems much more likely that the teachers just weren't very good.

Glorious80s's picture

You could probably add CMII and Raji to the plus side, looks like.
Holmgren was quoted in a recent article that he wants to go to the east coast. Cowher and Holmgren and Wolf are the past.
What happened to the team we saw in training camp and preseason? They were pushing forward downfield, the defense was swarming. Granted, vanilla opposition, but they were working together. It should have been a matter of stepping up the play level in regular season.
Somehow they seem to leave it in practice, get rattled in game situations, get pulled off their game. Is this team mentally prepared? Or, are some of the problems just a matter of the line gelling and the 3-4 kicking in?
All that said, I like MM and TT. They've put together an exciting group, when not hurting themselves with mistakes. Hope they can fix this during the bye.

WoodyG's picture

Would you have posted this blog if GB had pummeled the Vikes in Minnesota?.... Probably not.
Although you list very 'real' issues, every team in the NFL is a 'work in progress'. NFL teams have two goals going into every season A) Qualify for the playoffs B) Peak going into the playoffs.......... Nothing else matters.
It's way too early to dial 911...... I'm guessing this blog is to counter your other, "The Vikings Held Serve".

Keith's picture

wgbeethree - Don't know if that's a perfect analogy. If you don't have the talent to block NFL dlineman, no amount of training hours will help you. Here, I feel a tried and true cliche is apt: you can't turn chicken shit into chicken salad.

Dave's picture

Mr. Man - I would argue that Johnny Jolly has made a difference this year.

Packnic's picture

Regardless of where he fell on waivers...Anthony Smith is 5th on the Rams depth chart behind such NFL stars as Craig Dahl and David Roach. Pittsburgh dropped him, Green Bay dropped him and now hes 5th in line on the worst team in football. Hes had coverage lapses and attitude problems. So obviously hes the answer to this teams woes. (rollseyesharderthanAaroncanrollhis)

Im not excusing the weak safety play and the dumb decisions with Bigby and Rouse. Theres plenty of bad decisions at the safety spot to go around, no need to pile on with Anthony Smith when he is the furthest thing from the safety we need back there.

wgbeethree's picture

Keith- I'm sure it's far from perfect but what i'm trying to get at is that NO ONE can be such a bad evaluator that they could miss on every single person that they bring in. A 5 year old kid, a drunken monkey throwing darts at a draftboard, and yes even TT, no matter how bad anyone may think he is, eventually would accidentally find someone that is considered talented but needs to be coached up (as most if not all the players TT brought in on the line were regarded) who can play up to or surpass their talent level given the proper coaching. It's just illogical to think that someone could misevaluate every single lineman he brought in despite them receiving adequate coaching. If 2 or 3 of the 20ish linemen we've had since Campen came aboard improved it would be much more likely that the rest just weren't good enough to but that isn't the case.

While it's true that you can't turn chicken shit into chicken salad I feel the ''opposite'' is just as true. If you give the village idiot a slab of marble and a chisel all you get a big rock but if you give that same exact thing to michealangelo you get the statue of david.

People who are good at what they do find a way to make the best out of the hand that is dealt them. James Campen (and therefore in the NFL where shit rolls uphill MM) may not have been dealt pocket aces but he simply has not done that. While people may disagree about the talent level of the offensive line I don't think you'll find anyone who thinks that the line is playing as good as it could be reasonably expected much less as good as possible.

Charlie's picture

I think McCArthy is the one who should go at the end of the season, if things don't improve dramatically. The OL woes are due at least in part to poor coaching, I believe, and the failure to reduce the number of penalties would seem to indicate the same. I'd still take Thompson over 80% of the GMs working in the NFL today.

NickGBP's picture

I agree in the sense that the entire line is struggling. If it was simply Barbre who was poor and the rest of the line was holding up you could blame it on the individual. But for the entire line to struggle as it has (and not only this year), there has to be a problem with the coaching.
Speaking about coaching, McCarthy's work with Aaron Rodgers has not been given its proper credit. Of course Arod has the talent himself, but we saw the drastic improvements he's made YOY. And MM deserves the credit for that. I think MM's job is safe partly because of that (think about how poorly the transition from Favre COULD have gone), and partly because this is still a transition year with the switch to the 34 defense.

Dan Devines Dog's picture

My only question is would Murphy have the balls to do something when it requires it. I really dont have a read on this guy. He's involved in a lot of PR stuff, but I havent seen him do much other than sign autographs and attend a few Packer functions. Im not complaining because I dont know. I just hope if/when the time comes he can make a decision and he doesnt pull a "William Ford" and stand pat for years after the damage is done. So far he doesnt seem to be the type to put pressure on his GM, could be wrong, but its the impression I get.

Ron La Canne's picture

TT has made 9 Offensive Line draft selections in his 5+ years at Green Bay. Only one can be evaluated as any where near adequate, Colledge when he plays Guard, not Tackle. The rest are too soon to tell (Rookies - Lang and Dietrich-Smith) and (2nd Year - Sitton). The rest are gone or have not demonstrated any where near the skill level required of a successful NFL lineman.
Someone said earlier that MM wanted smaller linemen for the ZBS and that's part of the problem. No, he wanted bigger lineman and he has them. All starters and backups are over 300 pounds, some are 310+. Size is not the issue, talent is. That falls directly on player selection. The standards used for evaluation have produced no above average, or even average talent since TT's arrival.

PiedmontPackerFan's picture

The last time the Packer offense exceeded expectations was when Jeff Jagodzinski was offensive coordinator. Was the caliber of the offensive line any better in 2006 than now? Don't get me wrong, the offensive line is average at best; but I think Jagodzinski got them to play to a level we have not seen since.

Ron La Canne's picture

In 2006, only one TT guy saw the field as an O lineman, Colledge.

D.D. Driver's picture

As I have said elsewhere, part of the problem is that the Packers have middle of the road players all across the line. If you have one or two studs on this line they can get by with some middle of the road players. But with middle of the road guys at all five positions, there is no where to hide.
You just don't "coach up" a player to be a stud.
It's tough to pluck legit studs out of the fourth round (where Thompson is picking them). It happens. But I bet if you line up all the All Pro offensive linemen from the last 10 years, a significant majority will come from the top two rounds.

BuckslayerNYC's picture

I think they should bring in Jags as a "Consultant" for the ZBS.
He brought it here, it worked while he was here, it stopped working shortly after his leaving.

I think the Defense plays hard and will continue to improve, its tough to all out blitz when you are weak down the middle at safety. I think we can all hope for the emergence of Raji and that Kampman will be better utilized.

The offensive line will jell with the addition of Tauscher, and truth be told The RT is getting better every game. Clifton back will help, but his play has slipped anyhow.

Success is the ultimate deodorant, that being said I do think if McCarthy does some accurate self scouting he will see that his play calling is a bit suspect, regardless of the play of the offensive line.
We need Screens, Draws, Quick slants, rollouts, bootlegs and TB flat passes. STOP the 5 step drops where Rodgers is looking downfield for his 3rd option. STOP!!!!.

This is the WCO not Martz''s Greatest show on Turf.

Really, you have to go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. That is on McCarthy. You run the plays your team can execute...Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is the definition of lunacy...McCarthy's stubborness is now a liability as opposed to a personality trait that lends consistency to players expectations.

Thompson is not going to make it because of his personality. There is just no room for a guy to make major decisions and not explain them to the media and fans. Its unfortunate because he is a good God fearing humble guy, but he is such an introvert that he ought not be the face of the franchise.

Holmgren would make a HORRIBLE GM, IMO. Talk about ego!

My final on this is that nothing is going to happen until the CBA is complete. Thompson, if nothing else, has set the packers up pretty well financially for this occurrence. Making a switch now in that position would potentially expose the packers to poor decision making costing the franchise $millions.

packeraaron's picture

Packnic - "Hes had coverage lapses and attitude problems. So obviously hes the answer to this teams woes. (rollseyesharderthanAaroncanrollhis)" - :)
I understand where you're coming from, trust me I do. But the guy MADE PLAYS - something that has been sorely lacking from this defensive secondary since Week One. Not to mention the fact that Charles Woodson himself said having Smith on Monday night would have made a difference - I'm on Woodson's side.

Ron La Canne's picture

Safety - Does anyone believe that Rouse is not a better option than Martin or Bush?
Rollouts - Did you see what hgappened to the two rollouts that appearedd to be designed plays Monday? The first, Rodgers ran right into the arms of Allen. Colledge had wiffed on his block and allen was deeper in the backfield than Rodgers. The second a roolout right, Barbre was pushed into the backfield by Edwars and Rodgers had to dip inside to avoid Edwards and ended up throwing the ball away.
When Jags was the the OC only one TT pick played at all. That was Colledge and then, only part time. The The current ZBS has as its' primary fault the lack of talent on the line.
And on and on and on!

Terry Ott's picture

Capers' test comes vs Minnesota at GB. It is inconceivable to me that he won't have a better game plan. Maybe his problem vs. Minnesota was a flawed game plan, plus injuries, all . I'd say that's a "must win" for the staff. Based on what we saw in preseason, maybe it can be a win with the D contributing mightily. Could happen, and if does Capers will be fine going forward from there.

O-Line: it had better get better fast or some people are going to be out of action (Rodgers) and some others are going to be out of work (who shall remain nameless).

Sutton was the partial answer to a running attack in spite of O-Line deficiencies. Ground game might have a chance with a back who is a proven receiver (led the nation in passing yardage for running backs during his NU career), and BECAUSE he went to Northwestern he HAD to run instinctively because when there were holes, often times they were not as designed. And sometimes he had to just run to the outside in spite of the play scheme. "Run to daylight"-- that was Sutton. As Carolina fans will find out soon enough.

Scott W's picture

Like most things in life, you really can't point to any one thing and claim that is THE reason for the Packers' problems. I think it's a combination of TT and coaching--more specifically, Campen, this year.

Aaron's point is valid, TT has had a longer tenure and we can now examine his body of work and note the trends. We've had the youngest team in the NFL the past few LeRoy Butler stated: "If your the youngest team in the NFL you're rebuilding." I think at this point it is entirely appropriate to question TT's overall philosophy and its success.

IPBprez's picture

CSS - good commentary!
Article comment was:
<Blockquote><em>Thompson’s biggest failing, and it isn’t even debatable, is his handling of the offensive line. We could (and have) debate his decision to let Rivera and Whale go. Regardless of your opinion, it would have been a moot point had Thompson had any semblance of success in replacing them. But the fact of the matter is that four years on, his hand-picked replacements have been inconsistent at best and downright awful at worst.</em></blockquote>
I agree with the first sentence.
However, this attitude about how Rivera and Wahle were dealt with is slanted BIG time. Are you afraid to point out how little money the Packers had in the piggybank? Are who made it that way? Had we been able to keep Wahle, certainly that would have been what EVERYONE wanted - but he was due an 11-mil signing bonus, partner... 11-mil.
Seriously - Thompson had two choices - 1)sign Wahle and not have any cash to sign Draftees with, or let Wahle go (no way at the time could the Pack compete with the offer he got from Carolina) and make sure there was funding for FA and the Draft.
Totally unrealistic comment.
Let's touch upon the Darren Sharper nonsense, as well.
Sharper - the guy who made sure 4th &amp; 26 was a success.... ended up in Minnesota and CERTAINLY had an illustrious career up there....
People - I'm not real happy about how the MNF game went down. No REAL diehard cheesehead would be. However, It didn't surprise me.
The reason? Our O-Line stinks.

1. Wells should have NEVER been given that contract as early as he was. Ding 1 for TT
2. Keeping the Offensive Coaching Assistants that came with JAGS, should have LEFT with Jags. Ding 1 for MAC
3. Campen pretending only Colledge deserves chance after chance is ludicrous. DIng 2 on MAC
4. Coaching Staff Assistant's advice being taken as credible when they can't teach the youngsters how to skip rope. Ding 3 on MAC
5. Not replacing the Offensive Assts when they fired Bob Sanders ... Ding on MAC yet again.

This isn't more about TT than MM. TT has certainly had fairly good luck with the FA's he has signed. TT has also dealt with a NO-CONTRACT situation to a certain extent, as well. It's not his fault the Voters preferred politicians in office who DIDN'T want oversight on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or AIG. Still, the Pack suffered some losses in their investments like all the rest of us. You can't hang that on TT. You hang it on Voters who refused to do a little homework and also won't go vote in the Primaries.
MY BEEF is with the Offensive Line Coach not being able to tie his own shoes. It certainly proves that Arizona in the Pre-season was a fluke - which the youngsters on this team certainly bought into (the media hype that is). How is Arizona doing nowadays in the regular season? James Campen is NOT who we need handling the O-Line, at all. I can just imagine how Clifton or Tauscher would have turned out, had they been dealing with this guy over Larry Beightol. Yikes.....
I look at it this way - OTHER OC's, etc., have already been fired just as the Season waa starting - it wouldn't bother me a hill o' beans to see both Philbin and Campen get let go. Not one bit.
In fact, it'd shake up the rest of the staff that wasn't fired last offseason right where it'd do em some good. Neither one has proven their worth a tinker's damn.
Question becomes: Is McCarthy making the Bart Starr mistake? You tell me!
You tell me - the video was transparent - did you see ANY of the technique used by the Vikings O-Line, being attempted by the Packers all? Go back and review it.
THAT's Campen's fault - straight out. Beightol knew how to teach guys - Campen is no teacher.

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