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Thompson Named Sporting News Executive of the Year

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Thompson Named Sporting News Executive of the Year

The Sporting News has named Packers General Manager Ted Thompson as its Executive of the Year, after a voting process that included 32 NFL  coaches and executives.

From the Sporting News story:

The person responsible for keeping the Packers stockpiled is general manager Ted Thompson, who is Sporting News' executive of the year for the second time; the first came in 2007. Thompson, with 14 votes, finished ahead of San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke (seven), Houston Texans GM Rick Smith (five) and Cincinnati Bengals president Mike Brown (three).

Though the Packers didn't repeat as Super Bowl champs, they are in position to remain contenders for years to come, thanks largely to Thompson’s front office acumen.

What’s his secret? Thompson says he doesn’t have one. He works hard and trusts what a prospect does on the field more than his measurements.

“I look for good players,” Thompson said at last year’s NFL Scouting Combine. “There are probably ideal heights and lengths and stuff like that in terms of body makeup that you look for, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into the best 3-4 outside linebacker. James Harrison of Pittsburgh does not fit those height-length requirements, but he’s a marvelous player. As much as we can, we try to stick with guys that have proven they can play the game.”

Of the 22 players who started for the Packers in Super Bowl XLV, 15 were drafted by Thompson. The Packers are one of the league’s most talented teams but also one of the youngest. That’s a great combination—one Thompson is responsible for.

In related news, Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson were named to the magazine's All Pro team while Rodgers was named Offensive Player of the Year.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (45) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac34's picture

Seems kind of like a make up for last year as opposed to this year.

jack in jersey city's picture

i was gonna say the same thing!

PackersRS's picture


They take into account regular season when voting for those things.

Losing just one game after winning the super bowl, while being one of the youngest teams in the league, and being a homegrown team, is a testament of the GM's work.

I understand people wanting to include postseason when discussing such awards, and that's a valid line of thouhgt (I value the SB MVP more than I do the league MVP), but, particularly with executive awards, one game shouldn't influence the results.

A GM is responsible for the broad picture, and it's undeniable the work TT has done to build one of if not the best roster in the league. Moreso when you take into account that such roster is structured for the long haul.

Idiot Fan's picture

I love those T-shirts on that say "I blame Ted Thompson for the Championship Season."

Rocky70's picture

Going into season 2011 even the causual PackFan knew the DL needed help along with at least a more viable option at ROLB to ease the pressure on CM3. TT's response was to draft L. Guy in the 7th round who was then promptly put on IR. TT also dug around & found another UDFA as his latest project at ROLB. Unfortunately, So'oto didn't show enough in practice to even see playing time until the very end of the season.

Executive of the Year ??? Has to have something to do with the 2010 season.

" Though the Packers didn't repeat as Super Bowl champs, they are in position to remain contenders for years to come, thanks largely to Thompson’s front office acumen. "

Sorry, but, I'm still not convinced that this is true. All the holes on the "D" cannot get fixed in one off-season using only the draft.

PackersRS's picture

This is utterly ridiculous.

Giants fans were bemoaning the status quo at LB and OL, and seriously doubted the quality of their QB prior to the season, not to mention the secondary.

Patriots fans questioned the whole defense, having faith only in Wilfork and McCourty. Some had serious doubts regarding the change to the 4-3 after years in a 3-4 scheme.

Every single team in this league is flawed in some areas.

But they're probably going to miss the playoffs next year... Can't believe the idiot GM let this happen... 2010 was a fluke. Bring Brett back!

Rocky70's picture

You cannot refute my post. The DL & OLB were flaws leading into season 2011. TT did next to nothing to improve either situation. As a result, the "D" was an utter embarassment the entire 2011 season. The entire impetus was placed on an MVP QB to win because TT simply sat on his hands last off-season.

"Favre Apologists" were bad enough in 2008 but "TT Apologists" in 2012 are no better.

"In Ted We Trust" ---- Right??

CSS's picture

It was the same personnel that ran a top 10 campaign to the SB last year. You argue from hindsight as if this falling 3 deviations from one year ago was predictable in September. Difficult to refute a false premise of hindsight, unless you can point us to your August prediction of such.

Btw, the same draft philosophy netted the deepest offense in the NFL. Still very flawed on defense, no denying that.

Rocky70's picture

It was known immediately after the SB 45 parade ended that the "D" was suspect on the DL & at OLB.

DL- Jenkins likely gone. Neal an unproven player coming off IR. Add to the mix, Wynn, Wilson & Green. Raji & Pickett were the only viable DL starters.

OLB - Zombo, Walden, B.Jones. Nothing more needs to be said.

No hindsight here ---- everyone I knew waited for TT to beef up both areas. -- He didn't.

CSS's picture

Yes, fans wanted an upgrade at the position. The hindsight is the added drama in the 2nd half of your post where you imply everyone knew they would regress from the top decile of the league in 10' to the bottom in 11'. That part is easily refutatable, because nobody saw that regression, including you.

Rocky70's picture

I didn't imply a thing. What ever my words say is exactly what I meant to say. It's really quite simple. The flaws in the "D" were obvious & TT did little to fix them.

PackersRS's picture

And you cannot refute my post that every single team in the NFL is as flawed as the Packers, if not more.

The Giants' fans were saying the exact same thing about their LB and DBs.

Captain hindsight is always right. Have a good day.

Nerd's Laptop's picture

I view Ted as a savior for this team, but he has an irritating propensity to go into seasons with gaping holes at positions.
His first year we had no Gs. That one year, we had no RB, then Grant suddenly emerged out of nowhere at the end. This year, the gaping hole was at DL/OLB.
And as a result we wasted a season in which Rodgers was MVP and we had obtained HFA for the playoffs.

PackersRS's picture

TT is a conservative. He'll leave holes unaddressed if the value is not there, and will trust the coaching staff to maximize the talent they have at hand.

On the other hand, we'll never face what Minnesota is facing as long as TT is in charge.

And there's not going to be a drop off like in 98-99.

He's not going to mortgage the future for one season. It's not like it was in the 90's and prior. You can't build a complete roster nowadays, not without some serious sacrifice. You'll always have to gamble in some areas.

TT wins much, much more than he loses.

Rocky70's picture

SuperBowls and Lombardi Trophies.

Forget 15-1. Lombardi Trophies are all that matters. GB will never have an easier path to a trophy than this last season.

As R. Wolf said about the '97 Packers ---- "just a fart in the wind." TT needs to make sure that the SB 45 "V" was not just a 'fart in the wind'.

PackersRS's picture

"GB will never have an easier path to a trophy than this last season."

Could you post the numbers of the lottery? I kinda need that money. Pretty please?

Rocky70's picture

It's actually pretty simple. Two home games in the playoffs & a short flight to Indy to win another SB. No travel for the team in over a month & more than enough time to heal injuries. It could be 10 years or more or never again before GB has these advantages in the playoffs. It's why you play 16 games in the regular season.

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

TT has more to do with 15-1 than any single game.

your 'easier path' comment = ridiculous. tell that to the 49ers of 2011, the Pack of '07 and the Pack of 2010. a hot team is a hot team.

Rocky70's picture

But yet all 32 NFL teams state as a goal before the season to not only be a playoff team but to gain homefield advantage. MM has stated this every year he's been HC in GB. Try a reality check, please.

lebowski's picture

I'm surprised Cincinnati's Mike Brown was such a distant fourth. They stuck to their guns in the Carson Palmer situation, got a first and second round pick for him, drafted two offensive playmaker rookies who both made the Pro Bowl, and they were in the playoffs which was way beyond expectations in a tough division.

Barutan Seijin's picture

I agree with nerd. This team had obvious holes & Rodger's great season was wasted. There's no guarantee he'll have another like this one.

People were worried about the pass rush & OLB before the season began; pointing out those flaws now is not necessarily "hindsight". Besides, so what if it is? Are we supposed to ignore what happened because mentioning it would be somehow unfair to TT?

CSS's picture

Not addressing the defensive depth is absolutely on TT and his staff, no denying that. The absurdity is people playing the, 'I told you they should have drafted so and so' card because they knew the defense was going to regress three-fold withthe same personnel.

Criticism, totally fair. Saying you saw this coming, bull$&%#.

jeremy's picture

Nobody reasonably saw the injury to Collins and the major regressions of Williams, Shields, Peprah, Hawk, Raji, Green, Walden and dare I say Woodson too coming. If they did, they didn't post it here.

Idiot Fan's picture

The people who are criticizing TT for not taking an OLB or DE high in last year's draft are the same people who have criticized him for not taking OL high in the draft in the past, or who would criticize him for not having replacements for DD and Grant when they're gone. There are only so many high picks to go around. Do I want a stud DE or OLB? Yes. Do I want to give back Sherrod, Cobb, or Green? No.

MarkinMadison's picture

Well, not exactly. I have criticized TT in the past for not taking tackles high in the draft because I think that starting caliber LTs more often come from the first round - high second round at most. I think that Bulaga is a good example. I think that Sherrod still could be another example, although I think Newhouse will beat him out in 2012 due to injury recovery, and is a 50/50 for 2013. I don't feel the same way about 3-4 OLBs at all. They are much harder to predict since so many guys are transitioning from DE in college. So you do not have to get them high, and they have a higher "bust" potential, so maybe you should not take them high.

All in all I don't know how anyone can complain too much about TT. When you step back and look at it he has really done a great job with his first rounders (Rodgers, Matthews, Bulaga & Raji on the plus side, Harrell on the minus, Hawk being a push and Sherrod an unknown). His mid round guys are a mixed bag, but that is what you expect. And he has pulled some real gems out of the undrafteds and late rounds. And yes, I still think Shields will prove to be a gem.

Idiot Fan's picture

I agree with pretty much everything you just said, and my previous comment wasn't directed at people who believe that. In another thread, someone had said something like, "TT doesn't understand that you have to take [fill in position name here] high in the draft, just like he didn't understand that you have to take OL high in the draft." Well, he's taking OL high in the draft, and he's now getting criticized for not taking something else.

MarkinMadison's picture

Yup. We're on the same page.

redlights's picture

Nobody is applauding Lang stepping up. Or Newhouse, who was a huge question mark in August.

So Neal didn't pan out this year. Nobody can predict an injury like Collins. I think TT deserves the award.

Mojo's picture

The future is very bright for the Pack due to TT. Yup, the D was very dissapointing this year, but add one or two legit pass-rushers with around a dozen draft picks, and the Pack are looking good to me. Fix the pass-rush and the other D units play much better. As Sinatra sang; "the best is yet to come and won't that be fine."

markinmontana's picture

I know what you're saying, but those gaping holes pale in comparison to a lot of teams. As far as the year that we had no RB, and Grant "emerged out of nowhere", that's not quite true. The research and hard work of TT and his staff identified an overlooked player on a team stacked at RB and brought him in.

This year the major flaw was probably the DL. I would have to guess that TT didn't see anybody in the early draft that was appealing available, and things just didn't work out as hoped with Neal and the development of the younger DL guys. The other problem was safety, and it was hard to say we should have gotten a prime backup safety when we had Collins, a good young player in Burnett, and a (previously) adequate backup in Peprah. I still don't think the gaps at one OLB position killed the defense...the guys they had on that side did fine last year and would have done adequately this year under different circumstances.

Finally, I just can't see this as a wasted season. They had a bad game in the playoffs where the defense only gave up two horrible plays (end of 1st half), but played well enough the rest of the game to win if the offense was on their game. I have a lump in my gut about not going all the way this year, but appreciate that I was only bummed out after two games the whole year.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Any relation to Markinmadison?


markin montana's picture

Nope, just another lazy guy who didn't want to put the effort into a more creative screen name (no offense to MarkinMadison).

MarkinMadison's picture


Originally I used Madman. Then I noticed someone else was posting with that name. I ignored it for a few days, until said person got banned from the live chat by Jayme Joyers. So I ceeded the name and went with MarkinMadison. I only want to be responbile for my own stupidity. :-)

packsmack25's picture

Yeah right, they don't have the internet in Montana...

MarkinMadison's picture

Damn. You caught me.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture


Timbo's picture

Well said. The season ended in disappointment, but was there ever a better year to be a Packers fan (particularly if you live in Minneapolis, as I do)? The Pack won't win the Super Bowl every year, and it's silly to expect them to. But Thompson and McCarthy have built a perennial contender, and I'm satisfied with that.

Cole's picture

Perhaps we've become to spoiled after the sb win.

No one could foresee the Collins injury, or the Neal injury. If they had been healthy who knows what could have happened with them both healthy and productive?

Also, TT isn't responsible for coaching, nor is he responsible for the four turnovers in a playoff game and dozens of dropped passes.

I don't think anyone can dispute that if we hadn't had the drops and turnovers in that game we still would have had a great chance to win. You throw in the would be td to Jennings that was stripped from Rodgers and the Jennings pass he dropped, that's 14 points right there, totally different game, even with the defensive f-ups.

Ted put enough talent on the field to win a championship this year, the players and coaches failed. Mainly, the players, although I have my doubts about the secondary coaches.

TT is the best GM in the league, but he's not God. Inevitably, it falls on the players to catch the ball, and execute the fundamentals.

CSS's picture

"Perhaps we’ve become to spoiled after the sb win."

That sentiment there has bugged me more than I thought. Every fan-base wants to believe they're different or special. Perhaps the advent of social media put on display the all too visceral reaction of a sampling of Packer fans, but the reaction was there nonetheless and it was no less appalling than other fans whose teams exited the playoffs.

Now is the interesting part. We're beyond the visceral where you hope the fan base provides some grounded criticism of what happened and where the franchise goes next. Most comments here are pretty grounded.

Unfortunately, I'm feeling like the overall Packers fan base isn't that far off from the Steelers, who I believe have become entitled and smug about how challenging sustained success can be.

Winning 21 of 22 games is shocking. I can't believe how many (my perception) have written off some of it's players and architects as failures due to a perfect storm resulting in a playoff loss.

Feels like this is the 'NFL', and our fan-base really isn't all that unique.

PackersRS's picture

Very well said.

Idiot Fan's picture

Yep. If I hear the term "fart in the wind" one more time, I think I'm going to vomit. We just won our fourth Super Bowl *ever*, and there are only three teams with more SB wins than us, and we're complaining about not winning two in a row? Egads.

Rocky70's picture

Evidently many of you are completely satisfied. In many cases one has to lower their standards in order to feel this satisfaction.

Luckily, most Packer Fans are still talking, thinking & looking forward to those adjustments that TT, MM & the players make that will put the Pack back in the SB.

Don't dwell too long in the past, you'll miss what's to come.

Idiot Fan's picture

Of course we're looking forward to what changes TT will make - we actually believe him to be an excellent GM. It's because we trust him as GM that we are so excited about the future.

CSS's picture

Evidently you're putting words in peoples mouths without regard to context.

My standards are just fine, thanks. There are many important principles in my life I apply a standard to. Football is a game I enjoy, a process that entertains me. It doesn't give me 'satisfaction'.

Kennypayne's picture

In 2010 the Packers won the Super Bowl despite an incredible number of injuries. If there was ever a year in which a team's GM deserved Exec of the year it was TT in 2010 for not only stockpiling talent but also picking up key contributors off the scrap heap -- Green and Walden.

In 2011, the Pack returned as defending Super Bowl champs and with a number of players returning from injury. They went an incredible 15-1 during the regular season. They also had a truly awful defense that was terribly exposed when the offense sputtered in the opening game of the playoffs.

TT is hardly responsible for the critical injury to Collins. However, his decision to rely upon Mike Neal failed and that failure was compounded by letting Cullen Jenkins walk. That TT signed Hawk to a lucrative new contract ($10 million last year alone) only to see him flounder is another black mark. Finally, whether Sherrod will be a better player than Brooks Reed remains open to debate but the Pack sure could have used his 10 sacks last season.

Simply put, last offseason was not a stellar one for TT and he did not deserve THIS YEAR's Exec of the year award.

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