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Thompson\'s Turn

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Thompson\'s Turn

Great post from Andy over at PackerGeeks. Andy highlights a quote that caught my eye as well from General Manager Ted Thompson:

"I feel bad for these guys because they play hard and I think they deserve better...I'm responsible for that, ultimately. It's been a hard year."

I am in complete agreement with Andy in that I find strange comfort in this quote, if for no other reason than that the response from Thompson during the year is so muted it's hard to get a read on how he feels about the nightmare that's unfolded throughout 2008. And the few times we see him during the season, alone and emotionless in a press box, hardly gets us closer to his feelings on the events transpiring below him.

Now, it's one thing to say you feel bad for the team you've put together. It's quite another to change what seems to be your Modus-Operandi, which seems to be what's needed if Thompson is to fix the myriad things that went wrong this season. No more trading back (unless of course someone offers you a silly deal) Time to be a bit more aggressive in free agency. Above all - it's time to get some MEN on the lines. Outside of Aaron Kampman and Ryan Pickett, the defensive and offensive lines are made up of boys. Strong, growing and able boys, but boys none the less. It seems that Thompson's and McCarthy's plan was to rip up the lines, draft some prospects and let them grow. This worked when they had a 16 year veteran to bail the offensive line out and it worked when the defensive line went 11 guys deep. But now both lines are in need of major help. Pickett, asked to play way too many snaps, is simply getting pushed around and Jolly is playing much more like the 6th round pick we thought he was before he started flashing early last year. The killer this year, of course, was losing Jenkins, which just destroyed the line's rotation. Jenkins was in line for a monster year, both from his end position and inside on passing downs. Once he went down, the Packers had no answer, and that is on Thompson. On the offensive side, things aren't much better. Scott Wells has been disappointing, while Spitz seems to be playing out of position. (He looked better at center than Wells has) Moll is clearly not the answer at right tackle and who knows what will happen to Tauscher. (Here's hoping he re-signs with the Pack) And some people (most notably my co-host) like to berate me when I say Daryn Colledge is having a very good year. But it's true. The biggest problem, as it has always been with Colledge, is his mental breakdowns at the worst possible times. You can set your watch by it.

Thompson has many areas  of concern (linebacker, strong safety, cornerback, tight end, running back) but nothing is as important as fixing the lines. And he will need to go outside his comfort zone to do it, or at least to do it well. Will he be able to? We're about to find out...

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Chicago Hooligan (DL)'s picture

You don't want to be seeing/hearing from the GM during the season. The GMs around the league who love the limelight are not the ones getting things done. I don't wish that Thompson constantly talked to the media like Phil Savage or had 2 radio shows like Washington's GM (Cerrato?).

Maybe a post looking at the FAs the Pack could/should go after? I haven't looked into this myself, yet.

packeraaron's picture

Agreed completely on not wanting to hear from Thompson during the season. Just pointing out it's hard to get a read on what he thinks of the team because of it. Although I was reading some quotes from A.J. Smith in San Diego and thinking what a joy it would be to have a GM that speaks in public... ;)

Will look into FAs after the season. Hell, anything could happen in the next two games! (sigh)

Ron La Canne's picture

I don't need to hear lame excuses fromm TT. Actions speak louder than words. As I told Andy, I'll give TT his credit when the FA checkbook is opened, not before. Looking at the 2008 draft, just what did he give the Packers?

Jordy Nelson - potential to be a solid #3 receiver.

Sitton - So far, injury prone, jelly belly

Brohm and Flynn - niether will benefit the Packers in the future

Patrick Lee - hasn't played much.

J. Finley - an absolute idiot who can't remember plays and won't shut-up

J. Thompson - Injury prone, a maybe for the future.

The Rest - Crap

This is review is made to emphasize the fact that the current performance deficiency of the O & D lines will not be fixed by the draft. Old "Cap Money" needs to get aggressive in FA. He cannot turn the lines over to "Bargain Basement" picks from AA schools. Get Haynesworth or Peppers early and build from there.

packeraaron's picture

Ron - while I agree that TT needs to be open to FA a bit more than in the past, it's a mistake to think he can fix everything by spending big money the first week of free agency. There are just as many bad players out there as good. And really - it's funny that you label guys 'injury prone' so quickly. By your definition, isn't Haynesworth 'injury prone'? He's out for the reminder of the regular season after all... ;)

Ron La Canne's picture

Not saying sign every schlub avaialbe. Am saying, get one impact D line and one impact O line early. Use the remainder on mid level upgrades in one other position. Then, use the draft to get some real quality young guys to further enhance the lines.

dustybricks6's picture

aaron -- i honestly don't think we have to worry about TT spending big money in the first week. But I think he can spend smart money on one or two candidates (I made a post listing good prospects in the forum).
Peppers is a great fit for this team, clearly the standout free agent in '09. I would also lobby for Mike Goff, a guard from San Diego that would provide some much needed leadership amongst those young guys in the OL.

And I would argue that we have the right guys in place at HB, but we aren't utilizing them correctly.

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

I think i agree on Peppers, but wasn't it last year (or the year before?) that many were saying he was washed up? I don't remember if it was injury or just a lack of productivity but I do remember hearing he was done

dustybricks6's picture

His numbers suffered that year('07), because the defense's production as a whole was down that year. He's only 28 and he's been apart of over 20 sacks this year. Yes, please.

Tug&Ivy's picture

Good luck getting any quality free-agents! Well lost the only great player we had that may have inticed some players to Green Bay - we're in for another long dry spell!!! Thanks Ted!

packeraaron's picture

You really think players were turning down multi-million dollar contracts to play with Brett Favre? Please.

Mr.Man's picture

Let's be reasonable here. The really special free agents will likely either resign with their team for a long term deal, be franchised, or be franchised and traded for a bunch of compensation. Thus, I think Peppers and Haynesworth are pipe dreams.

Dallas's Chris Canty will be a free agent though, and I think he's a very good player, and he isn't particularly old. I think he'd be a great addition to the D-line.

Also, Aaron-- Thompson is never allowed to trade down ever again? Come on. Obviously there are times when trading back makes sense (like when you have a bunch of guys evenly rated, and none at a position of need).

packeraaron's picture

Peppers is a pipe dream I agree. But Hanynesworth will hit the market - he and his agent got the concession from the Titans last offseason when they tagged him.

And of course he can trade down - but trading down just to pick up a bunch of prospects only brings so much to a team. He's got to start taking some talent as it comes in the draft. Case in point - I thin he really outsmarted himself this year with the Brohm pick. Trade down, fine. But then to pick Brohm? That pick alone tells you he thought his team didn't need immediate help. We now know it does.

dustybricks6's picture

Pipedreams, really? Players' loyalties lie with their paychecks, no matter what jersey they're wearing. Second, jobs are on the line next year (MM's and TT's). Expect at least one big signing in the off season. If nothing more than to excite the fan base, rather than marching out a team of twenty-something no-names (their guys) that can't get it done.

packeraaron's picture

dusty - All he's saying is that it isn't practical to dream of the Packers signing someone who will never hit the market (ie Peppers)

Ron La Canne's picture

I sure am glad Ron Wolf didn't say. What the hell, we'll never get Reggies White to come to GB. None of us knows anything until the bidding has begun. To write off trying before then is a defeatist attitude. A good GM finds ways to get what he needs. A GOOD GM!

dustybricks6's picture

completely agree, ron.

jayfavre's picture

I'm sorry to bring this back up, but did we not get a taste of TT's decision making skills back in July& August? I mean, I will admit I was on the side of our three time MVP QB but I still wanted to give TT a chance and say that he must know what he doing, he has great plans for this team and organization. I think he does have plans, just don't think they are great and it sucks now that the season is playing out like it is, Rodgers is a good QB, but we need an even better team then we had last year to make it with a pretty good QB under center. Anyway, someone said that MM or TT might be losing their job next year, not so sure, we shall see. It sucks though.

dustybricks6's picture

Rodgers' numbers are significantly better than Favre's this year and I think we'd be sitting in the exact same place with #4.

Mr.Man's picture

If Haynesworth hits the market, I hope the Packers pursue him. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Your note, Aaron, that the Titians promised to let him go after a year with the franchise label, gives me some hope. I am almost certain that Peppers will not hit the free agent market. Very, very few of the top players hit the market these days guys. That's just the facts. The guys that do tend to have issues, like being injury prone (Kris Jenkins, Woodson). So you have to be willing to take that gamble. TT gambled and won with Woodson. Had he succeeded in signing LaVarr Arrington (remember-- he was going after both of them) he would have gambled and lost.

The Brohm pick is currently driving me crazy as well. It's just really high for a guy who won't contribute, maybe ever. And the Jacksonville game drove me even further down the road to insanity, as Quentin Groves played a great game at defensive end for the Jags, and was taken about five picks before Brohm. Argh.

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