In one of the most, if not the most, heart-breaking seasons Green Bay Packer fans have ever had to endure, one has to wonder how the team can bounce back for next season.
It is clear to us now that Ted Thompson's offseason was a disaster. For all of you saying "I know, we shouldn't have traded Favre!" please, please stop. Trading Favre, personnel wise, wasn't even in the top three blunders by Ted Thompson this year.
1. Trading Corey Williams
This would have worked out if Justin Harrell had. The problem is relying on someone who has been injured for most of his career.
When I heard the news about trading Corey for a second-rounder, I admit I was conflicted. Corey did a great job last year, but so did Johnny Jolly and Colin Cole. Surely one of the two, if not Harrell could step up for the Pack.
You know what happened. Green Bay dropped 12 spots from 2007 to 2008 to finish 26th in the league this year. And I don't buy that the injury bug led to the downfall, Green Bay couldn't stop the run all year.
How many times late in the game could the Packers fail to contain the running game, resulting in the opponent securing points in the final minutes? As much as the '07 didn't break late in the second half, last year's Packers more than made up for it.
Williams stuffed the middle in '07, and that is something the Packers desperately need to find in the draft or free agency for next year.
2. Jon Ryan
I was and am a Ted Thompson supporter, don't let this article fool you. But when I heard Jon Ryan was cut, I nearly went berserk. I couldn't understand this move at all, especially since it happened right before the season started.
Ryan was an average punter, 14th in the league last year in net average. Nothing flashy, but he got the job done. Much better than his replacement Derrick Frost, who was 25th in 2007.
Not only did we give short fields away to opposing offences, Frost had trouble even holding on to the ball at times.
Ryan also happened a favorite player of mine. He not only punted, he threw and ran for first downs.
Ryan was also pretty damn funny.
Okay, maybe I don't have a third one of the top of my head and I'm reaching here, but injuries hurt. Thompson is well known for being quoted as wanting to wrap his players in bubble wrap.
Whether the routine wasn't tough enough, or a huge unlucky coincidence befell the team, it seriously dampened the Packers chance to put together a winning season.
What I think I know
Despite what I read sometimes, he does want this football team to succeed. Thompson has brought in some very good football players to put us in the playoffs down the road, hopefully next year.
This team had great potential, but failed to give their opponents "the dagger".
Whether the seemingly obsession with draft picks or the tinkering of the lineup was the real cause of the Packers failure this past season, I do know (I think) it had nothing to do with No. 4.
What I really do know is that I can't take a season like this again.