GASP! Is Ted Thompson Actually Doing a Good Job In Green Bay?
Ted Thompson—he's the guy Packer Fans love to hate.
He's the professional wrestler known as Treacherous Ted. He's the James Bond villain named Terrible Ted. No, he's the Green Bay general manager known as Thick-Head Ted.
He's reviled by many, despised by legions and respected by few. He's made a name for himself among Packer fans, but it's not a name we can print here.
I, for one, have been a fierce critic of Ted Thompson through his tenure as Green Bay’s general manager.
That all changed last offseason. His handling of the Brett Favre situation has been widely criticized, but not by this reporter. Inexplicably, I feel he did the right thing (gasp!) and has been on a roll ever since.
Before you all stone me in the town square, let me explain.
Let's start with Favre.
Thompson was ready to welcome him back several times, but Favre kept changing his mind. Once the draft happened, the Packers' die was cast. They had made the decision to move forward with Aaron Rodgers, and used two draft choices on quarterbacks. When Favre came to them again in the summer, Thompson told him it was too late.
When he demanded his release, Thompson correctly laughed and said "fat chance."
Why give him up for nothing and watch him go to the Vikings?
Thompson waited. A desperate team came calling, and he got the Packers a draft pick and a guarantee Favre wouldn't end up in Minnesota. It was a perfect solution.
In addition to the Favre situation, Thompson also did a nice job in the draft last offseason. I believe Jordy Nelson will turn out to be a money receiver. He drafted two backup quarterbacks, and five other players who made the team and all were contributors.
In free agency, Thompson re-signed his own key free agents, Ryan Grant and Atari Bigby, and brought in the versatile Brandon Chillar. He was brave enough to keep the unknown RB Kregg Lumpkin over recently re-signed veteran Vernand Morency. I think Lumpkin will turn out to be real find.
While Thompson did make a mistake waiving punter Jon Ryan a week before the fist game, he was smart enough to realize his judgement error and release Ryan's replacement, Derrick Frost, during the season, after weeks of mediocre play.
Thompson also secured the future of the franchise, locking up Rodgers with a six-year deal just seven games into the season.
As the season wore on, we all know what happened—the Packer defensive wall turned into Saran Wrap late in games.
The third down defense was especially appalling. Opposing teams seemed to always have the right play called against the Packer defense, and that is an indictment of the coaching. Sure enough, when the season ended, the defensive coaches were all fired.
The search for a new defensive coordinator commenced and the decision was made with McCarthy to go to a more aggressive style of defense, and to look for an experienced coordinator.
While Mike Nolan would have been a good choice also, I believe Dom Capers is the right man for this job. He brings instant credibility to the defensive coaching staff and will attract top assistants.
The first example has already occurred, as the Packers have just hired Carolina's defensive coordinator, Mike Trgovac to be their new defensive line coach. So now the Packers have two very experienced defensive coaches on the staff—nice work Ted and Mike!
So now the big question is, can Ted keep his roll going in the draft and select a real impact defensive player with their ninth pick? Or will he pull another Justin Harrell out of his hat and have us all yelling at the TV screen?
Personally, I'm hoping for an outside linebacker or defensive end that can step in and play right away.
So Ted Thompson, what will it be—will we be calling you Ted the Terrible or Terrific Ted? Step right up—you're on the clock.
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