WE THE PEOPLE: Packer Nation
The New England Patriots added another nice free agent player today in CB Shawn Springs. He's another piece of their defensive puzzle that was added for no compensation, which allows the Patriots to use their draft picks on other needs and focus on talent anywhere.
The veteran cornerback, who turns 34 on Wednesday, is a former first-round pick (third overall in 1997) out of Ohio State. He’s been to a Pro Bowl (1998) and was released by the Redskins last week after Washington re-signed DeAngelo Hall.
“When healthy, he is very good,” said former NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots, a Sirius NFL radio analyst. “Is he still a Pro Bowler? He’s right there. He is certainly very good at this point in his career. He’s a veteran corner a lot of people would love to have.”
They have built a great program with a lot of free agents, and trades.
Adalius Thomas? Free-agent signing.
Randy Moss? Bargain trade that was first offered to the Packers.
Rodney Harrison? Free agent signing.
Junior Seau? Free agent signing.
Corey Dillion a few years ago, who played in two Super Bowl wins? He wasn't a Patriot draft pick either.
There are more. How about Bill Parcells and his remarkable Dolphins last year, who were coming off a 1-15 season and then won their division?
He signed FA Chad Pennington, and their defense was anchored by free agent Joey Porter, who had 15 sacks.
Is Ted Thompson's drafting record good enough to overcome his allergy to free agency, in today's NFL? Who knows with Thompson at the helm. He's allergic to doing the obvious, always goes for the bizarre.
Everyone smart wanted Randy Moss on a silver platter—cheap— two years ago, he wouldn't do it because Brett Favre is the one that orchestrated it. Ted had to send a message to Favre, letting him know who was in charge.
His next message: Mr. Thompson took, with his very first draft pick ever for the Packers, in 2005, when he couldn't resist drafting Favre's replacement right away in the free-falling Aaron Rodgers. Obviously that was a great pick, another gift on a silver platter.
But because it was a QB, Ted took it. He didn't take Moss, imagine that.
You don't think Thompson has an ego, or has a complex? If so, why was he so anxious to draft not one, but two QB's last year, to make sure there was no room on the roster when Favre tried to come back?
After all, he knew he had a star in the young Rodgers. What need could there be for two more young QB's? Believe me, he's not above being vindictive enough to send that little subliminal message to Favre. Don't be so naive. It happens.
I'm certainly not a Favre excuse-maker, but I am well aware of some of the reasons why Favre did not like Thompson. And that's not counting Thompson's lying with regard to him sabotaging the Randy Moss deal and Favre's involvement with it.
Nobody wanted Justin Harrell with the No. 16 pick. Nobody wanted our first pick last year to be a WR. Nobody wanted him to take two QB's last draft. Nobody wanted him to take two WR's last draft.
He pretends that he won't draft for need, that he always takes the best player available. Well really? Is that so? Was Justine, I mean Justin Harrell really the best player available at No. 16, Or was he the best combine guy? Can another kicker be the best player available this year in round four? Would TT really take him?
What if Stafford or Sanchez slid to pick No. 9, would he take them because they are the best player available? Obviously not, so his best player available theory is a crock. That's a cliche today, a vogue term used to try and deflect any blame for when the pick goes Mandarich or Reynolds busty.
The Cowboys today, with Wade Phillips, were happy to quickly add 3-4 DE Igor Olshansky in for cheap after allowing their previous DE Chris Canty leave. Phillips coached Igor in the 3-4 in San Diego for two or three seasons as their Defensive Coordinator.
He knows what he's getting, and he either felt like he was better than Canty, or just a better bargain.
Why the hell didn't TT want Igor? We have no experienced 3-4 DE's anywhere on our roster, and to my knowledge, all of them were drafted or brought in to a system that played a 4-3, so you wouldn't think these DL guys are perfect fits for a 3-4.
Well, unless they were mis-evaluated before. Either they were, or they are being so now because a DE's job description in a 3-4 is a lot different than a DE in a 4-3.
Our best DE is Cullen Jenkins, who has said he has no idea what a 3-4 will be like, is coming off another serious injury, and is a little short for a prototype 3-4 DE. Our other best DE prospect is Harrell, who is more fragile than Amy Winehouse's mental state of mind.
Then there's Johnny Jolly, who will be suspended for at least four games this year and might even have to serve time. But we don't have any use for Igor Olshansky, who's size and production over the past three seasons has been identical to Chris Canty, whom the Packers almost spent $40 million on?
Meanwhile, the Packers did add a FA today, a backup safety. Atari Bigby was given the second round tender and he's vital back there. His injury last year cost him many games, and the few that he played weren't the real Atari that we needed.
The other safety is Nick Collins, one of Thompson's better draft picks in his time here. He made the Pro Bowl this February. I'm not sure where the strong need is for another safety, one who has a big mouth and has shown the ability to allow big plays behind him.
Entering into his fifth year as Packers GM, you would expect his draft approach to start to blossom into a nice run. The sad thing is it seems the opposite. We went from 13 wins to less than half of that.
Many of our best players over the past three years are getting old and the end is near for those guys. Those, of course, were not Ted's draft picks. I'm talking about Driver, Harris, Woodson, Clifton, and five. Those five guy's replacements are nowhere near as good as they were, if they are even on the roster currently.
Yet Thompson still has a lot of Packer Nation buying into his draft-only foundation.
Where's the evidence that it's working, when now we are not even the favorites in our own crappy division, and the Vikings have All Pro's on the DL, OL, RB, and CB? Games are won in the trenches.
Tell me what OL and DL draftees of Ted Thompson this team has that are Pro Bowl quality?
Meanwhile, Haynesworth went to Washington. Canty went to New York. Antonio Smith to Houston. Igor Olshansky, former high second round draft pick, to Dallas. Julius Peppers, still in Carolina. Jason Taylor and Vonnie Holliday?
Oh, they're more than willing to play for the Packers, but Thompson might think that all he needed to do was fire Bob Sanders and let Dom Capers work magic with the exact same cast of characters, minus Colin Cole.
Or, and this is more likely with Ted the Draft King, maybe Ted thinks his draft picks, his high ones, will be instant stars. Remember, his first four picks last year were Jordy Nelson, Brian Brohm, Pat Lee, and Jermichael Finley. How much impact did those top four give the team?
Well maybe TT will have find another Justin Harrell though, who might show something in season three.
Trust in Ted, Packer Nation. He has a plan, and he will stay the course and ready this trip.
Stay the course. Where have I heard that repeated over and over before...
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