Bob Harlan’s pursuit of mediocrity began with Ted Thompson’s hiring in 2005. The few weapons that were on the field, he removed. It had to be his show; no advice from a Hall-of-Famer was going to change this old linebacker’s mind.
Releasing Mike Wahl, failing to resign Rivera, and pushing ball hawk Darren Sharper to rival Minnesota were some of his first moves putting the club on track to become the new Detroit Lions. The only move he avoided in this pursuit was hiring Steve Mariucci, which would’ve been better than staying with a Mike… Again… Is that a rule or something in Green Bay?
I will give credence to some of his good moves, all three of them, none of which were tough choices or involved much knowledge. These were Greg Jennings, Nick Collins, and Charles Woodson. Two were easy choices in free agency filling holes that had been shot through for several years, and addressing the fact that his quarterback had no one to throw to (a situation he created in moving of Javon Walker, not a bad move had he not squandered the ensuing draft picks.).
You can’t blame Brett Favre for waffling each year whether or not to come back, he was left alone so many times. Arguably the best player to play the game had to watch talent move around the league year to year never gravitating toward Green Bay. He was let down on and off the field, by Ted Thompson.
Ted Thompson has been, and will continue to be, an abject failure.
Without Brett Favre’s arm to carry the team as it had for 16 years, the mediocre team was left to the supporting cast. The results speak for themselves.
13-3 With Favre to 6-10 without, while even playing the winless Lions twice.
New York, also mediocre, went from 4-12 to 9-7 being carried on his arm. The supporting cast equivalent to that of Green Bay, wasn’t good enough when their powerhouse was injured. He was also hampered by atrocious officiating, although this was the case throughout the league in 2008.
Thomas Jones led the AFC in rushing while the defense took three steps of fear every play because of Favre’s ability to find his B-rated weapons at receiver. He makes the run work, as it did for Ryan Grant and Ahman Green. Had it not been for his injury, the Jets would’ve been a contender. This was illustrated by their wins over undefeated Tennessee and the well-built Patriots. Both won on Brett’s arm, no debate.
Now the stars have aligned.
Mike Tannenbaum is not inept, ignorant, or greedy: all traits of Ted Thompson. When Favre requested his release, it was granted. After all, they don’t want a controversy like Ted had last year, when he squeezed a draft pick out of the QB while skillfully avoiding the legendary football cannon… Or so he thought…
Now the record setter is set to continue his legacy, in purple and gold. The Vikings are talented at every position, save one.
The pieces of this puzzle have come together; the brothers will be on the field, the rocket is being fueled, and the Vikings can run ALL DAY.
If not today, we will see Ted in all his ineptitude on November 1st, in the fetal position.