Ted Thompson voted Executive of the Year

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Interesting that the last few posts on Packergeeks have generated some debate over whether or not TT is even good at his trade. Read here about how Sporting News awarded him Executive of the Year, beating out the GM for the Giants.

I feel compelled at this moment to render my own judgment on TT. I’ve had a waffling opinion of TT from the start. When he came in and fired Sherman, I thought he was a quality GM and someone who had the stones needed for team improvement. Then, he looked past Jim Bates to hire Mike McCarthy (Mc-Who?) and I suddenly began to wonder. In the beginning of the MM era, I thought TT had hired McCarthy more as a puppet so that TT could rule the whole organization from his cold, lofty perch. McCarthy of course got off to a 4-8 start and I started thinking TT didn’t know what he was doing with coaches and/or player personnel. But one thing didn’t make sense: why would he take a flier on an unproven coach when there was so much at stake for TT himself for the coach to succeed?

When McCarthy and the Pack turned it around at the end of 2006, I once again began to question my own criticism of TT. After the surprising 2007 campaign, I suddenly started telling people, “yeah, I’ve always thought building through the draft was smart – TT and I think alike” even though I’ve always had more of a balanced building philosophy of draft and free agency . I began lying as I rode the TT wave. Then, Favre retired and questions swirled around about whether or not TT and MM did enough to persuade him to come back. And something still tells me that while that may not have factored much into his ultimate decision, somehow I believe it’s true, TT in particular didn’t make much of an effort.

Now, I look at what he’s done (or hasn’t done) in free agency and I’m starting to wonder again. Sure, results are on his side for his draft-first philosophy dating back to his Seattle days – but I am still left feeling like he could be doing just a bit more in free agency. I agree with brother Steve that this year’s free agent crop is weak, but I still think we should have picked up Warrick Dunn or Billy Volek. I’m pleased with the Chillar pick-up (a told-you-so goes out to those who criticized my frequent criticism of Poppinga), but there were a couple other options it seems he didn’t look into much. And, bringing in Frerotte? That guy is horrible!

In the end, the bottom line is, it is difficult to argue with results. I’d contend so far that TT had one iffy year in 2005 (most of that was Sherman/Rossley’s fault), one OK year in 2006 and one great year in 2007. Overall, it has been a positive progression. I think this year will be a real test though. How good is the defense that TT himself has mostly put together? How many weapons does this offense really have? Will Aaron Rodgers prove he belongs at least among the very solid QBs of the NFL? Will Mike McCarthy continue his creative ways and bring the Packers back to the playoffs? Will TT make 2 or 3 crafty additions to the team through the draft or free agency before this season starts who will make significant contributions?

If I had to make a more conclusive statement re TT though, I would have to say that so far, I think he’s done a good job.

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5 Responses to “Ted Thompson voted Executive of the Year”

  1. Faroutwest Says:

    At least Thompson has tied the Packers with the Bears with two winners of the NFL Executive of the Year. Wolf won the award in 1992. For the Bears George Halas won the award in its second year 1956 and Mike McCaskey won it in 1995. I found a complete list of award winners at http://packersmix.blogspot.com/2008/03/nfl-executive-of-year-list-of-winners.html .

  2. Joe Says:

    I am a generally a TT supporter for a few good reasons. In no particular order they are:
    He fired Sherman;
    he hired MM;
    he focused on the needs of the team instaed of the immediate wants of Brett Farve (don’t take that the wrong way – I love Farve);
    Charles Woodson;
    Ryan Grant;
    Donald Lee;
    AJ Hawk;
    Atari Bigby;
    Ryan Pickett; and
    Gregg Jennings.

    TT is boring and is never gonna make a big splash in free agency but he gets quality players and give MM the tools to win games. Isn’t that really what matters?

  3. Todd Says:

    Tough to argue with the general consensus vote of all the GMs/personnel folks in the league. Yet, seemingly the anti-TT people will continue to carry on claiming they know more, have better insight and vision than all of the GMs currently at the helm for the franchises across the league. Figure that one out.

  4. RayMidge Says:

    My suspiscion is that Exec of the year, like coach of the year, is largely an expectations game in any given year. The award is given to the Gm of a team who most exceeded expectations on the reasoning that the GM knew more than everyone else because his team was better than predicted. In that sense, it really isn’t a judgment on TT overall but on the team he assmbled in ’07 and he deserves it.

    That said about that particular award, I am a big supporter of TT and think that there is pretty good evidence that he both has a long-term plan for the team and the ability to evaluate players that will fit the system. The lines are the top priority in general and the focus when it comes to players is on those who show football instincts and production, not on combine-style workouts or drills. Finally, he has not overreacted or paniced when acquiring players. TT realizes where the league has depth (RB, WR) and where it does not (quality initerior DL, CB) and seems to act accordingly. I have stated before that what most encourages me about TT is that he seems to follow the Philly/Pitt/NE model in these ways, and that bodes well for the long-term health of the team, even if it does not immunize it from the occassional stinker of a season.

  5. Favre asks to be released - Page 4 - CycloneFanatic Says:

    […] columnists Thompson named Sporting News’ top NFL executive – CBSSports.com Message Boards Ted Thompson voted Executive of the Year packergeeks Tundra Vision: Ted Thompson Earns "Executive of Year" Honors Packers’ Thompson wins […]

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