Interesting quote from Ted Thompson

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In Bob McGinn’s jsonline article this morning, Ted Thompson said this:

“I feel bad for these guys because they play hard and I think they deserve better,” general manager Ted Thompson said. “I’m responsible for that, ultimately. It’s been a hard year.”

For some reason, I find his taking some ownership of this situation…comforting. Not sure why. I guess I just didn’t expect such a frank ownership statement like this from him. I am comforted because I do think this season is somewhat his fault – though it’s nowhere even close to being entirely his fault as some might contend. His handling of the Favre situation, at the very least, escalated an already bad situation (though I am still glad he managed to work out a decent trade to get something in return). His handling of Rodgers (the mid-year massive contract, the Favre situation, and keeping 2 rookie back-up QBs) perhaps served to add pressure on a guy who was already under tons of pressure. He hasn’t ensured that the team has high quality back-ups – or I would argue, starters for that matter (I’d say 30-40% of our starters may not start elsewhere). He and McCarthy may not have assembled that great of a coaching staff. And, there is developing reason to suspect he may have some Sherman-like loyalty issues to players who chronically under-perform (Poppinga, how Frost lasted longer than 2 games I’ll never know).

Still, something tells me that because he has been watching every game this year like we all have and because he still does seem to have a quality eye for talent, TT will be more active this off-season in terms of exploring and signing some free agents – and/or perhaps by altering his draft approach some (i.e. being willing to trade up or drafting for need). One good thing is that it’s looking more and more like we may end up with a decent pick in the draft because we suck this year and remember, we’ll also have the pick for Favre which could be a 2nd rounder I believe if the Jets make the playoffs.

As I’ve noted before, if TT doesn’t make something good happen in the off-season, I’d be surprised if the Packers do well next year and even more surprised if TT sticks around after next year.

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9 Responses to “Interesting quote from Ted Thompson”

  1. Pete Says:

    Clearly this year has shown the weakness in coaching. All other observations aside the fact that a team has outscored the competition 371 to 339, but is 5 and 9 in wins and losses is statistically significant. A professor of stats would tell you that, with 99.5% confidences this proves the Packers are not mentally tough, have poor game ending mentality and play selection.

    Despite the handful of marginal players, the talent on the Pack has put together great performances from time to time this year. When spanking Baltimore they showed that they could play with anyone. But the talent on the field needs the leadership and discipline to excel. They just don’t have the preparation or mindset it takes to win. Win is a verb.

  2. Ron La Canne Says:

    He needs to answer for the total lack of talent in the O & D lines. That is no one’s fault but his. Look at the young players with real talent. There are very few outside the wide outs, D backs, FG kicker and to a lesser degree running backs.

    That is TT only. You don’t build NFL teams on the cheap. This is a guy who decided to let both Wahle and Rivera go and replace them with who? They have not had a quality guard since then. Clifton and Tauscher are about to get the hook and who will take their place? Moll and College? Not likely.

    I’ll believe TT gives a crap when I see him open the FA checkbook, not before.

  3. bucky Says:

    I think that intelligent people can and do learn from their mistakes. From their brief history with the Packers’ organization, I believe that both McCarthy and Thompson are intelligent people, and so I expect them to have learned something this season that can be used to improve this team next season.

    That said, one of the frustrating things this season has been the complete and absolute stubborness on the part of both to acknowledge certain mistakes that are obvious to everyone else. The easiest example is Scott Frost; Thompson and McCarthy seemed to be the only two people not in Siberia to understand that the punting change made at the beginning of the year was an unqualified failure. Plenty of other examples (think 51) also come to mind.

    I certainly understand the idea of not airing your laundry in public, and not throwing your guys under the bus, but ignoring obvious problems leads people to believe that you simply don’t see the problems that everyone else sees, which in turn makes people question your basic competency for the job.

    Like I said, I don’t think these guys are idiots. Rather, I think the stubborness comes from insecurity. They are unwilling to acknowledge mistakes because they believe doing so is a demonstration that their methods have not produced the necessary results; an admission of failure.

    I think we will see some changes in the offseason. We will almost certainly have a new special teams coach, and will likely have a new defensive coordinator as well. Maybe an entire new defensive staff. I also think there will be some personnel moves as well, including a significant rebuild of the defensive line.

  4. Thompson’s Turn | Cheesehead TV Says:

    […] Great post from Andy over at PackerGeeks. Andy highlights a quote that caught my eye as well from General Manager Ted Thompson: “I feel bad for these guys because they play hard and I think they deserve better…I’m responsible for that, ultimately. It’s been a hard year.” […]

  5. PackerBelle Says:

    It is heartening to see that he realizes that he is responsible. I think after a 13-3 season it is easy to say “we don’t have any immediate needs so I can focus on the future”. This year shows that changes need to be made, and his recognizing that a) there is a problem and b) it is his problem suggest that it will be.

    This is likely going to sound bad, but I think the Favre situation affected the team more than I had originally thought. I’m betting there was more than a little effort expended in the off-season dealing with that situation and that may have negatively affected other aspects.

    This seems like a Murphy’s Law year. If something could go wrong – it did. It has been frustrating and dissappointing but it really showed what needs to get fixed. And had we had a better year that might not have happened. So let’s see what happens in the off-season and hopefully next year will be better.

  6. DaveK Says:

    I worry the pendulum swings back the other way to far. TT and MM may be so worried about their jobs they go crazy in free agency. I have always held the opinion that you build your team through the draft, manage your cap well, and when the team is on the cusp you pull the trigger in FA and maybe overpay for aging talent to put the final pieces in the puzzle. I wonder if Favre didn’t retire if TT would have been more willing to spend in FA in an attempt to put the team over the top this past season. They were 13-3 and lost a close NFL championship game. Maybe if Favre commits right away for another year TT would have made a run at Faneca, kept Williams, offered a little more for Tony G., etc… But, with Favre’s tearful goodbye it is possible TT stayed the course thinking that with a young QB this team was a few years from peaking and thus was unwilling to overspend on older FA’s that probably would be past their prime when the team was ready to truly make a run. Or, maybe I am just trying real hard to convince myself that TT is a decent GM despite all the evidence to the contrary in the last year.

  7. awhayes Says:

    as always – thoughtful comments on this one…read all of them if you haven’t.

  8. PackerBelle Says:

    “Or, maybe I am just trying real hard to convince myself that TT is a decent GM despite all the evidence to the contrary in the last year”

    If you are, then so am I. I think that a lot of mistakes this year but I think some of it wasn’t entirely the fault of the organization. The injuries, the Favre mess, etc isn’t something you can control. And some players have lost a lot in terms of playing ability. Our O-line was pretty good last year, and it sucks this year. Grant also hasn’t shown the same spark he had last year. It has been a hard year and I think the response to it will be an important piece of evidence as to whether or not TT and MM are the real deal, or just a flash in the pan.

  9. Bruce Johnson Says:

    The Pack has also had more than it’s fair share of bad breaks in terms of bad calls and injuries. This makes up for the previous season or two when things went the Packers’ way. A-Rod will stand the test of time, if given the chance. The O-line and D-line need help. Everyone makes mistakes, GM’s and coaches just get to show their decisions on rather large and public stage.

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