Call Jennings

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I’m higher on Ted Thompson than a lot of PG readers, for reasons I’ll lay out in a longer post to come. But he is an awful communicator. Awful. His post-season interviews are evidence of that.

Communicating with the press and the public is one thing. It’d be nice if he’d do it more and do it better. But communicating within the organization, particularly with his players and coaches, is crucial. And his performance in that regard has been woeful.

Brett Favre was a jackass last year and virtually everything that happened in the long, ugly battle he had with the Packers was his fault. But not everything.

Favre made it clear that he needed to be loved or at least needed to be appreciated. He needed to be told he was needed. Ted Thompson refused to do that and when he finally did it was because the dispute had gone public. And throughout the entire episode it was clear that the problem started — and grew — from a lack of communication.

This hasn’t changed, apparently. Look at this passage from today’s JS Online [Ed: link added] regarding the future of Greg Jennings, one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, the best wide receiver on the Packers and the jewel in the crown of Thompson’s draft picks.

“Green Bay has done nothing to let Jennings or his people know he’s wanted beyond 2009. And while it’s generally assumed the Packers will do everything they can to keep Jennings, they haven’t told that to their top offensive weapon.”

That’s worth rereading.

“Green Bay has done nothing to let Jennings or his people know he’s wanted beyond 2009. And while it’s generally assumed the Packers will do everything they can to keep Jennings, they haven’t told that to their top offensive weapon.”

That is ridiculous. There is no conceivable reason that Ted Thompson has not called Jennings’ agent to let him know they’d like to keep him around. None.

More to the point, one of the reasons Thompson gives for his lack of aggressiveness in free agency — a position that’s far more defensible than much of the chatter in Packer World in recent days — is that his priority is resigning top Packers and doing so early. If he wants to keep using that excuse for sitting out the opening week of free agency, he ought to make it a priority to resign Jennings.

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12 Responses to “Call Jennings”

  1. Rich Says:

    How do we really know that the Packers have done “nothing” to let Jennings know how much he is wanted. I agree this is ridiculous. At this time of year when their is no Packers news some reporters want to make their own Packers news. Just last week we had a report that Nolan was going to be the new Packers DC and that he was already putting his staff together….give me a break.

  2. Aaron Says:

    Um, the Packers offered to speak w/Jennings the same week they extended Aaron Rodgers and Jennings was the one who said he didn’t want to talk until the offseason. If Jennings wants to restart talks, he can pick up the phone. Otherwise, he can play out the last year of his contract.

  3. sfhayes Says:

    The JS Online article makes clear — and my post does not — that Jennings did not want the “distraction” of renegotiating his contract during the season. That’s my bad. But it also makes clear — and my post does not — that Jennings himself is now eager to hear from the Packers. Jennings, commenting on whether he’s been told that the Packers will make it a priority to keep him, said: “That would feel so good for someone to say that.”

    This was the comment that inspired my post. (Smart to leave it out, I know.)

    Jennings shouldn’t have to wonder how much the Packers want him back. The Packers should have three top priorities right now: 1) replacing the defensive coaching staff, 2) preparing for the draft and free agency, 3) and resigning Jennings.

    If it were another player I might be inclined to think that the player is just being melodramatic. But it’s Jennings and the guy is as cool as Obama (that’s for you Aaron.)

  4. SamB Says:

    Why no link to the story, and why am I so dumb that I can’t find it anywhere on JS Online?

  5. DaveK Says:

    I’m not too worried about it. Jennings knows the Packers want to keep him and from what I have see from Jennings he seems reasonable enough to consider that TT may be a bit preoccupied with some important things right now….like finding a defensive staff! I am guessing the “story” came from Jennings’s agent who is miffed that TT didn’t fax over a fat contract offer the moment the phone rang. I seriously doubt that TT is so incompetant or introverted that he can’t pick up the phone and advise Jennings that his plate is full right now and he is more then willing to make an offer as soon as he can devote his full attention to it.

  6. Aaron Says:

    SamB – I can’t find it either. I think Steve has his own personal version of the JS emailed to him every day… ;)

  7. sfhayes Says:

    This is what I get for trying to throw up a quick post on my way into work. I leave out the crucial quote from Jennings and fail to link the story. Grim. It’s now linked in the story and here.

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/37524949.html

  8. Bill Walsh Says:

    Hmm. Reminds me of a certain outgoing administration’s communications and public diplomacy efforts. On Thompson, allow me to quote myself from Packergeeks’ “Shut the hell up, Brett!” post:

    “Favre’s apparent weaseliness and drama queenliness and Thompson’s Asperger’s Syndrome philosophy of management have FUBARed this thing”

    http://packergeeks.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/shut-the-hell-up-brett/

    I’ll stand by that characterization.

    And on Gregg Williams—I loved the guy with the Redskins. I’d have made him their head coach.

  9. Jennings Will Get An Offer…But When? | Cheesehead TV Says:

    […] over at PackerGeeks dives into the Will-They or Won’t-They Greg Jennings drama with this post today. One of the things he touches on is Ted Thompson’s terrible province for communication. […]

  10. bucky Says:

    Usually poor writing is DDD’s beat, but I have to say something here:

    Green Bay has done nothing to let Jennings or his people know he’s wanted beyond 2009.

    One paragraph later:

    “That would feel so good for someone to say that,” Jennings said. “But I’m sure they want me here, I want to be here. I’m positive they know how I feel. And I pretty much know how they feel. I’m not concerned about it at all. I feel like I’m going to be a Green Bay Packer.”

    If Jennings is sure that the Packers want him, the team must have done something to let him know that. Otherwise how would he know?

    That said, I think it’s probably time for Thompson to pick up the phone and call Jennings’ agent. I’m just not ready to hyperventilate over it.

  11. Trav Says:

    I wonder if it is just lack of time in the day for TT to make a call like that? Or is he not willing to give the proverbial pat on the head with a call to Jennings because he feels Jennings is simply doing what he is paid to do (doing it very, very well in my estimation)?

    Worst case, this is a 5 minute phone call. Steve put up a blog post on his way to work (granted, it was “grim” to use his word – said with all due respect Steve). You would think TT could make the call from his car on the way home from the office and take care of business. This situation is minor and easily fixable. Hasn’t recent history shown TT that these things need to be taken care of before they become larger and unmanageable?

  12. Ace Says:

    Solution to the TT problem–Andy becomes defensive coach (no one else seems to want the job) and Steve becomes TT’s mouthpiece. He has always aspired to be the GM of the Packers–it’s not going to happen Steve–but Thompson needs a pr man, a press agent on his side, a speechwriter so to speak. Not enough said-he needs an Ari Fleisher type but not expensive Ari whom he hired once before. Someone who actually speaks for him not merely writes for him. Green Bay is a nice community, dream job, 16 below today, but that will pass. Close to Door County. Do you want me to make some calls for you?

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