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.