It’s hard to hate Ted Thompson.
Hell, his very first pick as Packers general manager was 2 time league MVP and future hall of famer Aaron Rodgers.
That’s quite an amazing way to start a tenure as GM of the most storied franchise in sports, and to get an ever hungry fanbase on your side. Especially when it results in a Super Bowl Victory.
It is sometimes frustrating though to see a free agent come available, who seems like he could be a great match for the Pack, and to feel like TT is completely oblivious to his very existence.
Or to watch him pass over big name college players in the draft, just to call out the name of some less known, hybrid, corner/safety who started out college as a shortstop on the baseball diamond.
But we forgive him because he is very often right.
Not only has he been successful at making the sure pick, but he has found diamonds in the rough by trading up to add Clay Matthews to a 1st round of the draft that already included B.J. Raji, or trading down to secure super-stud Jordy Nelson, in the previous draft.
In an uncharacteristic spell in free agency he even brought in pass rusher Julius Peppers and run stopper Letroy Guion, in the same year, to help shore up a Packers defense who have become much improved since the move happened two years ago.
His successes are many, and the Packers have had a decent run in the 10 years Thompson has been in charge, but now it seems like some of his weaknesses are beginning to be exposed.
Thompson has built a very strong secondary, which includes rookie Demarious Randall who held Dez Bryant to no catches in a game earlier this year.
But after that the questions abound.
The hybrid linebackers Thompson has been so fond of drafting, seem dominant when they are specialized, but can look rather foolish when asked to step out of their comfort zone.
I appreciate Thompson’s efforts to kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
However, it’s not rocket science that if you expect a slow, run stopping linebacker, to line up in coverage against a fleet footed half back, he’s gonna get burned.
In the past, Thompson has also tried to fill the center position with converted guards, and the Packers offensive line struggled to find any consistency, until true center, Corey Linsley was forced to step up due to injury, and has now become the starter.
I think that should be an eye opener for Thompson who is still struggling to find a solid weak side protector for Rodgers, that he might just need to break down and spend a pick on a true left tackle.
It might be time to stop cutting corners, before this team becomes even more a shell of what it used to be.
It might also be time to open up the pocket books, and bring in a decent free agent or make a trade for a veteran who can lead the team in the locker room as well as on the field.
I know Green Bay has bought into the youth movement, but this team has never been the same confident squad that they were before losing the locker room presence of emotional leaders, Donald Driver, Charles Woodson and Greg Jennings all in the same offseason.
I believe that is why, even though the team went 15-1 the next year they failed to make it to the Super Bowl and haven’t been back since.
He has been one of the best players at one of the most demanding positions in the game, while playing for one of the worst teams in the league, and yet he has remained humble and loyal to his team.
However, after facing yet another coaching change, Thomas has suggested that he might like to be traded.
I think this may be Thompson chance to prove he is committed to protecting his MVP quarterback and to bring back a strong leader into the locker room.
The other important position Thompson has neglected for awhile now is tight end, and it shows as the Packers have continued to struggle in the red zone.
Besides Carson Palmer, all of the leading MVP candidates this year have a tight end they can turn to in pressure situations.
It’s time Thompson quits relying on sleepers to fill this vital position, and gets his QB a top flite tight end.
Either way as fans, I don’t think we should give up on Ted Thompson yet, but I think we should hold him accountable for his actions, and continue to settle for nothing less than a quality product in Title Town, the home of America’s Team, and the greatest fans on the planet.