Ted Thompson has a clear plan for the Green Bay Packers and he has executed it to near perfection. The question then, is why doesn’t he win the Super Bowl every year?
Since Thompson took over the Packers in 2005, the team has gone 118-73-1. They have reached the playoffs 9 times and are currently on a streak of eight seasons in a row of making it to the postseason . They have finished no lower then second in their division in all but 2 years (Thompson’s first year as GM and Aaron Rodgers first year as starting quarterback). They have won ten playoff games, including a Super Bowl. His very first pick ever as a GM has won league MVP two times and Super Bowl MVP once.
Some of his team’s fans are calling for his job, yet, until this point, Thompson has stayed steadfast to his beliefs. The lack of confidence doesn’t seem to shake him at all and the system has proven itself to be virtually faultless. The only “fly in the ointment” is the human element. Injuries, and the fact that their are certain positions that Thompson seems to struggle to evaluate on a regular basis.
Thompson’s philosophy of building a team through the draft and signing your own free agents is absolutely brilliant. If Ted let someone else scout, evaluate and eventually draft his defensive players we would most likely be discussing him as the best GM of all time. However, the fact that he has swung and missed so many times on defensive lineman and linebackers has slowed his team’s progress a bit. The philosophy itself is on point, the players he has selected haven’t always worked out. A lot of the failure has been due to the fact that Green Bay has experienced an inexplicable amount of injuries over the last decade.
The amazing part about that, is that Thompson has such a solid squad, that even in a year when their top two running backs and top three cornerbacks went down with injuries, they made it within a game of the Super Bowl. You would think that would draw praise and adoration from a fan base that claims to be loyal til death. Instead, he has set the bar so high that they are going for his head.
The fan’s biggest knock on Thompson is that he usually only re-signs his own players instead of chasing the big name free agents. So this year he let one tight end go so he could sign a bigger one. Guess what happened…?
Thompson is his own worst enemy. He has made this Packers team so good that it’s fans don’t even know how to handle losing. The only way they consider a season a success, is if they win a Super Bowl.
These same fans don’t understand that the teams that “win”Free Agency, usually end up like Jacksonville did last year and the teams that “lose”, end up like New England…
Before last year, Thompson and the Packers had won the same exact amount of Super Bowls that Bill Parcels and the Patriots had won since Ted’s first year on the job.
Thompson’s tenure in Green Bay hasn’t been perfect but it has been a great ride for those of us that understand how amazing it is to know that you are going to at least have a decent shot every season.