Thursday, April 30, 2009

Winks Thinks: The Ted Thompson Edition

I have a feeling some of you might actually enjoy this latest Winks Thinks, as there are no mentions of the following: Girls I like, Coldplay, Lost, 24, Wrestling. I know, I couldn't believe it after I wrote it either. As you can see by the title, it's a pretty Ted Thompson heavy edition, and you'll have to read it if you aren't already aware on how I feel about this guy (Spoiler Alert: I hate Favre, so...). Plus, we talk a little NL Central as well as the usual assortment of ramblings. Without further ado, here is the latest edition of Winks Thinks.

As a bonus, while you are at the Sports Bubbler, check out the latest post from Buckingham U. Blogger, entitled "5 Ways You'll Die Before the Swine Flu Gets You". Articles like this are just another reason why I proudly wear my Sports Bubbler sweatshirt every time I leave the house.


rory said...


I think you're selling Packer fans short by trying to cram them into just three categories. That is not to say, however, that many fans do not fall into one of those three slots; rather, I think providing just those three categories is a tad reductive.

Personally, I'm a Thompson proponent, but I can surely understand many fans who take umbrage with some of his moves. In other words: the guy is not irreproachable. And just because you love him does not make him irreproachable.

I think your brother provides a pretty robust list of Thompson's good and perhaps not so good moves as GM. However, one move that is conspicuously absent--at least for me--is the Corey Williams situation.

Now in calling this a "situation," I am referring to more than just the trade that sent Williams to Cleveland for a 2nd round pick--I am also referring to what that pick yielded (Brian Brohm) but, more importantly, how this created a void that Thompson failed to address.

As a GM, Thompson's biggest miscue to date is not failing to acquire Moss nor is it trading Favre to the Jets. Moss would have been a luxury, but he wouldn't have put this team over the edge, and moving Favre, at the end of the day, was a prudent move. His biggest miscue wasn't even trading away Williams, which I wholeheartedly agreed with: you don't pay top notch money to a rotational player.

No. Thompson's biggest error is not replacing the production Williams took with him to Cleveland. Thompson did not add the necessary depth to the defensive line in 2008; rather, he fatuously put all his eggs in the Justin Harrell basket--a basket that has been cracked and anything but sturdy since its arrival. And when Harrell (inevitably) got hurt, landing on the PUP list, and when Jenkins tore his pec in Week 4 against Tampa, the defensive front four fell apart.

Without the proper depth, players such as Montgomery and Thompson had to play starter minutes. Without the proper depth, players such as Pickett and Jolly had to play far more snaps than they were conditioned to play. And without the proper depth, Kampman--the Packers' most effective pass rusher--constantly faced a double team.

This, of course, led to the sieve that many opposing teams ran through at will. This was also the sieve that allowed opposing offensive lines to get to the second tier, blowing up linebackers and making what was a strength in 2007 seem like a weakness. It also left a great secondary out to dry, as without an effective pass rush, the secondary had to cover opposing receivers for an unrealistic amount of time.

And while injuries are unfortunate, they are also part of the game. People talk quite a bit about hindsight, but GM's make a their living by honing their foresight. It was foolish for Thompson to put so much stock in Harrell. It was foolish to not try to replace the production he traded away to Cleveland.

And in the end, the Packers paid for it. 6-10 is on Thompson.

Not Favre. Not Rodgers. Not Sanders.

Well, maybe Sanders. Okay, a lot is on Sanders.

The point, however, is that Thompson does make mistakes--costly mistakes. And he avoided another huge one in 2008 by going into the season with only Brohm and Flynn behind Rodgers at QB. 6-10 wasn't pretty, but had Rodgers hurt himself worse, the season might have been unbearable. Thompson was lucky in that sense.

So what I'm building here is a case for those who do not love Thompson--for those who support him but also realize he deserves criticism.

The man has received enough unwarranted criticism to last a lifetime, but that doesn't mean he should be absolved from the real errors he makes.

I think Thompson's a great GM. I would also agree with you that he receives unnecessary shit from many Packer fans. But don't suggest that some people hate him and will always hate him, as if the hate is always unwarranted. There are many Packer fans who like a lot of what Thompson has done, myself included. And that doesn't mean I don't have the right to criticize some of his moves, especially the costly ones.

Bear said...


Seriously, ha, that was like a college paper....A+ sir.

Nimrod said...

Bart I live in central Wisconsin and have not seen a school bus in a yard yet and most of the people I know like TT . So either someone gave you bad info or you dont know what your talking about.

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