I have no gripes with his draft history, the man has brought us Aaron Rodgers, Gregg Jennings, Clay Matthews, B.J Raji, Tramon Williams, and many more Pro Bowl players over the years.
My gripe with Thompson is his inability to sign free agents.
The Packers are a good football team, with the potential of being great. However, if you take away Aaron Rodgers from this team how many games do they win? I would be willing to bet that the best this team would go is 6-10, that’s how much Rodgers means to this team.
Thompson’s decision to not sign a veteran backup quarterback and roll with Graham Harrell is mindboggling. What Thompson is basically saying is that if Rodgers were to go down, Harrell would be the Packers’ savior.
Come on, Ted.
I applauded Ted for bringing in Cedric Benson, I thought it was a great move and it worked out well until his injury. Benson went down and again Thompson had the opportunity to get Steven Jackson in free agency, and he flopped.
As a result, the Packers are No. 23 in the NFL in rushing, teams just don’t have to respect the running game in Green Bay. That takes me to the offensive line; we cannot continue to keep blaming the poor running game on the running backs. The offensive line is getting blown up more times than not on running plays, which dooms the play from the get-go. Thompson made a move to get an old Jeff Saturday, which has been a neutral transaction for the Packers as he struggled to grasp the offense early.
The Packers lost Bryan Bulaga for the year, but again Thompson doesn’t seek veteran help. Instead he elects to go with a shuffled offensive line, which almost killed Rodgers on Sunday night. Rodgers is the entire franchise in Green Bay, and to not help him out at all, or at least show initiative that you are trying to do something to help the line is unacceptable.
Finally, the kicking situation has made Packers Nation lose their collective minds the last two months. Crosby is 12 for 20 this season with nine of those 12 makes coming from 42 yards or closer – that’s not getting the job done to say the least. What’s shocking is the Packers’ unwavering support for a kicker who is a career 76 percent kicker (fifth worst in NFL history of kickers with more than 100 attempts). To not bring in any competition for Crosby makes no sense to any fan. Look at San Francisco, David Akers has struggled all season, but is one of the best kickers in NFL history. Today, the 49ers brought in two kickers (Billy Cundiff and Nate Kaeding) that will either replace Akers, or at least give him a kick in the butt. The Packers have yet to bring in any competition for Crosby, who is a mediocre kicker at best.
Finally, this week the Eagles released defensive end Jason Babin. He is expected to clear waivers making him a free agent to sign with whichever team he would like. I’m willing to bet Thompson doesn’t even look at Babin, who would be a perfect fit for the Packers.
Without Clay Matthews the Packers have zero pass rush. I know they had five sacks against the Lions; however, three of those sacks were for three yards or less, so in reality those were no more than a run stuffed in the backfield. Babin and Matthews coming off opposite ends would be very helpful to the secondary, which has struggle, as has the defense as a whole.
It might not seem like a big deal, but signing key veteran free agents during the season can make or break a team. Take a look at the 2008 New England Patriots, they got a deal for Randy Moss and went on to go undefeated and make the Super Bowl. Moss was expected to go to Green Bay but Thompson didn’t pull the trigger. Then take a look at Justin Harrell No. 16 pick 2007 draft and Derrick Sherrod No. 32 in the 2011 draft – both are busts.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I think Thompson is a great general manager, but at times his decision-making makes me scratch my head. The Packers could’ve won the Super Bowl the last two years, but were one player away, one free agent signing away from being pushed over the top.
It’s the same this season, no trade deadline acquisition, or late season acquisition, may be the Achilles heel of the Packers and a potential Super Bowl run.