Ahh … the sweet smell of spring for us Green Bay Packers fans when the snow melts and you find all those hidden treasures left by the dog from all winter long. Kinda makes me think back to last year when all the poop hit the fan because everyone and their grandmother was ready to hang Ted Thompson from the nearest goalpost.
You all remember how TT failed to capitalize during the free agency period and everyone was screaming what a cheapskate and that he needed to be replaced. Well I spent countless articles arguing and defending his process. I was ridiculed and called many a name (nothing new there).
So this year I wanted to take a totally different approach and go off the grid.
I sat back and watched the events unfold and just like last year there was another wave of anger and displeasure against ol’ Teddy. The one difference was that it was not as vile or sharp as last year. The usual words were thrown around such as, “CHEAPSKATE, TIGHTWAD, and IDIOT.” I guess the fact that his draft and develop philosophy brought us Eddie Lacy (NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year) and another NFC North Title wasn’t considered.
Granted there have been some misses, but how can one complain with consistency, winning and this past year overcoming such great obstacles and odds to end the way they did.
What quieted the masses this year? I think part of it had to do with the mediablitz that put the Packers as players this year instead of sightseers. I also believe the fact that we made it a point to target our own free agents and then beyond normal comprehension of all things Ted Thompson, we go out and sign Julius Peppers and a few other names to bolster some of the weaknesses.
Do these signings instantly improve the quality of the defense? That is yet to be determined, but as I said last year, I don’t care who they sign (or whom they even draft), I just want players that are fundamentally sound in the basics of tackling and coverage.
I am not a statistical kind of guy (I dislike math – just ask my kids) and I would prefer to make my judgment on what takes place on the field with the Packers and not what was done in years past (i.e. BJ Raji, who probably feels silly for passing up those dollars on that initial offer).
Is the signing of Julius Peppers and Sam Shields good for the Packers? Yes, but only if the level of play from the entire defense improves. Previous draft picks need to show up this year and perform as their honeymoon has passed and injuries need to be kept to a minimum.
There are still a lot of question marks about this team on both sides of the ball, but one thing I believe in is that Ted Thompson will make smart, cost-effective choices that will continue to allow this team to flourish and contend for a chance at the title.
The decisions and choices made by Thompson puts this team in a position to do that each year. He controls those aspects that he can manage and deal with, he cannot control outside factors and the decisions made by others (Evan Dietrich-Smith).
It will be interesting to see what happens with the remaining free agency period and the draft.
What needs will be filled? What weaknesses will remain?
In the end, however, Ted Thompson clearly has a vision and plan that has served this team well and honestly. Why slam the guy when his overall track record has been one of success?
Go Pack Go!!