Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson (left) talks with head coach Mike McCarthy. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Keeping the Green Bay Packers brass together



Looking at the practicality of keeping things on the up and up with the Green Bay Packers, as fans we need to sit down and see a competitive team on game days.

When any member of a company, team, or an organization leaves for whatever reason, the replacement comes in and does things as they see a need to do. It may be a custodian that retired early to take care of loved ones who need special care, or a long list of reasons to “pull the plug” on taking the early retirement, or it can be one of the CEOs who have their own needs.

Any time this change takes place the new replacement might do some things differently than the predecessor. This can lead to conflict or loss of service resulting in lost profits or client satisfaction changes. From custodians not keeping enough soap in the men’s room to a CEO not caring to continue profit sharing alternatives of the contracts, things can move for the better or not so much better.

In the NFL, teams can changed drastically, with a change of one man, as coach, equipment managers, trainers, head coaches or GMs, any one change may result in drastic changes within the team, having an effect on how the season will go.

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Unity of teams is an upmost important feature to winning. Teams with dissidents among any group within can cause loss of the objectives, such as winning football games. The combination of head coach and GM in Green Bay has become a topic of conversation recently, with negotiations on the table for Mike McCarthy. This leaves the question out about Ted Thompson. Their contracts expire in 2015 and 2016, respectively. So if Mike McCarthy gets an extension a year before expiration, I’d imagine Ted Thompson will get one next year, or perhaps after McCarthy signs on again.

You will not hear any concern that the two of them move on and part ways. They are winning and have kept on winning longer than any other duo in present day NFL football now. This is the number one reason for staying together, and keeping up on that tradition. After seeing years of Packers teams not doing as well as most recently, good years saw the team sqeak over the .500 mark on victories. With MM and TT the bad years are just over .500 and the good years, well, near perfect, with only one loss.

It would be hard to argue on not trying to keep these two together with the team.

As fans, Packers Nation has been spoiled over the past couple decades. Even with the departure of Ron Wolf several years back, the team managed to maintain a “top contender” in its drives toward a championship every year. Just look at NFL records over the timeframe and you’ll be able to count the teams with better records on one hand, during that same time. Fans around 25  to 30 years old, have seen nothing but winning seasons since being old enough to watch a game with an understanding.

As a coach, Mike McCarthy fully deserves the right to an extension, along with his GM, Ted Thompson. Hand and glove is the impression one gets in seeing them during games and on news clips. The bottom line tells the tale of these two. They win much more often than the lose.

So, what about Ted Thompson?

That question has been put in the spotlight this past week through some top NFL sports writers in Ray Rivard and Bob McGinn. There has apparently not been anything moving for him as far as contract extensions yet. While they have a right to raise the question, you can’t help but think the team and Ted Thompson are together in top form, like all we’ve seen from Thompson.

Let’s just hope there are no unknown medical factors or anything else that might give Ted a good reason to hang it up as an NFL GM. Nothing has been said about such unfortunate circumstances for the GM, and let’s just hope that is not the case. Thompson is still relatively young, and in the peak of things as far as running up a team record for the history books.

I just cannot imagine him being better suited for other adventures in capitalism. Especially since he’s had things go his way, and that way doesn’t hold very much criticism from the press or fans. The good has outdone the not-well-done by far.

Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

As long as team president Mark Murphy and his directors continue to see things working out well for the team, and sure there are the ups and downs, but the ups outnumber the downs, and it’s been that way consistently a long time now.

I can’t help but think those two will continue on as hand and glove for years to come as long as health is not a concern.

Why get out?

The main ingredient for success is in place here in Packers land, and Murphy would have to play the fool to not invite Ted back after 2016 after proving himself as one of the best in the business. Where would Ted Thompson go if the executive board wanted him out? He’s geared for another GM job anywhere, and would wind up sooner or later putting his team out against the Packers.

That is something worth avoiding any way possible. He’s proven himself able to get a talented bunch together, and continue bringing in similar talent as some move out every year. Most of those who move out are those with the largest contracts that the Packers just cannot afford to pay with the salary cap. As a direct decendant of Ron Wolf, the Packers would be wise to keep Thompson at any cost.

The biggest concern the Packers might not be able to match would be in the event a team that is owned by one family or one individual wanted Ted Thompson bad enough to give him part ownership in the team itself.

How could the Packers match such an offer with the team structure being what it is? The truth is, there most probably is no way to do this with the structure

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

of the Packers ownership being as it is. About the only thing they could do is grant Thompson more money for less work. There is one other thing that perhaps would lead to Ted moving across the country somewhere, or even next door, to Michigan or Illinois or Minnesota, though it might be unlikely. Through all this doubt, there is one common denominator in all who have moved on – things that do not leave on the lips of anyone who meets in the offices.

We all have heard of abrupt change taking place with no warning. If this is the case, we heard of things such as quarterbacks that take it upon themselves to change plays in the huddle that a coach calls. This might be another case of stirring up doubt, which is only for the sake of showing what we are not aware of, not a wish of mine. We try to report the things that could happen, not what we want to happen, though we do want things to stay as they are for many years to come.

We do not know if there is “bad blood” between the “brass” of the team. But we must keep in mind, no reports of such have come out, so we would think that is not the case in Green Bay. But there just might be (a one-in-a-million chance) something is going on and creating friction between members of the “high-command” of the team. If so, I’d like to think that something would have leaked out by now.

Since the onset of Ron Wolf, nothing has taken place in Green Bay but positive moves that have resulted in a “recipe” for winning.

We have been blessed to have such dedicated individuals working for the Pack in recent times. Mike McCarthy is going into what he describes as the second-half of his coaching career. He needs a good GM with which to work. The relationship we have seen between these two has shown nothing but togetherness in purpose, which in turn has played out well on the field and in the record books.

It looks good for both of them now as well as into the future. We’ve seen nothing but a positive effect on the team for their efforts, and will continue to see the same, as far as things have shown.

Let’s just hope that’s the case for as long as they want or can continue.

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