As the football gods would have it, he came up through some potent NFL training, in a quagmire of winning ways.
He became the flame in the eye of former Packers front office guru Ron Wolf, who hand-picked, then gave away his life-long secret recipe for winning through character and talent in the players brought into the fold.
It became clear Thompson was no-nonsense from the start. He took only players with character.
Unlike the New England Patriots, who recently brought in an extreme talent who had “priors” and further run-ins with Johnny Lawman, having dabbled in mind altering substances.
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Ted Thompson won’t have that, for those who wear the Green & Gold.
If you don’t know by now, Ted Thompson, in the quagmire of his team’s success, had an emotional time in these playoffs.
His NFL resume begins as a Houston Oilers linebacker. This is Thompson’s second hire with Green Bay, and to throw in the emotional aspect, before coming to Green Bay for the second time, he was VP of Operations for Seattle.
It must have added something to the matchup this team had in losing to Seattle the way they did.
His heart and soul is in Green Bay now, and let’s keep him in the limelight, here; may he keep the Packers in. Last season, Thompson began correcting reporters who had him pegged with all different respectable titles.
He was GM, Team Manager, Personnel Head … and so on.
He corrected that, in telling a group of story-hawks he considers himself the “Head Scout” for the team, saying that is his greatest love, and where he thinks he works the hardest.
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You’d be hard-pressed to find players who stunk up Lambeau Field, that Thompson brought in. Those are very few and far in between.
A few other additions were made, including Dom Capers’ reworked defensive plan. That plan helped field a solid “D” again last Sunday.
We saw the likes of Julius Peppers come in at a modest cost to the team, a trademark Thompson has smartly worn in Green Bay.
His ability to manage cap money is beyond comparison. Just what makes a guy go against all odds and put up a team without the talented but troubled young athlete, or the bank-breaking hoard of players some teams have bought?
The answer is simple and classified in two simple terms: 1) He was a descendant of Wolf, who stayed with the team long enough to finish his informal training. To begin with, Wolf would do business with any ‘type’ of person, but for Green Bay it had to be a guy with a background good enough to follow the tradition brought about by Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi, the two members of the top-two influential people in Packers history.
Secondly, In his return, Thompson, working closely with head coach Mike McCarthy, in not only making this team a contender, but a consistent one, year after year.
McCarthy and Thompson are going into their tenth season together, having built from 2006 through today, beyond the Super Bowl season, the Green Bay Packers have made the playoffs in every season except his first two (2006 and 07), and the 2009 season.
That makes for six seasons in the playoffs out of nine seasons they have worked together. The first season was a rebuilding year, so consider that six of eight seasons in the playoffs. The Packers were in a total of 11 playoff games during their tenure here from 2006 through 2014.
There is no reason to part with Mike McCarthy. Thompson and McCarthy were one “Hail Mary” away from another Super Bowl trip this year, if you haven’t heard.
Some have called McCarthy’s decision a mistake in going for three points inside the red zone.
Julius Peppers. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Both of these team leaders will be around for as Thompson put it, “Until we stop having fun.”
Clearly, winning is fun.
You can see they have done just that, and will only get even better with another draft and maybe another Peppers-caliber player.
Can you see a companion for Peppers and Matthews? How about the offensive line? One more top-notch lineman?
It’s getting full, his building plan is one step away from the big one. Stay tuned for the big 50th Super Bowl.
Who else deserves to be there more?