Analyzing the dysfunction of the Green Bay Packers

FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Tyler Dunne’s article highlights the various egos and childish tendencies that broke the Green Bay Packers.

The explosive Bleacher Report article sheds a terrible light on the various people, attitudes, and egos that sent the Green Bay Packers tumbling towards complete mediocrity over the past seven years. Anybody with eyes that can see can identify Aaron Rodgers as a supernatural talent that only comes along once a lifetime.

One could make the case that there has never been a better pure talent at the position in the entire history of the NFL. Rodgers and the Packers won their lone Super Bowl together on a fairytale playoff run through the NFC in 2010-2011. Since then, the Packers have gotten progressively more and more toxic and dysfunctional than ever before.

The very next season, the Packers started by winning their first 13 games and finishing with a 15-1 record. Yet, throughout the entire season, the Packers just didn’t quite look like as complete a team as they had the year before. They were an absolute juggernaut offensively that season, breaking records left and right led by Rodgers having one of the greatest seasons ever displayed by a quarterback.

Somehow, the Packers were every bit as bad defensively. They were actually out-gained in 2011 despite their offense putting up remarkable numbers. Mike McCarthy, Dom Capers and the rest of the staff couldn’t do a thing to shore up their league-worst defense which all culminated in the unit surrendering 37 points to Eli Manning at Lambeau Field in the playoffs. Ted Thompson had every opportunity to fix his atrocious defense the very next offseason, but you know how that probably went.

As allergic to free agency and trades as a dog is to chocolate, Thompson simply assumed his offense could replicate what they did the previous year and that a draft class alone could solve his problems on defense. Not only could even the best draft class ever still need veteran reinforcements, but that particular draft was not exactly a home run. Thompson brought in one of his many first-round busts, drafting Nick Perry way too high out of USC.

Not only was Perry not at the level worthy of being a first-round pick, but Mike McCarthy and the Packer coaching staff couldn’t have been less aware of how to use him. Right away in Week 1, the Packers lined him up in the slot, against Michael Crabtree.

Yes, you read that right. The Packers lined up a defensive end who couldn’t run faster than Mike McCarthy himself in the exact position where you need the most athleticism. The Packers stumbled around trying to find as many different places to line up Perry over his seven years in Green Bay.

The article by Dunne even details how Ted Thompson, the man people had anointed as the greatest evaluator of talent in the league, would often fall asleep in meetings and regularly slur his speech when talking to colleagues.

Perhaps McCarthy’s only defense for how he performed as the coach of the Packers can be summed up by him always having to answer to puzzled reporters asking: “Why does your team not have a middle linebacker?”, or “Are you confident that your third-round backup tight end at UC can be a replacement for Jermichael Finley?”. McCarthy was always forced to answer the questions Thompson wouldn’t entertain.

Thompson’s habit of shoving his head in the sand year after year became more and more unsustainable over time. He inexplicably let Casey Hayward walk in free agency only a year removed from an overtime loss in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2015, only to see Hayward become an All-Pro with the Chargers on an extremely affordable contract.

Every single offseason, the Packers began things with the same needs they had the year before. How many times did they find themselves in dire need of a tight end? Or pass rushers? Or how about having to spend a Wisconsin-brewery truckload worth of draft picks on defensive backs year after year? How many times have the Packers needed running backs? Or backup offensive linemen?

The Packers couldn’t have done a worse job of addressing their own needs if they tried. The team’s claim to fame was always being able to retain their own free agents. Yet Thompson couldn’t even get that one right.

Remember Hayward? Micah Hyde? Cullen Jenkins? Jared Cook? T.J. Lang? This list could fill up entire volumes of shame. At some point, Thompson essentially operated as though he would show up to work, make sure the Packers were still under the salary cap as they had been the day before, and eventually doze off.

McCarthy’s utter incompetence shouldn’t be overlooked either. Running an offense that could have been decoded by the ancient Mesopotamians combined with his inability to recognize a 4-3 defense from Adam eventually made him a complete dinosaur being dragged into the post-Jurrasic era by his quarterback. McCarthy fired both Shawn Slocum and Ron Zook way too late, and kept Dom Capers around until his defense was softer than melted sharp Wisconsin cheddar.

Even before Dunne’s article detailed how checked out McCarthy was towards the end of his run in Green Bay, one could see just how unprepared the Packers were each week. Even with a quarterback who had arm and leg talent conceived of in the cosmos, the Packers just knew they weren’t going to compete with the elite teams in the NFC. The team was always soft, predictable, banged up, and stale. Then came this article.

McCarthy reportedly regularly skipped meetings with his inept offense to get massages from his personal masseuse. Now, call me crazy, but a head coach who can’t scheme open a wide receiver to save his life and knows as much about defense and special teams as a pipe fitter should probably be in the room with his offense. Not only did McCarthy play hooky during meetings, but he never even had a real offensive coordinator to help, you know, coordinate the offense.

Next. Packers three-round mock draft. dark

McCarthy’s laziness and complacency make him look like a bit of a dolt, and combined with Aaron Rodgers’ thin-skinned diva tendencies, eventually things were going to crack. The Packers should have been to at least four Super Bowls under McCarthy and Rodgers, but that first one did the job for everyone. Mark Murphy was a great safety for the Washington Redskins but has let the greatest fan base in American sports down.